Sweater-ing Sweltering Meltingly Hot

I don’t complain about the heat much.  In fact, I’m much more likely to run to the cold end of the spectrum rather than the hot.  But seriously, Lake Superior could turn up the AC a little this week.  When I got into the office yesterday morning the temp upstairs was running around 90 degrees F.  It only went up from there.  A chocolate bar I had in my desk melted.  Melted.  All on it’s own.  Without being in the sun or being touched by a human.  I was melting.  While this might be normal for other areas in the country (or even the state), this is not normal for this close to Lake Superior.  We don’t have air conditioning in much of the housing stock because the lake tends to supply us with all the cool air we could desire.  (and then some!)

Which is kind of ironic since I just finished a sweater.  And by finished I mean the knitting is finished.  I need to graft the underarms and sew on buttons and weave in ends.  But essentially, it’s done!

2018-06-25 06.42.37-1

And it might be my new favorite sweater.

I kind of want to cast on another one right away!  I’m sure I need at least one or two more of the Carbeth Cardigans, and maybe one Carbeth Sweater.  It’s entirely possible that I have the yarn already in my stash.  (I may have even pulled out enough yarn for another one two last night)  Honestly, these do not take that much yarn.  The knitting on this took me 2 weeks.  Four days of that I was in the Boundary Waters knitting on socks instead of sweaters.  Granted I did knit sleeves in the car on the way up and back but did not take the sweater in the canoe because it was just too bulky.

Before I can knit another Carbeth, I have all the other big bulky things to finish knitting.  Just when you don’t really want anything large on your lap…  I’ve got child sweaters, and blankets, and big cowls, oh my!

2018-07-03 20.35.05

The red is a child sweater that I’m working on.  More on that a little later when I come to terms with my lack of ability to measure gauge.  It was a very patriotic type of knitting weekend!

Before we went camping in the Boundary Waters, I finished and blocked these socks.  They are the Smooth Operator socks.  This pattern has become my go to sock knitting pattern.  Mostly because I can now do them without looking at the pattern.  They make for easy peasy lunch time or movie knitting.

(It’s possible that my foot model has outgrown her gig.)

What’s a Girl to do?

What’s a girl to do when the dress she finds for graduation doesn’t quite meet the dress code of the Catholic school she attends?  #catholicschoolproblem

Mom the knitter swoops in to the rescue!

It is school policy that shoulders need to be covered for school events and Masses.  Since the dress almost but doesn’t quite cover her shoulders, we needed a little something.  Graduation was June 5… which can mean very hot or quite cool in this neck of the woods.  We are never quite sure what Mother Nature will bring, but since this child tends to run on the warm side, we figured we would err on the side of warm weather.  After all, we didn’t want her overheated as she sang the psalm!

IMG_9695

There were a couple of other requirements from Mom and daughter:

  1.  A little lace would be nice, but not completely necessary.
  2. Since I had the correct color of red worsted weight in my stash, I would prefer a pattern in worsted.  The plus to this is that it would go very quickly.
  3. It needed to be approved by the graduate.
  4. It should be found in Ravelry for free or in one of my many knitting books.  After a lengthy and involved Ravelry search in consultation with the soon to be graduate, I found the Evening Shrug pattern.

2018-06-05 19.05.14

It is knit in two pieces and kitchenered down the center. The sleeves are meant to be longer, but we really only wanted something that barely covered her shoulders.  My concern was whether she would be able to get it on and off if it didn’t have long enough arms.  Would there be enough stretch that she could get it on without dislocating her arms?

IMG_9760

The verdict is yes!  We did a lot of trying on as we went.  I added just a tiny bit of width to the garment and gave it a nice gentle block to make sure the lace sleeves popped.  And since several people commented on her sweater, the graduate was very pleased with how it turned out.

I am thinking I might do another one of these in white as it would be so versatile!  One of the wonderful things about my girls getting older is all three of us would be able to wear these.  But first, I have class samples to finish!  Hopefully now that summer is really here (at least the calendar says it’s June) I can buckle down and get some serious knitting done.  One of my favorite parts of summer is throwing something on the grill for dinner (=very few dishes to wash), sitting by a campfire or just sitting outdoors in the evening, and knitting.  Speaking of, I think I’m off to do just that now!

Give a hoot – Qiviut

alaska2018It’s pronounced kiv – ee – oot like give a hoot, and it is softer. lighter and warmer than cashmere.  This fiber comes from the under hair of 600-900 lb musk ox which are gently combed every day during the summer.  How would you like that job?

We visited friends in Alaska last week, and I was pretty excited to find out that there was a musk ox farm nearby.  I was also excited to see that they have mountains in their backyard (see photo above), but that’s another story.  See, the last time we were in Alaska we saw musk ox, but were not able to do a tour because tourist season had not started yet.  Instead I contented myself with buying some of the precious qiviut fiber and yarn.  Eight years later, I’ve been too afraid to knit or spin this amazing fiber because it’s “too good,” for just any pattern and my somewhat amateur spinning skills.

But really?  It’s just knitting.  I can do that.

2018-05-07 14.37.59
This is what $300 qiviut looks like!

Ok, maybe I won’t buy $300 qiviut to knit with…. after all I can handspin my own, thank you very much. But I did buy a 2 oz skein of qiviut/cashmere/alpaca with generous yardage.

Now the tricky part is determining a pattern to knit.

2018-05-03 13.34.47
Traditional qiviut patterns

Traditionally, the native people knit lace patterns specific to their area.  The book, Arctic Lace, talks about this more in depth.  Honestly, I do not know much more than this, so I would encourage you to read Arctic Lace and look into it on your own if you’re interested.  This display at the musk ox farm was really interesting to me.  I’m fairly confident that I could chart the lace patterns on this display, especially the one from the Seward area as that was one of the areas we visited on our trip.  I also found this Alaskan Moose scarf which, though not traditional, cracks me up.  So the question of the day is, what do I knit?  I have 2 skeins of qiviut from my 2 trips.  One a natural color, one a forest green…. both have generous yardage.

 

We visited this musk ox farm in Palmer, AK.  And just because I know some people will be wondering, the musk ox are only raised for their fiber.  They live until a ripe old age and are not used for meat.

Hi! How’s it going?

2018-03-17 09.31.21

So there I was, plugging away at the Area Voices blog when all of a sudden, (*Bang, Boom! Crash!) I was told I needed to migrate my blog onto a new site because Area Voices was to be no more.

So here we are, chilling and knitting on the new site.  I sure hope you’ll follow me here.  Just click the “Follow” button over on the right and you’ll get a handy dandy little email every time I post.

See you soon!

Thank you!

Stay On Baby Bootie
Stay On Baby Bootie

Life’s Stash:

Thank you for your comments!  I loved hearing from every one of you.  It was amazing to watch comments come in from people that I know, people that I haven’t met yet, and those that I haven’t heard from in a very long time.  All I can say is WOW.  Thank you.

Keep those comments coming please!

What I’m Knitting:

I’m still working on the Stay On Baby Booties in lime green for a family member.  I’m almost done with the 2nd bootie, now all I have to do is the dreaded I-cord tie.  I-cord isn’t difficult, it’s just booooring.  I might cheat on this one and do a long cast on, then cast off rather than making I-cord.

I’m also continuing to knit on the sock.  I’ve turned the heal and it’s zipping along the foot.  It’s mindless, comfort food knitting right now.

What I’m Not Knitting:

There’s been no real changes on this.  I do need to get back to my sweater.  I’ve been fantasizing about starting another sweater, so I know I had better buckle down and get this one done before I completely forget about it.

I also was thinking about how nice it would be to have a finished Lettuce Pullover in my wardrobe this winter.  Maybe I should pull that out of knitting hibernation and work on it a bit.  I’m embarrassed to say that this never made it into my Ravelry Project page. I know I took photos of it… hmmmm….

Happy Knitting to All and to All a Good Night
Happy Knitting to All and to All a Good Night

Part of me says that I should leave the Lettuce Pullover until May during the Stash Dash because it has such a big yardage.  Part of me says that’s stacking the deck.  And do I really want a sweater on my lap during May, June and July?

Regardless, I need to whittle down some of my unfinished projects.

But there are so many fun new knits to knit!

Loose Ends:

Speaking of, I just saw that Craftsy has some free patterns today.  One is the Stockinette Haruni which is a particular favorite and has been on my “Must Knit” list for some time.  You can sign up for their emails or find the pattern here.

After I finish the baby booties, I am going to toss the stash around to find 440 yds of sock weight yarn.  Correction, I know I have 440 yds, it’s finding the right 440 yd skein that I’m going to do.  Maybe this is the time that I hold true to my New Year’s Resolution and find a particularly special skein of yarn.

Awkward Silence

I like to call myself the Comic Relief.

Hi.

I like you.

I think you’re probably pretty funny.

Yes, I mean you.  The one that’s staring at this from the other side of their computer screen.  No, don’t take that literally, I don’t mean the back side of the computer.  I mean that you take the time to read what I write.

I think you’ve got a really good sense of humor.  You read what I write anyway and I think you keep coming back.  Which implies a certain sense of humor.

You’re still there, right?  I haven’t scared you off?

So this is awkward, but could you maybe please leave me a message and let me know you’re actually there?  Just go down to the bottom of this post (or any post) and click on the button that says “0 Comments.”  You might have to type in your name, but you could probably leave a fake name and I would never really know.  Unless your name is “Bob TheMinion,” then I’ll assume it’s my 8 year old leaving me a comment.  Leave whatever comment you want.  You don’t have to tell me that I’m funny or not funny.  Talk to me about knitting.

Tell me that you’re listening.

Ok, now that the awkwardness is over, I’ll get back to our regularly scheduled programming.

What I’m Knitting

I finished the 2nd gray cowl last week and gave it to the recipient in time for a decent size snowstorm.  By decent, we got about 4 inches during the day and another dusting with blowing snow that night.  So not a huge storm by any stretch of the imagination but enough to make driving sort of crummy.

I cast on a sock during a road trip last weekend.  Socks really are the comfort food of knitting for me.  I hate to say it, but these are white and gray – with little flecks of color.  It’s sort of a vanilla sock pattern with a variation of my very own.  More about that later.

In direct contrast to the whole lot of gray that I have been knitting, I also cast on a pair of Stay On Baby Booties in lime green for a new baby on my husband’s side of the family.  These are my go to pattern for babies feet.  The pattern is in Knitting for Baby.  Lots of these little shoes have been made and they really do stay on baby’s feet.

What I’m Not Knitting

  • The sweater… for no real reason except I guess I want to knit on something that feels like progress is being made.
  • The hat for Addie…. again for no real reason.  I’d better pick it up again soon since it’s really almost done.

Knots & Tangles

Not knots or tangles this week.  But then again, there probably hasn’t been enough knitting to run into any problems.  I just finished up a big project at work, so hopefully I’ll have the bandwidth left at night to knit more.

Loose Ends

I had somewhat of a wild hair last week and started checking out knitting retreats and gatherings.  I haven’t been to any knitting classes in some time.  I looked into one in Madison, WI but decided that the cost of the hotel room I would need for 2 nights plus the registration fee made it more than I was willing to spend.  Then I remembered Yarnover.  Yarnover is hosted by the Minnesota Knitters Guild and is only about 45 minutes away from my in-laws house.  A day long class with Franklin Habit was open!  (I’ve met him before, but I go slightly fan girl in the presence of funny knitting bloggers)  Since the hubby works the weekend of Yarnover, I arranged to stay with my in-laws and have the kids hang out there for the day.  Problem solved!  Knitting enabled.  The list of vendors is pretty amazing, so I’ll have to save my pennies.

Now I should probably tell my husband about this plan…. Right?  I should tell him?