Shelter in Place: Day Three

Shelter in Place: Day Three

Current Mood: Still doubting I’ll ever get bored.  However, cabin fever is real.

Living in one room is great in the ‘I only have one room to clean’ context.  It’s not like I can go upstairs or even into another room though.  I predict a large scale furniture rearrangement project in the near future.   At least I can fake it!

Then again, with this project on the needles, I don’t look at the walls much anyhow.  Maybe I won’t even notice my stagnant scenery.  This gradient is even better than I dreamed it could be!  I am really loving these colors!!

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This sweater is a cardigan I started back in August, 2019.  It’s a collection of green, speckled, indie yarns that I impulse bought, one skein at a time, over a period of 18 months.  By limiting myself to one color, I figured I’d be able to come up with some kind of fade sweater.  Turns out, I should have been following this method all along!

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I did swatch my colors, so I had some kind of idea.  There’s a lot of ways for a sweater to go wrong, though.  I’m fading my colors from the top down in a marled style, holding two strands together and then switching one out at a time.  So far, so good!

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I’m using another sweater that I like as a guide for the length.  This is totally a lazy way to take measurements.  I approve.  I’m just beginning my bottom edging.  A few more inches and the body will be done!

Also happy to report, I remembered to put short rows up at the top so the back of my neck will get a bit more coverage.  I did a quick fitting and yes, confirmed…my short rows worked and I’m getting close to finishing the body.

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Hopefully I’ll be working on the sleeves by this weekend!  I’ve still got plenty of yarn.  Haven’t decided how I’m going to do the sleeves yet.  Maybe 3/4 sleeves.  This decision will be my excitement on Day 6.  Stay tuned, it’ll be more fun than watching potatoes grow.

 

Shelter in Place: Day Two

Stitches was waaaaaaay back in February.  You know, two weeks ago.  Seems so much longer now.  It was certainly a different time.  I was socially distancing back then but for the normal, I just hate crowds reasons.  I waited until the last day to go and breezed through in a couple hours.

For the second year in a row, I bought no yarn.  It’s true.  NO yarn.  TWO years in a row.  I did get a cool patch though.

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And I took many yarn pictures.  I’m even more convinced that Pantone mis-labeled Classic Blue as the color of the year this year.  Let’s face it, that’s thinly veiled reference to the November election, not an accurate prediction of the color people are naturally drawn to.  No, sorry Classic Blue, I like you but you are not color of the year.  The actual color of the year is Chartreuse.  Please see my supporting evidence:

See???  Clearly I’m right.  I even took pictures of non-chartreuse yarn to prove I didn’t have complete tunnel vision.

There were a lot of great notions & bags too.  I really appreciated this one particular artist.  I told myself I’d remember the name but of course, I didn’t.

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There were probably 10-12 different drawings on a range of bags from notion pouch up to project bag.  Loved them all.

And of course, there were samples to be tried on all over the place.

I’m much smarter when pattern details are involved…just take a picture!

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I liked the Rose Candy Cowl!  It’s a bandana sort of cowl with an interesting construction, to be expected from Martina Behm.  I’ve been wearing my 3-Color Cashmere Cowl a lot the past few months.  It’s definitely been thinking about making more cowls recently.  This is a strong contender.

I also liked this brioche business…

I don’t think I’m serious about knitting this one though.  It’s fun to look at but I probably need two coronavirus quarantines to finish something like this.  **knock on wood**  Let’s hope it doesn’t come to that.

Work kept me pretty busy today but I think by tomorrow, I’ll have visible progress on my sweater! Pictures will be taken so come back to see!

 

Shelter in Place: Day One

Shelter in Place:  Day One.

Pretending as if nothing is out of the ordinary.

I’ve got enough yarn for a viral apocalypse AND a zombine apocalypse, consecutively!  I think I’ve got food and toilet paper for a few days.  Long enough that the currently empty stores in SF should have time to restock.  Hopefully.  The panic shoppers will run out of storage space momentarily.  This is still San Francisco…72 mega rolls take up a lot of space in apartments that don’t have space for a bathtub.

No, instead of dwelling on the fact that I haven’t had a bathtub for 17 years and today is the day I find myself REALLY wanting a nice hot soak, I’m focusing on optimism.   I always want more time to myself.  I like wearing pajamas all day.

This is all going to be fine.  I will read up on science shit for work.  I’ll take naps.  And then of course, there’s knitflixing and crafternooning.  Happy St. Patrick’s Day!  This sounds like a lovely day to me.  There will definitely be green knitting.

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My local pub is still doing take out too…fish & chips can totally happen today.

Let’s hope this calm continues.  3 Weeks is a long time.   In the meantime, come back tomorrow for Stitches West pictures.  I’ve been sitting on them but I’ve finally got plenty of time to share!

(and check out my newly updated 2020 Cross Stitch Gallery...expect more of that during this shelter in place too!)

Stitches West Prep

Stitches West is rapidly approaching!  Less than two weeks!

As usual, I’m working to remind myself that I don’t need to buy anymore yarn.  The first step is always looking at last year’s Stash Flash and seeing what got used.

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So, yes, step one confirms my suspicions.  I blacked out all the yarns that got used up in 2019.  As you can see, there’s still plenty of yarn left.  Clearly, I do not need to buy more yarn.

The next step is a new Stash Flash.  I started with all the new yarns from last year.

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Lots of fun in this pile!  Pride yarn in rainbow colors, yarn my Mom dyed, yarn I’m collecting for a future sweater, yarn from a trip to Steven Be in Minneapolis, sale yarn from a trip visiting my Sister.

No yarn from Stitches though!  I’m reminding myself on the regular… I didn’t buy yarn at Stitches last year.  It can be done.  It can be done…by ME!  I did it once.   I’m aiming for a repeat this year.

Unfortunately, at this point, my Stash Flash got derailed.  Next year I’ll probably be sad when I don’t have a big group photo but that’s just the way it’s playing out this year.  It’s enough of a reminder seeing all that 2019 that hasn’t been used…yet!

I did some winding so a bunch of this yarn is ready to go.  Yay for new projects!  Especially when they’re stash yarns!  I feel a hat binge coming on!

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!

 

Another Blogiversary!

Time marches on!  Unbelievably, another year has passed.  It’s Bob Marley’s birthday again.  It’s my Mom’s birthday again and it’s yet another blogiversary (5 years!! woo!)  So many happenings for one, otherwise, nondescript day.

Despite my absence here, my needles are still on the go! I have a couple fun finishes to share!

Like Mom’s birthday knit!  She sent me some very skinny cashmere for Christmas.  Thread weight maybe?  Even using size 0 needles, I had to double up the skinny cashmere and add a third strand from my stash to get a reasonable gauge!  It was was worth it though!  Yes, triple stranded on size 0 needles and yet look at that drape!  The fabric here is just perfect!

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I love the marled look, the lightweight fabric and the fun color blocking.  I worked this hat top down, which really helped me design on the go so I didn’t even need a pattern.  I cast on without a real plan and just let the hat tell me what to do.  For example, I ran out of that pink strand of cashmere.  I didn’t lose at yarn chicken.  It was just the hat telling me what it wanted.  The color blocking was meant to be!

Best part:  it even fits right!  Woo! (Details Here:  itty bitty stitches project page)

Then, there’s this beast of an FO:

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Westknits 2019 MKAL, The Starflake!  I love it.  It took forever and spent a lot of time being ignored but once I bound off, it didn’t take long to weave the ends and block it.  I used two yarns both MCNs, (Yoth Little Brother and Sun Valley Fibers fingering weight) so the softness can’t be beat!   And the shape is very wearable.  It situates itself nicely around the shoulders with the tips creating anchors in the front so it’s no-fuss.  I really like that.

I love it.  I was hesitant to join this year’s MKAL but I’m glad I got talked into it!  This is a great shawl.  Westknits really are the best knits!

Way back during Clue 1, I cast on a second version as well.  I’m mid-brioche section on that one.  I can tell I’m going to love #2 even more!  I’ve got a sweater I really want to finish first though.  And I’m working on my first pair of baby longies for my nephew.  and I want to knit a bunch of hats for a trip to Tahoe next month.  And I’ve got a couple other shawls on the needles too.

I’ve got plenty of WIPs to get into shape!  That story will never change…so much knitting, never enough time!  And so, with that, I’m getting back to my needles!  Stay tuned for a Stitches West update…it’s only two weeks away!   I’m going to attempt a second year in a row of no buying yarn?!?!

 

 

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.


 

All the Shawls

I’m taking a little shawl breather before I start the next round of sweaters!  Finished one for mom, finished one for me and the next one is on the needles already!

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First up, the Corona Shawl, a free crochet pattern from Universal Yarns.  I had fun with this one, despite never really getting  accustomed to the pattern.  Unlike the knitting I do, there were lots of different stitches and the patterning changed nearly every row.  This has definitely given me the confidence to crochet more complicated shawls but I will be looking for charted designs in the future.

I took lots of detail pictures with future crocheters in mind.  In the absence of charts, having Ravelry’s database of photos was incredibly helpful.

The yarn is Lion Brand Mandala.  It’s surprisingly nice for highly affordable acrylic.  The softness is great and the colors are super.  My one complaint though…I wish I could block it.  I’m missing the crispness I could give all these details in a nice, natural wool.  That said, I’m glad it’s crochet and not knit.  I don’t think knit lace would be as forgiving without a blocking.  Ultimately, I think I lucked into this pattern and yarn combo being a winner!  And, as my dentist says, it’s better to be lucky than good!

My second shawl finish is another scrappy, striped Dotted Rays.  Yes, another Dotted Rays.  The first six are not enough.  A 7th was necessary.  I’ll still be saying the same thing when it’s the 10th, the 15th and even the 20th.  I love this pattern.

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It works with any & every yarn.  It’s easily committed to memory.  It’s got about a million options for customization.  It’s easy to wear.  And now I’ve got one for every day of the week!

I wasted no time casting on my next shawl.  Another Stephen West, this time his newly release, Spring Cleaning Shawl.  It’s got all my favorite components, garter stitch, short row wedges and lots of options for yarn customization!

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I’m going fade with this one…starting off with this light color that will eventually fade from the light green with bits of yellow into the blue you see at the i-cord edge.  I’ve got new project excitement at the moment so progress should be quick!  This pattern has modular construction…I think that’ll help it along too.  Fingers crossed because I’m excited about this one! These colors are swoon-worthy!

Spoiler Alert

Don’t worry, I’m not spoiling the Avengers or the latest episode of Game of Thrones.  I’m only spoiling Mother’s Day.  Not to worry though, Mom doesn’t believe in spoilers (I checked) and besides, it’s a surprise whenever you find out.

April and my temporary knitting stoppage have come to an end!  Whoo-hoo!  Except, I still haven’t picked up my knitting needles.  The big surprise…I’m crocheting!

The pattern is a freebie from Universal Yarns called the Corona Shawl.   I picked this pattern because Mom likes lacy things and crocheting lace is so much easier than knitting lace.

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That said, I do have one complaint…there’s no chart.  In my mind, crochet charts are akin to knitting stitch maps.  Diagrams that show you how the stitches interact with each other from one row to the next.  Without it, I spent a lot of time looking at project photos to make sure I was getting things in the right places.   I do love that we have a resource like Ravelry to turn to.  All the people who upload project pics were a big help to me.  Three Cheers for Ravelry!  Still though, I wish designers embraced the chart more.

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There is another surprising element to this project…the yarn is acrylic, and I sorta like it.  It’s Lion Brand Mandala and it’s not your grandma’s acrylic.  It’s a nice and soft…perfect for baby things that need to be sturdy and washable.

So, SURPRISE MOM!  Your Mother’s Day package is going to be late and acrylic.  lol.

After that, I’ll be getting back to the knitting…I have plenty of projects lined up, as always.   Here’s one last cross stitch from April too…

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Thanks, Diane, for leaving your suggestion in the comments on my last post!  I loved your suggestion and was working on it as I heard the news about Peter Mayhew!  May the Force be with him!