This Week’s Obsession

It is week’s, right? The obsession belonging to the week, so use the apostrophe to denote possession. Whatever, it’s staying.

I’ve been absolutely obsessed with knitting this week. Specifically with knitting a sweater from some Foothills Fingering. I pored through my stitch dictionaries and chart books, and finally found a pattern I thought would work well in two colors. Started swatching it and realized it was too big. Went back to the books and found the right one.

ccswatch

Above the solid turquoise line is the pattern I’m going to use. Below the line is the one that didn’t work. I did try another color, but there wasn’t enough contrast between it and the gray to show up well.

I have started the sweater, but it’s not far enough along to really see anything yet. Next week I’ll hopefully have pictures.

 

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Find-a-Cat

Crackhead wasn’t in any of of his usual spots this afternoon. Since it looks like

firstsnow

outside, I figured he was somewhere tucked up warm. Took me a few minutes, but I found him.

findacat

We flip the comforter back on the bed when the dog is roaming around the house because she likes to dig at things to make her “beds” more comfy. As you can see, there is some embroidery on the comforter and we don’t care for it to get damaged. The silly cat decided to take advantage of the warm spot.

The snow is still falling, heavier than it was when I took that picture. The ground is way too warm for the roads to be a problem tomorrow, especially since this is supposed to wrap up in a couple more hours.

No post last weekend because we went to Bella Vista. Stopped in Tulsa at the Garden Deva studio party, mostly to have a chance to hug Denise. I did get a cute little bracelet made from an old fork, but I’m too lazy to get up and go get it for a picture. We got over to the Inn late Saturday afternoon. Jim played golf Sunday and Monday, and we came home on Tuesday.

Sunday afternoon we went to Crystal Bridges and did the Architecture Tour. It was pretty interesting, but unfortunately didn’t include the infrastructure (power and HVAC). I asked, and since all that is located at the same level as the vaults they don’t let people in. I had another good long look at Rosie the Riveter, which is my favorite piece in the permanent exhibit. Right now there’s an exhibit up called “State of the Art”. Two of the pieces really caught my eye. One is this

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It’s mostly crochet, and looks to be pretty much all cheap acrylic stuff. It extends out to the right too. The one that really grabbed me was this.

art1

To see what was so interesting about it, go view the video on Flickr. I may try to figure out why the video I uploaded won’t play. Or I might not. :)

I have no idea why it grabbed me, but who cares. The whole point of art is it engages you.

I took 5 projects along, but wound up only knitting on one. I didn’t finish it until after we got home, but it’s done. My second Color Affection.

ca2done

I’m not terribly sure how I feel about it, but it’s finished. I also finished my mittens. Even wore them last week.

I finished the singles of the Laura Loves Unwind BFL/Silk mix and have started plying. That’s all still in the bag after coming home from Bella Vista, so no picture.

I’ve started the weaving on the Wollmeise/hand spun wrap.

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Hopefully once it’s off the loom I can give you a better look at the color. Right now it’s (obviously) just a big purplish blob to the camera.

I swear I’ve ripped more than I’ve knit lately. I put the Ostrich Plumes down for a few days, and when I picked it back up I didn’t take a peek at the pattern to remind myself how it went. I remembered how the lace rows were done, I just totally spaced on the plain knit rows between them. So I got to rip it and start over. Again. I thought about blowing it off, but I really like how the pattern and yarn go together so I went ahead.

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My brain is working hard on patterning for my next stranded project. It will be made with two of these three

foothills

The gray and one of the other colors, but I won’t know which one until I swatch. I’ve also had double knitting and mobius strips on the brain, and finally last night I decided to combine the two. I grabbed some yarn that’s been in stash for a while and started playing. Once again, I’ve ripped the whole damn thing multiple times but I am happy with where it’s going now. I think.

dkmob1

Something else I did today? I pulled all the markers and holders out of the Russian Prime and threw it in the washer to felt. It’s drying now and once I cut it up it will make a couple of wonderful hot pads.

It was too small, I was out of yarn, and it just finally came time to deal with it. So I did.

Posted in Cats, Finished Objects, General, Russian Prime, Scarves, Spinning, Weaving | 1 Comment

Because It Got Cold-ish?

For whatever reason, last week I decided I needed to knit some mittens. I decided I didn’t want to strand them, I just wanted some nice plain mittens. I thought about my stash and remembered some Bugga I bought a few years ago. I was thinking it would be just right, and when I got home and pulled it out of storage I was absolutely right.

Knitter that I am, I thought “Who needs a pattern?” and set about knitting. I started off doing a wedge sock toe for the top, and worked my way down past joining the thumb. In fact, I got this far:

mittenoops

And then I figured out why most mittens don’t have a sock top. Despite all my thinking about how to place the thumb, no matter what I did the top of the mitten twisted. Would anyone but me notice? No. Does that matter to my ridiculously perfectionist (at least about my knitting) self? Of course not.

I ripped everything but the thumb and started over with a round or star or whatever you want to call it toe for the top. These work much better.

mittennow

Except, of course, I made the body of the mitten about 5 rows too long. That mistake I can live with. As you can see the other mitten is almost done. I add the thumb on the next round.

We spent half of today running errands. Once we finally got finished and I put the roast in the oven (HOLY SHIT IT WAS YUMMY!) I started working on the weaving project I’ve been thinking about all week. I’m going to use some of my hand spun for the weft, and some of my Wollmeise Lace-Garn for the warp. I’m up to tying on to the front now.

tkgwarping

That yarn is just knotted off like that in case something happens while I’m moving the loom from the front room to the living room. If I do something stupid I won’t lose the entire thing.

Probably no post next week. Everything is good, just have a busy weekend planned.

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Brutal

That’s been me the last few days.

I finished a couple of projects so decided to get a couple of things out of long-term moved-on-to-something-shinier status. The first one I grabbed was the Mosaic Jacket. You may (or may not) remember I had this up quite a way once before when I decided to rip it and start over. Friday night I added a few squares, then took the book it’s out of with me when I went to bed.

What? You don’t have a stack of knitting books on your nightstand?

Anyway, I was looking through the techniques section and noticed a blurb about how to pick up the stitches. When I saw it, something that has been bothering me about the WIP jumped to the front of my brain.

ahshit

See that little bit of a chain laying on the top of the fabric? It may not look like much to you, but it fusses me. Because I’m anal that way.

So I ripped the damn thing (again) and started knitting on it (again). And then I realized that while I really like knitting modular projects, this wasn’t something I would wear. So I frogged the whole damn thing and put the needles and yarn back into the stash where they belonged.

Then I grabbed that shawl I mentioned last week. It’s a nice little Evelyn Clark design  called the Flower Basket Shawl. I found my pattern and as I was reading over it to familiarize myself I realized it really wanted to be knit with doubled fingering weight yarn. And I was working away with a single strand of pretty fine lace weight. I’m a good enough knitter to know I can just keep right on going until it’s the size I want with no problem. Except I also realized I wasn’t in love with it any more.

So I frogged it too. That yarn and needle are now back in stash as well.

What did go right this week? I finished the Wool Peddler’s Shawl and it’s nice and big and squishy and spread out on my bedroom floor to dry away from the cats.

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I really enjoyed knitting it, and hope to enjoy wearing it too.

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I didn’t bother with severe blocking because it’s made of superwash yarn so probably wouldn’t hold the block very well anyway.

What else was brutal? Last weekend I pulled 2 big trash bags of stuff out of my closet and took it to Habitat. Well, I didn’t but I asked Jim to do so and he did. I also examined my closet and asked Jim to come up with a storage solution to help me get my knits in order. He came through with shelves like I have in the front room for my fiber storage that fit up in my closet. Today I pulled every bit of my knitwear out, put the shelf in, and started working my way through the pile.

Brutal is an understatement. One big bag of purses and wallets. Two big bags of knitwear. Store bought or hand knit, I didn’t differentiate. If I didn’t like it, it didn’t fit right, or it just wasn’t what I wanted any more, it was gone. Even with getting rid of a huge amount of stuff, I still have a whole lot left. It’s now stored nicely in my closet and I don’t plan on letting it get so out of hand again.

The whole process did lead me to a bit of a realization. I love to knit. I have a nice yarn stash full of mostly nice yarn. I don’t like to knit with most “easy care” type yarns. And I have more sweaters and scarves and shawls and socks than any woman needs. Some of the yarn will work well for charity knitting, but most of it needs somewhat special care. I realize it’s a first world problem, but it’s sitting in the back of my head right now niggling at me. Maybe I’ll list some of it as destash. I really don’t know at this point.

I did finish the placemats this week, and I’ve got to say I’m pretty underwhelmed. I didn’t pack the weft in as tight as I did in my sample, and they’re pretty flimsy. I’m not happy with them. They’re on the table, but I’m thinking about what I’m going to do next that will make me happier. I’ve still got quite a bit of the yarn I used for the weft, plus a shit ton of it with brown accents instead of blue, so I may just do them over. I’m not sure how well the slubby yarn will work for warp, and I’m not in a hurry to find out.

matsdone

I did get the lovely Oak Barn Merino back out of stash and cast on the Ostrich Plumes scarf again, just two repeats narrower than I did the first time. I love the way this yarn works up in this pattern.

ostrich2-1

Posted in Finished Objects, Flower Basket Shawl, Mosaic Jacket, Scarves, Weaving | 1 Comment

Ummmm

I have no idea what to call this post. None.

The weaving is done on the place mats. This is the end weaving between numbers five and six, so they’re almost done. I won’t use this method of finishing for much anything else because it’s very slow going, but I like how the finished product looks based on my swatch.

pm1-5

While the Cards were still playing ball I worked on the sock yarn blanket. It grows very slowly now because the rows are so long, but that’s okay. I’ve started adding “logs” of 10 ridges on the long sides and 14 on the short to make it more rectangular. It’s good it was simple knitting, since my baseball season is over. For this year. I realized after I flung it out on the floor it was upside down, but I didn’t bother turning it over. Garter stitch being what it is, it doesn’t really matter which side you look at other than the little bits of yarn ends sticking out where I’ve woven them back through the pickup rows.

sockblankie

Last Monday I wound up spinning all afternoon. I got through 4 ounces of singles.

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I’ve got 4 ounces to go, and I’m still thinking a little on how I’m going to proceed. My original plan was to chain ply, but I wound up with longer runs of the dark purple than I thought I would. I think they would overwhelm whatever I knit with it, so I’ve scrapped that plan. I think I’m just going to split the second braid into much skinnier bits while I’m spinning the singles so the color streaks will be shorter. Then I’ll ply it with the first bobbin full. I will have some places where the purples ply together, but they should stay fairly short.

Once my baseball team was out, when I wasn’t working on the place mats I knit on the Wool Peddler’s Shawl. I’m into the lace at the bottom, and it’s going really fast.

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I’ve been thinking about a pretty little shawl that’s been languishing in a bag for years, and I think it may come out of hibernation soon to finish. I know it’s a very simple lace pattern, but when I started the shawl I wasn’t very good at reading my knitting and seeing where a lace pattern was going. Now that I’m more comfortable and competent, I think I should be able to knock it out fairly quickly. We’ll see.

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