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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

Posted in Spinning, Weaving | Leave a comment

And I Get To Do It Again Tomorrow

There are lots of advantages to being a Federal employee, and this week (7 day period, not Sunday-Saturday) I’m taking advantage of two of them. The first is (was?) the free flu shot. Although I wound up with a big red raised whelp where I got my shot this time. It didn’t hurt, but it did itch. Took a couple of days to go away. I need to be sure to ask them next year if I should be worried. And remember to ask before they actually give me the shot.

The second? One of those holidays that most people don’t get. Columbus Day. I’m off tomorrow, and I’m going to spend it crafting, just like I did Friday afternoon around my nap, yesterday, and today.

The nice part about these long weekends is it seems like I get a ton done.

I was looking through Ravelry patterns the other day, sorted by “Hot Right Now”. Normally I filter for knitting only, but for whatever reason I didn’t that time. And I’m really glad. I found a pattern called the “Artfully Simple Infinity Scarf” and I fell in love with it. I got the crocheting done Friday afternoon. It really was that simple. I used some hand spun I’ve had in my stash for a while and only needed a button to finish it off. I got the button yesterday at Knit In, and have a lovely FO from hand spun yarn.

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Holy Huge Picture Batman! Yes, the trailing yarn ends are deliberate. It’s “Artful”, remember? The tie and button are purely decorative. I thought the abalone button was appropriate since the color of the yarn is abalone.

A looooong time ago I posted a picture of Murphy in her little bed. Crackhead now loves to use it, and I caught the little booger in it today.

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I’ve gotten a little knitting done on the Wool Peddler’s Shawl, although it’s not that easy to see since it’s just a bigger triangle now.

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Since garter seems to be the way to go when watching playoff baseball, I’ve also been working on the Color Affection. It went to Knit In with me last night too.

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The September Rockin Sock Club shipment came in Monday-ish, and it’s a fall colorway I actually seem to like. It’s called Acorny.

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On the weaving front, I’ve got all the ends woven in on the first three placemats. I finished warping the loom today for the second half.

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I also did something to make the whole warping experience a little bit easier. If you start at the bottom of the picture, the first round rod is called the cloth beam. It’s what the woven cloth winds around. The one at the top is the warp beam. Right above the cloth beam is just a structural piece of the loom, then the small round dowel is called an apron rod. The apron rod is what you actually attach the warp to.

The Kromski Harp comes with a long cord you run through holes in the cloth beam and another for the warp beam. You run the apron rod through as many of the loops as you need to in order to attach it to the cloth/warp beam. The problem is if you’re not very very careful you can wind up with the apron rod crooked. I’ve exaggerated for effect below.

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Some searching through the weaving groups on Ravelry introduced me to some awesome stuff called Texsolv cord.

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As you can see, it’s nylon cord with holes woven evenly along the length. As long as you keep the same number of holes between the beam and the apron rod, you get perfect even spacing between the two with no effort.

solved

I love the internet.

Oh – I also finished a pair of socks I’ve had OTN since July. I showed them last week in progress. They’re the St Augustine Socks by Terry Morris. And despite the picture, I promise you this is a VERY purple pair of socks.

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So, time to put the potatoes in the oven to bake. They’re going to go with the steaks and cherry tomatoes for tonight’s dinner. We want to be done and have the kitchen clean before the Cardinals game at 7. We didn’t get drawn for World Series tickets this year (boo!) but we’re cheering them on anyway. I kind of think they’ll lose the LCS to the Giants and we’ll have a Giants/Orioles series. Or at least that’s what I thought until the Royals won twice in Baltimore. An I-70 series would be interesting. We’ll see.

Posted in Cats, Finished Objects, Scarves, Socks, Stash Enhancement, Weaving | 1 Comment

A Tragedy Averted

So yesterday I was really wanting something sweet. I have a yellow cake mix in the cabinet, but I’m really not satisfied with the standard chocolate butter cream frosting. It’s just not chocolaty enough. So I went online looking for a recipe I could use with what I had on hand. We all know how those internet rabbit trails work, and eventually I wound up settling on a recipe for Nutella brownies.

Yes, you read that right. Nutella. Brownies.

Only three ingredients, very simple, and I had to try them. The recipe I used was one 13 ounce jar of Nutella, 2 eggs, and 1/2 cup of flour. There were other more complex ones out there, but this one sang to me. I did decide they needed a handful of mini chocolate chips added in though. I gathered my ingredients and got ready to prep my pan before I started mixing. I grabbed the non-stick cooking spray out of the cabinet and merrily gave the pan a shot.

Something about the smell made me pause.

Luckily I looked at the can rather than shrugging it off, and was able to wash out the Olive Oil Pam before I put my chocolaty batter of heaven in the pan. I never even knew such a thing existed, and there’s a can of it living in my pantry.

By the way, the brownies are excellent. They didn’t even need the chocolate chips. You should google up 3 ingredient Nutella brownies and give them a try.

So now that we’ve covered the important stuff, let’s talk knitting and weaving. I finished the Skandalwanderer this morning, and it’s been through the wash. These pictures are pre-wash.

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Yeah, Crackhead loves photobombing. You know how cats are – they’re furry little assholes. He’s all cat.

One of these days I’ll stop being surprised by the difference in Wollmeise after washing. While you’re knitting with it you’re wowed by the colors, but it’s like knitting with splitty string. Washing though? Washing completely transforms it. It blooms and poofs and turns into lovely soft awesome finished objects. Even better, washing for WM means throwing it in with a load of laundry. To wash and to dry, although I do pull it out of the dryer and lay it out flat to get completely dry.

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My loom stand finally arrived on Friday, and I assembled it and have the loom mounted upside down right now to use as a warping board. Since it’s upside down I’m not going to take a picture. I really love Kromski products, but I do get tired of always having to go online and search for instructions on how to put things together. If someone without an internet connection ordered one (paper catalogs and phone ordering is still a thing) they’d just be screwed on putting it together until they called their vendor and asked them to mail instructions.

I did finish the weaving on the first three of the six place mats I’m doing for my dining room.

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I did them in a line with a break between each one. I put some waste yarn at the end of each one so there would be a little stability to the ends when I started the finishing.

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I’ve got the ends worked in on one and a half of them. There are a ton of ends per mat (134 on each end) so it’s a slow process. I really like how it looks once they’ve been through the wash though, so it’s worth it to me.

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So that’s it. I should finish the ends and get the last three warped up this week. Cardinal Playoff Baseball is all consuming at this point, so I need something relatively brainless to do while the games are on. Maybe the sock yarn blanket needs to come out for a few weeks.

Posted in Finished Objects, Scarves, Weaving | Leave a comment

This Week There Has Been

A little progress on the Skandalwanderer.

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A little progress on a second sock that’s been languishing since August 4.

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Believe it or not, there has been no stash enhancement or new loom parts ordered. However, the vendor did finally get the shipment of loom stands in and I should have mine by the end of the week. Yay!

There has been a little bit of weaving on my place mats.

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And finally there has been knitting on the Wool Peddler’s Shawl KAL.

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Posted in Scarves, Socks, Weaving | Leave a comment