Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Blues

Some yarn is harder to work with than others. Most of the time, I can figure that out by looking at it and avoid it. Sometimes I can't.


Diagonal Rib Socks (mine ravelled here)
knit in Regia Hand-Dye Effect in 06552

This yarn is splitty, and got VERY thin in sections. I am not a fan, and I'm not sure how they'll wear. The socks look pretty, and the pattern, as always, is great. (I think this is my 10th pair of this pattern. Ann Budd knows what she is doing. I knit mine slightly differently than the pattern, but just because I'm odd and not because there's anything wrong with the pattern.) I'm just grateful to be finished and moving to a yarn that isn't so difficult to work with.

And I'm praying I didn't buy another ball of this, but I'm too scared to check the stash to find out for sure.

Thursday, May 18, 2017

All the Loopiness

Yesterday I took some pictures of the Loop. It's a lovely bit of knitting.

Loop (mine ravelled here),
knit in Madelinetosh 80/10/10 Fingering in Spectrum 

The Spectrum colorway is my very favorite. Each stitch has the possibility of an unexpected pop of color, but all the colors look lovely together and not at all like clown barf.


The edge is garter stitch.


Then an i-cord bindoff that is a Zen meditation. Breathe. Accept what you are doing. (Abandon hope of ever finishing, but that's where my Zen broke down.) It's beautiful when it's done.


I enjoyed myself so much that I knit another.

Knit in a mysterious sparkly gray from the stash
and Knitpicks Chroma Fingering in the Roller Skate colorway
(ravelled here)

I love this one just as much as the first one. I was worried about how the long gradient of Chroma would behave, but it's lovely. Chroma is unspun enough that I think this pattern is a great use for it. It won't get a lot of hard wear wrapped around my friend in a fetching manner.


Pretty, right?


For both of them, I did a modified garter stitch tab as suggested by a genius on Ravelry and also did a yo between the first two and last two sts on each right side row that I then dropped off on the wrong side. This kept the edge from being too tight. I'd love to take credit for both those ideas, but the truth is that I got both ideas from the Ravelry projects for this pattern.

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

No Words

Well, I don't really know what to say.

I haven't been posting because it feels like shouting into the void. The political shambles of our country is immense and gut-wrenching and faith-shaking, and it somehow seems both imperative and disrespectful to talk about knitting when action after action being taken by the President and Congress takes us farther from respect, compassion, and justice and closer to intolerance, isolationism, and whatever the hell you call it when policies are made to benefit those who need it the least.

I am knitting. I am also listening to the news except when it becomes so overwhelming that I can't.

I'm reading fluffy fiction. I am also regularly donating to a local charity that works to relocate refugees in the area (here if you're interested).

I am working out, trying to take care of my body both for my physical health and also because working out is good for my emotional health. My trainer, by the way, is an immigrant married to an American. They are afraid to leave the country on vacation for fear he won't be allowed back in.

THE WORLD HAS GONE MAD.

I think, in the face of our reality, of course I don't know what to say. There aren't adequate words, but we have to keep speaking anyway.

Friday, March 17, 2017

Loop, Backward and Forward

I was surfing Pinterest, like you do, when I fell upon a gorgeous photo of Loop by Casapinka. I was discussing it in depth via Messenger with a friend, like you do, when she casually told me she bought me the pattern and it was waiting in my library.

No, you can't have her. She's mine. 

I was not deeply committed to the laceweight sweater I'd just started (because, duh, laceweight), so I decided to cast on.

And then found myself completely flummoxed by choices.


After dithering longer than I care to admit, I chose Madelinetosh in Spectrum, my very favorite colorway in the entire universe, paired with Knitpicks Hawthorne Kettle Dyed in Blackbird. I began.



And promptly screwed up. Those two colorwork rows should be the same. The pattern clearly states that you hold the yarn in the back when you slip stitches. As you're working a wrong side row, the back is the front of the work. I was thinking about the wrong side as being the back, held the yarn in the wrong place, and, well, crap. I can't blame that on anyone but myself. Rip.

That fixed, I trundled ahead. I loved Spectrum. 

I did not love the pooling in the black.

In a move I'm incredibly proud of, I stopped and considered. I didn't like the pooling. Could I learn to like it? It probably needs better light. I went to bed.

The next day I took it to work, spread it on my desk, and glanced at it from time to time.

Pooling.

Yep, still pooling.

Sigh. Still pooling.

Besides the fact that my time is precious, because we all know I've knitted something I hated despite the truth to that, this colorway is too precious to use it in a project that screams, "I'M POOLING!" at me every time I see it. Rip.



I went back to the stash. One of the grays I had initially rejected was Good for Ewe's Sultry Steps. It's a great gray*, but it was fuzzy and monochrome and I wasn't sure I'd like it in this project.

I was wrong.

Loop (mine ravelled here),
knit in Good for You Sultry Steps in 98 Pewter 
and Madelinetosh 80/10/10 Fingering in Spectrum

Onward, again.

*For me, a great gray doesn't have brown undertones. Brown undertones make me sad.

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

A Spot for Sewing

I love Ikea. If it weren't for the combination of Ikea and Andrew's grandpa getting remarried shortly before our marriage (and thus combining two households), we would have had no furniture when we married. Seventeen years later, we still have a ton of Ikea things in our house. I feel perfectly fine that my nonexistent children will not inherit antique furniture. 

To say I sew sporadically is an understatement. I can go months between quilt blocks. I had set up the machine on our card table, and the weight of it over all those months was causing the table to warp. Turns out, sewing machines are heavier than cards. That meant the machine went back in its box, which made it even less likely I would sew.

I was talking about this with a friend, and she told me that she and a coworker had recently made an Ikea run to get furniture for their office. I spent a little time on their website, and...

Alex drawer unit in pieces

My order arrived a week ago Saturday. That night, after a nap to recover from  7-year-old niece's birthday party, I started assembly.


Besides the drawer unit, I bought a Linnmon table top and two Adils legs. Even with shipping (we don't have a local Ikea... yet), it was very reasonably priced.


Then I decided the drawers could be more fun. Since I am a whore for the rainbows, I already owned paint in the colors I needed (from this project), so this past weekend I unscrewed all the drawers and spent some time in the garage.



I love it.


The drawers really brighten things up. I put an Eiffel tower lamp on the desk that we've had since our wedding (the light in that room is crap), and a Spontan magnetic board with some inspirational things and some quilt-y directions on it.

This will make it easier for me to sew more frequently, and I'm hopeful that means I actually will sew more frequently. I sewed two squares last night, so now I have fifteen of the fifty-six squares of the gray quilt finished, and I already have my eye on the pattern for my next quilt.

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Fabric Stash

This post is completely self-serving. Sorry about that.

I have been known, on occasion, to purchase fabric when I'm having a rough day. This weekend I took photos of the pieces I had. Documenting what I have will theoretically be a way to ensure I don't buy repeat fabric, and it could possibly keep me from impulse buying. (That might be asking too much.) This doesn't include bits left from the first quilt or the fabric I'm currently using for the gray quilt.

Buying fabric is much better and less expensive than a crack habit. I regret nothing.

Timeless Treasures Knitting Sheep Yarnball Sheep (1 yd.)

Greatest Adventure Clouds Multi (1 yd.)

Vintage Market Main White (1/2 yd.)

Wonderland Petal Flamingoes Love (1/2 yd.)

Wild & Free Luminous Field (1/2 yd.)

Millie Fleur Bees & Bits Spring (1/2 yd.)

Fleet & Flourish Wreathed Whiff (1/2 yd.)

Polka Dot Stitches Doily Gray (1/2 yd.)

Polka Dot Stitches (Green) (1/2 yd.)

Snapshots Main White (1/2 yd.)

Snapshots Home White (1/2 yd.)

Snapshots Multicolored Hearts (1/2 yd.)

Cherie Memorandum Cosmos (1/2 yd.)

Cottage Garden Wallpaper Gray (1/2 yd.)

Typewriters - Black & White by Cotton + Steel (1 yd.)

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Gradient Hat

I used some of the hand-dyed gradient yarn to make a hat.

Ombre (mine ravelled here),
knit in Ella Rae Classic Solids (hand-dyed)

I've had this hat pattern in my favorites for a long time. (Check out the pattern photos here.) I love the way this hat turned out, but you wouldn't think it was the same pattern. Changing the colors so they're a gradient makes dramatically different fabric than choosing lots of contrasting colors.


I imagine I'll knit another at some point, esp. since it's a good way to use up scraps. The only problem, and it's a big one, is that it's too small for me. I'll go up a needle size and perhaps even add more stitches the next time. I'm thinking about giving this one to my 7-year-old niece.