Memory Lane Monday

A few weeks back, I officially gave up my long abandoned Flickr account.  I checked everything I could, none of the pics on the account were important to me.  I went through, deleting them one at a time to chec, before I did the full account de-activation.  I had to click a whole bunch of ‘yes, this is what I really want’ and ‘yes, I understand that means losing the content connected to this account’ dialog boxes.  I knew what I was doing.

…or so I thought.  Turns out, somewhere, that I was not finding, I stored a whole lot of Ravelry pics.  All my early knitting, the pre-Ravelry stuff.  Last night, I discovered vast sections of my notebook with ‘photo no longer available’ icons displayed.  UGH!  Technology! What a hassle.  All those photos that were being slurped from Flickr are gone!

I knew I could recover a lot of the pictures though.  Once upon a time, I had actual photos of what I’d knit.  You know…pictures printed on paper!  I promptly started scouring my old emails for jpg attachments and of course, I got out the box of old photos.

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It’s been a great stroll down memory lane, looking at all those things I knit years ago and thinking about all the people they were gifted too.  Each one has a unique story, I’m glad I had the forethought to archive them when I did.

All these hats!  I loved that squirrel — I used him several times.   Waldo & Wanda baby hats, when friends didn’t know the sex of their first born.  He turned out to be a Waldo and he was so cute in his little hat.

Celtic knots & swirls from a book of celtic charts I bought in Ireland.  I don’t have pictures of that vacation anymore.  They were lost to another digital snafu years ago but I’ve still got the book of celtic designs.  I want to revisit all of these hats!

Of course, as I searched, I also found some things that have not stood the test of time.  A hideous blue fringed poncho??  NO.  Some ponchos, maybe.  This poncho?  NO.  No idea where it is and I’m okay with that.

A pale blue hat with so much thick n thin weird ruffly shit going on, that you can’t even tell it’s got a stupid blue flower on it?  UGH.  no.  Again, no love lost because I don’t know where it is.

The good news is…we can learn from our earlier mistakes.  Like that cute attempt at a Pac-Man hat.  I was trying to ‘unvent’ intarsia in the round.  It’s horrible and puckered.  I could do much better today.  I’ve said since day 1, I wanted to re-do that hat.  I can definitely do much better today!  So many projects worthy of a second attempt.

And then, there’s this…a project I still have close at hand but never put on Ravelry at all.

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A weird, boxy, boucle cotton tank top.  The second garment I ever knit for myself, probably about 2004.  I didn’t like it at the time but putting it on today, it’s comfy and it looks ok.   It’s mostly two squares sewn together, that’s why I picked it.  There’s a tiny bit of neck shaping, only a couple rows.   I’m still wearing now.  I’m gonna attempt a revival with it.

Not sure why I never put it on Ravelry but it’s there now.  It’s a significant milestone…my 1000th Ravelry notebook page!  My inner archivist is a little disappointed they don’t all have pictures anymore but at least I’ve picked up a few projects that fell through the cracks previously!  What would I do without Ravelry?!?  A Ravelry data loss is the stuff nightmares are made of.

1000 projects cataloged!  It’s a milestone worthy of a legacy garment like this one.  Needless to say, my first sweater was so bad there are no known pictures of it in existence and even the garment itself was destroyed, never to be seen again.

Now, I think I’ll celebrate by casting something on…


 

Knitting Snowboarder

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Just a quick update today because I’m finally getting into the groove with my own knitting.   This was too good not to share though!

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This is Antti Koskinen, Finnish snowboarding coach, knitting at the top of the hill!  I thought I saw DPNs and did a quick screen grab.  A moment later, he finished his row and THEN fist bumped the kid and sent him down the hill.  As if it were nothing.  As if ‘just let me finish this row’ is a universal truth.  As if he weren’t at the Olympics.  As if I needed another reason to love Finland?  I didn’t but safe to say, my love of Finland has certainly been confirmed.

Apparently he did the same thing in Sochi.  He worked on a scarf that was then finished by the summer Olympics team.  (Google will fill in the details if you’re interested.  I couldn’t bring myself to share any of the links though…kinda bums me out that seemingly reputable news stations have such spammy advertising all over.)

I will share this link though:  Latvian Braid 2018 Hat

An industrious Raveler has come up with a pattern for the Latvian hat!  No picture but presumably it will look something like this:

latvia parade of nations hat pyeongchang 2018

Hopefully some other industrious Raveler will knit it up quickly so we can see it!

I’ll leave you with another interesting crowd shot.  I was hoping to read the text on the orange hat but I never could make it out.   My name is ??? girl.   hhhmmm.

It wasn’t until later that I noticed the SF Giants fan.

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Knitting + Olympics

Any other Olympic fans out there?  I love the Olympics…especially in the Winter!  The outdoor events are a knitters dream!  A huge sea of people in hats & scarves…no better people (or knitwear) watching than that!

And of course, it’s not just watching.  The athletic games have inspired many knock-off competitions (and many cease and desist orders!)   Never fear…the IOC may have taken the original name but the re-branded, Ravellenic Games are set and ready for cast on!

If you don’t know about the Ravellenic Games, you can find the group with all the details HERE!  The idea is simple, pick your event (anything from cowl curling to scarf skating), cast on during the opening ceremony, aiming to finish by the closing ceremony.  Complete your goal and you get a medal!

I’m a highly decorated knitter!  Here’s a sampling of my medals…

The medal is a jpg blog badge.  Unlike the real Olympics, there’s no drug testing here and it’s easy to cheat.  Obviously, winning isn’t the point of these games.  The Ravellenic Games are really about fostering community and challenging yourself.

Knitting groups – virtual and in real life – form teams to support and cheer each other on (and often award prizes!  If you don’t have a team and you’re interested, check out your favorite indie dyer…those groups get the best prizes!)

After giving it deep thought, I’ve decided to enter the Hat Halfpipe, thirteen times.  I had a minor hat binge back in December but it didn’t come even close to scratching my hat knitting itch.  The games span 19 days, certainly enough time to knit several hats.  In the interest of setting a stretch goal, a baker’s dozen it is!

I’ve certainly got the yarn for it.  Now to come up with that many patterns.  I could easily bang out 13 striped hats from the oddment bin.  That might be too easy though.

I think I should create some guidelines for example, at least 5 hats should be fingering weight, 3 hats should have bills, 2 hats should have cables, 4 hats should have non-stripe colorwork, 3 hats should be from Wooly Wormhead patterns, etc.   I need to think on it a bit before I make decisions!

I’m open to suggestions…got a favorite pattern or some other crazy idea?  Lay it on me!  I’m ready for a big showing in the Hat Halfpipe!  Who else is participating?  I’d love to hear your goals!


 

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!


 

 

 

 

 

2017: Year in Review

I knit a lot of things this year, completing 38 pieces.

Among them, quite a few pieces with eyes.

Only 11 hats.  2018 will definitely include more hats!

A variety of neck things, including shawls, cowls and scarves.

Four adult sized sweaters.  Not a bad number but in 2018 I’m going to focus on general wearability.  Turns out Bill Murray & even cat sweaters are sort of specialty items.  I need daily wear in 2018.

Some things didn’t work out.  I practiced my frogging frequently.

Of course, there was new stash acquisition.  And these are only the skeins I shared.  There’s quite a few that snuck into the house unnoticed by anyone else!

The 2017 Knit of the Year is a tough choice.  The most worn piece has been this Stephen West shawl mash-up.  It includes elements of Dotted Rays, Doodler and Esjan.  It’s been my favorite all year.

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The Bill Murray sweater is pretty awesome though.  Perhaps an honorable mention for Bill.  He deserves to be acknowledged.

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I visited new bay area yarn shops The Royal Bee in Pacifica and Black Squirrel Yarns in the East Bay.  Both get the FogKnits seal of approval!  I also visited Knitterly in Petaluma, love it up there too!  The California National Wool Show and Stitches West also made it into my schedule with great success!

I even got carried away with a bit of cross stitch.

There were many nights (and even a few days) of knitting at my local…

And, I managed all that craftiness while waking up at 6 am and going to work.

It’s been a year of creativity!  Thanks for joining me through it all!  The likes and kind words of appreciation are always so lovely.  I look forward to crafting even more in 2018.  I’ll be looking to you for inspiration and knowledge.  It’s the least we can do to keep things sane and grounded in the new year.

Happy New Year!  Hope you all have a festive (and safe) calendar flip!  See you in 2018!

 

WIP Wednesday – Marled Magic

Marled Magic Clue 3 is done!  I am still loving this so much.  That big section of seed stitch made me happy.  I think seed stitch is fun to do.

Now, I’m on to Clue 4.  A 600+ stitch i-cord bind off.  I also happen to think that is fun to do.  Especially when it’s neon peach!

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It’s not like I’m saving the neon peach for something special?!?!  I think it’s just the thing to liven up some of the darker colors I used.  I’m about halfway.

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And then, finally, the whole reason I wanted to knit this pattern…braiding the ends into a design feature rather than weaving them in!  Oh yeaaah!

And, I’ve already picked out yarn for the next one.  This was too fun to only knit once.

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I’ve got a lot of blue & blue adjacent fingering weight yarn.

Marled Magic #2 isn’t actually going to be marled though.

The marl is accomplished with two strands of yarn held together.  The result is a very heavy shawl.  I’ve only knit the medium size to keep the weight down.  For #2, I’ll just use one strand of yarn and do stripes, maybe faded stripes.  And definitely knit the large size!!  It’s gonna so good!  …eventually!

Gotta finish that i cord first…


 

Me Made May (aka The Pile)

stack of shawls

It’s almost June and I’ve failed to mention ‘Me Made May’.  If you aren’t familiar, it’s a month long celebration for makers and slow fashion.  Participation is easy, wear the fruits of your labor (sewn, knit, crocheted, woven or otherwise handmade) everyday and share photos on social media using #memademay

While primarily geared towards those who sew their clothes, I think it’s a great opportunity for knitters too!  There was a time, when I never wore any of my knitting.  I think this is true of many process knitters.  These days, I’m more of a ‘reformed’ process knitter.  With only a little bit more attention to the product, I’ve been able to knit things I love to wear while still scratching the urge to knit miles of garter stitch.  It was a little shocking to look at that pile and realize how much of it is garter stitch.  I just can’t resist.

a big pile

At this point, I’ve almost amassed a shawl collected that affords me the luxury of a different shawl every day of the month.   Luxury being the key word!  I love my Merino-Cashmere-Silk pile of amazingness!  Which, brings me, finally, to the point of this missive — pictures of the pile!!

My Mom will be visiting me in San Francisco, for the first time in a decade.  I’ve promised her the pick of the litter while she’s here!  I’ll start with the two that I’m keeping.  No chance I’ll part with these two:

Keepers

My Exploration Station (left) and My Doodler (right)

They’re probably the two I wear most.  I’m not parting with them.  Don’t worry, there’s still lots of amazingness to choose from, much of it, I’ve never really worn.

I’m obsessively organized when I comes to project details and notes on Ravelry, I’ve linked everything to it’s Rav page if you’re interested in yarn or pattern info!


transatlantic

(L to R):  Garden Arbor, Lux Adorna Cashmere, Transatlantic, Icelandic Citron, Lefty, Neon Grape Feather & Fan


thendara hitchhiker

(L to R): Thendara, Geysir Stretch, Giant Hitchhiker, Exploration Continuation, Dotted Rays, Granny Triangle


pendulum batad cameo

(L to R): Pendulum, Stripe Study, Cameo, Batad #2, Batad #1


eyeball dotted rays doodler

(L to R): Asymmetric Sequence Shawl, Striped Sequence Shawl, The First Doodler, The Eyeball, Another Dotted Rays, Gradient Garter Triangle


color craving southern skies

(L to R):  Muh-Muhs, Color Craving, Southern Skies, Building Blocks, Another Big Hitchhiker

Oh yes, so much to choose from!  I love having this many options!  The first time Stephen West did a tour with classes, I couldn’t wait to take his shawl class.  He started off by asking everyone what their ideal shawl was.  Most people had an idea…two of the ladies even said Nieblings.  Not me though, my answer was ALL OF THEM.  No one shawl can be perfect all the time, obviously I need about 1000 to choose from.  I’m making good progress!!

And so, the moral of the story is:  Wear your handknits proudly, in May and the rest of the year! Slow fashion has so many benefits, to the planet and to your own health!

My pile of sweaters is growing too!  At a slower pace, but progress is being made!  I want at least three more sweaters this year and another skirt too!  Ready…Set…GO!

 

 

FogKnits is live!

As I expand my (eventual) knitting empire, this seemed like the next step!  Welcome!  If you aren’t a knitter, you’re probably a friend who knows how much I like to talk about knitting…thanks for indulging me!  I’m planning knitting content mostly…I’d like to say regular features will be the standards like WIP Wednesday and FO Friday but I’m too excited to wait until Friday when I have FO’s to share.  The real meat & potatoes will be the hows & whys of pattern mods (because no one ever follows patterns as written), yarn selection (the real make or break of an FO) and tips & tricks I’ve picked up over the years.

Before I share my first knitting content, there’s a few items of business to discuss.  If you’re impressed with my high quality knitting and my luxury yarns, I sell my work on Etsy.  I can be found there as FogKnits as well!  www.fogknits.etsy.com

If you think you’re a better knitter than me and you prefer hard wearing acrylic yarns instead, good news…I have patterns available for you!  Again, as FogKnits on Ravelry and Etsy!  Happy Knitting!  I’d love to see any FO’s you make from my patterns!