Happy Friday!

Look Familiar?  Not much has changed.  Things have been meandering along this week.  I tried to generate some excitement last week but it didn’t work.

The baby sweater I cast on is sitting untouched in the corner.  I’m not sure the stripes I chose are a good idea, maybe I should just stick with the color blocking?  I still haven’t cast on a Local Yarn Shawl.  My colors aren’t quite right.  I need to dive a bit deeper into the stash.  Just a lot of meh going on.

May the Fourth inspired me to pull R2-D2 out of his corner.  And while, he’s gotten lots of love this week, it’s not entirely obvious, thanks to the effect of white stitches on a very pale blue background.  It doesn’t help that cross stitch makes knitting seem fast and efficient when done by hand.

Even my beloved Dotted Rays is stuck in a pit of ennui (<-that’s how bad it is, it’s turned French?!?).  Progress is being made, and it’s going to be awesome.  I’m ready for it to be done though.  It’s grown to very cumbersome, shlanket proportions.

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It WILL be done soon and I’m going to love wearing it.  Even that ‘purple’ stripe that is totally skewing pink is going to be great.  The whole thing is terrific.  Terrific is not exciting though.

And then, just when I thought all hope was lost, that moment when vacuuming seemed like a better idea than crafting…the mailman showed up!  Phew!  It was a close call.  The mailman arrived just in time.  He brought me a package from my Mom, a sort of reverse Mother’s Day package!  It’s an especially good one…

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Not one but TWO skeins of Magical Tundra Qiviut!  For those not in the know about this stuff, it’s the epitome of luxury fiber.  An incredibly soft, incredibly warm, incredibly lofty fiber from the arctic musk ox!  I always visit the musk ox booth at Stitches to pet the skeins but I’ve never brought any home with me.  This is Excitement (<- capital E!)

And, it turns out, fancy musk ox yarn, isn’t even the most exciting part of this package. Mom also sent 1000 yards of her own hand dyed amazingness!

Yes, FriYAY can officially commence now.  I love all of these colors!  I can’t wait to wind and swatch all afternoon!  Turns out I wasn’t meandering or bored all week.  I was just waiting for the right moment to get excited!  Patience is, indeed, a virtue. Wooooooo!

Happy Friday!  Hope you’ve all got excitement on your needles too!

 

 

 

Sin City Knit Shop

On my 7th day, I finally made it to Las Vegas’ yarn shop…Sin City Knit Shop. First though, there was a stop at Bad Owl Cafe, a Harry Potter themed coffee shop. I don’t drink coffee (or butter beer) but I thought the understated theme was pretty awesome.

After that, it was off to Sin City Knit Shop. It was a lovely visit to a well appointed shop with friendly staff.

The woman who greeted us (because after my music friends left, a knitting friend showed up two hours later! Woooo!) knew the tourist drill, she instantly showed us to the local yarns.

They had a selection of local yarns (in multiple gauges), as well as some super cute project bags (awesome fabric selection!) It was the fur Pom Poms that really caught my eye though…

…the price, yes. But more importantly, check out that snap! Not only does it give amazing stability, it gives amazing flexibility. A Pom Pom that’s entirely and easily removed or reattached at any moment. Genius!! I didn’t buy any, but I love that they exist.

And then, there’s the shawl wall! All amazing! So many terrific samples!

I did buy a couple things…

The bottom three aren’t mine, just the top four. It’s a great pile though. Mine are a local hand dye, a purple Mirasol yarn for my current WIP, Kiwi from Zealana (a New Zealand possum yarn) and a skein of Cashmere 16 Fine (a cashmere merino blend with a super springy chain construction. It’s so light and lofty. Can’t wait to use it!)

Next stop: New Mexico’s self proclaimed premier yarn shop in Albuquerque! They have wolf hair yarn…super curious!

Day One: The Twisted Skein

Road Trip ’18 is under way!

I did pretty good considering I-5 is generally regarded as a road no one wants to drive and Bakersfield, my destination, is a place no one wants to visit.

It was a beautiful day for a drive and I was headed to a yarn shop. No complaints from me!

The Twisted Skein is a great shop! It gets two thumbs up from me! They hit all the things I look for in a yarn shop…speckles, hand dyes, local yarns, gradients. They’ve got a selection of Berroco yarns as well, for the budget conscious.

It was spacious and uncluttered. The staff was friendly (and all male?!) They had a classroom and space to sit & knit, along with Ravelry corner (<-awesome!!)

I picked out a handful of mini skeins from Stitch Together, an indie dyer from Iowa. Not sure what they’ll be. I didn’t bring enough yarn for the trip so I’ll be busting into these beauties soon! And, adding to the pile when I get to Vegas. Sin City Yarns should be a yarn tour highlight!

The cherry on top of my day was dinner at Buck Owen’s Crystal Palace.

It’s a tourist trap but whatever! They have live music! It was a free show…apparently this dude is the last American Idol winner. He was perfectly pleasant knitting music.

Overall, not a bad start to Road Trip ’18. Now, on to Vegas…

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!

Friday Photo Dump

Hoooooray for Friday! I’m very excited to get some knitting done this weekend! In the meantime, here’s a random bunch of pictures I took but haven’t shared yet!

First, some yarn my Mom dyed for me recently!  The olivey green is going to become a felted hat with a wide brim.  The color has a lot of depth to it, lots of gold & mustardy tones to it.  Hopefully that’s not lost when it’s felted.

The multi is a special handspun yarn I got in Iceland.  Not sure what to do with it yet.  Something for the torso I think.  It’s the soft part of the Icelandic wool, next to skin softness for sure!


Next, my little Yoda, done he is!

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His friends will be joining him soon.


My latest foray into beading.  The beaded part was lots of fun!  I didn’t even mind the pre-strung business.  It’s tough on the yarn but it’s way less fiddly that stopping to pick up a crochet hook every time you place a bead.  Now it’s just slogging through a regular old scarf.  No bells or whistles to get excited about.  Oh well, that is what I signed on for after all…


And last but not least, the sequence knitting shawl has been getting lots of outdoor love with spring springing so much in the recent weeks!  I’m really looking forward to wearing this one.  If all goes according to plan, I predict I’ll love it!

Hope you all have a beautiful weekend filled with lots of knitting!  Only a couple hours to go, I’m confident I’ll make it…


 

FO Monday – Beaded Hitchhiker

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In the ramp up to the Ravellenic Games, I finished my Unicorn Fart Hitchhiker with beads!  You get to see it today because I’m saving Friday for my Ravellenic sweater!  Oh yes, the games started last Friday and the goal of the Sweater Triathlon is to knit a sweater in 17 days.  That seems like such a long time though.  I’m thinking of this more like a Sweater Sprint!  (obviously, I chose the chunky yarn on size 11 needles!)  But enough about that…

The base pattern here is the Hitchhiker.  I assume we’re all familiar with it’s awesomeness.  I’m a big fan, this is my 10th Hitchhiker.  As such, I’ve got a string of fun modifications up my sleeve.  This iteration employs the eyelet row mod and takes it a step further by adding beads.

It’s a ton of beads.  I hadn’t thought of the weight it would add.  Ultimately, I enjoy the extra weight.  In addition to beautiful drape, it really helps the garment stay put.  A happy accident, indeed!

The beads –the rainbow beads!– alone don’t make this scarf though.  No, this is about the double rainbow.  The yarn is rainbow as well…Unicorn Farts!

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YES!  and, to make it just a little more special, it’s not just fun rainbow yarn, it’s fun rainbow yarn that my Mom dyed for me!  Naturally, I’d been saving it for something special.

Mission accomplished!  I’m pleased with this one!

(Of course, I’d still make one small change next time.  I used Jeny’s Surprisingly Stretchy Bind Off.  I think maybe it’s a little too much, next time I’ll be K2Tog tbl.  I think that’ll give me a nice edge without that little bit of flare.  Or perhaps the Icelandic Bind Off, another bind off that has give without flare.   I’m not Type A enough to redo this one though.  Plus, I’ve got more pressing issues…like knitting an entire sweater in 7 days!  Check back for the unveiling later this week!!)

FO Friday – It’s been a busy week

I’ve got three hats and a cowl to show for this week!  Turns out there’s a lot of knitting time involved with getting to New York and back again!

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The first two hats are Unicorn Fart hats!  I love seeing the effect of removing just a few stitches from the cast on!  Two completely different hats! (Read Here to find out how to dye your own Unicorn Farts!)  My Mom dyed the energizer bunny of yarn skeins…3 hats and I’ve barely made a dent in it!  I’m sure I’ll get at least 3 more out of it!

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The third hat we’ve been calling the Midnight Ride of the Unicorn.  It’s Unicorn Farts on a dark navy yarn instead of a white yarn!  I wanted to have a little fun with it, so it became a stocking cap!  I love seeing the pattern change as the rounds get shorter and shorter!  This is a lot of fun to wear!

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My last FO of the week is by no means the least of the week…a real rabbit fur cowl!

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Yes, that is actually knit!  The ‘yarn’ is a bit of rabbit hide with the fur still in tact!

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It’s from meat packing plants in Europe where they eat a lot of rabbit.  At least that’s the story…I’m choosing to believe it’s the truth because I really love this cowl!

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It’s as soft and lovely as you’d expect a cute fuzzy bunny to be.  I’ll bet he tasted good too!  (ha!  too soon?)  Here’s a link to the fur page on Ravelry!   It’s fun stuff!  Eventually, I’ll have one in every color!  I’ve also done a few hats with it, I’ve gotta stop giving those away!

Here’s a sneak peek of my Rhinebeck yarn to hit the needles…details next week!  It’s a good one!

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