Sunday, October 23, 2016

Hello, Gorgeous!

Some benefits to working the overnight shift, your body keeps to the hours you're usually awake and working on your nights off, there's little disruption to the knitting.

3 A.M.

Jade Fall for my friend. Yarn from my stash from eons ago when I hoarded it. In a color I don't really care for, personally, as it's too green based.

It has had two baths and eight rinses. *sigh* Silk bleeds dye like a stuck pig. Oh, but is it gorgeous.

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* * *

US 10 - 6.0 mm

Tilli Tomas Pure and Simple (discontinued)

How much?
2 skeins = 520.0 yards (475.5 meters), 200 grams


- - -

Tilli Tomas Rock Star (discontinued)

How much?
1 skein = 150.0 yards (137.2 meters), 100 grams

106 Jade

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Like Trying To Cover The Side Of A Barn

I love beautiful hand-knit sweaters. And this is the season here in the Midwest to wear them. I have one sweater that was given to me by a dear friend of mine that had been given to him by someone who hand-knit for yet another person, but it didn't fit that person which is how he ended up with it. And in a night of passion, I seduced him to give me the sweater.

Not really.

I was cold one afternoon while reading, I'm a fat chick, and the sweater fit. So he gave it to me.

But the idea of seducing someone to get a quality hand-knit soft wool sweater is a better story.


So the Yarn Harlot posted about Rhinebeck. If you don't know about that fiber event, I'm pretty sure you're not into any of the fiber arts. Go read. I'll wait.

In the Harlot's post, she has a pictures of people in their lovely sweaters they all knit themselves. And that's when the sweater envy begins to creep up on me.

Then the asshole advertisers at Facebook slap this picture on my wall.

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*swoon* I adore texture knitting. Cables are a weakness.

More info on the pattern and materials here.

The problem begin to mount when I think of knitting that gorgeousness:

1. I am the world's slowest knitter. I prefer the knitting to the finished object. It is the bane of my friends' hand-knit gifts from me. It will take years for me to get a project done. And if the pattern has problems? One friend is looking at nearly a fucking decade for a bloody hat I want to make her. She doesn't have much patience, luckily, she likes me.

2. I get bored easily. Knitting miles of monkey work? Add that to a nature documentary on YouTube, PBS or Netflix and I've overcome my menopausal insomnia. Sometime even without the documentary. (Monkey work = any plain knitting you can basically do without even looking at it. Garter stitch, purl stitch, ribbed stitch, etc. And miles of it.)

3. I am fat. Been big, round, chunky, fat since puberty. (High school I was solid, but I was also swimming miles on the junior varsity and varsity teams. Sure as hell not doing that now.) So to make a sweater that would fit me would be expensive. The amount of yarn I'd have to purchase would be enough to have to cover the side of a bloody barn. Plus? All that knitting? See item 1.

To ease my sweater envy, I usually knit toddler sweaters. It does take me a bit, but the thought of the child growing like a tomato plant in July keeps me under pressure to complete the sweater before they're a teenager. And I saw this post by the Yarn Harlot. Too sweet.

For now, though, I have a silk scarf to complete for a friend. I've pulled the yarn out for the shark hat out (AGAIN) after washing it and allowing it rest for a month, to attempt the knit now that things have been cleaned up in the pattern by the designer. And I have a pair of thrummed mittens to kick out for another friend, it's a Christmas gift from 2014.

Monday, September 12, 2016

Orion's Scarf

I wasn't too thrilled with the colors of this yarn kit when it first appeared. They were not the jewel tones that I saw on the website (damnable monitor variations of color saturation).

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However, when I began knitting the yarns up in my bastardized pattern, I grew to appreciate the subtle shading. Also? Blue pretty much gets me no matter how light or muted.

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And while I've said four times now, "I'll never knit another side-to-side scarf again," because they are tedious. Yet I keep on knitting them. It's the way the stitches line up and give texture to the project that seduces me. The beads were fiddly and those son of a bitches would shoot across the room as soon as look at you, but oh are they lovely in the knit.

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The details:

US 3 - 3.25 mm

Miss Babs Yummy 2-Ply Toes

How much?
5 skeins = 665.0 yards (608.1 meters), 185 grams


Bead size
Fiddly tiny son of a bitches

Saturday, September 10, 2016

And Then I Fell Down Into A Yarn Swoon

I enjoy and loathe Facebook. I enjoy my friends and family on the site, I like the humorous bits, I like seeing friends' projects and hobbies. I loathe the ads. And the honey trap ads get me every time. As a knitter, you may recognize those honey traps: gorgeous items knit up in sumptous yarns.

I fell for Tejido Cowl.

The next thing I know, I'm on Jimmy Beans site. Then WEBS site. All to get my next yarn hit.

We will not dicuss the stash previously posted.

The first yarn I thought would be delicious to have was called "Garnet Brooch." And it looked jewel-tone in the many photos I saw online.

It should have been called "Scratched garnet brooch in a mud puddle." Or "Dried Newt blood." Or "Faded brick dust."

This is what it looked like online:

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This is what it looked like in reality:

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So I returned that yarn and dug into my stash and came up with a purchase from Midwest Stitches Conference a few years ago:

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And Jimmy Beans did not disappoint in the dark skein that I ordered:

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I've two other projects to finish, then I cast on for this project!

The Great Unstash Knitting Begins...

I have so much yarn hoarded stashed in only one to a few skeins, that I
a) could only make larger items of knitting if I chose to only knit blankets
b) was motivated to wear multitudes of scarves, hats and mittens.

Neither choice is something I wish to do, so the next choice is to pick persons that will not only appreciate receiving the hats, mittens, and scarves but also wear them. And take care of the items as they will not be made of inexpensive yarns.

I jumped into the stash and pulled out quite a few sexy yarns for persons identifed by the standards listed above. The first was this gorgeous deep blue, hand-dyed, spun with silver strands fingering weight yarn: Dream in Color Starry Night. A discontinued yarn (which made me want to hoard it until my death, and then bequeath to some deserving soul who would also hoard it until their own death) which was wonderful to look at as it was to knit.

The scarf is knit from a combination of four patterns, none I liked enough to just knit an entire scarf.

It starts out with quite a few rows of garter stitch, followed by two rows of Turkish stitch or Turkish lace (it also goes by four other names). Then the garter stitch rows slowly decrease so that the scarf ends in just Turkish stitch.

I didn't want to end it in just a lace panel, so I used decreasing rows of garter stitch to a point. Then I used crocheted shells for the finished edging (I know so little crochet, this always makes me feel accomplished).

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So, the details:

US 9

Dream in Color Starry

How much?
1 skein = 450.0 yards (411.5 meters), 113 grams

Romeo Blue

Monday, July 18, 2016

Shiny Gets Me Again

Do y'all remember these yarns?

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The yarns were a wee bit spendy, but worth saving up for due to their colors. Well, their colors online. I thought they'd be more jewel tones, but they're more muted in person. Still, blue!

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A friend of mine (you know who you are) is a knitter with a gift for it. She can do cables, lace knitting, she made a fucking gorgeous knitted dress out of silver sequins. If she weren't so talented, she should be ashamed of herself for posing as a human being when in fact she's a damn knitting demigoddess. So this friend also regularly knits with beads. Tiny beads. Tiny bloody beads in lace knitting. And as usual, it's beyond beautiful what she creates.

I wanted a little of that shiny action. I tried last fall and promptly questioned my sanity, put away the beads and beading equipment and knitted some boring, safe, cotton dishcloths.

Then in searching for another project's bits and pieces (googly eyes and fabric glue for a shark hat), I stumbled on the box that had the beads and equipment in it. Hello! And immediately lost my mind and focus, and began beading a knitted side-to-side scarf. I should have my head examined because I like it. The yarn is soft and the beads are, well, shiny.

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I'm waiting on my beading needles to arrive tomorrow to go back to this project. The beading wire I had is much too soft and incredibly fiddley to work with in the yarn.

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In the meantime, it's working on Bitey the Shark Hat and in between, the cashmere and silk scarf that I'll be knitting on until my death bed, I'm sure.

I'm still missing my girl, Tank. Even if she did hog the comfy leather couch and then ignore me when I tried to take knitting photos with her in the pics. It's going to be a long time before my heart heals from the longing for her.

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Friday, July 08, 2016


And life continues...

I finished up the crocheted baby blanket. It's one of only two patterns I know how to crochet, Shell and Post Alternating, which my Gran taught me. She used it for virtually all baby blankets that she crocheted. As I've mentioned before here, Gran was a bit disappointed that I didn't come to the dark side and prefered to knit.

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* * *

5.5 mm (I)

Cascade Yarns 220 Superwash®

How much?
4 skeins = 880.0 yards (804.7 meters), 400 grams


Sunday, July 03, 2016

Best. Dog. Ever.

Emma, aka "Tank," has died.

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She had bad diarrhea starting Friday three weeks ago. Vet on the following Monday; spleen felt a bit enlarged, so she was treated for bacteria infection and inflammation of large intestinal wall. She wasn't responding to the meds by day three, then began vomiting. The same day in that afternoon she was panting, shivering off & on. So it was back to the vet, and with her significant weight loss, the vet could confirm a mass in Emma's abdomen without any ultrasounds. Tank had lost five pounds in four days.

The only humane choice was the most heartbreaking one.

Do not mistake me. I felt extremely selfish, I wanted to medicate her out of her mind for pain and keep Emma with me as long as possible. I also knew I could not live with myself if I allowed my selfishness to make her suffer.

After thanking her for finding me, and for being the best dog I have ever had the privilege to be a companion to, she was put to sleep. Emma was so sick, she was gone in moments.

I was the third person to come into the humane society to register to adopt her in August 2009. Unlike the others, I came back for Emma. And I told her when I picked her up that I wouldn't abandon her. I was fortunate to be with her until the very end as I had promised.

Emma was a sweet girl. Maybe a sandwich shy of a full picnic basket, but she was friendly to everyone. Probably because she felt every human was a potential treat dispenser. People who weren't even dog persons fell for Emma. I was always concerned her trusting, sweet nature would end up getting her hurt; I made sure to surround her with people who loved and protected her when I wasn't around. Emma was safe from the demons of the world.

And when we were together, she never let me out of her sight.

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The hardest part of missing her is when I'm curled up on the couch, her favorite spot was behind my knees.

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Now it's so empty there.

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Very few things are able to crack my cold, black, cynical heart. Emma was one.

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Best. Dog. Ever.

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