FO Friday – Batad

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In a surprise twist, I’ve got an FO Friday this week.  This is my new Batad.  It’s unexpected because I thought I had more yarn.  Turns out, I don’t.  This is what happens when you let gorgeous yarn languish in the deep recesses of the stash.  I completely forgot, I poached the other skein of Deep, the dark blue color, for a Doodler, way back in 2015.   Fortunately, I still love that shawl lots so no knitter’s remorse here.

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Of course, it also helps that the Batad was at a perfect stopping point.  I was able to bind off with no ill effects whatsoever.  I was only going to add one more wedge, so no harm done really.

This is one of my favorite patterns both to knit and to wear.  It’s Stephen West, of course.  I love it’s no fuss nature.  It stays put with no fiddling and no shawl pins.  I tend to wear it on one shoulder but it’s great as a sort of cape, worn to the back as well.

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It doesn’t hurt that the yarn is MadTosh Pashmina…yay for merino-silk-cashmere blends!  The white speckled color is Cosmic Wonder Dust, my favorite color name ever.  I brought this yarn home for this specific project in 2015.  I have no idea why I didn’t get to it sooner because I can tell already, it’s my new favorite.

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I wore it out last night…complete with ends hanging.  LOL.  At least they were on the inside (unlike the Schitt’s Creek sweater!)  I’m pretty sure I’m the only one who noticed.  I was surprised how many people commented on it.  I shouldn’t be though…I was at a drag show.  Those queens know fashion when they see it!

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And so, my Batad collection has grown.  I still want another one though!  I should probably weave the ends on this one before I wear it again.

“probably”

 

Me Made May

Now that the month is nearly over, let’s talk about ‘Me Made May’.

The idea is to encourage people to wear their handmade wardrobes proudly.  Turns out, I’m good in that department. I live in a place that is sweater weather, year round.  I haven’t bought, or really, even worn any jackets, hoodies, fleece or other miscellaneous outerwear in a decade.  I like wearing sweaters.  I wear my sweaters constantly.  I love the sweaters I’ve made.  I am definitely not deficient in wearing my handmade wardrobe proudly.

 

I did get me thinking about the usefulness of my knitting though.  What would it look like if I were to sort all my knits into two piles, the pile I wear and the pile I don’t?  I couldn’t bring myself to start a project of that magnitude but I did take stock of my sweater collection.

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I’m happy to say, most of them fall into the useful category.  Even novelty pieces like the Bill Murray sweater and the Cassette Tape vest, while gimmicks, do get worn out of the house.  So, the moral of the story is…knit more sweaters.

Which brings me to my weekend dilemma.

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The Askews Me? shawl.  It’s a beauty but it’s not going to be a useful garment.  It’s going to be huge and bulky.  That’s the stuff that falls into the never worn pile.  Even if I trim the size back, there’s no way around the bulk of it.  I like looking at the pretty colors.  I love the brioche squishiness it’s got going on.  I don’t even mind knitting it.  I’m just a bit hung up on this question of usefulness, at the moment.

I’m stuck on the idea of frogging it?!?  Fortunately, I had a small moment of clarity.  I realized I was talking crazy talk and I put it away.  Getting it out of sight was a good first step.

Step two:  distract myself with new USEFUL knitting.
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Aaaahhhhhh!  That’s so much better!  This is yarn I’ve been sitting on for years.  I’m not sure why I’ve put this project off for so long.  It’s MadelineTosh Pashmina, in colors Deep and Cosmic Wonder Dust.  The pattern is the WestKnits’ Batad.  I love the two Batads I’ve already got.  It’s a no brainer!  This is destined for greatness.

I’m still kind of thinking about that frogging though?!?!  I’m not sure.  How do you decide when to frog?


 

Another WWSD?

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When I need to take a break from my giant knitting, which is often–that stuff is a workout, I’m turning to a project on tiny, delicate size 11 needles!

 

It’s another What Would Stephen Do? project.  One of my most worn garments is a WestKnit called Batad.  I’ve got two already but I need at least one for each day of the week.  And so, Batad-esque was born!

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As usual, there’s a few modifications.  I’m changing the gauge, so all the numbers are adjusted.  Instead of garter stitch sections with welt dividers, I’m doing stockinette sections with garter ridge divisions.  Oddly enough, this means I’m doing one thing Stephen wouldn’t do…leaving out the short row gaps.  It took a couple sections to come to terms with it.

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You can see the untreated short rows pretty clearly in the first section so I decided to ‘go all the way’ with my short rows, wrapping and turning and even picking up the wraps!

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The last section looks so much better.  I’m staying true to my lazy knitter roots though.  I’m not going back to correct the first two sections.  A-it’ll look better after blocking or B-no one will ever notice, certainly not a muggle.  It’s choose your own rationalization day here!

What Would Stephen Do?  In short, change everything and make it up along the way!  So far, I’ve managed pretty well!  I’ve retained the shape of the original garment and this yarn is going to be lovely to wear!  It’s a BlackStone Tweed Chunky from Berroco.  A lovely soft sheep/goat/rabbit trio!   It’s going to be perfect for the impending summer fog!

And perfect weekend knitting!  Instant gratification…here I come!

 

 

FO Friday – Batad, Me-Made-May & Periscope

Lots of things happening here at the FogKnits headquarters this morning!

First, my second FO of the week!  My latest Batad is finished!

Click here for full Ravelry details! 

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 Pattern:  Stephen West’s Batad

This is my second Batad, I barely even looked at the pattern this time around!  It’s shaped with short rows–so it becomes quite intuitive!  My favorite thing about the Batad is it’s versatility, lots of different ways to wear it!  and the cowl neck keeps it in place the whole time!

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Design Notes:

I love short row shaping!  This is particularly easy because there’s no wrap and turn.  It’s just turn.  It leaves big holes but they’re a design feature!  Not a ‘design feature’ but an honest to goodness part of the design…so clever and so easy!

I made a few modifications, I didn’t knit the entire pattern.  I stopped a few wedges short, didn’t think I need my piece to be so long!  and there’s a few places that say to cut the contrast color but I didn’t…fewer ends to weave is all.  I changed the bind off as well…I did a full welt at the bottom instead of the i-cord bind off as called for.  No big deal, just minor changes to suit my personal preferences!

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Yarn: Juniper Moon Farm’s Zooey

It’s a cotton linen blend…perfect for summer and for drape!  This piece is all about the drape!  I worked at a pretty open gauge and I haven’t washed it yet so I expect it may drape even more after that!  I’m excited for a machine washable garment but laundry day can’t be rushed!  It’s gonna be even better when it’s not so wobbly!

I’m looking forward to wearing my new Batad a lot!  I finished just in time to kick off Me Made May!  If you’re not familiar, click here to see where it starts!  Me Made May is a challenge to makers of garments–whether you knit, crochet, sew or make your own clothes in some other creative way–to wear them more.  It’s a self set challenge, your challenge may be to wear a handmade garment everyday or it may be to wear your handmade garments more often.  You may document it on social media (#mmmay15) but maybe you won’t.  It’s up to you.  The idea is just to get closer to your handmades in whatever fashion suits you.

I haven’t really decided how to ‘challenge’ myself in this regard.  I almost never leave the house without wearing something I made myself.  Maybe my challenge is to wear something different each day?  I certainly have favorites but I also have a large collection, I feel like it gets a decent rotation.  Maybe for me, it’s not about wearing but designing.  I’ve got several sweaters I’d like to design for myself.  Of course, the next few things queued up are designed by other people.  I don’t know that I’ll change up the queue but maybe I swatch this month and plan my next design.   I’ve got several skeins of Miss Babs’ Yowza, I’ve had it for a couple years now…I really want a hoodie, with cables, and pockets and a zipper!  I just need to get around to doing it.

I’ll come up with a goal for myself, eventually but in the meantime, I’m giving my handknits extra love this month!  And you should too!  That’s really the point of this all!  We spend a lot of time (and money) perfecting our craft, Me Made May is the time to show it all off with pride!

And, the last thing going on here today…live streaming via Periscope!  Yesterday Amy Herzog wrote on the KnittyBlog  about it!  It’s a new app from Twitter that allows you to live stream!  Every since Norway hit the news with it’s Slow TV movement, I’ve been jealous!  I haven’t seen anyone knitting on Periscope yet, so I took matters into my own hands and broadcast myself this morning (working on one of those secret projects no less)!  Completely silly, but fun at the same time.  Not sure Periscope is ready for realtime knitting though!  That’s why I’m spreading the word! Come watch me knit!  I’m OdessaBlue over there…

Or better yet, find Stephen West on social media and suggest it to him!  I’d way rather watch him than have you watch me :)  If we all want it, he can’t possibly ignore us, right?

Batad-in-Progress Wednesday

Last week’s happy knitting has become this week’s problem.  It’s always something, right?  And it was going so well…

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The pattern calls for 400 yards of both Main Color and Contrast Color.  I was buying 284 yard balls.  I got two Main Color and decided, quite willfully, that one ball of Contrast Color would be enough.  Once upon a time, I went to an engineering college on a math scholarship.  I am good at math, in theory.

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Apparently in theory, only!  I’ve got 3 more welts to do..that is definitely not enough to get it done.

The moral of today’s story…Don’t be a dumbass!  284<400 in every possible scenario.  You don’t need a math scholarship to know that.  I’ve got two possible options for a second ball.  I already know the first option is a dead end.  Fingers crossed that option two works out!

WIP Wednesday – Happy Knitting

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Knitting slumps stink!  The yarnbombs are on a deadline–adding a deadline is an instant happy knitting deal breaker.  The cassette tape vest is still a beast.  After declaring I hate it last week, we needed a bit of a cool down period so it’s been untouched.  That didn’t leave much for on-the-go knitting.

My weekend involved a bus ride or three, there must be knitting!  So I grabbed the only thing handy, my Batad.  It had been sitting for two weeks, waiting patiently for a welt seaming row.  The persnickety, fiddly row.  On the bus.  I was determined!  Did not matter that I was carrying two bottles of wine and a bouquet of flowers, I was going to welt on the bus.  It went surprisingly well!  I didn’t lose stitch markers or that third needle I was using, no stitches were dropped, most importantly, no bottles of wine were dropped!  and just like that, I was done with the row that kills all progress!

My Batad was now ready for the fun short row section! I didn’t get too excited…it was to be short lived!  The short row fun is so fun that I always fly through it, and then it gets tossed aside for two weeks until I get around to the welt row.  Not this time!  I flew through the short rows and kept going!  It’s been two days of happy knitting!   aaaahhhhhhh!  According to the pattern, there’s 9 short row sections, I’m currently halfway through six!

There is a tiny little light appearing at the end of the dark, dark knitting tunnel!  Very soon I’ll be able to start the next round of projects that I’ll inevitably be cursing a month from now! I can hardly contain the excitement!!

Thinking Ahead

After a short break, my Batad is back on the go! 

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I really adore the simplicity of this design, it’s great travel knitting…until you get to the welt seam.  Mostly I breeze through the short rows and the welt knitting and then it sits for a few days until I find time to do the one fiddly row.  It’s a pain but the slippery linen-cotton blend I’m using, actually makes it less annoying.

Zipping through the next section, I’m dreaming of knitting to come.  I’ve got an FO for tomorrow, so what’s going to be next week’s FO?  Probably not the Batad, but the Cassette Tape Vest could make it — Maybe.  I should really start a hat, that could be done and I have tons of design ideas.  I’m trying hard to keep my project count low–I’ve only got 8 right now!  I could get so much done if I didn’t divide my time!

I’m really thinking about the Superior Cashmere I brought home though, I want that cashmere cardigan!!  …one little swatch couldn’t hurt my progress too much, right?

And so it goes…all day long, from one knitting daydream to the next!