Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Just Start

I've had the purple Falling Stars kit for a few... years. I'm trying to figure out why I'm so hesitant to begin. I really like stranded colorwork, so that's not it. I've done projects with the yarn and they were fine, so that's not it. The tiny gauge? Maybe.

But part of it is that I don't like how high the neck is. I have this thing with turtlenecks. After reading a million people's modifications on Ravelry, I decided to cast on more stitches than the pattern calls for (the number I'd have after the first round of increases on the chart), do 1" of ribbing as the pattern says, and then start on round 10 of the chart. That should cut out about an inch. I don't know if that's enough, but it's worth a shot.

I finally started last night.

And I twisted when joining to work in the round. That's not helpful, Falling Stars.

Monday, April 25, 2016

IMA's Perennial Premiere: 2016 Edition

Every year, the IMA holds a Perennial Premiere plant sale. I've gone the past several years, and this year I also volunteered to work the plant check table for six hours on Saturday. (Think coat check, but with plants. You can drop off a box of plants and then keep shopping. Volunteers then pull the prices for each so you don't have to juggle them in the checkout line and then other volunteers take them to your car. It's a well-orchestrated event.)

The IMA puts out a list of plants they anticipate being available. Inevitably something I want isn't there (this year it's the Stachys minima [dwarf betony], but the majority are. Last week I spent an evening with the list, the Internet, and a pen and paper.

I made a list of plants I was interested in. (I admit the list got quite a bit longer than what's shown here.)

I took the list with me on Saturday. I go through this process because, if I don't, one of two things will happen:

  1. I will get overwhelmed by the options and wander around with my brow furrowed in concentration, not actually buying any plants.
  2. I will buy every damn hellebore they have. It is a sickness, and the only cure is avoidance. If it's not on the list, I don't buy it. (This only sort of works, I admit. Still, I didn't come home with another hellebore.)

I was scheduled to work the first two shifts on Saturday, so the selection was really good while I was there. The morning is for IMA members only, with it opening to the public at 1:00. We were slammed on Saturday morning. The amount of plants that were sold is staggering.

I did my part.

Yesterday I mowed and then planted my new plants. This morning on the way to work, I stopped at the drugstore and bought allergy eye drops. Welcome to Spring, my friends!

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Knitting Quietly

I've been knitting a bit, reading a bit, and playing in the dirt a lot.

I had three cubic yards of compost delivered. The leaf compost I've gotten in the past has smelled sickeningly sweet. This stuff, horse manure and straw aged for 18 months, had no odor. A friend suggested it was actually unicorn manure. She is probably correct.

That's all been moved now. Two cubic yards or so have been spread on beds and in the raised garden beds. There's a big pile of it waiting for more raised beds to be constructed, but I choose not to think about that.

I've also been knitting Changefuls. I was able to get the obligatory phlox photo in the brief moment phlox looks pretty and not brown and disappointing.

I've finished the first sock. It's... fine. The pattern should be closer to the toe, but I started it too early. I disliked doing the patterned rows enough that I decided I didn't want to rip it out. Left-leaning cables with purls thrown in are a pain.

Changeful- Version 1 (mine ravelled here),

Andrew's office got together for pizza and a hockey game. I was at the point that I couldn't knit Changefuls because of the chart, so I worked on a ribbed sock for Andrew. It's Malabrigo Sock, which feels a little thin, so I did 72 sts and size 0 (2.0 mm) needles. Obviously, I love Andrew a lot.

Turner Ribs (mine ravelled here),
knit in Malabrigo Yarn Sock in the Turner 851 colorway

One of Andrew's co-workers said I was "obsessive" about knitting, and I did not stab him with my tiny dpn. I was impressed with my self-control. There will never ever be knitwear for him, amen.

You can't trust the Muggles.

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Opening Day!

Last night was the first Cincinnati Reds game of the season, and I was ready.

Changeful- Version 1 (mine ravelled here),

This pattern has three possible iterations. I chose the simplest. I've done the 24 round cuff chart the the 4 round set up to the main body of the pattern, and now it's a simple round made up entirely of knits and knit through back loops over and over until I reach the heel flap.

This is perfect, simple knitting for when my attention will be on the television instead of my hands. Nobody can say I don't learn from my mistakes.

P.S. We won.

Monday, April 4, 2016

Knitsonik Mittens Finished!

It's been a fascinating process, and I'm really glad I did it. Here is my inspiration:

Here are my finished mittens:

Knitsonik Mittens (ravelled here),
knit in Knitpicks Palette in Alfalfa, Grass, Thicket, Almond, Mist,
Sky, Chicory, French Lavender, Hyacinth, Blush, and Fuchsia

I think I like the palm of the mittens as much or more than I like the back. I love the simple, repeated pattern. There's so much going on color-wise that simple is best.

If you want to see more about the process, you can read about my inspiration, palette, color contrast, and charts from earlier posts. Here are some thoughts about the process from when I finished the first mitten.

I really like stranded colorwork, and I like that these mittens will always make me think of the original beautiful garden photograph. I'd be up for doing more projects like this!

Friday, April 1, 2016


I've never been a big procrastinator. You can choose to feel impressed by that, or you can choose to know it's more obsessive behavior than virtue. To-mae-to, to-mah-to.

Despite that, I've been avoiding the second Knitsonik mitten. So many ends! So many color changes! 

Tuesday, I decided I was being ridiculous, and I started. Of course, once I began, I really enjoyed it. I love stranded colorwork knitting. I don't know why I thought this was going to be unpleasant.

Yesterday at the end of my lunch hour, I had this:

I have the tip of the mitten and the thumb to knit. Then it's weaving in the ends and blocking. True, there are many, many ends, but, even so, we're not talking about a lot of time left to finish this.

Let this be another reminder to me that the thinking about doing something is often much more unpleasant than the doing of the something. For people like me, the motto needs to be: Stop thinking. Just do.