I Get Carried Away

So… I may have a million things on my needles right now. It’s been forever since I’ve posted, and I’m terribly sorry. I promise I will get better and consistently writing. That’s one of my goals for the fall. I want to get to the point that it’s as instinctual to blog as it is to exercise every day. There just aren’t enough hours, I tell you. Today will be a lightning round of where I’m at with each project, then I’ll give you more in-depth updates as the week goes on. 

Three Tree Town

I ended up frogging this poor little bugger. About halfway through the second chart, I was just not loving the pattern. It wasn’t working for me like it had before. I still love the yarn, though the variegation does make it a challenge. It’s all ripped out and patiently waiting for me to find the perfect pattern for it. I may try and find another Elizabeth Clark pattern for it. Jury’s still out on that. 

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What Wonder

Finished and handed over to the expectant momma just in time for the baby shower. I also received a lovely text from the daddy (also an old friend of mine) saying how much they love it. It is currently folded neatly into the crib, waiting for little Eleanor to arrive. 

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Hartford Sweater

Well, I finished the body and the sleeves, which is terrific. But I botched the seaming. This is likely partially due to the modifications I made while increasing and decreasing, to account for the difference in the width of my gauge. I need to rip out the seams and redo them, but I haven’t yet built up the courage. Needless to say, Mom did not receive it in time for her birthday, but she says as long as she gets it by October, she’s happy. 

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Wool Leaves

The baby blankets are never ending these days. I’ve pulled my first attempt at Wool Leaves out of hiding. I want to finish it in time for my niece’s (actually cousin’s) first birthday party on 20 September. This is entirely doable, because I’m holding the yarn double again and I’m over 3/4 of the way through. I just have to be disciplined enough to actually do it instead of all the fun things I could be doing…

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It’s Thunder

I’ve entered my first knit-a-long! Because I OBVIOUSLY don’t have enough on my plate as is… The lovely and tallented Hanna Maciejewska is hosting a fall KAL. We can choose any one of her patterns to work on in the months of August and September. The deadline is September 30th. So I took this as an excuse to buy more madtosh and cast on her Ink. I’m working it in tosh merino light in the manor colorway. I tell you, pictures do not do it justice. This is my first raglan cardigan, and I am loving it. The only downside is that since it’s fingering weight, it is very slow going. 

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Rambling Woman

Since It’s Thunder is so slow going, I decided I needed a little instant gratification. For most knitters, that would mean a hat or something. Not so with my crazy little brain! I went for another pullover! This one is in worsted though, and it’s very simple. I cast this little guy on last weekend and I am already finished with the hip increases. So it did feel instant and very gratifying. 

The pattern is Seacoast by Joji Locatelli, and it’s yet another Brooklyn Tweed pattern. I used a little variegated tosh vintage in the Crumble colorway for the ballet neck and the rest is in a Cascade’s Red Wine Heather. It’s gorgeous and cozy and I can’t wait to wear it this fall. 

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Two Sweaters at Once? I Must Be Mad!

I have had my first regular day off, with no catastrophes or major events to handle, in weeks. It was glorious. I still did not complete nearly half of my to-do list, but I did get some much needed R&R while still able to take care of a few things. Meanwhile, I was also able to accomplish a good deal of knitting.

Since I’ve bought my Addi Clicks, I’ve been able to speed up my progress on the Hartford sweater tenfold. I’ve polished off my fourth skein and am at least half-way through my fifth in a matter of days. I took it with me when my mom and I went for a nice long walk on the beach. She drove, so I got to knit there and back and polished off that fourth skein. I only have about another inch and a half left before I can start the shaping.

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I also managed to get a little headway on what I’ve titled my Worn Down Glories jacket. This one I’ve named after a line from James Vincent McMorrow’s song “We Don’t Eat,” which is one of my primary comfort songs. Debbie Bliss’ Generous Jacket is one big, slouchy cloud of offset ribbing and I’m making it out of a cozy, no-nonsense kitchen cotton. I feel as if this is destined to become one of my comfort cardigans that I wear the same rainy days that I listen to “We Don’t Eat.”

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Since Mom’s Hartford is my top priority, I haven’t made much headway on this yet, but I hope to finish it before autumn sets in.

Not only have I made headway on both those larger projects, but I finally finished off my original scarf, Gold Across the River. I bound of in kitchner and wove in the ends last night, then I blocked it this afternoon. It’s already delightfully cozy and looks great, but Manos del Urugay always looks and feels even better after a nice long soak. The blue dye bled a little, the water in the tub turned a brilliant shade of turquoise, and it might have stained one of my white towels, but I think it’s done bleeding. All in all, I’m quite happy with it. I think I will get three more skeins and whip up one more sample before I share the pattern though, make sure I’ve got it down.

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Well my dears, that is all I have to share with you tonight. I’m off to bed and I will hopefully have some progress to share tomorrow night on that new shawl that I started. We shall see.

 

 

I Might Have a Yarn Problem…

Once again, I have spent far too much money at the yarn shop.

I happened to find myself up north in St. Joeseph, MI yesterday afternoon and I couldn’t resist checking out the new location for Ivelise’s Yarn Shop. This is the favorite stomping grounds of my grandmother, who prefers slightly cheeper yarn to the heirloom quality stuff at Red Purl. Don’t get me wrong, Cathy has some terrific stuff, and she has a much wider variety to choose from.

I ended up walking away with two new projects. The first is that I finally chose some yarn for Seacoast, which I’ve had in my queue for a few weeks. First, I ran into a lone skein of tosh vintage in a variegated red, orange, and gold. It was just too good to pass up. But I didn’t want to just make a hat or cowl out of it. So, I bought some matching deep red Cascade in a heather texture. My master plan is to work the body and arms in the Cascade and then top of the ballet neck with the madtosh. I think it will be a nice effect. Fingers crossed.

Cascade and madtoshThen I also picked up some lovely green laceweight for my attempt at the Limberlost Trails Shawl that I found on Ravelry. I’m calling mine Three Tree Town after a Ben Howard song. I’ve been dying to try this shawl for ages and I finally found the right material for it. Lace and I have a love hate relationship, but I think I will love working with this Araucania. It’s one of the softest things that I’ve ever held in my hands.

IMG_1206Then, finally, because I had apparently not spent enough money, I picked up an Addi Click set. Oh my word, it is the most wonderful knitting experience that I’ve ever had. The knitting is smooth and comfortable. The yarn flies through my fingers. The tips are easy to switch on and off and the connection isn’t noticeable in the least once they’re in place. I wish I had bought these months ago. I’ve already transferred the Hartford sweater to them and as a result, I am flying through it again. I think it just might be ready in time.

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Here Goes Knitting

Well, I’m making a bit of a gutsy move. I’m going to try this thing on US 5 needles. It is still quite a bit longer, even on the 4s than what the pattern calls for. But here’s my concern, 4s were already super dense. If I use 5s for the body and 3s for the detail work, it will be dense but not impossible. I am concerned that it will through the shaping out of whack, but I can always reknit. Rowan is very forgiving. So if it all goes to hell, I can always visit the frog pond. Here goes nothing.

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Now, I have a question for you all. I am heading up north to a music festival next weekend. What kind of knitting does one take camping? We’ll be roughing it in tents and it’s bound to get a little dirty. I probably don’t want to take the sweater or any lacy things. I thought maybe I should take my cotton sweater… but it’s white. Still, infinitely more washable when all is said and done. I have a bunch of green cotton that I could do something with. Should I cave in and bring something cheep and acrylic just to keep me busy? Any thoughts?

Good News/Bad News

Good news first. The yarn for my mom’s birthday sweater came in, and it’s gorgeous. It is even better than I expected. The texture, the color, the weight, all perfect. And there’s a lot of it…

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Now, here’s the bad news. My gauge is all sorts of wonky. The pattern recommends US 8 needles. I’ve ended up on 4s. Honestly, it’s not that bad of news. The yarn still looks great and that means the weave will be nice and dense, which usually means durable. I just don’t happen to have a pair of circular 4s lying about, so I’ll have to order them. Also, since my main needles are 4s, I’ll have to go two sizes down for some of the details… That means knitting aran yarn on 2s… Somehow, I feel this won’t go well.

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Another pro, though. Belle seems to like it and cat’s have very discerning taste. 😉

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I Know I’m Sick When I Don’t Even Want to Knit

I’ve hardly accomplished half the things that I wished to accomplish so far this week. My body has been rebelling against me in a big way. I even had to go home ill yesterday. Normally when I call off, I lay in bed and get a fair bit of knitting done. Not so this time around. curled up in bed and immediately fell asleep for FOUR HOURS!!! And then I still slept soundly all night. I don’t like this game.

I picked up a little of Rowan’s Kidsilk Haze while I was at the shop on Sunday. I plan on making a light wrap for my grandmother for her birthday, and it will keep me busy until Mom’s yarn comes in. I started on US 13 needles for a super loose gauge, but I hated how it looked, so I ripped it out (not easy in Kidsilk, let me tell you). Then I recast it onto 5s and I like the look a lot more. I’m debating whether or not to throw a little lacework into it. I’m already doing random striping and I don’t want it to look too busy. I might just add a little edging or something.

ImageI did manage to get Wool Leaves on the blocks this morning. It looks so terrific. I am quite proud of this one. I get the feeling that this will be a staple project for me. There will be a lot of babies in my family with one of these. Just saying.

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In other news, the boyfriend is coming over today and may drive me around to look for cars to replace mine that broke down. Might get some work done on the drive.

All the Things! Finished Things!

Welp, I managed to finish Wool Leaves before the yarn I ordered for Mom’s sweater even arrived. It turned out even prettier than I expected. The color is perfect. The yarn is gorgeous and I can’t wait to see how it blocks. That’s on my schedule for tomorrow. Right now it’s about two foot by two foot. I’m hoping to get a little more stretch out of it once it’s soaked. I know it’s for a newborn, but I want it to be large enough to be useful for more than just the first year. Even if it stays small, I am still really pleased with the result.

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Swallowtail just came off the blocks as well and it is looking gorgeous. Rowan Fine Tweed definitely softens a bit after blocking and feels much better next to the skin. I’ll hopefully get a few action shots of it later to show how nicely it drapes around the neck and shoulders. I am in love with that tweedy texture.

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I only have one thing on the needles right now, which feels very strange. It’s that Manos del Uruguay scarf that I was struggling with in my last post. Well, I ripped it back down to the border and started again with Barbara Walker’s seaweed stitch. It’s turning out a lot better than my last attempt. I’ll have to write out the pattern for you all and see what you think. I keep wavering between naming it “Come Rain or Come Shine” after and Ella Fitzgerald song, or “Old Pine” which is a homage to my favorite singer-songwriter, Ben Howard. Oh, or I could call it “Gold Across the River” in reference to Laura Marling’s song “Alas, I Cannot Swim.” We shall see.

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I May Have Underestimated My Own Skills…

So… You know how I thought Wool Leaves would keep me busy for most of the month of June?

I lied…

To myself…

I am over half-way done; four reps out of six to be precise.

To my defense, I am also working on another one of these with more reps in a DK weight. Understandably, that is taking a little bit longer.

But still.

I mean really.

This is borderline crazy. I kind of feel like the Hulk of knitting. I just don’t know my own strength…

I AM GOING TO GET SOOOOOOO MANY THINGS DONE THIS SUMMER!!!!!!!!

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Onward and Upward

After a harrowing six-day work week, I finally got a day off today and made a trip to my LYS for supplies for my next two big projects. I ordered some of Rowan’s Aran Tweed in Dent for a birthday present from my mother and picked up some Spud & Chloë Sweater in Grass.

It is great to have a new big project to start. I finished my Swallowtail Shawl last week and had all weekend to kill. So I picked up my Block of the Month and got caught up on that. Basically Block of the Month is a year-long project where you knit one square foot block of an afghan every month. At the end of the year, you have a nicely sized afghan. At my LYS, Amy writes the pattern every month and gives it free to anyone who buys their material for it from her shop. We all meet on the second Sunday of every month get started on the next month.

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I’m using Green Mountain Spinnery’s Mountain Mohair. Since we’re knitting the blocks in columns of four, I am knitting them in a repeating pattern of three colors; Elderberry, Moss, and Raven. This month was honeycomb stitch, which is a pleasantly mindless motif after all the grief and frustrations of Swallowtail. Cables are my comfort zone. They are the first moderately advanced technique that I learned, and the repetition of CB4, CF4 had a soothing rhythm to it.

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Now that I am once again stocked, I’ve started plugging away at my scheduled pieces. First up is Wool Leaves a new baby that is due to one of my oldest friends. She’s due in September, but the baby shower is at the beginning of July, so I’m trying to get it done by then. Wool Leaves knits up so fast, I don’t think that will be much of a problem. I just started today and I’m already a full rep in. Holding a worsted cotton/wool blend double on US 13 needles makes for a quick knit.

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In fact, I may have time for a little side project for myself. Remember that Manos del Uruguay that I picked up while on vacation? Well, I have a plan for it. I found this lovely etude by the talented String Geekery, who is pretty genius, if you ask me. I think it will transform it into a long, skinny scarf. S.G. was thinking of it as an edging pattern that repeated horizontally, but I want to work it into a vertical pattern. I am trying to work out some variation of Jared Flood’s tubular cast on and slipped stitch edging that I loved so much on Afton. I’ve done the cast on and the broken ribbed border, but my math was wonky and I’m finding it difficult to blend this seamlessly into the etude. I’ll probably have to frog and recrunch the numbers… math… hmpf…

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