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!

 

Knitting in the Wild

Our family took a short vacation to the Boundary Waters Canoe Area about 5 minutes after school was out for the year.  Actually, it was two days after, but it felt like 5 minutes.

We travelled with my father-in-law and my husband’s good friend from college who just happens to now live in Alaska.  We were so happy to have them on the trip!  We did a little canoeing, waited out a hail storm, fished a little, and generally just enjoyed the peace and quiet.

One of the friend’s daughters is our Godchild.  So what does a knitter do when they’re in the BWCA for 4 days?  Knit socks of course!  Child size socks are the perfect camping knitting project.  The bag fits very easily in a Duluth Pack or regular backpack for daytrips.  I may have over packed when I packed my little oilcloth knitting back with 3 half knit socks and the start of the child size socks, but at least sock yarn is light!

I almost knit two socks in the time we were up there.   Not too shabby since I was also the camp cook!  We decided that I would make tube socks since the size of a 6 year old’s foot is sort of a moving target.  This would give her the most wear out of the socks.

In case you’re wondering, (and really, why wouldn’t you be?) you can get a pair of women’s size socks and child size tube socks out of one skein of Roam Fusion 4 ply sock yarn.   Now that’s a lot of bang for your sock knitting buck!

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.

Oh January….

Oh January, why do you act this way every year?  You start with a day or so off filled with the sparkle of the New Year, and then you push straight through to the hustle of crazy busy at work, short days, and cold, gray gloominess outside.  January is filled with projects and events for me.  Tax receipts need to be sent by the end of the month, and I feel the weight of that as the holidays wrap up.  The decorations are down, all the cookies have been thrown away or we are pretending not to see them on the counter, and veggies have once again filled the crisper drawer.

On the flip side, every time it snows, the world is covered in a fresh, clean layer of white.  January is a good time to toss the stash and remember which yarn you have that you adore and want to work with.  It’s a time to knit without thoughts of giving something as a gift or the pressure of a deadline.  (By the way, there was no gift knitting at my house this year.  None.  It felt kind of weird, but maybe weird in a good way.)  It’s time to pick out pretty yarn and knit for the love of knitting.

It’s also a good time to be OK with being in the middle of a project (or three) that doesn’t seem to be going anywhere fast.  Somehow, I managed to bind off several projects at the beginning of the month and promptly cast on another two.  I’m in that mindless slog through the middle of each project where I feel like there’s never going to be an end.  I even have a sock (the second sock!) that is in the middle of the foot.  I’m trying to be patient with myself and tell myself its ok.  There’s no rush to get to the next project.

Gothic Lace Cowl

Yarn:  Malabrigo Rios – 2 skeins that I had in my stash.

Mods:  None.  I am working the large size and planning to do the crochet button holes.

This is a relatively simple lace pattern that my brain is having trouble with.  For some reason, I cannot remember if I should be K2tog or SSKing.  Really, it’s not hard and I should be able to glance at my knitting to see which way the decrease lays.  However there comes a point at night where I just need to put this away and work on something simple.

There was a bit of a tragedy with the yarn bowl you see above.  The bowl usually sits on a small yarn storage bin end table beside the couch.  This spot on the couch is what we call “the sweet spot.”  It’s the spot that everyone tries to get first because of the way our tv is placed.  Well, my husband took the spot on the couch and so I was at the opposite end.  I had the bowl on the couch beside me and as I jerked the blanket out from under my husband adjusted the blanket, the bowl fell on the floor and broke.  My husband was kind enough to repair it, I’m just waiting for the repair to dry fully before using it again.

So what are you working on this month?

 

Dash & Burn

So, summer happened.  It was glorious, it was hot, it. was. busy.  And somehow in the midst of summer I said I was going to do this thing called Stash Dash where you try to knit a 5K, a 7K or a 10K’s worth of yarn.  I totally bombed this one folks.  For no real apparent reason other than I just did.  Here’s a round-up of what I did get finished.  2016-08-21 14.37.45-1

A stripy cowl of mostly my own invention.  I used 393 yds of fingering weight yarn for this.  It’s a little bit of Hazel Knits yellow with Poste Yarn in the gray and black stripes.  This was a simple easy project that took forever for me to commit to kitchenering shut.   I just wasn’t sure I was done with it.  And that model, isn’t she adorable?  She’s a lucky girl to have skin that nice! And a nice girl to pose in a cowl on one of our over 85 degree days.

2016-08-21 14.35.42

Stripy soccer socks.  This is a basic toe up sock pattern.  I cast on 10 stitches with Judy’s Magic Cast on and went from there.  These don’t fit quite as well as the wee one (who’s not so wee any more) would like, so I’ll be adding in an after thought heel later on.  But they were finished by the end of stash dash and therefore count. I should have known better than to only increase to 56 stitches when her feet were almost the same size as mine.  When I was knitting these during last summer’s soccer games, it felt like they were long enough to be knee length socks.  Alas, my kids kept growing.  Have I mentioned she’s not so wee anymore?  She’s surpassed Grandma in height and is creeping up on me!  460 yds.

2016-08-12 17.28.55

More tube socks.  This one is from the Tube Socks for Kids pattern.  This and the toddler socks below use a precious skein on Lollipop Yarn.  The two pairs used up almost all of a skein.  360 yds.  2016-07-02 18.17.10

For those of you that are keeping count, that’s 1,313 yds or 1200 meters.  It’s a far cry from a 5K.

There are lots of other projects that I knit on this summer, but you’ll get to see more of those later.  As soon as Stash Dash ended I got a burst of finishing energy.  I just wanted to finish all the knits.  Sigh.  Maybe it has something to do with the return to at least some 73 degree days?

It’s Possible

It’s no secret that there’s a lot of musical theater going on in our house.  Both girls have been involved in musicals this summer.  Addie was a Bird Girl in Seussical Jr. and Lily is a villager in Once on this Island.  I watched back to back showings of Seussical and have been singing “It’s Possible” ever since.  My favorite part (other than watching Addie bevel and swish) was when Horton asks JoJo if she dreams when she thinks.  JoJo replies, “In bright colors!”  I might have yelled in my head, “YES!” at that scene.

2016-07-02 18.17.10While I’m not always drawn to bright colors in my knitting (I am trying to branch out), knitting for kids is a great way to get some bright colors on the needles.  My 2 year old nephew needed some wool socks for next winter.  Enter this fun skein of Lollipop Yarn in Best Friends that I was able to snag.

 

2016-07-02 18.17.14I made the Tube Socks for Kids pattern as my nephew is growing fast and I wanted them to be worn as long as possible.  He really wasn’t crazy about trying them on during a warm July day, but I know they’ll get worn this winter.

*I have not counted these for Stash Dash yet even though they are finished and gifted.  I’m waiting until I finish this particular ball to keep the math easy.

2016-07-04 20.50.29

Since I had quite a bit of yarn left, including the green heel/toe ball that is included with the yarn, I decided to cast on immediately for socks for Lily.  These are tube socks as well since her feet are growing at a crazy rate.  The socks have been moving at a crazy rate as well, but that might be because they’re small and the only project I’ve worked on this week.

…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.