Snow day

It’s quite pretty in person, the door mat doesn’t do it justice.

Because of Pax the flight I was supposed to work today was cancelled so I kind of have a snow day today.  I still need to fly to my domicile to work tomorrow (maybe…) but I get at least a snow half day.

That unexpected event gives me time to show my latest knit project.  I am a great fan of Veera Välimäki’s striped scarves and have knit up two, Stripe Study and Different Lines and according to my notes bought some yarn from my local yarn shop in 2011 to make another Veera pattern, probably Color Affection since that’s in my Rav Library.  But as often happens to me, those plans fell by the wayside.

The other day I came across the yarn I’d bought in 2011  for the scarf madness that had taken over me back then and thought it was time to use some of it.  I like Isager Strik Alpaca 2 for these scarves because it’s soft enough to wear on your naked neck and knits up fluffy yet squishable down to a tiny ball when you’re shoving it into your bag.  I had it all bagged up together in ziplocs in one of my plastic garage bins and pulled out the gray and red.  I’d seen the Interpretations collection Veera and Joji Locatelli had just put out and of course adored the At Dawn scarf by Joji.

What you see here is half the scarf knit up.  I’ve just switched to the red with gray stripes which is quite motivating.  Just switching colors keeps me interested. This pattern is super easy and keeping track of garter rows is as simple as counting.  Perfect mindless knitting, which may be why I’ve got so much done so quickly.  I like mindless?  I’m bringing it with me to work tonight just in case I get stuck somewhere.  Plenty of underwear and knitting is my strategy for the next few days.

Now I remember why I don’t do this

Black with silver threads and sequins. I like it. Late though.

My “easy” cowl project for a Christmas present is now done.  It’s 07 January, I realize that.  This just reminds me why I don’t deadline knit.

This whole idea started with me roaming around Dharma Trading and seeing the very pretty sparkly cowl shop samples and thinking “I could whip that sucker out”.  Well fast forward to yesterday when I finally finished the last and final version of this easy cowl. Four times I ripped this out!

I have definite cowl ideas regarding size.  If it’s to be a wrap cowl it must wrap twice with little to no remainder.  I find a circumference of 42″ (give or take) about right for double cowl.  Well after about four attempts and going up to a size 11 (!) needle, I finally got the fabric and size I wanted – but rather too late for Christmas.

So what you see is in rather bad indoor, nighttime shots is a cowl made from one strand mohair and one strand shiny glittery sequin fiber held together.  I cast on about 100 stitches (it may be a few more but I threw out the post it note that was the sum total of my “pattern”), size 11 needle, 3 rows garter at beginning and end.  Knit until you think you’ve just got enough yarn left to garter stitch and bind off and voila!  I used Jeny’s super stretchy bind off, but that may not have been necessary.  But it’s done!  Finished measurements are 9.5″ wide and 42″ circumference.  I’ll mail it to the recipient sometime soon, no hurry now!

Happy New Year!

The color is not at all accurate

Yet another weird hat picture of me on the internet. Great.

Happy New Year to all my fave cats and kittens!

This may surprise you but I have little patience for New Year and all the retrospective and resolutions.  I’m a “do it now” kind of gal so I just don’t get it.  Move forward please.  That said, it doesn’t mean that I don’t make intentions for the coming year to motivate and focus, so that is done (again with the do it now).

That is my way of saying there are no fancy top/bottom five lists here, just a rather bad picture of a hat that I made for a present.  I still have two more cowls to finish to make the “knitting for others” go AWAY!  Luckily my friends understand that Christmas is a loose timetable.  What you see above is a hat knit per request using Malabrigo Rios using Windschief pattern by Stephen West.  I used two balls of Rios and changed yarn every row to get no pooling and weirdness.  The color in the photo is totally wrong, the actual yarn is deep, rich purple.  The only change I made to the pattern was to make the twisted rib section in a different place.  The pattern has you end the twisted rib section by the join in the round of the yarn, but my joins aren’t pretty enough to be front and center (especially with the  non elastic yarn) so moving that section is necessary and easy.  My brief rav entry is here.

Tomorrow I get up at 3am and go to work, so today I will enjoy the THIRD batch of almond toffee this holiday season.  Yes I said third.  I better hope my uniform still fits.

Why don’t they pay me to stay home and knit?

Every year at work I look forward to the autumn because my schedule goes back to normal and I can take some time off after summer unpleasantness.  This year, there has been no slackening of the frenetic work pace.  I’m still (over)working and suspect this will not ease unless I transfer to another base.  I am considering it, believe you me but a 6 hour plane ride before and after every trip isn’t fabulous.

This is a long explanation as to why I don’t have time to make all the things, or even some of the things, I’d like to make.  This is also why a pair of socks for a friend’s birthday is two weeks late.  ARGH!  This doesn’t stop me from having ideas, whims and fancies.  Maybe if I share I’ll actually remember I had such fancies.

Shibui Knits Peak Hat by Susan Lawrence and I love it!

Shibui Knits Peak Hat by Susan Lawrence and I love it!

On the knitting front I’m working on birthday socks (belated) and a cardigan for me.  The socks are 70% done and the cardigan consists of 3/4 of a sleeve that’s been completely ripped out twice.  Why would I be looking at knitting patterns on ravelry with projects in progress.  Clearly I’m ambitious, or just deluded.  Whatevs.  I really like Susan Lawrence’s pattern Peak Hat.  It’s cute, clever and very wearable.  It’s two strands of fingering held together which is about sport weight, isn’t it?  I’d love the Shibui Pebble yarn but that would be a bit more dosh than I’d spend on a hat.

My plan is to finish the BELATED birthday socks and then run to the yarn shop to find a bit of yummy to make this hat with.  Look!  A little charted moutain section and a handle at the top!  I promise not to download the pattern until the socks are done.  I promise not to download the pattern until the socks are done. I promise not to download the pattern until the socks are done.

Kelly Skirt by Megan Nielsen

Kelly Skirt by Megan Nielsen

Sewingwise, I’d love to make a skirt from some dotted rayon that I bought for something else and changed my mind on (what’s new there?)  The skirt I want to make is this one.  It’s Megan Nielsen’s Kelly Skirt and it’s super cute.  So what’s the hold up?  The skirt pattern is only available as a pdf which means printing, cutting, taping and ideally tracing off.  I just hate doing all that.  I really try to avoid pdf patterns and let’s face it – I could draft this pattern myself.  I have a degree in this after all.  It just takes forever.  That doesn’t mean I’m not going to g**gle around to try to find a copy of the paper pattern.  Or maybe I’ll get off my arse and draft a skirt along these lines and see what happens.

Okay, back to browsing a bread baking book from the library.  Wait, that’s not on the to do list?!  Umm, just look away people.

Flipping out

All wonky laying on the kitchen table. The color is pretty good here, but brighter in real life btw.

A cute detail of the Shellseeker pattern is the split shirttail hem.  I did suspect that my yarn would flip that ribbing over and no amount of blocking could prevent that from happening when wearing this sweater.  I think a more drapey yarn would work fine, and there are numerous examples that don’t seem to being indulging in the circus antics my front hem seems to favor.

Knowing all that, I gave it a try anyway while watching an episode The Killing (the Danish one of course) last night.  I’m a little bit sick and have taken up residence in my bed for the next few days and am taking quantities of Chinese herbs and tinctures to stave off further sickness.  That is good news for knitting progress so I had the time to try the cute hem.

Fail.

I’m ripping it out and planning on about 2″ of regular old 2×2 ribbing then starting sleeves.  The neck edge is still rolling like a mother f-er but I did find another knitter picked up those neck stitches and did a 3 stitch i-cord bind off that solved the problem well and attractively.  I shall give that a try too!  Home stretch knitting approaching!  Good news since I ALREADY bought my next sweater’s worth of yarn…top down set in sleeve experiment for those interested in that.

Desperately seeking a day off

Too bad half shirts are out of fashion because I’d be done now!

I’ve been working on Shellseeker in the little bits of time I’ve been home from work these past couple of weeks and have made progress.  I’ve got the pocket done and will add about 6″ more body length to get this to the length I envision before beginning the split hem.  My row gauge is a bit off (as it always is) so I’ve been taking the pattern row gauge and figuring out what “knit 7 more rows” would be in inches and then doing that in my gauge.  I just wish patterns would give me specs like that.  For instance “knit until body measures X inches”  is much clearer to my pea brain than knit Y rows.  Does anyone get row gauge?  Is it just me that has to fiddle?  I’m guessing not.

Now I see I could have made the pocket a tad lower but it’s destined to only ever hold my cell phone as I get out of the car and it’s fine and not too weird looking where it is.  I mean, it’s over my tummy so that seems a reasonable spot for pockets.

And because it’s New Year’s Eve – I’ll wish you all a wonderful and healthy New Year!  Sorry, I’m too lazy for nice year end round ups and I suspect it’s not too impressive a list this year…that’s ok though since I’m happy with my desultory output.

P.S.  Hey knitters, I almost forgot, the other day over at lovely Cookie‘s she pointed out that Tin Can Knits is giving a free pattern away until TODAY (I think) so head over there and check out the patterns and Share the Love.

Choose happy

There is something so sad about seeing flags at half mast on such a beautiful day.

So rosy and pretty!

My travel project at present is socks.  I bought some Crazy Zauberball in pinks the other day and just love this yarn!  The colors change slowly but steadily and the pink is so vibrant and happy.  I’m just knitting up 60 stitches in 2×2 rib for the cuff and will change to stockinette and plan shortrow heels and toes.  Nothing challenging but that is the best wearing sock for me.

So happy socks and two more days until I get a day off!  Yay!

Seeking shells

New sweater and haircut!

I’ve decided to use the yarn from my EZ V-neck for a Shellseeker top down pullover.  I used my failed pullover as a giant swatch and I think the little bit I’ve knit so far fits fine.  I want a loose, comfy fit and that appears to be what I’ve got.  I added stripes just to make sure I’ve got enough yarn.  I’m pretty sure I do since I did find that stray ball of yarn AND still know where it is.

The Shellseeker stripes are supposed 2 by 2 and I’m doing mine as 4 by 2 in order to get a more French sailor shirt look.  The only thing I’m not loving on this sweater so far is the neck edge, it’s super rolly and I don’t know how much blocking will help.  I will have to figure something out when I get that far.

And guess who’s got the shortest hair of her life?  Me!  I like it and am glad I ditched the long hair.  I feel sassy so watch out.

Green takeover

Apparently all that frog pj sewing put me in a green mood.  I’m currently knitting one green cardigan and just bought wool for a green pullover.  Considering that I’m restricting my knitting time as to not exacerbate my tendonitis, I think I’m being a bit optimistic here.

Oh well it’s on!

First up is my green version of Something Silver.  You may have noticed I have a fondness for Veera’s patterns so it’s not shocking I’ve got one on needles.  I’m almost halfway to the point where I go back into garter stitch even though my knitting time has been curtailed.  Good project for tv watching, but interesting enough to keep me going.

My next green project is the Set-in Sleeve Seamless Sweater with V-Neck by Elizabeth Zimmerman.  I’ve had this copy of Spun Out #21 for ages and just didn’t get around to trying this steeked V-neck technique.  V-necks are my fave to wear so I’m intrigued by the steeking.  I found a bag of Peruvian Highland Wool at Elann for a great price thinking that this yarn will be “sticky” enough to steek.  Plus it’s a fresh new leaf green color that I adore.  I may add a hint of pink to the sweater if I’ve got a nice pink stashed.  So far I’m just in the mulling over stage.

My intention is to get a bit further along with the green cardigan before starting a pullover.  I must admit, the leafy green yarn is calling from it’s bag across the room.  I shall be strong.

Degrees of fail

Today I’m pondering various degree of project fail.  We all know about epic fail, the absolute disaster that even you can no longer squint at and say “it’ll come out with blocking”.  This fail is a mild “it’s just not working” kind of fail.

What’s wrong with said mitt?  Nothing other than it won’t work for intended recipient.  My friend wears dress shirts with french cuffs to work, so putting these mitts on with the long pretty cuffs won’t work without taking out cufflinks.  Considering I’m thinking these mitts are for cold mornings on the long commute, undressing to wear mitts is dumb.

What’s the plan?  I can rip these and make shorter cuffed mitts or use a completely different yarn that’s slightly softer with more elasticity. I’m opting to root around the stash for some softer yarn in a smaller gauge and making shorter  mitts.  Luckily these are NOT Christmas gifts, rather birthday gifts.  We do NOT shortchange the December birthdays around these parts!

What is not a fail in this picture is that I finally put the ornaments on the tree.  I’d set up the wee fake tree (it’s 4.5 feet, so not too wee) and plugged it in and happily left it twinkling sans decorations for a week.  The boxes of decorations were sitting right next to the tree, but it took a week to give it that half hour of attention.  Still, it’s cute and I’m happy.  Except about mitts.