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!

 

WIP Wednesday

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After months of threatening, my next sweater is, finally, on the needles!  It doesn’t look like much yet but it’s gonna be perfect!  I can say this with authority because it’s a nearly identical copy of my last sweater.

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The pattern is Vivido by Carol Feller.  It’ll be my fourth one.  It’s a cardigan with raglan shaping and a shallow v-neck.  Nothing fancy, just a sweater that is comfortable and looks good.  It’s easy knitting and easy math when doing gauge conversions.  I really couldn’t ask for more.  Unless maybe someone wants to knit it for me?  :)

As for the yarn, I’m keeping the same stripes (Noro Rainbow Roll) but changing the main color (unspun Icelandic Plutolopi) from brown to navy blue.  I’m actually expecting it to be significantly different.  You never know what’s going to happen with Noro stripes, after all.  I can’t wait to see it develop…the ‘stripes make you knit faster’ phenomenon has definitely kicked in!  I’m making good progress.

Of course, I am easily distracted and this also fell onto my needles yesterday…

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It’s been 3 months since I knit a Hitchhiker.  It’s definitely time for another one!  This is my 15th Hitchhiker, one of nearly 30,000 on Ravelry.  I assume you already know how awesome this pattern is but in case you don’t…it’s awesome.  There are literally 29,670 Hitchhiker projects on Ravelry.  Imagine the people who don’t maintain Rav Notebook pages?!?  There could be 50,000 Hitchhikers in the world!  It’s amazing!  That’s just how perfect it is.

Here’s the pitch, just in case you need it…

It’s garter stitch, gotta love no purls!  The pattern is committed to memory easily.  It’s perfect for difficult yarn…that variegated skein you just couldn’t resist but turns into a horrible nightmare every time you attempt to knit with it.  The Hitchhiker’s continually growing rows in combination with the garter stitch tame those hard to use yarns.  From horrible pooling and clown barf to lovely scarf in no time at all.  And, perhaps most important, it’s easy to wear and always looks great.

Be warned though:  this is knitter’s crack.  You will be hooked.  Once is not enough.  The addiction is real.  ;)

 

 

FO Friday – The Noro-Lopi Love Child Sweater

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It’s finally finished!  Wooo!

I’m so excited to have a new sweater!  And this one is darn near perfect! I’m going to be getting loads of wear out of it!  The pattern is a top-down raglan called Vivido, from Carol Feller.  The stripes are my own modification but everything else is as-called for.

I chose this pattern simply because of the ‘if it ain’t broke’ mindset.  I’ve had great success with my two previous incarnations of this sweater.  It’s a great daily wear garment, which is what I need at this point.  (As much as I love Bill, there’s only so many places he can be worn!)  Plus, I knew the colorwork was going to be the star of this show.  No need for the pattern to compete with that.  This pattern is exactly the blank slate I needed!

The yarns are the interesting bits in this sweater!  The brown yarn is Plutolopi, an unspun pencil roving, from my Icelandic adventure.   The stripes are from a Noro Rainbow Roll.  I love both of these yarns so much!!  The unspun nature makes them fragile, and so, not for everyone but it also gives the garment amazing loft!  This is a 200 g sweater.  My last Vivido, a bulky weight wool, weighs 600 g.  That’s a big difference, especially in a town where micro-climates and layering mean sweaters often get carried instead of worn.

The difference in weight, also, means a difference in drying time.  A 600 g sweater can take days to dry.  This baby dried overnight during a rainstorm!

YES, this is definitely my new favorite sweater.

I might make one slight adjustment though.  The first button hole is low.  In a solid colored sweater, I didn’t mind.  The stripes kind of exaggerate the gap.

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I think a little snap will fix it up.  I’ve always wanted to try snaps out.  If it stops raining long enough to go for a walk, I think I’ve finally found my excuse to buy snap!

Woo!  Hope your Friday is equally exciting!!


 

Work in Progress Wednesday

I can definitely say it’s Wednesday.  I checked the calendar!  Can’t say I’m making much progress on my ‘work’ though.  Every time I check, I’m not seeing much.

My striped Woolfolk shawl.

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One of the balls is getting smaller, so I must be making progress.  I think the next milestone will be running out of yarn prematurely.  I’ve been trying to tell myself that it’ll be okay.  (it won’t but ignorance is bliss.)

My Dotted Grays, aka a Dotted Rays in a lovely gray gradient.

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I’ve crossed the halfway mark with this one.  I can tell because the yarn had two gradient repeats.  Of course, I’ve gotten to the part where rows are hundreds of stitches.  Perfect process knitting.  Doesn’t look any different from last week though.

My Noro & Lopi sweater

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I must be making progress because I’ve nearly finished my first ‘plate’ of yarn. Holding it next to a finished sweater though, shows me I’ve still got a long way to go.

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The long forgotten Rockefeller.

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I just have to decrease down to 9 stitches to get this point finished.  Maybe I’ll get there before this WIP hits it’s second birthday.  Seems like it should be easy.  Not sure what the 18 month delay has been about.   Of course, the other side remains untouched.  I’ve got a hundred stitches to pick up, then decrease down to 9 again.  One decrease every 4th row.  And suddenly, I remembering what the hold up is.

The good news is…there’s no problems here.  I don’t need to figure anything out, I just need to get knitting!  Progress…thy name is Wednesday!  Ready, Set…GO!


 

WIP Wednesday – A New Sweater

Before I show you my new sweater project, let’s take a moment to bask in the glory of this amazing yarn!

This is a DK weight, 100% baby llama yarn my Mom dyed and sent me for Christmas.  I absolutely love it!  Mom used an ice dying technique that I don’t think is common among yarn dyers but seeing the results, it should be!

You prep your yarn as normal and then pack it in ice.  You sprinkle dye powder on top of the ice.  As it melts, the dye is solubilized and trickles down to the fiber below.  The result is all kinds of unexpected fun!  The chartreusey green dye broke into it’s base components giving an amazing array of gold and yellow tones while still maintaining much of it’s greenness.

I love it.  So much complexity from one dye and some ice.  I can’t wait to use it.  It’s 220 yards.  I’m thinking cowl.  We’ll see.  Maybe even some sort of lace leaf motif.  Just as spring starts springing, I usually have a fit that only this color can calm.  It’s gonna be good.

In the meantime, this is my palate…

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Thank you Noro!  This is the Noro Rainbow Roll, a 100% wool pencil roving.  It’s surprisingly soft for a Noro yarn.  It’s certainly softer than the yarn I’m pairing it with, Plutolopi, an unspun Icelandic yarn.

I’m pretending they’re the same gauge, even though they aren’t.  The lopi is distinctly thinner.  I think it works though.  I like the swatch.  I’m going with it.

The plan was generic top-down, raglan cardigan.  The gauge worked out perfectly for Vivido, though.  My two favorite cardigans are this pattern.  One of them is well past it’s expiration date.  I keep repairing it but it really should be retired.  So, in the spirit of if-it-ain’t-broke, my new sweater is another Vivido.

It’s going well, but the plan has definitely changed already.  My original intention was a striped cardigan.  As I work these stripes though, they’re a little busy.  I’m not sure I need that all over my body.

The new plan is striped yoke, solid brown body.  That’s a totally fair compromise.  Plus, I wouldn’t mind having some of this Noro left over.  It really is soft.  I’m feeling the urge to stash more!  (it’s only $11 at Webs right now!?!?)

(and Noro is prone to discontinue this.  It’s definitely a specialty item.)

(I’m gonna try really hard to resist.)

(I should probably use this pile first!)

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(I think I’ve talked myself off the ledge.  For now.)

 

Spontaneous Stash Enhancement

Ever set out for the vet’s office to pick up cat meds but somehow wind up in an a yarn store buying armfuls of rainbows?  No?  Me either…until yesterday, that is!

Don’t worry, the cat still got his meds.  I’m not sure there’s a cure for this though:

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After that, I decided to continue along the scenic route to my next destination.  That happened to be the coast highway, which happened to take me two blocks from a yarn store.  I told myself I’d stop if parking was available.  Quaint coastal town, Saturday afternoon with big surf and almost no rain?  I knew for sure, I was just wasting my time cruising down Main St.

Except this happened!!!

Clearly, Elizabeth Zimmerman’s ghost was watching over me and knew, this is exactly what I needed!  There was rock star parking and a lovely rack of Noro’s Rainbow Rolls just inside the door!

I’ve had my eye on this yarn since Noro released it 18 months ago.  This was the first time I’ve come across it in a shop!  It’s an unspun pencil roving.  Which, it turns out, is some of the best icelandic yarn, Plutolopi.

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Which, I happened to stock up on, during my Icelandic Adventure.

I’ve used some of it to make this sweater:  image_medium2

This was my first steeked sweater.  It’s okay.  I still wear it.  It has some warts though.  I was never happy with the hook and eyes closures.  And the crochet edge wobbles a bit.  I never got the tension quite right.  It’s amazing how one little detail can fuck up all that amazing knitting.  Oh well.  I still wear it.  I just wish it was more polished.  So…

I’ve been dreaming of a striped Plutolopi sweater ever since.  I had plenty of colors, I certainly didn’t NEED any Noro.  I only (lowercase) needed it.  It’s gonna be amazing!  I can’t wait!! There will be no buyer’s remorse today…or any day there’s a Rainbow Roll involved!!

I should probably finish my other pencil roving sweater first.  It’s literally at the bottom of the pile, it’s been so long since I touched it.

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Size 13 needles…once I excavate it from the pile, it should go quick.  in theory.

Sooooo much yarn, so little time!  It makes me miss my first apartment in San Francisco.  There was a giant claw foot tub!  I’d love to pile my stash in a claw foot tub…you know, just for fun.  Yeah…you know!

The point is:  a renewed sense of urgency has struck my sweater knitting elbow…maybe I’ll have a sweater update for you soon!