FO Thursday – Surprise Yellow

Who’s ready for the weekend?  We’re kicking things off early here at FogKnits headquarters!  There’s been so much FO’ing this week, that Friday can’t contain it all.

First off the needles this week, a new Hitchhiker. 

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There are over 29,000 Hitchhikers on Ravelry.  That’s a staggering number.  Sure, 14 of them are mine.  Obviously, I get the fandom with this particular scarf.  Still…29,000!!  That’s incredible!  Imagine how big that pile would be!! Wow!

This particular Hitchhiker is special because it’s striped…

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…and I only had to weave in two ends!?!  Seriouesleeeeeeeee!  Love that!  This is another self striping skein of shawl yarn from Gauge Dye Works.  And it’s a Merino-Cashmere-Nylon (MCN) blend.  It’s so soft.  I just want to put my face on it and take a nap.

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I don’t usually go for yellow.  Actually, I never go for yellow.  I hate yellow.  If I had an arch nemesis, it would definitely be yellow.  I didn’t pick this yarn.  It came to me in a swap.  I reluctantly accepted it’s yellowness.  I begrudgingly knit it, only because I was unable to re-trade it for a better color.

So, of course, despite all my protests, it turns out, this Hitchhiker is just exactly what my wardrobe needs.  Stupid yellow.

It’s perfect for pretty much every outfit I own.  Every one.  A zing of yellow really peps up my sea of blues and greens so I’m giving it a try.  We’ll see how it goes.  I may be won over.  I mean, At least it’s not pink!


 

 

FO Friday – Dotted Grays

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My Dotted Grays is done!

This shawl flew off the needles!  The pattern is Stephen West’s Dotted Rays, one of my favorites.  I think this is my fourth one (and it won’t be the last).

The yarn is from Gauge Dye Works.  It’s a self striping yarn that employs ‘shawl striping’ which means the stripes are different lengths rather than a classic stripe where the stripes are all the same length.   Check out my recent Hydrogen Shawl to see another example of shawl stripes.

Unfortunately, I thought this was classic stripes when I started knitting, meaning it doesn’t matter which end you start from.  Turns out, it was shawl stripes and I essentially knit it ‘backwards’.   Whatever, I like it this way, especially because it’s different.

I’m not even upset by the lack of color.   I’ve got one more skein from Gauge Dye Works.  It’s called Fade to Yellow.

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I’m not sure what to do with it just yet.  It’s gotta be something I can knit in the dark though.  I need a new movie theater project stat!  Bill Murray and I are going to see Groundhogs Day this afternoon!!  Talk about FriYAY! Woooo!


 

Blocking Matters

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While I did knit this weekend, none of my knitting looks any different today than it did last week.   The curse of solid color knitting.  I did manage to block my Hydrogen shawl though!

And it grew!  Yay!

Pre-blocking, with a couple inches to spare on either side of the fence:

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Post-blocking, overhanging the fence panel by a couple inches!

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It’s a great size now and I went up in needle size so it’s a loose, drapey, lovely fabric.

Also, Rainbow!!  I’m looking forward to wearing it a lot.

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Now, back to my sweater.  Next time you hear from me, I want to have the body bound off!


 

 

WIP: Dotted Grays

My neighbor went to Vogue Knitting Live in NY and all I got was this awesome ‘Resting Knit Face’ tote signed by Stephen West!!  I have the best neighbor!

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It even matches my latest cast on, a shades of gray Dotted Rays.  This is another skein from Gauge Dye Works.  The base is an 80/20 merino/nylon blend with high twist in colorway, Fade to Black.

Garter stitch is my go-to when I’m leaving the house, so I’ve made lots of progress on this one.  It’s been knit almost entirely on city buses and in dark movie theaters (which makes up for the complete lack of color)!

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I have a feeling I’m going to like this one, despite it’s lack of color.  There’s a first time for everything, right?


 

Rainbow FOs

My rainbow shawls are done!  Woo!

First, Match & Move by Martina Behm in Miss Babs Rainbow Polydactyl Yummy 2-Ply

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Loved knitting this, garter stitch by the mile is totally my jam.

The second one, is the Hydrogen Shawl knit in Gauge Dye Works, shawl striping MCN in colorway Concrete & Tulips.

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It’s an MCN (merino-cashmere-nylon blend) so it’s super soft!  The best part though, only two ends to weave!  The yarn is dyed in one continuous strand!  It’s amazing! Only two ends to weave.  Only two ends?!!  TWO!!  It’s incredible!

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Now to block it.  I’m not a fan of superwash merino.  I’m a little worried about the curl at the end.  Then, it’ll be perfect!


 

Big Plans

Have you seen the new 2018 Ravelry Project Challenge?  Once again, Casey has added an absolutely brilliant feature.  I never knew I needed it but shortly, I’ll be wondering how I ever lived without it?

You can find your personal challenge page on a notebook tab labeled ‘challenge’.  It’s the very last tab.  When you get there, you’re asked to set a personal goal (which can be modified at any time).  The goal is simply the number of projects you want to complete this year.

 

I set my goal at 40 projects, 2 more than 2017.  It was an arbitrary decision.  The project challenge for me is not about metrics.  I pretty much hate the word ‘metrics’.  I would never judge my knitting by metrics.  Quality is vastly more important to me than quantity.

I love the tracking features of the project challenge though.  Here’s what my Challenge tab looks like so far.

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It shows my progress to date, meaning the projects I’ve marked ‘finished’ in 2018.  It also tracks my plans, meaning the items in my queue I’ve assigned a deadline too.  I use my queue as a general catch-all for any pattern I may, possibly want to make.  I try to keep it a manageable size, you know, only 30 pages.  When I go looking for a pattern, I search my queue first.  If I don’t find something I like there, then I go to the full database and look for something new.  As a result, my queue isn’t a list of what’s next.   The project challenge, fills that hole perfectly!

You can see, I’ve finished two projects this year.  That’s 5%.  I’m on my way!  Unfortunately, it’s been raining so my usual spot on the fence for FO photos is too wet.  I’ll have photos to share soon enough, though.

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In the meantime, rainy days are perfect for winding yarn and planning new projects.  I’ve set deadlines for 3 projects.  Of course, they’re arbitrary.  I wasn’t really convinced I liked the project challenge just yet.  Once I set my deadlines though, the projects were pulled over to the challenge page and that was it. I officially love the project challenge.

And, if it’s on the list, it’s time to cast on!  First pick:

Striped Asymmetry.  I found it flipping through a magazine over the weekend.  Imagine my surprise to discover I had the suggested yarn, Woolfolk Tynd, in my stash, in the exact quantities needed even.  That’s a win requiring immediate cast on, if I’ve ever seen it!

The real draw to this project, though, is garter stitch short rows and a clever key hole.  There’s a hole left on one end of the shawl to tuck the other end through.  Perfect!  No more lost shawl pins!

After that, it’ll be a pair of WestKnits.  A pair of repeats, but you know what they say…if it ain’t broke…

The grey gradient skein is a self striping yarn from Gauge Dye Works destined to be a Dotted Rays.  The yarn pair on the bottom is MadTosh Pashmina in Cosmic Wonder Dust and Deep…to become a Batad.  It’ll be opposite the one in the picture…white/speckly wedges with gorgeous blue welted stripes.  I’ve wanted that Batad since I brought this pashmina home, 2 and a half years ago!  It’s time!

Yes, I think this should keep me busy until February!  If nothing else, I’m organized!  Thanks Ravelry!  Definitely check out the project challenge tab if you haven’t yet!  It’s awesome!


 

 

 

 

 

Rainbow Friday

Black Friday and it’s rampant consumerism make me crazy.  I’m betting most of you reading this agree, or at least understand the value of handmade, so I’ll just limit my rant to that.  And so, I celebrated Rainbow Friday…with progress on my Rainbow Shawls!

Even as on-the-go, back-up projects, they’ve made good progress.  I appreciate that they’re both currently in green sections!  Synchronicity confirms that everything is as it should be.

Then again, maybe I’m talking crazy talk.  Bill Murray spent the day being ignored in the corner.  I’m at the halfway point.  Things seem good.  I’m pleased with Bill’s progress so far.   This means a knit-tastrophe is just around the corner, yes?

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I’m doing my best to avoid that knit-tastrophe though.  By starting a new cross stitch.

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I was just going to pick out the colors but…well, you know how it goes.

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I’m reeeeeeeealllllly going to avoid all these avoidances today though.  Time to buckle down and get Bill out of the corner.  Better to deal with any potential knit-tastrophe now.   I’ve got 13 days and 10 hours until it’s Murray Time!!!

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!  :)


 

WIP Wednesday – Hydrogen Shawl

There’s a certain set of people who want you to buy their shit emblazoned with the slogan ‘I knit so I don’t kill people’.   Perhaps you’ve seen it on tote bags and buttons, mugs and t-shirts.  I am absolutely against it.  It’s the kind of hyperbole that is just idiotic.  I’ve never killed anyone and I’m not going to start just because someone took my knitting away.

That said, in these turbulent times, I do look to my knitting for a bit of therapy.  I enjoy the process, the repetition, the quiet state of calm my mind slips into as my hands take over and fabric just appears.

Not just any knitting will do though.  It’s got to be the right knitting.  For me, comfort knitting is simple stitches.  Garter stitch is good.  Stockinette works too.

Of course, not any stockinette will do.  As a reformed process knitter, I look to the final product to be useful and attractive too.  With my latest cast on, I’ve truly hit the comfort knitting jackpot.  (Just in time for the world to go to hell.)

It starts with the yarn.   Caterpillar Green Yarns (former name)/Gauge Dye Works (current name) Self Striping yarn in in the Concrete and Tulips colorway.

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It’s a self striping yarn where the stripes are not the same length.  They call this ‘shawl stripes’ because it’s dyed so you’ve got short stripes at the beginning of the skein.  As your project progresses the stripes get progressively longer.  The end result is a striped shawl with evenly spaced stripes throughout.   It seems complicated because it takes a lot of words to describe.  The pictures really say it all.

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I’m absolutely loving this.  It’s so amazing.  Those stripes are perfect and yet they are also one continuous piece of yarn!  This project will have exactly 2 ends to weave.  The icing on my comfort knitting cake.

And of course, it’s highly portable.  All the best knitting is.

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The real news here:  I am knitting exactly the same thing as everyone else who’s used this yarn.  The stripes work with any top down shawl pattern.  You could even work bottom up, if you wanted.  For me though, I chose the most common pattern, The Hydrogen Shawl.

 

It’s the pattern written for this yarn by the dyer.  I’ve got two more skeins, in different colors.  I’ll definitely try more adventurous designs with those but for now, it’s a lovely, soft (it’s an MCN!), soothing escape from reality.

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aaahhhhhhhhh.

Just looking at it and thinking about my next chance to pick it up releases a nice warm dose of endorphins!

Mission Accomplished!

Happy Hump Day!

 

Random Goings On

Bill Murray has a ‘band’.

The tour is coming to San Francisco.  I bought tickets.  The Bill Murray Sweater officially has a deadline.  December 8th.  Time to get on it.

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I think it’s really going to be more of a vest?!?


That said, instead of working on that particular project, I’m cast on with this:

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I attempted to trade my Fade to Yellow skein for a Concrete & Tulips skein — aka the rainbow and grey colorway.  It didn’t quite go down that way though.  One enterprising Raveler talked me into trading her a skein of Miss Babs’ Yowza.  It was a color I really wanted but…I wanted this more!

It’s can’t wait!  It’s a self striping yarn but instead of consistent lengths of each color, the colors get progressively longer.  Instead of a big fat stripe of red at the top and little tiny stripe of blue at the bottom, the stripes will all be the same height.  It’s definitely a minor detail to the untrained eye but knitters have been geeking out over it for a while.  This yarn was quite hard to get for a minute there.

I’m sure stripe magic will take over and it’ll be done in a jiffy!


Of course, the only reason I’m allowed to cast on anything at all, Marled Magic is almost completely finished.  Just a bit of end weaving left.  The braid & the tassel turned out just right.  A bit fiddly at first but third time was the charm!

Stay tuned for full photos…they’ll be along soon.

In the meantime, it’s the weekend!  Wooooooooo!