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*

*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 – The Mash Ups

Six projects made it through the mass frogging last week.  About that time, I noticed my Ravelry notebook view had changed.   I recently upgraded to a modern laptop, instead of the decade old relic I had been using.   With my new laptop, I now see six projects across the top row of my notebook.

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Previously, I saw five projects across the top row.  My strict 10 project limit was decided upon because I saw 10 projects when I opened Ravelry.  That’s rather arbitrary.  And since I’m the decider, my new very strict project limit is 6.

Let’s face it, working on 10 things at once means you don’t care about at LEAST 4 of them.  So, there new rule, only 6 project around here from now on.

You saw the two rainbow stripe shawls on Monday.  Today, it’s two pattern mash up projects.  Both of these projects started as one thing and have subsequently morphed into something new.  Life is too short for uninspired knitting, after all.

First up, a 10-stitch turned log cabin blanket.

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I’ve tried the 10 stitch blanket a couple times now.  I never get very far.  It’s such a fiddly little pain in the butt and I give up easy.   This project, being a solid color, you can barely tell the difference so why do all that fiddling and get zero credit for it?

Nope.  I abandoned the 10 stitch portion at the center gladly.  It converted to the log cabin style readily.  No muss, no fuss!

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I really like the log cabin style.  Mindless knitting with a really lovely result.  The pattern is so forgiving.  And my yarn has a thick n thin quality which gives the blanket some extra texture.  Nothing distracts from the glowing orange but I’ve gotten quite used to it!  I’m looking forward to finishing this in short order!

My other mash up project:  The Jolly Roger turned Speckle & Pop

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This project started as a half pi shawl with a cable and lace edge that looked like a skull.  Yeah, have I mentioned I give up easy?  Cables and lace.  In the same row?!?   Oh hell no.  I don’t know what I was thinking when I started that one.  The top half is just a stockinette half circle…no reason to frog that bit.

It took a few days for inspiration to hit but it finally did.

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The answer, of course, is a question.  What would Stephen do?  Answer:  Clue 3 of his current mystery knit along, Speckle & Pop.  No matter that I didn’t do Clue 1 or Clue 2.   Clue 3 was adding an edge to shawl body.  That’s what I had, with only a few slight differences.  The type of differences that matter to people who count stitches.  I am not one of those people.  So I set out on my own modified version of Clue 3.

I kept the general shape and rhythm of the clue, just changed some numbers.   The next part of the clue is brioche.  I haven’t quite talked myself into that part yet.  I’ll let ya know how it goes.  Maybe this weekend I’ll get it started.

I bet I like it once I get going.

Famous last words, eh?

If not, I’ll just change my mind…

again.


 

Rainbow Stripe Shawls

What’s left after last week’s mass frogging?  Quite a few things it turns out!  The theme of the day seems to be rainbow stripes!  How can I argue with that?

First, the Gauge Dye Works self striping Hydrogen Shawl is moving along.

It’s my go-to carry around project at the moment.  It’s definitely getting carried around a lot.  It’s slow going but that’s okay.  It’ll get there eventually.  There’s something comforting about knowing it’s easy to grab and it’s just waiting there for me.  It’s nice to have one less thing to think about as I leave the house.

Rainbow Striped Shawl #2 is rising from the ashes of my frogged Spice Market.

It’s becoming Strickmich’s Match & Move.  So far, I’m loving this…Garter Stitch… WOOOOO!  One reason I was hesitant to frog my Spice Market was all the yarn cuts.  Instead of fussing, I’m just going with it.  Match & Move is written with color blocks more than stripes but my yarn is set up for stripes so stripes it is!  This would be lovely on the go knitting, if it weren’t for all the balls of yarn I’d have to carry.   It’s getting plenty of love here at home.

And, because my love of rainbows is not limited to my knitting…

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Mom sent me some rainbow gradient embroidery floss…it’s so fun!  Not sure what else to do with this canvas so I’ll just ponder it for a bit.  After all, it’s Monday…time to start the work week!  Wish me luck!  :)


 

Reality Check.

I was merrily knitting along.  Just minding my own business.  Not complaining about how ridiculous even the most basic intarsia can become.  I was noticing the similarity of my work to this thing from the new Star Wars trailer.

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That’s when it all started.  About 2 inches too late, I thought, Hey…it’s about time to add my sleeve shaping.

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Whooooops!  There’s really no decision to be made here.  My hand was forced.  Ripping back is not optional but required.  It was then I decided, the eyes weren’t right, so might as well rip back and re-do those too.   As 2″ quickly became 4″, a frogging craze hit me.

It’s my birthday next week.  One of those big numbers ending in ‘0’.  Seemed like a good justification for a clean slate.  I decided to go on a mass frogging.  I started the process when I frogged the weird lace bit on this WIP.

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This is the former Jolly Roger shawl.  It’s hundreds of stitches with a motif repeat that has cables and lace.  UGH.  It was not fun.  I haven’t made a decision about what the new shawl will be, but this yarn is too bright to sit in a bag anymore.  It’s still a WIP but it’s a better WIP now.  I may actually pick it up and work on it!

And then, the cuts got deeper.  Full projects frogged.  Well meaning, lovely, mistake free projects ripped out.  Rather than say hours of work gone, I’m thinking about how much better they’ll be as projects I want to work on!  The yarns are all awesome and now they’ve been liberated!  Be Free My Pretties!

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Socks on Size 00 needles were the first to go.  My Mom and I dyed the yarn last year on my birthday.  I love the yarn.  I want the yarn to be something awesome.  Clearly, that’s not going to work if I expect myself to knit socks.  I’m giving up on every becoming a sock knitter.  Size 00 needles are not for me.  NEXT!

 

I really wanted to like knitting this next one…Knitter’s DNA by Martina Behm.  Turns out, I never found the groove.  No fault of the pattern, it just wasn’t doing it for me.  And again, yarn my Mom dyed for me.  I can’t wait to find the perfect pattern for it.  I really love this yarn.

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Indeed, Bossy Stitch Marker, I am getting my shit together.

Last in the frog pile was a tough decision.  A skein of Wollmeise involved in a bit of stacked pooling.

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The plan hasn’t really changed, this color is definitely meant for planned pooling.  I just need a different project.  I’m thinking about a simple stockinette cowl in the round.  I’ll be done with something like that in no time!

And, after all that frogging, I’ve reclaimed a pile of stuff!

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Needles, stitch markers, row counters…oh my!

I’ve left a sizable chunk of knitting still on the needles.  So now, the only problem is fighting the temptation of a mass cast on.  I really want to finish a few of the WIPS that are still on the needles.  They’ve been thoroughly scrutinized at this point.  They’ve made the grade.  I just need to put in the time.   Good thing it’s Friday…

Happy Knitting!