The dawn, she has finished

No, my dress and scarf don’t match but I wasn’t about to change to take a picture. Call me slatternly…

A happy by product of a bit of vacation (or staycation in my case) is being able to finish something.  I managed to only procrastinate a bit in weaving in the ends of At Dawn, but the other day I gave myself a stern talking to and just did it.  It never takes as long as one thinks it will and I was done fairly quickly.  After a soak and block the stripes are ready for wear.

This is an easy project.  I used some Isager Strik Alpaca 2 from the stash and dragged this poor scarf along in my fancy ziplock knitting bag on my trips around our fine country.  It’s easily memorized so it’s good for mindless knitting in random hotel rooms while watching stuff.  My version turned out a tad bigger than the pattern dimensions but it’s a scarf so it doesn’t really matter all that much.  My finished measurements are 94″ wide and 23″ long.  The pattern has the dimensions as 80″ by 26″ so close enough.  One more wrap around the neck doesn’t matter that much.

The only problem with making a nice warm alpaca scarf in March is that it’s been 75 degrees everyday so it’s not going to get much wear, but that’s a pretty standard problem around these parts and the knitwear keeps coming.

And those tulips I planted last year that snubbed their little tulip noses at me and pretty much died, a few are coming up this year mocking me yet again.  I thought they didn’t do that, come back I mean?  Are these just spiteful bulbs or am I mistaken?

It’s supposed to be a “black” tulip but clearly it’s purple. I can add false advertising to my list of tulip deceptions.

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.

In the pink and green navy

My fave color combo!
I finished my Shellseeker and by the time I remembered to take pictures it was this afternoon. It’s hard to take pics in the afternoon here because the sun is in all the places I can lean a camera and still be in the picture. I know, poor you running from the sun when we’re hunkering down in the face of a Disney themed blizzard. And now would also not be the time to point out that is “quite” cold here as it’s not even 60 degrees today. We all have our Disney themed problems don’t we?

Speaking of Disney themed problems, doesn’t this sweater look like I joined the Castro Street Navy Reserve?  I adore that idea!  Pink and green really rocks my world.  Not too much to say about this sweater.  It’s top down in the round with raglan sleeves and a kangaroo pocket.  I opted to make the stripes start at the armhole division so it’s more French Sailor, and also placed the stripes as 4 rows main color and 2 rows contrast.  I didn’t make the split hem as shown in the original pattern because my yarn made that flip up and stay up.  Not a good look on me.  I added 4 stitches to the sleeves since they were tight without them (my muscles must be growing).  The ribbing at sleeve and hem is bound off with

Less mopey right?!

tubular cast off (done Montse Stanley’s way) as that was the only method that didn’t look completely hideous in this yarn.  I toyed with an iCord edging around the neck to get rid of rolling, but I rather liked the casual neck edge when I’d completed the knitting so it stayed.  Material details are found here.

So I knit a sweatshirt in a nutshell.  That should get some wear around here since I enjoy the sweats a great deal.  In an ironic twist, today I photographed the sweater wearing actual pants and not the more common sweats.  It must be a full moon.

Edited to add:  Carolyn thinks I look MOPEY in above pic so I’ll add a slightly less mopey one…I live to please.

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.

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.

Not so much with the progress

In an effort to disguise how little I’ve actually knit, I shall present my projects as a group.  With so much to look at you may not notice that they don’t look that much farther along than when last you met.

Top left:  It’s Valentine’s Day so I present you with some pretty tulips.

Top right:  Paulie as seen from the back.  I love this cardie and knit on it here and there.  I don’t travel with this project as it’s too large and suitcase space is precious, but there’s no reason I can’t work on it more.  I shall try harder.

Lower left:  Color Affection.  I love this pattern and was sooo undecided how to place the colors.  I thought I’d start with the gray then work to the blue then red.  I changed my mind last minute and started with the blue.  I hope this looks ok when the red hits the mix.

Lower right:  I finally decided which skirt to make with some lovely stretch babycord that accidentally came home with me from the den of pleasure I call the Stonemountain and Daughter’s half price room.  It’s a good solid steel gray and feels like velvet.  And it was half off.  So it took me ALL DAY yesterday to decide which pattern to sew (I have massive jetlag so this is actually pretty quick).  A-line 70s style skirt with pockets.  Should be nice right?

Stripes on the brain

I think I’m stripe obsessed.  I’m knitting the Paulie cardigan – it’s striped.  I’m dreaming of making a striped Renfrew top but I washed the striped material with some magenta fabric and now it’s got a few blotches (jetlag and laundry don’t mix).  It’s waiting for a hot wash to see what happens.

And then I see this pattern!  Stop already.

How can I possibly resist such striped loveliness?

Today is a dreary, foggy, cloudy day – perfect for crafting and studying.  (That’s for my work thing next week – must pass or no FAA certification…)  Luckily I can study and knit simultaneously.  I plan to sew a bit on the brightest magenta Renfrew top to blow those clouds outside away.  Spring is here, I saw trees flowering in San Francisco on Monday.  No pics as I was driving.  Happy to see the blossoms though.

If you’re more interested in crafty pursuits than making dinner, I can point this Sweet Potato Chili recipe out to you.  Easy and delicious, no one will know it’s so freaking easy to throw together.

Happy February!