Sunday, November 23, 2014

That's A Bit More Like It

The January weather disappeared on Friday afternoon, and November weather came back cool (but normal temps) and bringing with it rain. Next week it looks as though late December/early January will be returning.

No time to get down about it! I've my window insulation kit *and* I'm holiday gift knitting for some favorite people. Right now, it's this hat. And we all know I love some beautiful texture knitting.

At first, the hat and I had some terse discussions. I posted yesterday: "Just three rows in on *Beauregard's cabled band, and already I've dropped the "Fuck! Fuck! Fuggity fuck fuck!" curse bomb for doing the wrong stitch sequence. This is going to be a very trying pattern." (*If I'm going to be spending a lot of time fondling the yarn and cursing, the hat needed a name.)

However, Beauregard isn't as fiddly a pattern as I believed when I was ready to set fire to the pattern yesterday. (Set fire to the pattern, *never* the yarn, it's not the yarn's fault in my home. Ever.) And while it's not nearly as fiddly, as with a new lover, it wants more of my attention than a regular old right-twist cable. So I put aside my DVDs and television remote, and queued up my favorite podcasts.

The Malabrigo Silky Merino is Matisse Blue. *sigh*

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This is point I dropped the megaton fuck bomb on Beauregard. Then abandoned it on the table to go make some bread.

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And here we are happily knitting along after some time apart.

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I'm done with the first repeat, only seven or eight more to go.

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This was Tank after her bath on Friday evening. I think it may be the usual huddle position for us this winter:

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Thursday, November 20, 2014

Hello, Gorgeous!

It's been done for a few days, and the friend loves it! I'm glad I was able to use the angora that's been sitting in my stash for a few years now. And it was the right move to carry it along with the silk/merino yarn.

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Remember, source your angora yarn from farms/spinners who meet ethical standards for the treatment of their rabbits. It's more expensive, but worth it.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

*insert sound of chattering teeth here*

For the past week, my neck of the woods has been 15-20 degrees (fahrenheit) below normal for this time of year. Next week isn't looking much better. Tank is relatively unfazed by the cold. Although she's taken to snoozing on my reading blanket more often.

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Of course, I've been thinking about knitting wool socks for myself, but a friend requested a scarf. Her hair is short, and she's usually feeling chilled when the temps drop below 70F.

Luckily for her, I've decided that 2015 is the year of Using Up The Stash, this gives me an jump on that goal.

I knew I had the angora which I had purchased under the delusion I would look elegant in a cardigan of 100% angora, instead of a rabbit fur-covered version of Violet the blueberry from Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory.

I pulled the pale blue angoa yarn from the stash. However, I knew my friend would need a bit more substance in her scarf for added warmth, I also pulled my two skeins of Malabrigo Silky Merino in off-white that had been lounging in the stash.

Next, I didn't want a scarf for her that constantly needed adjusting, and she wears hats to keep warm. I like cowl scarves as they can also be pulled up and used as a head scarf, too.

I pulled out my SNA circs (size 8 US - 24") and got to work. As I have that whole work thing during the day, then cooking-chores-errands-sleeping taking up precious knitting hours after work, I'm only at 50% after 6 days of knitting.

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Next up, continuing the parade of dishcloths for the girl and her beau. They've moved into new digs, and I've wanted to give them something for their kitchen as we're a family that takes our food to heart with delighted passion.

I'm mainly using garter stitch or bee stitch for the dishcloths. I'm using Dishie (KnitPicks) from the stash, Sugar'N Cream (Lily) from the stash and some bought on sale at Jo-Ann Fabrics.

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Tuesday, November 04, 2014

FO - Ribbed Bolero Shrug

I *adore* this shrug! However, it took some work, in addition to knitting it up, to get this ready for wearing.

I washed it, then blocked it. The bits of merino wool in the alpaca bloomed to the point it looked like I had a fistfight with a fucking lint trap. Just look at it!

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Three hours, one Ott Lite, one pair of needle-nose tweezers, and one pair of razor-sharp embroidery scissors: both sides de-linted (I just made it a word, shut up).

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It looked like sheep had been shagging on my bedroom floor:

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Then the seaming...

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* * *

US 6 - 4.0 mm
US 9 - 5.5 mm

Caden's Moon Alpacas

Worsted / 10 ply (9 wpi)

How much?
10 skeins = 2000.0 yards (1828.8 meters)


Purchased at
Knit & Knot in Bettendorf, Iowa

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Cold, Warm, Cooler, Warmer, Rain, Rain, Rain, Rain...

Welcome to autumn in the Midwest!

I did some fall cleaning of my to-do list for knitting, updated my plans for 2015 projects list, and cleaned up my WIPs piles around the ranch.

Currently, I have a length-wise scarf in silk yarn and camel/silk yarn that's just monkey knitting. I take to places/gatherings were I do more talking than paying attention to the pattern.

And then I have this in the works, based on the Women's Shrug Bolero Jacket. It's more a vest, and it's made out of local alpaca wool, spun with bits of merino wool. I've added a few inches to each panel as "the girls" are much larger than any of the models I've seen wearing the shrug/vest.

I've said it before, I'm not one for "mock cables." However, this? It's actually quite nice in the patterned panel.

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Saturday, October 04, 2014

Six Weeks Later And There's Snow Flurries

Seriously. Back in August, heat and humidity we had not seen all summer long this year. Today? Snow flurries this morning as I walked the Tank. Welcome to living in the Midwest.

And while the blog has been idle of news, I have not been so unproductive. I studied like a possessed person and passed my boards (massive relief), managed to catch my first cold of the autumn season (damn it), and get a bit of knitting done.

This is for a friend who celebrated a milestone birthday this year:

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It went through several styles of scarf before I settled on the cowl in the bee stitch. It's lightweight, soft, smooshy, incredibly warm, and the color is a delight. Good thing it's not blue or I'd have to knit the friend something else!

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* * *

Down and dirty details:

US 8 - 5.0 mm

Jade Sapphire Mongolian Cashmere 4-ply

How much?
2 skeins = 400.0 yards (365.8 meters), 110 grams

Raisin d etre

Purchased at
Jimmy Beans Wool in Reno, Nevada

* * *

Next up, I'm continuing work on the Ribbed Bolero Vest in which I may looking like a molting yak, but it'll be cozy when I'm not taken hostage by Fire In The Disco this fall and winter.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Just Go Ahead And Sing The Heat Miser Song

It's been ugly hot and humid around here. I'm so beyond grateful for AC, let me tell you. Listen, I adore my central air and my dishwasher pretty much equally on any given day, but if push came to shove, the dishwasher would get the heave-ho.

So bless the AC gods for the bountiful amount of cool, low humid air in my home.

Now, to the good stuff: a wrap for a friend.

*ALERT: some of the photos are crap.*

I've been searching for six months for a good pattern. This friend is a better dresser than I am. Seriously, I'm good with a button-down oxford or sleeveless shell and a pair of slacks, she's easily two steps above me. So it couldn't be just some run-of-the-mill stockinette stitch cardi. I settled on a wrap with the drop-stitch pattern and minimal, yet effective, garter stitch to give it some substance.

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What's nice about this particular wrap and pattern is that it can collapse down into decent-sized scarf for when winter makes its inevitable return bringing snow up to our asses and temps in the deep freeze zone.

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Tank approved of it being napping material, too.
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* * *
US 8 - 5.0 mm

Malabrigo Yarn Silky Merino

How much?
4 skeins = 600.0 yards (548.6 meters), 200 grams

Ankara green

Purchased at
Knit & Knot in Bettendorf, Iowa

Cast on 90 sts.
Knit 6 rows.
K1, wrap stitch continue to end.
Knit next row, dropping wrapped yarn between sts.
Knit 4 rows.

Repeat pattern to desired size.