Stitches West & Beyond

February has been a total whirlwind!  I knew going back to work would happen quickly, when it did happen.  I knew my creative time would take a hit but man, I forgot what a disaster everything else becomes too!

I used to laugh at the parade through my building on Saturday mornings.  First thing…take out the garbage.  Without fail, every Saturday morning, half the building takes out it’s trash.  Then they all parade through the laundry room.  Then it’s the parade to the grocery store.  As you can imagine, it is with great reluctance that I re-join this parade.  It’s all coming back to me though.  I’ve usually gotta work a trip to the post office in there, too.

I’ve been forcing myself to knit at least a few stitches in the evenings.  Slowly, I’m getting back into the swing of maximizing my time.  I’ve finished a bunch of small instant gratification projects recently, hats and toys.  I’ve got a new Dotted Rays shawl on the needles, too…but I’ve had no movement on my steeked sweater.  It is still zipper-less.

 

And then Stitches happened!  Phew!  I’m nearly recovered.  It was a good time and, I’m happy to report my ‘Carrying Coal to Newcastle’ approach worked.

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I filled my bag with stash yarn from home, just as little reminder that I have plenty of great yarn and there’s no need to buy anymore.   It totally worked!  I did not buy yarn at Stitches!  I did buy a couple trinkets…a Willie cool patch and a cute tin with a few little stitch markers.  The flying alpaca-corn became the perfect zipper pull for my notions bag!

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Check out this slideshow to see all my Stitches pictures.  Without serious yarn shopping to do, I took a lot of pictures and looked at lots of samples.  I doubt I even saw half the market floor though.

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And so, another Stitches is in the books.  I’m looking forward to next year when, hopefully, I’ve lifted my self imposed ban on stash acquisitions.  I’m super inspired and motivated to do lots of knitting in March!

Ready…Set…GO!

Zipper Installation Time

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The knitting is done!  Woohoo!  I’ve also secured the steek, cut it and bought the zipper!  I even wove the ends in!  The only thing left to do is sew the zipper in!  Naturally, this means I’m second guessing my design decisions.

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As a pullover, this sweater fit perfect.  I like pullovers with positive ease.  Only problem…it’s a cardigan.  I like my cardigans closer to zero ease.

My first thought was to re-steek the front panels to remove an inch from each side.  That’s two more steeks though…why do twice the work, when I could just trim one front side and have an asymmetric look.  Then I thought, why cut it again at all?  What if I abandoned the zipper and went for a double breasted look?

Big decision.  I’m totally undecided.  And this weekend is Stitches West, which means no time for such focused work.  I’ve got plenty of time to sleep on it.  In the meantime, I’m still wearing it…shawl pins work just fine on sweaters too!

Happy Birthday, Mom!

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As it happens every year, not only is today Mom’s birthday, it’s also the FogKnits Blog 4th Anniversary!  I’m still quite pleased that I thought about this overlap in the beginning.  I’ve always got an FO post for the blog-iversary.  It’s another project with a flower.  If there’s one thing Mom likes it’s hats with flowers!

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This was a fun one! The yarn is Noro’s Rainbow Roll…aka a thick, fluffy, pencil roving.  It can be delicate and break easily so it’s not for everyone but I really love this yarn!

The pattern is Cameron’s Cap.  It’s been one of my favorites for years.  It’s a bottom up hat with a few quick short rows added to create the little ear flaps!  Perfect for winter!

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The flower is a common embroidery flower.  I’m sure someone out there has a name for it but it ain’t me, babe!  I’m really pleased with it though.  And because it’s pencil roving, it’s not heavy or burdensome on the hat.  That’s always a concern when attaching a big flower.

If I had more time, I’d share a retrospective of hats with flowers or maybe give you some blog stats.  Instead you get pics of science shit.  I got right back into it on day one!  Turns out it’s like riding a bike…

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And with that, I’m out the door for work.  Those electrons won’t manipulate themselves!  Happy Hump Day and Happy Birthday Mom!

 

The Race is ON!

It’s official!  I start my new job on Monday.

There’s so much to do between now and then, including finish my sweater!  I’m making really good progress.  The sleeves are done.  Lucky for me, my favorite sleeves are half to 3/4 length.   Just a few more inches on the body and the knitting will be done!

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That’s not the end though.  There’s still a ton of work to be done after the knitting.  Securing & cutting the steek, installing the zipper and then designing & stitching my RBG inspired dissent collar.  No chance this will all be done by Monday but I think it can be ready in time for Stitches.   It’s not for a couple weeks yet but it’ll be here in the blink of an eye!  (My resolve to not buy yarn is still holding strong too!)

Happy Friday!  Anybody else excited for work Monday morning??  lol!  Have a great weekend, Knitters!

 

Must.Knit.Faster.

The race is on.  I feel my unemployment coming to an end very soon.  I started the week with no job opportunities and now, I have two.  Things are looking good on the job front!  Of course, this brings a whole new urgency to my knitting!  Can I finish this before I start a new job?

The good news is…I’m well passed the sleeve divide and into the body.  It’s smooth sailing all the way down to the hem from here.  It’s nothing but stockinette in the round.  I love this bit.  It’s the part of knitting I love the most.  The autopilot part!

The business of steeking, adding a zipper and duplicate stitching the final details will take some time though.  Either way, I think I’ll have a new sweater in time for Stitches.  I’m crossing my fingers!

I’ve also finished an Etsy update because who knows when I’ll have time for that again!  I had fun doing a couple snarky Valentine’s day hoops.  I mean, what’s the point of having a significant other if you can’t share a little snark?

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And of course, now that we’re having a clear spell, I’m making sure to get out and visit my favorite sit and knit for a spell spots while I still can.

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I even met a reporter from our local NPR station to record an interview about The Palace of Fine Arts!  I’ll definitely share when it’s been broadcast.  It was the kind of fun thing I definitely don’t have time for once the job starts up!  I’ll definitely be making the most of my weekend!  Happy Friday!

2019 Stash Flash

It’s time for the annual stash flash!  It’s part of my continuing effort to remind myself, I don’t need to buy yarn this year!

I started with last year’s photo, taken about this time in January and redacted everything I used up during the year.  I’m afraid I didn’t do so well.  There is plenty of great stuff left in last year’s pile.  Clearly, I’m not running out yarn anytime soon.

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The stash definitely grew in 2018.  I started with just the new additions.  They’re pretty manageable.  Yarns my Mom dyed.  Yarns from Vogue Knitting Live.  Yarns from Stitches.  Yarns from my southwest trip.  Lopi gifted from a friend.  I definitely had a particular color palate in mind.

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And then, shit got real.  I added my deep stash to the pile.

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Everything is now stacked 3+ deep.  It’s a bit deceptive but trust me, it’s plenty of yarn for the year.

Someone tell Marie Kondo not to worry her pretty little head about it though. I checked…every single skein sparks joy.  That trend continues.  This all amazing yarn.  Some of this years best additions are a sweater quantity of Swans Island Sport and an awesome gradient speckle kit from Neighborhood Fiber Company.

Of course, all this old stuff is still pretty amazing too.  Quince, YOTH, Road to China lite…all untouched since last year.   And of course, my lopi stash…I’ve got a lopi sweater on the needles, so at least some of it’s finally getting some love.

This year, I’m serious about it all…cold sheeping and some serious stash busting!  I want to put a serious dent in these photos!

So far so good, I went into a yarn shop yesterday and came out with no new yarn.  It’s totally possible!

First up, a new sweater and finishing off the current shawl in progress!  3 Day weekend + Rain…I’ve got no excuses!!  Happy Friday Gang!  Hope you all get some good stashbusting in this weekend!


 

WIP Wednesday – RBG Squid Ink Fade

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Now that’s it’s finally on the needles, I’m making good progress on my latest sweater.  Of course, any notion of following a pattern was quickly laughed off.  I mean, I could try but it wouldn’t work out.   I started off with a peacock fade but now I’ve decided to go darker with it…a squid ink fade, if you will.

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I started with Idunn, a Knitty pattern by Ragga Eirikisdottir.  Initially, I thought, I’ll just knit this sweater as is.  The yoke details could pass as an RBG collar no doubt.   Ultimately though, I’ve decided to knit the sweater in plain stockinette with no colorwork in the yoke.  I’ll add my RBG collar details after I’ve finished the knitting via duplicate stitch.  It’s an unconventional approach…but that’s definitely the way I roll.

I’ve finished my first color and ‘faded’ into my second color.  I’m knitting top down, in the round, with the intention of steeking and adding a zipper.  I’m just about to divide the sleeves off.

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That’ll be a big help!  Right now, it’s just sort of a big blob.  I feel like it’s too big, despite all the math & gauge working out.  Fingers crossed that good news awaits on the other side of the sleeve divide.

I’m also working on a few new cross stitch designs for Valentine’s Day, so I’ve updated my cross stitch gallery with a new page for 2019!

I’m really looking forward to growing my collection this year!  My idea book is overflowing and I’ve finally found my stride, post-holidays.  Stay tuned for much productivity!