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.


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.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Gradient Raglan

Yep, I'm over the Not Knitting.
Gradient Striped Raglan (mine ravelled here),
knit in hand-dyed Ella Rae Classic 
and Plymouth Yarn Baby Alpaca Worsted in black

I mashed together the Adult Raglan instructions from Ann Budd's The Knitter's Handy Book of Sweater Patterns with some of the instructions from the Twisted Little Raglan from the same book. The neckline is a combination of the two patterns. The decorative yo at the raglan edges and the twisted ribbing down the sleeves and sides of the body are from the Twisted Little Raglan pattern, and the other math came from the adult raglan sweater.

When you ask a coworker to take photos of your new sweater,
be prepared to have to do at least one pose that makes you feel ridiculous.

I'd like the body striping to start higher, but I couldn't figure out a simple way of doing that without having the striping on the tops of the sleeves as well, which I wasn't thrilled about. I made the sleeve stripes near the wrist, reversed the color sequence, and made the stripes smaller (3 rows of color on the sleeves compared to 5 rows of color on the body).

I bought the black yarn when a yarn shop was going out of business without having an idea what I was going to use it for. I had 918 yards, and I had only a partial skein left when I was finished with the sweater, so I definitely needed to use it with other yarn. It's very soft and lovely, and it spit spliced like a boss.

I'm thrilled I found a good use for the gradient yarn I dyed as part of the class at Nomad Yarns. Shockingly, I even had enough yarn left to knit a hat (that I haven't taken a photo of yet). Sadly, it's too tight for my noggin, but I'll find a kid to give it to.

I've gone back to knitting the Persian Dreams blanket. I'm on block 6 of 24. I enjoy it, and it feels good to be back to it even though I have to be careful not to knit too long since it's tough on my hands. 

It feels good to be back to knitting!

Thursday, January 12, 2017

The Stillness of January

I stop knitting in January.

I'm not sure why it happens, perhaps something to do with the mania, the colors, the frenetic activity of the holidays, but after every New Year's I find myself looking at my knitting and then turning to something else.

This year it's mystery novels. Probably most years it's mystery novels.

It doesn't really make sense to me. January is quieter than December. There's more free time, time that in December is filled with card writing and present wrapping and food eating. In January, I breathe a sigh of relief that things are normal again. Normal means knitting.

But somehow not in January.

The end of December often brings tempting knitting presents, new yarn or needles or patterns, and one would think that would get me excited.

But it doesn't.

Plus, January is cold. And dreary. And often gray. One would think sitting on the couch in the evening with bright yarn in my hands would be irresistible.

But it isn't.

Thankfully, this has happened enough times that I recognize it for the temporary state that it is. I wait it out, reading and not worrying that a lack of interest signals an end to my hobby.*

I think I'm nearing the end of the Not Knitting now. I think this is what's going to do it for me.

Gradient yarn dyed during my class at Nomad Yarns,
paired with black Plymouth Yarn Baby Alpaca Worsted

*Terrifying. What would I do with all that yarn?

Thursday, January 5, 2017


I'm in a Knitsonik post! It made my day.