Hello 2018

I did a little experiment this fall.  I wrote down in my planner every project I was working on or planned to work on.  I wrote the start date, end date, if the ends were woven in, and if I photographed it.

I have finished 17 projects since September!  That’s not bad.  Not bad at all considering I feel like I have very little knitting time.  Rarely do I look back at my projects in quite this way.  Until I stopped to count the projects, I had no idea how many I had finished in the last four very busy months.

So often we focus on what hasn’t been done.  When I see this page, I struggle to see the completed lines; instead I see the holes.  But when you break it down into it’s component parts, it feels like accomplishment.

What I’m Knitting

Currently I’m working on a pair of Smooth Operator Socks out of Desert Vista Dyeworks Lords a Leaping colorway.  (that’s the featured image up above).  I’ll warn you that DVD’s website is very tempting…. it’s tough to not purchase a lot of really fun self-striping yarn when I visit the site.  This sock is my take along knitting.   It sits in my bag and I work on it at lunches, at the movies, and whenever I need knitting that I don’t have to look at while knitting.

The Cindersmoke mittens I am knitting for class are almost done.  I’ve set the second mitten aside so that I can work through the top of the mitten and the thumb with the class. 

I‘m also knitting a Snug baby jacket out of Claudia Hand Painted worsted.  I’m considering teaching this as a class.  It’s a simple enough design but it has some interesting construction that makes it great for beginning knitters or those who have more experience and want to try a new technique or two.

 

What I’m Not Knitting

I am not knitting the Find Your Fade in turquoise that you see in the Best Nine photo above.  I really need to rip it back, but ripping out mohair is not a fun experience.  Currently it is sitting in a bag in the drawers next to our sofa – I’m hoping that by putting it in timeout it will have time to think about what it has done and how it really wants to behave.

I also have a BLT shawl that I was working on for a class I taught that has been set aside.  I really like this pattern and the yarn is to die for, but I had more pressing knitting that needed to be finished on a timeline.

 

Loose Ends

Speaking of classes, I’m taking the yarn classes to the pub this month.  I’ll be teaching the Grain Shawl from Tin Can Knits at Hoops Brewery in Canal Park on January 23 and 30 at 6pm.  I’d love it if you could join us.  You do need to go to Yarn Harbor to sign up for the class.  I hope to see you there!

 

Return of a Highly Caffeinated Knitter

The school year has ended and I feel like I can cut back a little on my high caffeine consumption.  Just a little mind you.  After all, my day does not truly start without coffee.  OK, so I go and work out before coffee, but that’s only because I don’t have to string words together into a sentence at the Y.  And if I am not stringing words together, I’m not really awake yet.

So, what have I been knitting in this highly caffeinated state?  Well, a little of this….

It’s a Foolproof Cowl out of Knitting My Way Home handspun for a class at Yarn Harbor.

and that…

That’s a Find Your Fade out of mohair.  (And if you’re thinking I took the crazy train to make a massive shawl out of mohair, hold onto your hats, you’ll be stunned by what I say next.)  I’m thinking it should be called, Find Your Sanity as I try to rip back and fix a mistake in the lace portion.  Ripping mohair is not a fun activity.  It might just become a very unique Find Your Fade.  I’m even thinking of just doing the lace sections at the very beginning and the very end of the shawl and keeping the center knitting easy peasy.  I’d like to get this one moving again as it is currently in Time Out.  Plus the weather is going to heat up and mohair is not something to play with when it’s 90 degrees F and humid.

some of these for a class…. they are Smooth Operator Socks.

 

I’ve been doing a lot of the Smooth Operator Socks lately.  It’s a great pattern and I really like how the heel fits.  And no kitchenering, well how can you beat that?

oh yes, and there has been some of this Joji Mystery Knit Along going on….

I won’t bore you with the whys and wherefores of my busy spring, because we’re all busy.  Suffice it to say that summer has its own rhythm around here and it is different from the late winter/spring rhythm.  It’s nice to take a deep breath and enjoy the sunlight that we’ve been soaking in.  I’m hoping to see the flat surface of my desk sometime soon at the office, and I’m hoping that my house looks less like a middle school locker exploded in the entry which then set off a secondary explosion of a camping store in the rest of the main living area.  And maybe, just maybe, I’ll spend a little time knitting in the sun this summer.

Ohhh… Shiny!

There’s nothing like a good knitterly list to keep you me focused.

  1. I’m working on a Polygon Blanket from the new Mad Colour book.  (Yep, that’s the English spelling) The blanket was supposed to be out of stash yarn, but I fell down the rabbit hole and bought some skeins to fill in my color gaps.  (That’s the blanket in the featured photo)
  2. I have color gaps in my stash.  Big gaping warm color gaps.  I’m trying to decide if I mind.
  3. We got a new dog.  A puppy.  Puppies take a lot of work.
  4. Fall, you get me every year.  Every year I say, “Why don’t I have any time to knit?”  And why does this come as a surprise every year?  I actually wrote this post in October.  October people!  Yikes!
  5. I figured out what to bring for knitting in Italy.  I brought too much yarn.  Is this a surprise?  Then I bought more.
  6. I’m trying to decide if the item that I bring in #5 will just be the default Christmas present this year.  Or will it be finished in time?
  7. I’m not looking forward to weaving in all the ends on the blanket.
  8. This is the Joker & the Thief shawl.   I donated it to the Cathedral School Dinner Auction in early November.  I’m very happy that it is going to a good home where it will be well loved.

    photo-nov-05-2-22-11-pm
    Joker & the Thief

…And Away We Go!

snagglepussDo you remember the Hannah Barbara cartoons?  I watched them a lot as a kid on Saturday morning.  I love that the cartoon characters feet would be moving super fast, but the rest of their body would be at normal speed.  I kind of feel like that right now.  I should be moving super fast, but instead I’m just moving at normal speed.  So today, I give you a list, because I love lists.  (I like checking things off my list even more!)

  • I have the Jujika Cowl almost at the half-way point.
  • I started a Clapotis out of Socks that Rock in the Festivus colorway.  The colorway makes me happy!
  • I also started an Over & Over Infinity Loop out of Knitting My Way Home handspun.
  • I’m thinking about my approach for winning Stash Dash 2016.  Partially completed cowls might just be a game changer for me.
  • I don’t know the dates for Stash Dash quite yet.  I believe it begins at the end of May.  It runs on one of the podcaster’s summer break from school.  I will check into this and let you know.
  • Soccer Socks.  These aren’t really for playing soccer, they’re the socks I was knitting at the end of summer last year during the soccer games my girls played in.  They are knee high tube socks for Addie.  If I feel really adventurous, I may add an after thought heel.  However, her feet are growing so fast it seems silly to do that.

    Soccer Socks
    Soccer Socks on my Daily List
  • I’m thinking about casting on a fun slouchy hat out of sock yarn that’s been in my stash for forever.
  • I was hoping to go to Shepherd’s Harvest in Lake Elmo on May 14-15, but I think I’ll have to miss it again this year.  I’ve already committed to being down in the Twin Cities area 3 weekends out of the month, I’m not sure I’m willing to make it 4.  We’ll see.
  • The weather app on my phone says it’s 64 degrees F.  I’m going to pick up my kids from school, pour myself a glass of wine and enjoy being outside with them on this beautiful spring evening.

Spring Break….

Ahhh…. Spring Break…. where we sit on the beach in the warm sun, drinking something tropical…..

Oh wait, that’s someone else’s life.  Darn!

I am practical, sensible.  I am married to someone practical and sensible.  And I have a yarn habit to pay for folks.  So we are not swimming in the warm sun this week.  Even though I think what I need most right now is sun and the vitamin D that the sun can provide.  Pardon me while I go eat an orange and take a vitamin D supplement.

OK, I’m back and somehow the entire spring break week flew by in a flash.  We did visit the in-laws in Stillwater, MN and made it to my parent’s house for Easter.  We even fit in a great trip to the Science Museum of Minnesota with the wee ones and their even wee-er cousins.

image

The Jujika Cowl is moving slowly.  I try to do a few rounds every morning.  The first two rows were the hardest by far.  Once I crochet cast on that first row of 270 I breathed a sigh of relief.  I am not terribly speedy at crochet!  The first knit row is your set up row for the colorwork and I had to pay attention to the chart.  Those two rows took my entire knitting time for the day.  I’ve got the rhythm of it now though – there is definitely a rhythm to this pattern which makes it really easy to find your mistake if you get off track.

I have to admit, although I brought it down to Stillwater for Easter Weekend, I didn’t work on it at all when I was there.  Having toddlers in the house made it difficult to work on anything harder than plain stockinette.  Which was fine, because I also have a Bad Oyster on the needles.

About that Bad Oyster, I really like the Bad Oyster pattern.  It’s simple, so it’s great for knitting at meetings or over lunch with friends.  It’s been my take along knitting for about a month.  In fact, one of our priests (not The Boss) has asked me twice what I was knitting.  I’m not sure if it’s the color change of the gradient yarn that throws him or the fact that I seem to be always knitting and yet it’s still not done that throws him.

Bad Oyster makes a stunning fringed shawl when it’s steeked at the very end.  Plus, you feel pretty tough when you cut your knitting!  I’ll be sure to take some pictures and show you how it turns out.

If you haven’t yet joined our group on Ravelry, check us out.

Three-peat

Count with me.  (It would really help if you could count in the voice of the Count from Sesame Street).  “Von…….  Twoooo…….. Tree……. Tree pairs of easy garter stitch slippers, Ha. ha. ha.”

2015-03-07 19.08.30

(You might notice that there is not much of a size difference between my 2 daughters feet and my own.)

Life’s Stash:

I made three pairs of the Simple Garter Stitch Slippers before calling it quits.  For those of you with a keen eye, you might notice that one of the pairs in the photo above do not quite match.  I ran out of the coveted teal yarn before the mid-way point on the 2nd slipper.  I grabbed a lighter blue instead.  Addie was very excited that she would have mis-matched slippers!  Mis-matched socks are the coolest thing right now.

I sort of have an inkling that I might make a few more pairs to have on hand as they are:

1.  Easy.

2.  Warm

3.  Addictive as all get out.

4.  Satisfying because they use up all sorts of odds and ends.

5.  Did I mention warm?

When the weather vacillates between -15 F and 46 F, warm is an important factor. While having wood floors is nice – certainly pretty and practical when you have a giant fluffy dog – they are not warm.

I keep finding fun combinations of leftover sock yarn that would make for fun slippers.  This really is addictive!

What I’m Knitting:

I started a Stockinette Haruni out of a Wonderland Yarns gradient kit.  It starts off as a springy green and moves toward teal.  I love gradients!  They make me almost as happy as warm slippers.  This yarn is incredibly soft and has great stitch definition.  Every time I walk into the yarn store I am tempted to buy another set of these gradient colors.

I’ve done another few rows on Addie’s hat.  I suspect I might finish this hat about the time that she will no longer need to wear a hat in the morning (which means I will finish it some time in May.)

What I’m Not Knitting:

I’ve made no progress on the sweater this week.  It’s sitting right where I left it, on the back of the couch, taunting me.

Knots & Tangles:

For some goofy reason I had the hardest time starting the Haruni.  It starts off with a small provisional cast on, then you pick up stitches and start knitting one row, purling another.  I think it was because of the garter stitch edging, but my brain just did not want to switch over to purling every other row.  I had to concentrate a bit to get past the first few rows, then I got it.  I’m embarrassed to say that I might have had to be in a quiet room to get past this part.  Now that I managed to get the flow of the shawl it’s going quite well.

Loose Ends:

2015-03-08 13.01.38

Although this is completely random and off-topic, if you ever find yourself in Menomonie, Wisconsin, you need to find Legacy Chocolates.  This little chocolate shop has been a favorite of our family’s since they opened sometime after I moved away from home (probably a really good thing for my waistline!)  I noticed that they serve things other than chocolate and coffee, although I’m really not sure why anyone would go there for anything else.

2015-03-08 13.07.21

As you can see, the truffles come highly recommended!

PassOdoble is Fun to Say.

We’ve got a First Communion this weekend at our house.  Which means that I really should be deep cleaning my house.  There’s nothing like having 30 people arrive at your house to kick the spring cleaning into gear.  The problem is keeping the house clean with two little tornados running around – the concept of getting the clothes INTO the dirty clothes hamper seems to be one that we just can’t get.

Knitting however, shows progress.  You can see exactly what you’ve gotten done and (usually) it stays done.  There’s satisfaction in that.

I’ve been sneaking moments in the early morning and late evenings to work on my pasOdoble shawl.  It’s coming along beautifully.  I am supplementing the handspun with some mill spun yarns to get enough yardage – a Loopy Cake from the Loopy Ewe in yellow, Regia in the blue green, and Subui Staccato in the burgundy.  The beauty of this shawl is really in the curving ends, they circle back on themselves and are very eye catching.

 

PasOdoble

However, the knitting interest in this shawl is really the short rows.  It is keeping me going through what could be a very long project.  Although, I’ve got to admit that the gradient yarn keeps it interesting as well. I can’t wait to knit the next color and see what happens next!  Too bad my house cleaning can’t wait.