No music yet, but here is the requisite wristband/knitting at the ready photo.
Wintergrass! Of course we have weekend festival passes. The bluegrass fun starts tonight, though my husband double booked us with Seattle Symphony tickets for tonight, so we’ll do that tonight and switch to bluegrass tomorrow. Some of my favorites are back this year, including Väsen, a terrific group from Sweden. But every year there are always new-to-me groups that soon become favorites as well.
I haven’t showered yet today, my office is a mess, I haven’t figured out what I’m taking to Seattle with me, I have paperwork left to do from yesterday’s clinic*, but I do have my knitting packed. Why would you even ask that?
Speaking of knitting, of course I could not resist the siren song of the Color Affection.
Just in case I’m the second-to-the-last person on earth to have started one of these (over 11,000 listed on the Ravelry pattern page!), this is knit in 3 sections plus a solid edging. The first section will be grey, the second section will be stripes of the grey and white, and the third stripes of all three colors (the red is hiding up there). The edging will be red. I have enough of this started that it should be mindless plain garter stitch for the most part. And I have two pairs of plain plain socks in progress, and that plain plain plain Old Friend sweater for John that is still in progress. That should be plenty of plain knitting for the festival.
I also did get that crazy mitten restarted and knit back up to where I had to rip it all out. Here it is.
I doubt this will be festival knitting, but it might be morning coffee knitting for the weekend.
And on a melancholy note, today is the first anniversary of the date we lost our sweet Riley. We still miss her terribly, though letting Lewey be an only pup has been the best thing that’s happened to him. He’s turned into a real sweetheart. He cracks us up daily with his goofiness. I suspect Wintergrass will be a little more fun this year for us than it was last year. Great Big Fun, as one of John’s grandkids says.
Off to get packing for the weekend. I might post from the festival, if not, I’ll be back after the last banjo (or nyckelharpa, or whatever) is hung up for the weekend.
*I normally get my clinic work done while I’m actually in clinic. Yesterday after lunch we all got tossed out of the building after there was a chemical (phenol) spill across the hall from us in the family practice clinic. We all got evacuated and sent home for the rest of the day. Weird way to get a half a day off.
I’ve been trying to get some of these WIPs done before starting anything new. I worked on Evenstar yesterday and got a couple repeats done on the edging.
Today’s project is the Dog Mittens. This is my oldest WIP, started back in 2008. Good grief. I finished the first mitten not too long ago, and had knit about an inch on the cuff of the second. I spent most of the morning today knitting off and on, and finally stopped to take a photo.
Pretty, eh? I’m all the way to the point of putting in the waste yarn bit where the thumb will go. I thought to myself (with some hubris-beware of the hubris, the knitting gods hate that) “I might even finish these this weekend!”
You can see where this is headed, right?
Then I had the bright idea to haul out the first mitten to compare.
Click on that if you can’t tell what’s wrong. I had to dig back through my blog archives to figure this one out. On the first mitten, I held the white yarn in my left hand and the dark blue yarn in my right. I apparently missed this point when I started the second mitten and switched them around. There is enough of a difference that it would bug me forever.
Damn damn damn. Out it came.
And here we go again. White on the left, dark blue on the right. As it should be.
Is it too early in the day for whisky?
AKA, I actually finished something.
Pattern: Alexandra, by Dee O’Keefe
Yarn: My own handspun. The fiber is merino/silk/firestar, Abby’s Batts. There was about 600 yards of it, I still have a bit left.
Needles: 3.25mm Chiaogoo Lace circulars
Started: January 5 this year
Finished: February 17 this year
What I Learned: My handspun isn’t bad to knit with! This was spun back in 2009, and I wasn’t a very experienced spinner. It is mostly fingering weight, and there were only a few places where I had to splice out a bit that was too weird to knit with. It blocked nicely.
I also learned that it needn’t take me 4 years to finish something. This is likely the only thing I’ll finish during the Olympics, but I still have hopes that one day I’ll finish Evenstar. Here’s what it looks like today. As usual, click on the photos to embiggen.
For those of you keeping track, I started this in 2010. It’s a huge circular shawl, with an attached knitted on border (knitted perpendicularly to the main shawl body). I have 34 repeats left. Each repeat is 20 rows and has 50 beads knitted in. The edging is dead simple, but of course I have to pay attention because of the beads.
In other news, I fell off that no-shopping sheep this past weekend. I sort of knew it would happen. There was a big fiber festival in town (Madrona). My friend Dorothy came to visit and we took a couple of classes, which were fabulous. We also shopped. I probably would have held out if it weren’t for the Toots LeBlanc booth. They had some of their lovely lace weight jacob/alpaca/mohair blend, which can be hard to find. And it was HALF OFF people. Tell me you wouldn’t have done the same. There might have been a few other things that fell off the shelf and landed in my shopping bag. Then I slipped and on the way to the floor, my credit card went through the card reader. It was totally an accident. I’m not taking photos of any of it to show you.
So now we’re back to square one. It’s now THREE days since I last bought yarn. I made it to 125 days last time. Let’s see how long I hold out this time.
I have to say, it’s good to be home. Even with work, and chores, and no rum drinks, it’s always nice to get back home. Hawaii was lovely, but so is where I live.
I’m madly trying to finish up a few things before the Ravellenic games begin, coinciding with the start of the Winter Olympics. I almost decided not to participate this year. The original 2014 Ravelry group for the knitting version of the Olympics blew up rather spectacularly in mid January. It always amazes me how a bunch of apparently intelligent adults can act like such spoiled middle schoolers. Admittedly I didn’t read the whole gazillion-pages-long drama, but I can’t imagine people acting like this in real life.
Anyway, I’m pretty much going to be knitting WIPs during the Olympics. I want to try to get as much of that Evenstar border done as possible, and as a reward, I might just cast on something new. We’ll see. I have Color Affection in my sights for the next big thing.
And a dilemma. I have yarn in two separate color combos that I bought for this pattern. Here they are:
That’s option 1. It’s Swan’s Island Merino. Cream, Oatmeal, and Garnet.
Here’s Option 2:
Those three are Verdant Gryphon Eidos sock yarn. Jade Emperor, Medusa, and Wen Chang.
Decisions, decisions. I’ll do both eventually, but which first? Any votes?
In other news, I’m working away at my newest shawl. Never mind that I should be working away at one of my ancient WIPS. I’m all about new and shiny.
I figure I’m about 40% done with this. I’m hoping to have this finished by the time the Olympics start. A nice long football game tomorrow might help.*
Last but definitely not least, I’m still on that Cold Sheep plan. 112 days without yarn buying. I got a lovely email out of the blue from the Three Irish Girls yarn people. I used to be in her sock yarn club, but quit after awhile when it was apparent that her plan of sending me yarn for a new pair of socks every month didn’t match up with my plan of knitting two pairs of socks a year.
Anyway, I followed the links to her website. Pretty! New colors that I don’t have! Wow!
Then it occurred to me that I probably still have some Three Irish Girls club sock yarn in the stash. Here is a screenshot of that page in the Bento Database That Never Lies. Click to get your Three Irish Girls fix.
Enough Three Irish Girls yarn for 23 pairs of socks, as well as over a thousand yarns of that pretty wine colored stuff in the upper right, destined for a shawl.
Whew. That was close.
We’ve been in Hawaii all week, but I just haven’t gotten around to posting about it. I have been taking photos, though. We’ve had a great time, it’s good to get out of the gloom that is the Pacific NW this time of year. We leave for home and reality tomorrow. For today, I’m going to enjoy every moment of this tropical paradise. Here are some photos.
A nice sunset, one of several.
That’s a monkey pod tree. I think the canopy against the sky looks like lace.
John just having fun, drinking something that looks radioactive.
Jurassic Park! Actually it’s the Allerton Botanical Gardens, but this is the tree in the movie where the little girl found the dinosaur eggs.
The Spouting Horn.
And of course some knitting! Aloha!
337,666 meters is a lot of yarn!
Those aren’t actually the exact words I used this week, but I figured I’d try to keep the public swearing to a minimum around here.
I mentioned my Just Knit It campaign a few posts back. As part of that, I joined a Ravelry group called Stash Knit Down. I got inspired to update my yarn database, and have spent the past few weeks digging through boxes and reorganizing a bit, deleting yarns I’ve used or given away, adding a few that hadn’t been accounted for.
Then I copied the meterage into a spreadsheet and added it all up.
337,666 meters. That’s 201 miles of yarn, people.That includes about 11,000 meters of handspun, but STILL.
Holy Moley, indeed.
So I’m not only in the Stash Knit Down group, I’m Cold Sheeping, meaning I’m buying no yarn for awhile. I’m at 89 days so far, and counting. Tomorrow I get my 90-day badge.
And I’ve started a few new things to celebrate. (From stash!! Go figure!!)
This is my Alexandra Shawl, a pattern by Dee O’Keefe. The cool thing is that yarn is my handspun, vintage 2009. Please ignore all the dog and cat hair on my carpet.
Here are a few old photos of the yarn in progress and done.
There’s about 550 meters of that, which will definitely help decrease that big number up there.
And I started another sock. No, I haven’t finished the last pair. Sue me.
Mountain Colors Weaver’s Wool Quarters, in Crazy Woman, which I find somewhat fitting.
How about all of you? Anybody else dare to post their yarn meter/yard totals? Anybody else need to go Cold Sheep on buying yarn?
Well, this one’s been finished for awhile, I just never got around to getting a photo of it. Here you go.
All pinned out!
Pattern: 22 Little Clouds
Needles: Chiaogoo circulars, size 3.75
Yarn: Classic Elite Inca Alpaca, deep olive brown, 4 skeins. From Deep Stash, Bin #1. I used almost all of it
What I Learned: I’m discovering the joy of small projects. Instant gratification! I started this on December 8th and finished on the 13th. It’s actually a few more than 22 clouds around the edge, since I made it a bit bigger to use up as much yarn as possible. This is a terrifically easy pattern, perfect for knitting in a meeting where you are supposed to be paying attention. It would be good TV knitting. I’ll wear this one a lot.
I promised a new project. This is yet another pile of incredibly soft and warm alpaca out of Stash Box 1.
That’s 4 skeins of Classic Elite Inca Alpaca, in a shade of brown that is close to coffee with just a splash of cream. I started this Sunday, and I’m about to finish.
The pattern is “22 Little Clouds”, a free scarf/shawl pattern by Martina Behm. It’s a simple triangular stockinette scarf, but with a doubling of the stitches for the border so it makes ruffles. I increased the size a bit since I wanted to use all of the yarn, so this adds up to over 600 stitches to bind off.
Tomorrow is the last day of this marathon conference, which is a good thing. I’m not sure I can stuff any more facts into my brain before stuff starts falling out the other side. We leave late tomorrow to head for home, then back to work next week to apply all of this new knowledge.
By the way, everybody wish Lewey a happy birthday! Tomorrow is his seventh birthday. We brought him home to his “forever home” 6 years ago. Here’s what he looked like in the car on the way home:
Happy Birthday, little buddy!
Creamy Alpaca Warm Neck Thing
Pattern: Lacy Baktus
Needles: Vintage faux tortoise shell straights, 4.00 mm
Yarn: Classic Elite Inca Alpaca, cream, 3 skeins. From Deep Stash, Bin #1
For: Well, me. But John put it around his neck and thinks that it would be just the thing for roaming around the streets of Boston this week. Though he refused to let me take a modeling photo, so I don’t know. I think it’s still technically mine.
What I Learned:
1: It’s great to knit out of stash!
2: I really hate doing posts on my iPad! Really. It sucks.
3: Conferences are terrific for finishing things. I was the only one that was knitting, in a room of a couple hundred people. No wonder they were all dozing off.
Next up: the BROWN alpaca from the same bin. Stay tuned to see what it will be!
I’m sitting at the airport, on my way to a 7 day, 60-hour-plus medical meeting in Boston. What I’m most excited about is 60-hours-plus of KNITTING time. Weird, I know. That’s been suggested before by my spouse. I spent more time packing knitting projects than anything else, which might explain why I forgot my Prilosec prescription and extra contacts.
Another one off the needles!
Pattern: Corduroy, by Lisa Lloyd, from her book A Fine Fleece
Yarn: Araucania Nature Wool Solids
Needles: 4.00 mm
Started: May 1, 2012
Finished: December 1, 2013
Modifications: Not a thing, other than some creative row counting on the sleeve decreases. They are mostly the same length, so it’s all good. (They really are, though you couldn’t tell by that photo. That’s me, slouching in defiance of that charm school I apparently never went to.)
What I Learned: It takes me forever to knit a sweater. Ok, ok, I already knew that.
I really like this one. I still think a drop shoulder sleeve isn’t the most flattering for most people, but boy is this comfortable. I was a bit iffy on the yarn variegation, but once it was done I like it. I predict that this will get a lot of wear, especially since we’re hitting record freezing temperatures in the Pacific NW.
So what do you do if it’s blasted freezing where you live?? Well, if you’re apparently an idiot, you plan a medical conference for a week in December to somewhere even colder. We leave tomorrow for Boston, where this time of year can be a little dicey as far as weather. Although the forecast for Boston actually looks warmer than here for this coming week. We’ll see. I’m packing that sweater.
That’s my new knitting campaign title. I have no lofty goals for knitting through those boxes of yarn I posted about last week, except that I want to end next year 2014 with fewer storage bins than I started with. I also have no illusions that I’ll make it through a year without buying yarn. (a YEAR? Snort. I might manage a month.)
But my digging through the boxes and bins of yarn this past week has revealed that I have lots of lovely projects-to-be in there, and I aim to knit some of them this coming year.
I promised a new project now that the Pretty Thing is finished. Here you go. This is from Box #1 from a couple of posts ago.
That is the Inca Alpaca, well on its way to becoming a Lacy Baktus scarf. I’ve made two of these previously, and they are very versatile to wear. It’s also a nice way to brainlessly use up a whack of yarn. You start at one end, and increase until half your yarn is gone, then decrease till you’re out of yarn. This is where the handy dandy drug dealer’s scale comes in.
I weighed all three skeins before I started knitting, and when I was partly done with the second skein, started weighing again, stopping the increases just short of half the yarn. Clever, eh? I had to reknit about half of the first one of these that I knit, since I just guessed about how much yarn I had left.
I’ve also been working on this.
I may even be coming to terms with knitting those sleeves top down on two circulars. It won’t ever be my first choice of how to knit them, though. I’m hoping to finish this in the next couple of weeks. Then we’ll see what else I pull out of my magic bins to knit!