Thursday, January 19, 2017

The Plague's Younger Sibling Visits

The usual January Ick arrived on schedule. Luckily, it was only a booger-making cold virus going around at work. Definitely not the seriously awful plague from the last two years that have hit me hard. Still, the honking and hacking wasn't pleasant along with a fever at the beginning. The last few days have been lost in fever dreams and bizarre four-hour nap dreams. On my waking moments, I made it to the couch to stare at the television (difficulty focusing on reading) and do some knitting.

This was a fairly quick and very hard to fuck up pattern for hand warmers. (Basically you knit a rectangle to fit the length of your hand as you choose, fold it in half, stitch up to where you want your thumb to be placed, then stitch up the edge.) And in neon pink.

I joked with my friend who received them that she may have this unexpressed fear of being lost in snowbank at night. This yarn practically glowed in the dark it is *that* neon. And I certainly didn't need my Ott light to knit when working on them.

Crocheted the top and bottom edges. Whip stitch to sew them up as the mattress stitch is too thick for fingerless mitts.

I've messed about with editing controls to try to reduce the amount of saturation, but no luck. Shield your eyes as needed. My friend, however, *loved* the color.

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Down and dirty details:

Needles
US 8 - 5.0 mm

Yarn
Plymouth Yarn Encore Worsted Solids & Heathers

How much?
0.5 skeins = 100.0 yards (91.4 meters), 50 grams

Colorway
478 Neon Pink
* * *

Next up are the thrummed mittens that are so damned delightful and charming to me. It's the puffs of roving and the wee hearts the pattern makes. I'm linking the pattern here (you need to be a member of Ravelry, it's free, to view it) so you can access the Yarn Harlot's pattern and my additional four billion photos of them.

These are going to one of my favorite people when I see her this weekend for breakfast (now that the plague's younger sibling has moved on). Although with this insanely warm winter (we had a short spell of negative temps in December), I'm not sure she'll be able to use them this season. Then again, it is only January and we've the entire bleak month of February to get through yet.

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The blue of the yarn is most certainly not neon in its hue, that's the Ott light making it glow. It's a more deep blue, I refer to it as Tardis blue.

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Down and dirty details:

Needles
US 7 - 4.5 mm

Yarn
Cascade Yarns 220 Superwash®

How much?
1 skein = 220.0 yards (201.2 meters), 100 grams

Colorway
813 Blue Velvet

* * *

I'm now working on completing another cowl for one of my adopted daughters. The Grey Smoke Cowl (link on the side bar to my Ravelry page). It's lusciously soft and if I liked grey, the delightful Kerri would be in danger of never receiving it.

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After the cowl, I've two hats and a wrap that I'm looking forward to knitting. No new stitches like the brioche to learn, but I do have another color that I'm not fond of knitting with on one of the projects. Lavender. However, it's a gift for a friend. And if I can make it past the neon pink, the lavender shouldn't be too tedious.

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Winter Things

After that brief severe cold snap in December, it's been a relatively mild first few days of January around here. However, it's still getting down into the teens during the night, and the winds are pretty wicked for making temps of 40's feel like 12 degrees, too.

I knit up a pink and white cowl for a friend. One thing I learned, I can barely get a handle on the fiddly nature of the brioche stitch, there is no fucking way I'm going to be manipulating that brioche stitch in 800 variations for a pattern. Not right now at least. So I improvised my way through this cowl.

I wanted to try Fair Isle and found that knitting it in the round, alternating the colors every other row, I really enjoyed. And that it's perfect for Malabrigo Silky Merino which becomes even more soft and with more drape to it after it's had a wash. The floats behind the knit stitches help the material to retain it's shape. I'm quite chuffed to report that the cowl fit my friend and she liked it!

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* * *
Finished circumference: 25"

Needles
US 6 - 4.0 mm circs

Yarn
Malabrigo Yarn Silky Merino

Colorway
63 Natural

How much?
0.5 skeins = 75.0 yards (68.6 meters), 25 grams

Colorway
427 Party Pink

How much?
0.75 skeins = 112.5 yards (102.9 meters), 37 grams


Meanwhile, I've a sweater repair that is slow going due to how intricate the knit is, and how tender the yarn has become over the years.

And I'm working on the cuff of thrummed mitten #2, due to another friend by January 22nd!

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Because we've still the rest of January and all of February to get through. And winter can be an ass.

Monday, January 02, 2017

Getting Back To The Spin

Handling all the beautiful roving, I pulled out the Spindolyn and started practicing my spinning once again. So far, not too bad. Another couple of hours (like 20-40 hrs) and I should be back where I was once before.

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Hello 2017, Try Not To Be A Jerk Like 2016

So far, it's starting out okay with one finished object for me!

My ears are always cold during winter around here. I loath earmuffs as they never stay into place, and I lose earcuffs. So I modified a head warmer/cowl pattern and created a doubled up layer around my ears of delicious fiber thrum goodness.

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* * *
US 7 - 4.5 mm

Yarn
Malabrigo Yarn Rios

How much?
0.65 skeins = 136.5 yards (124.8 meters), 65 grams

Colorway
150 Azul profundo

So Little Time, So Few Projects

Not an impressive list at all for 2016.

Sums up the year pretty well, I think.

Kitchen dishcloths and towel - January 26
Alec's blanket - July 7
Starry Night scarf - September 9
Orion scarf - September 12
Jade Fall scarf - October 22
Basketweave Scarf - November 12
DK cowl - December 17

Monday, December 19, 2016

So Fast It Won't Make Your Head Exactly Spin

This is probably the quickest knit I've had in quite some time. Clocked in at under 10 days. Zowie! Watch out!

It's a cowl for a friend's MIL who needs a scarf for her face to protect her from the cold due to medical issues. Scarves are bulky and a full face cover may not be optimal when going in and out of buildings. Enter the amazing cowl.

Purple is her favorite color. It's my least liked color next to pink. But, you grit your teeth when knitting for a greater good.


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* * *

Needle
US 9 circs 24"

Yarn
Plymouth Yarn Encore Colorspun Worsted

How much?
1.5 skeins = 300.0 yards (274.3 meters), 150 grams

Colorway
7767 Berry grape


And now to the mate to this mitten!

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Saturday, November 12, 2016

Bits And Bobs

As my Gran was fond of saying, "Some things are done in bits and bobs, not all at once."

This is the motto of all my knitting.

And you go from this:

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To this:

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In about eight weeks.

* * *

Needle
US 8 - 5.0 mm

Yarn
Malabrigo Yarn Silky Merino

How much?
2.5 skeins = 375.0 yards (342.9 meters), 125 grams

Colorway
Ankara Green

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.
Fini!

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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* * *

Needle
US 10 - 6.0 mm


Yarn
Tilli Tomas Pure and Simple (discontinued)

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

Colorway
Jade

- - -

Yarn
Tilli Tomas Rock Star (discontinued)

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

Colorway
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.

Anyway.

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.