FO Friday – Dragon Fade!

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My Dragon Fade shawl is finished and it’s gigantic!  I love it!  It’s been off the needles since Sunday.  I promptly wore to the park…ends dangling and all.  I don’t care.  I like it anyhow.

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I have managed to get about half the ends woven.  Yes, I’ve continued to wear it.  Fringe is in right now.  I’m going with it!  Of course, I really should get around to washing it and blocking it.  I’d draped it across a lot of Mother Nature’s offerings this week.

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Here’s a few details:  The pattern is Match & Move by Martina Behm.  I used 17 different yarns…no wonder there are so many ends to weave – those details (minus 1 mystery yarn) are all here on my notebook page.  My only modification, aside from gauge changes and the fade, was to increase the size.  I added about 10 extra rows…it’s giant.  It drags on the ground, if I don’t wrap it a couple times.  It’s definitely for cold & windy days.

That is not today.  Today appears to be a sunny day, which is good news for Hardly Strictly Bluegrass!  I’m heading to back to Golden Gate Park again so I’ll leave you with this shameless self promotion.  Just did a big fall shop update!   Check it out at www.FogKnits.Etsy.com!

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Happy Friday and Have a great weekend!


 

This Week, In Review

You’d think since I spent the week blathering on about VKL instead of showing off WIPs, I’d have a lot of progress to show.  My dragon fade Match & Move pretty much looks the same though.  I really am closing in on the end though.  I keep saying it but this time, I really do mean it!  16 rows plus the bind off.  It will be finished soon and it will be gorgeous.  Until then, it’s like wrestling an octopus.  It’s incredibly unwieldy.

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I’ve got lots of things I want to start on but I’m trying to clear the slate first.  I did need a project to carry around at VKL though.  Enter my 3-Color Cashmere Cowl.

It’s not done but I couldn’t resist trying it on!  I don’t think I’ve been giving this project the proper presence of mind.  It’s just a stashbusting, quickie.  It was trivial.  Until, I put it on.  Now, the whole is greater than the sum of it’s parts.  I really like this.  Duh…there’s a reason it’s been so popular!

I’m frequently a late adopter when it comes to the hot, new pattern.   The original 3-Color Cashmere Cowl was released more than 3 years ago.  There’s over 6000 of these cowls on Ravelry.  I shouldn’t be surprised at all.  These things are always popular for a reason.

Of course, I’m not actually following the pattern.  I’m using DK weight yarn instead of fingering and I’m just making up my own patterning as I go, using the original as a roadmap.  So far, so good…it helps that I’m using cashmere, I did keep that part the same!  100% Noro Cashmere…it’s yummy!  I can’t wait to block it and bloom the cashmere.  It’s going to be amazing!

Have a great weekend!  I’m hoping to squeeze all this finishing in.  Woo!


 

All the WIPS Wednesday

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Remember this sweater?  I started it waaaay back in June.  At the time,  I wondered, ‘which can I do faster…get a job or knit a sweater?’   It’s now September and I’ve done neither, so the debate rages on…

I found out, last night, I did not get the job and, that’s okay.  It wasn’t a great fit.  It was a really good practice interview though.  I’ll be dialed in when the next one comes.  Plus, now there’s still time to knit a sweater!  It probably won’t be mine but this little nephew sweater is rapidly coming to a conclusion…

The pattern is Newborn Vertebrae, with KnitPicks ‘Hawaiian Shirt’ Felici self striping yarn.  It’s the cutest darn thing!  I’ll be finishing it ASAP!  Turns out babies grow quick and I want him to get plenty of wear out of this sweater.  I got this picture of the newborn size socks I made him…

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Time for new socks too!  So much knitting, so little time between growth spurts!  Of course, there’s non-baby knitting too…

Nothing motivates me like nearly losing my free time to work.  After all the recent interruptions, it’s been especially nice this week getting yarn into my hands again.  I think, my annoyance at the Wonder Woman wrap has subsided and I’ve decided to press forward on it.

I’m starting to remember what set me off in the first place.  It’s a garter stitch pattern, which one typically assumes to be all knit stitches.  Well, You know what they say about assumptions.  Turns out, in order to maintain the stripes properly, a portion of this pattern is the oft-forgotten all purl garter stitch.  m*$@F*$^er.  I was so pissed when I got there.  There was a lot of cursing that day.  To say I did it begrudgingly was an understatement.  And there’s no way around it, in order to construct the iconic stacked WW, it has to be done.  It was immediately following that section, the project went into the timeout corner.

I mean, c’mon…all purl garter stitch???  Who does that?  Clearly not me.  UGH.  I’m never in the mood for all purl garter stitch.  NO.  Never.  I’ve finished working that portion of the pattern.  It’s done so hopefully, I’ll get over it mentally, too.  :) Maybe it won’t be as disastrous as I thought last week.  The yarn is an amazing 50 silk/50 merino blend and the colors perfect together, even if they aren’t classic Wonder Woman.  Or I could just put it back in the timeout corner!  I want to finish my Dragon Fade Match & Move.  I’m getting really close now!

FO Friday…Here I come!!


 

Procrastiknitting

The only thing worse than looking for a job, is actually finding a job that fits and going through the interview process.  Ask me how I know?  UGH!  It’s the worst.  Had a telephone interview, it was successful enough to get me an on-site interview next week.

And so this week, I shall procrastiknit.   Let’s hope all that nonsense about knitting to soothe anxiety is true because positive affirmations and repeated platitudes aren’t helping!

I’m not normally an anxious person but as I get older, the magnitude of these events seems to amplify.  I’ve got a fair amount of prep work to do.  They expect a presentation of my work and my experience.  I’ve done the work.  I have the experience.  I even have PowerPoint.

The only thing I need to do now:  Procrastiknit.   It’s all part of the master plan.  Step One: a bit of quiet contemplative time to clear my head, focus my thoughts, refine my message.  Step Two:  Domination.  That’s how it works right?

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I will say, all this purple helps!  I’m loving my purple fade, even as it transitions into the grey section.  Sadly, no one at this job will give me bonus points for a kick ass fade.

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Yesterday’s procrastiknitting happened at a beautiful garden & historic site out in the ‘burbs.  It was a gorgeous, foggy day…my favorite kind.

It’s called Filoli, a name made up by the man who built the place, from the letters of his personal motto…”FIght for a just cause; LOve your fellow man; LIve a good life.”

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And live the good life he did.  Mr. Bourn made his money in a gold mine.  That rug was bought from Queen Victoria’s Isle of Wight house.   Fancy Schmancy doesn’t begin to cover it.

Of course, times change and now the property is owned and run by a historic trust, so that tapestry on the left was donated by a local needlepoint group.  It’s a lovely likeness of the clocktower.

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And, this glass exhibit in the reflecting pool…not a Chihuly but Chihuly inspired, no doubt.  And probably for sale.  We’ve all gotta pay the bills somehow…

and so with that, I will transition from procrastiblogging to procrastiknitting and maybe even a little bit of PowerPoint later on.


 

 

According to Plan.

Not much to say about this week’s knitting.  It’s moving forward, slow and steady.  Everything is going according to plan.  I mean, that’s the whole point of having a plan, right?

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Baby legwarmers, one pair done, one pair still in progress.  They have me dreaming of a sweater with fun striped sleeves.  The yarn is Knitpicks Felici…it’s a self-striping sock yarn, aka no good for sweaters.  But, it’s available in a worsted weight as well.   I can imagine a cute saddle shoulder sweater with striped arms and a solid color body.

Not that I’m looking to start another sweater.  Or buy yarn.  No, I’m trying to finish this beauty up…my dragon fade, as I like to think of it. 

I’ve moved into the second phase of the pattern, from increase rows to body rows and I’m nearly finished with the purple section.  It’s time to start fading into my selection of greys.

It’s been so fun to fade so many colors.  The shawl has grown to the point of being unwieldy.  It’s pretty cramped, even on a 40″ cord.  There’s no chance of getting one comprehensive photo until it’s off the needles.  This shawl phenomenon always helps motivate me through the end stages.  I can’t wait to see what it’s actually going to look like.  I’m anticipating instant elevation to favorite status!

And, I’ve even redeemed myself after the whole glitter-tulle fiasco, earlier in the week.  I really had an itch to do something different with my cross stitching so out came the beads!  I’m really pleased where I ended up with these two!

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This first one is inspired by an annoying and ironic girl on the bus this week.  As she yelled into her phone, I couldn’t help but notice the sticker that adorned her new back-to-school notebook.  Yeah.  So…she’s now been immortalized in cross stitch.

The whole time I worked on it, I couldn’t help but thing about candy dots!  Those beads are the remainder from my beaded Hitchhiker scarf.  (Check it out here.)  Even back then, I remember thinking about candy dots.  So, back into the bead bag I went.

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This is what I ended up with.   I really love how this turned out.  Super fun and I’m not even too mad at the earworm.  (yet.)

You can thank me for it later :)   Happy Friday!

WIP Wednesday

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Another WIP Wednesday!  My Dragon Tail (aka Martina Behm’s Match & Move) is making pretty progress!  It’s nothing but purples from here so it’s only going to get better.  WOOooooo!

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I’ve got a quick project on the needles too…Baby leg warmers.

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They’re so cute and tiny.   I think I can get small, medium and large pairs from the yarn I’ve got.  Once I’ve gotten my instant gratification hit, it’ll be sweater time!

Kids are going back to school.  Sweater weather isn’t far behind!


 

WIP it Wednesday

Happy WIP Wednesday!  That’s so much better than thinking of it as Hump Day, especially when there’s new WIPs involved!

This week I’m all about new travel knitting.  Easy stitches and simple patterns are the name of the game.  And of course, a bit of stash busting.  I just love a pile of half balls.

First up, a quick mitered square baby blanket.  It’ll be done before I know it (largely because I don’t have enough yarn, I’m ignoring that though.)

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I weighed the yarn I did have and divided it up into four equal portions, one for each mitered square.  I’ve got almost 3 squares finished!  Gotta love size 7 needles.  These squares are practically knitting themselves.

It’s really just a palate cleanser while I pondered my next shawl, which started with a pile of oddballs.  At first it’s just throwing yarn in a pile.

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Over the course of a few days, it gradually figures out a color scheme.

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And then the fine tuning begins.  Colors are added and subtracted.  More stash is pulled out from the depths.  I start to wind up new skeins.

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I really love where these colors ended up!  I think I’ve found the perfect progression for a fade!  It’s a bit of a dragon in my mind.  A splash of green for the tail, then fading purple through the body, up into a grey head.  I love it!!

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Yes, this is going to be fun and it’s garter stitch!  Wooo!  The pattern is Match & Move from Martina Behm (of Hitchhiker fame).  The ultimate result is a triangle, worked sideways.  I’m excited to really get this one under way!


 

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!


 

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!  :)