Spoiler Alert

Don’t worry, I’m not spoiling the Avengers or the latest episode of Game of Thrones.  I’m only spoiling Mother’s Day.  Not to worry though, Mom doesn’t believe in spoilers (I checked) and besides, it’s a surprise whenever you find out.

April and my temporary knitting stoppage have come to an end!  Whoo-hoo!  Except, I still haven’t picked up my knitting needles.  The big surprise…I’m crocheting!

The pattern is a freebie from Universal Yarns called the Corona Shawl.   I picked this pattern because Mom likes lacy things and crocheting lace is so much easier than knitting lace.

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That said, I do have one complaint…there’s no chart.  In my mind, crochet charts are akin to knitting stitch maps.  Diagrams that show you how the stitches interact with each other from one row to the next.  Without it, I spent a lot of time looking at project photos to make sure I was getting things in the right places.   I do love that we have a resource like Ravelry to turn to.  All the people who upload project pics were a big help to me.  Three Cheers for Ravelry!  Still though, I wish designers embraced the chart more.

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There is another surprising element to this project…the yarn is acrylic, and I sorta like it.  It’s Lion Brand Mandala and it’s not your grandma’s acrylic.  It’s a nice and soft…perfect for baby things that need to be sturdy and washable.

So, SURPRISE MOM!  Your Mother’s Day package is going to be late and acrylic.  lol.

After that, I’ll be getting back to the knitting…I have plenty of projects lined up, as always.   Here’s one last cross stitch from April too…

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Thanks, Diane, for leaving your suggestion in the comments on my last post!  I loved your suggestion and was working on it as I heard the news about Peter Mayhew!  May the Force be with him!


 

 

Back to Stitching…

It took a few days but I have recovered from last week’s interview stress!  A gorgeous weekend and lots of outdoor time helped!

The interview went well.  I’m not sure I got the job but I’m not sure I want the job.  The company is doing really neat science but they’re a very early start up, currently only 10 employees.  So, they’re thinking things over, I’m thinking things over.  We’ll just have to wait and see what happens.

In the meantime, I’ve got plenty of crafty ideas to keep me busy!  Last night was our annual knitting group anniversary party.  9 Years of stitching and bitching!  Wooo!  As part of our annual tradition, we pick names from a hat and then knit for each other.

I really struggled with what to knit this year.  My gift recipient is a total process knitter who loves to knit for other people.  I spent a lot of time thinking about what she would love and find useful.  After considering everything, I decided on a Wonder Woman wrap.  Check it out here, if you aren’t familiar.  It’s a free pattern!

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Like most knitting, it got to a point where it went to the time out corner.  I was happy enough with my progress but our party was months off.  I had plenty of time.  Of course, a quick trip to the time out corner turned into a complete shunning.  My intention was to pick it up two weeks before the party and crank it out.

And then the interview came up.  Keeping the deadline in mind, I was still confident I had time to get the knitting done so my project continued to languish.  I didn’t give it a second thought.

Until…I got home from my interview, ready to knit.  That was about the time I decided I didn’t like my progress and wanted to start over again.  D’oh!  96 hours and I wanted to scrap the whole thing.

The sticky wicket here was sizing.  I picked the smaller size in the pattern and I knit to gauge so I wouldn’t run out of yarn.  As a lover of large shawls, this barely scarf sized piece just wasn’t cutting it.  I was unhappy with it.  I wasn’t motivated to move forward with something I didn’t like so back to the drawing board.

I decided to start an entirely new project…this time, cross stitch.  I should have just started at cross stitch.  We’re both happy with how things ended up…

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A Star Wars collection of cross stitch!  Once I got started it was impossible to stop.  This is so fun!! The series will definitely continue…Aren’t you a little short for a Stormtrooper?  It’s a trap!  and Han shot first are all on the list, with a few others being considered as well.  There’s just so many options…

I love the Millenium Falcon on the black aida.  Colored aida is such a simply idea but you really don’t see it much?  Why is that?  It can’t be because cross stitchers lack imagination and creativity.  I refuse to believe that.

So, a couple weeks back, I suggested to my dye master Mother that aida is cotton, like yarn and t-shirts…no reason she can’t dye it.  Yesterday, this came in the mail…

Hand dyed aida in a glorious array of colors!!!  I’m so excited about this.  There might be a Millenium Falcon in a deep purple outer space in my future!  I can’t wait to play with it!

I haven’t decided what to do with my Wonder Woman wrap yet.  We’ll talk about that more tomorrow!  I’ve got knitting goals too!  If I could just have two extra arms, I could be knitting and cross stitching at the same time…A girl can dream, right?


 

Christmas Surprises Revealed

I knit less and less for Christmas as the years go by.  While it was always hard to make it to the top of knit-worthy list, it’s become even more challenging!  Not only do you have to appreciate what I do with genuine enthusiasm but the spirits have to move me.  Still, it happens more often than planetary alignment.  There’s always hope.

I managed a few Christmas gifts this year.  It’s tough to have knitting secrets in the age of social media and Ravelry.  A good detective will find parts of this years gifts in my digital wake but still, a few surprises were had!  I’ll start with the easy one…

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First is BB-8.  You saw him a few weeks back but it turns out being a knit-worthy friend does not require one to read my blog!  I don’t think he’s changed much.  I added a few details.  Now that I’ve seen the movie, I think I’d add a few more details.  And I’d make his little eye blue.  Seeing him in action gave good insight into which features read and which don’t.   When he was zipping around and engaged, his little eye turned blue.  Making it blue would set it apart from the big eye and give the details around it more depth.   I have yarn for another.  I suspect this is going to be a one-of-a-kind though.

Next up, an alpaca cowl in Mom colors.  This was a travel project so you’ve seen this one before.  I tried to camouflage it.  You were supposed to be looking at the pagoda, not the knitting!

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I used the sequence knitting technique for this one.  I’m still a big fan of sequence knitting.  It was super easy.  I cast on ~150 and worked K5, P3 until I ran out of yarn.  Complete no brainer.  The real star here is the yarn.

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It’s from Skacel and called Concentric.  It’s a 4 ply yarn where the plies are just held together rather than plied.  The gradient effect comes from one ply changing color at a time.  4 plies of cream becomes 3 plies cream plus 1 ply of beige.  That become 2 plies of cream plus 2 plies of beige.  Etc, etc.  Super fun.

The other amazing thing about this yarn:  100% alpaca that did not shed all over my clothes!  I think alpaca is lovely but I never seek out it out.  Shedding stinks.  This yarn drew me in with it’s pretty cake.  I bought it without thinking of the consequences.  I’m happy to report…there were no consequences.  It was awesome.   And Mom liked it too. Everybody wins!

And now, for the real star of the FogKnits Christmas Collection…

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Mom is always asking for hats with big flowers.  I’ve tried to be accommodating.  It’s never enough.  Way back in 2016, I starting knitting flowers, with this hat in mind.

Things were going good.  I had a biologically accurate garden developing.  I started with a California poppy, an hibiscus, a daffodil and a Calla lily.

Then came the hat base.  It’s actually from yarn Mom dyed herself.  Nothing like making your own Christmas present!

Just a plain stockinette fabric for the hat and around the bottom brim, this funny marshmallow yarn from a yarn swap.  At the time, I thought I got the white elephant but it turned out to be the perfect cobblestone path into the garden.  With those parts assembled, it was time to sew flowers.

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I realized pretty quickly, I had no where near enough flowers.

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I started making more.  They became less likely to be found in nature though.  A blue pansy.  a fuschia water lily.  a blue cherry blossom.  a lavender rose.

and whatever this thing is…

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I made a few leaves and even started adding a bit of fauna to the garden…a hedgehog, a lady bug and a couple dragonflies all joined the party.

And now, Mom can never ask for another flower hat again.

I can’t imagine why she’d need another one!  This is, without a doubt, the warmest hat I’ve ever knit.  It’s a fun blast of spring for those extra cold snow days!  Mom is happy.

Tomorrow, I’ll share the hand dyed yarn she sent to me for Christmas.  In the meantime…I’ll be knitting!  The latest sweater is on the needles!!  I’ll share pics soon!


 

May The Fourth Be With You

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Happy Star Wars Day!  and May the Fourth be with you! 

My intergalactic amigurumi crochet collection is growing!  I gotta say, I’m happy to see this Stormtrooper killed.  He’s kind of a reject anyway.  If Yoda didn’t do it, Vader would have, soon enough.

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While he does look more like a Stormtrooper than a Village Person, he’s a summary of everything I dislike about making stuffies.  He’s just a bit off.

At least he’s less phallic than when he started.  It makes me wish Rebecca Danger wrote a Star Wars book.  I love her toy design.  Her pieces aren’t sewn together but rather, picked up and worked more continuously.

That said, if you’re good at tiny finishing and you like fiddly bits, this is the book for you!  Rumor has it, you can find it at Costco these days.

I’m not letting the dark side win, I’ll be back to crochet another day.  For now though, I’m just going to enjoy a day filled with nerdy puns—and KNITTING!

May The Fourth Be With YOU!

May The Fourth Be With You

For a brief moment last week, I thought I could be monogamous with my knitting.  I was diligent about it all week.  I was doing good, feeling productive because I got my number of WIPs down to 7!  And the weekend hit!

As always, I was over ambitious with my course correction!  One small indiscretion, something I could whip up easily for a toddler’s birthday led to an even bigger indiscretion this morning.  It’s May Fourth!  If you don’t know what that means, well…I’m pretty sure you do!

The hype drew me in…everyone on social media had some fun Star Wars thing happening.  I decided it was time to resurrect my R2-D2 beanie.  Ravelry tells me I started it in 2012 and then frogged it in 2014 because “something wasn’t right”.  I never frog things.  Frogging and being vague about it?!  Hhhhmmmm…. No worries though, It’s just a hat!  I’ve got this.

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Then again, maybe It’s a Trap!!  If only I had an inner Admiral Ackbar to listen to!  Intarsia before 10 am on a Monday morning?!  Yeah…that’s definitely a trap.  The front doesn’t look bad.  Here’s hoping I have The Force on my side, otherwise, this is going back into the bag where projects go to die!

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