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 Swear I’m Not Crazy

I feel so neurotic whenever I pull out Endpaper. My knitting guru (aka Amy from Red Purl) recommended I store it in baggies to keep the kidsilk clean and soft. It gets tangled and bedraggled rather easy until it’s knit up. Still, carrying around little plastic bags full of yarn makes me feel even crazier than I already know that I am.

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Despite all that, I am finally making progress. I’ve got to the point in the pattern where it flips and mirrors itself. I can’t wait to see how that turns out. For right now, it just looks like scalloped edging. Eventually it will be the Ostrich Plumes motif from Barbara Walker’s Second Treasury of Knitting. I am loving the pattern so far, even though it gave me a little grief. I’m calling it Endpaper because I hope that when all is said and done it will be slightly reminiscent of the marbled endpapers in old books.

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I am still plugging away at Gold Across the River. It’s a nice piece to bring back and forth to work because it is small, but sturdy and can ride along in my bag with all the other various bits of things that commute with me to work. I’m about a third of the way and I am discovering that I am loving the back just as much as I am loving the front. When I actually publish this pattern, I plan on making it completely reversible.

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Last note, the yarn for Mom’s sweater is in and I’ll be heading to the yarn shop some time next week to pick it up. I’m sure I’ll post pictures on Instagram right away, but I’ll also be sure to write a bit about it as well.

Back to the Grindstone

Well, it’s back to work for me today. I’m feeling worlds better, though I still find myself very fatigued and achy. I think I need to start doing yoga or something to get my body back into balance. There is something funky going on and I can’t quite put my finger on it.

In spite of the distraction of boyfriends and car searches, I did manage to get a few rows of Endpaper done. Then I promptly tore it all out because my count was off on the first row. I’m about six rows in at the moment and it is finally starting to take shape. Have I mentioned lace frustrates me to no end?

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Whenever I get to frustrated to touch the darn thing, I run through a calming row of my Generous Jacket. It’s mindless. The cotton is very forgiving. It’s everything Endpaper is not. Then, once I’ve detoxed, it’s back to the grindstone again. I’m glad I have until August to finish this.

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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.

Keeping Busy

I actually get a Sunday off for once in my life and it happens to fall on Block of the Month day at my LYS. So, guess where I’ll be spending my afternoon?

Speaking of Block of the Month, Amy has asked me to try my hand at designing and write the pattern for next year. I think I’ve finally decided on all the motifs that I want to incorporate. We decided on a “potpourri” theme so that I can do a kind of sampler of all my favorite techniques and patterns. I’ve got a sketch of the order that I think I will want to do them in. Of course, that order is subject to change at any moment. My ultimate goal is to have a balanced blend of fancy show-off squares and a few mindless textures that the knitters can just whip through quickly.

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I am still waiting on the wool for my Mom’s birthday sweater. In the meantime, I thought I would start something for myself. I decided on a soft-ribbed oversized cardigan from a Debbie Bliss that I’ve had for ages. I finished the gauge swatch last night and got a few rows of the back done. I’m just using a cheep Lion Brand cotton, but it knits quickly and has a nice fluff to it. I don’t know how well it will wear, but it will be a nice, simple, easily washable cardigan for everyday use.

ImageWell, my knitting bag is packed and the dog needs a quick walk before I leave. For once, I’ll actually keep things brief. Happy knitting!

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