Monday Is A Good Day

For new socks!

 

Project Details:

Well, it's the same old pattern, my generic top down, ribbed cuff, heel flap sock. Knit on 72 stitches with 2.25 mm Ivore double point needles. The yarn is Opal, one of the Dreamcatcher colors.

I started these back in September, finished yesterday. And no, they don't match. That's intentional. I actually knitted one sock from the outside of the yarn ball and the second one from the inside, so the stripes are mirror images. I am endlessly amused by self striping sock yarn.

These are for me. Though John looked at them and said “I'd wear a pair like that!”.

I haven't started the next new pair of socks yet, but as you all know, I plenty of sock yarns in the stash to choose from. Stay tuned for what comes next.

 

Lace Appreciation

Me: “Oooooh, you have to come look at this.”

John: “What?” “Huh–nice!” (said in a very half hearted exclamation).

Me: “No, really, it's gorgeous Shetland wool garter stitch! Look at those garter stitch wedges! Look at that lace mesh!”

John: silence

I love him anyway. Even if he has no clue.

My new lace is fabulous.

 

A Hap Of A Different Color

Hap version 2.

The Whisky Galore!* yarn just didn't work with this pattern. It is a very fine drapey yarn, and really wants a lighter, more delicate lace pattern. Since I already have a big light and delicate lace shawl in progress (Evenstar, I'm looking at you), and I already had the Hap pattern loaded into Knit Companion, I went rummaging through the stash looking for a more suitable yarn.
This is another well-aged stash selection. It is Elemental Effects Rustic Lace, a 100% Shetland wool yarn, which is a much better fit for this pattern. Here is a photo of the yarn.
It's pretty tough to get a photo of that color, especially on a grey April day. It's a deep bluish green, more green than blue, and approximately the color of our backyard Douglas Fir trees at twilight. So Whisky Galore! has been renamed Douglas Fir!
This isn't actually version 2, it's more like version 5. This isn't that complicated of a pattern, but I kept screwing it up and having to rip it out. I think I have it off and running at this point. I don't think this will be TV knitting, but only because of the dark color of the yarn.
If you are trying to figure out the pattern, it is knit side to side. The body is garter stitch, with those lace mesh points at the bottom border of the shawl, knitted on as you go. The garter section keeps getting bigger until it's big enough, then knit straight on for awhile, then decreases again at the other side point. I have 3 skeins of this yarn, so it should be a biggish shawl when done.

*Yes, the yarn name has the exclamation point in the color name. If the dyer thought it was important, so do I.

 

Because I Can

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Let’s call it New Project Saturday, shall we?

That is well aged yarn. It is Old Maiden Aunt, a lace blend of alpaca, silk, and cashmere. Who knows when I bought this, the date on the photo in the database is from 2012, but the dye lot on the ball label is 2009. Knitting from stash, what a concept.

The color name is Whisky Galore, which is no doubt why I bought it, but it really is just the loveliest shade of Scotch whisky.

And what might I be making with this?

How about this?

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A Hap For Harriet, by Kate Davies. The pattern calls for Old Maiden Aunt lace weight, though one of the heavier lace yarns from that line. The Whisky yarn is a bit finer, and has the silk and cashmere so will be more drapey, but I think it will be a good match. I also have more yardage (1189 meters) than the pattern calls for, but Kate is nice enough to have instructions in the pattern as to how to up or downsize the shawl to fit your yardage.

I’m off to find needles  to match.

It’s My Blogiversary–

And I forgot it!

Or I almost did, anyway. 11 years of Knitting Doctor!

It’s been a terrifically fun 11 years, and I’m not ready to give it up just yet. Even if I’m sometimes a pretty lame blogger and an even lamer knitter, I’m still here.

This will be short and very sweet, since I was in the middle of flute practice when I remembered it was an anniversary. We ended up having a great time on the cruise. Here are a couple of photos.

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Yes, I took my flute and practiced. The guy in the Princess Theater wagged his finger at me and wouldn’t let me get up on stage. I did have a few people drift in and out, and one guy asked if I was part of the orchestra.

Here’s the link to John’s blog post about the trip, since I’m lazy that way.

I’m off to practice. Back to those scales.

Get Away

Short weekend trip, starts today. Baycation! This was sort of a spur of the moment thing, and much needed for a variety of reasons.

Here's the first leg:

Planes! There will be other modes of transportation to follow. Details later, it's almost boarding time.

 

Fluting and Knitting

Here is my amusing thing of the day. I was sorting through a pile of magazines this morning and found the January and February issues of Flute Talk.

Look at those sweaters! I want both of them. I even have yarn to make the oatmeal colored one. There was no mention in the articles about these two fluters being knitters, but it wouldn't surprise me. My flute teacher is a knitter. As in a lot of the performing arts, there is a fair amount of waiting around down time, perfect for knitting a row or two. And the woman in the top photo mentions in the article that she travels upwards of 5 months a year. That's a lot of travel knitting time.

I'm off to practice. And knit. Or both.

 

The Year of No Yarn Buying

And there you have it. The last time I bought yarn was exactly one year ago today. I actually thought the anniversary was tomorrow, but I checked the receipt for that last purchase, and it was March 15th, 2014. It was this gorgeous Peace Fleece lace, which I still haven't finished. I got as far as swatching and knit a few rows, and it has been a UFO since. I am not one bit sorry I bought this yarn, since they sold out of it quickly and it hasn't reappeared since.
 
 
That will get back on the WIP list at some point, if I ever finish the Evenstar thing that I showed in my last post.
 
Now, about not buying yarn. This has been very instructive. The first few months were really tough. It has gotten easier as the months have gone by, though I found myself doing a lot of internet window shopping the past few weeks, thinking “Yay! I made it a year! Now I can buy yarn!”. But I haven't really found anything I need, and when I find something I WANT WANT WANT, I go look at the stash. Still at 336,405 meters of yarn. That doesn't count most of the handspun that I've made. It's pretty clear that I mostly buy yarn just to have it, not really to use it for anything.
 
So I'm in for a little while longer. Who knows if I'll make it to 2 years and the pretty pink badge, or 3 years and a platinum badge. But for today, I don't need to buy more yarn. I'm off to do a few rows of Evenstar.

 

WIP* Of The Day

I posted a photo of my Evenstar on Facebook yesterday, and got a nice “I love the cream color” comment. The problem is that it’s not cream, it’s a pale aqua blue. Of course then someone had to ask “is it really blue or is it white”, which cracked me up. But I’m easily amused.

It is notoriously tough to take photos in the Pacific Northwest in the winter time and end up with anything close to the right color. Fortunately we’ve had some gloriously sunny early spring weather here, so I dragged my lace outside and got a few photos. There are some shadows from the trees, and our patio table is filthy, so I covered it with a white towel, since I am way too lazy to clean it now when it’s not going to be warm enough to eat out there for awhile.

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I’m posting all of those, since I can. Of course it’s not blocked, so you really can’t see the lace pattern all that well, but that is pretty close to the right color. Click on those to make them bigger so you can see the beads!

Beads! Thousands of them! The edging to this sucker is taking forever, and it is very boring, let me tell you. It’s knit sideways onto the shawl, it’s a simple 20 row repeat, I have about 22 repeats left. Each repeat has 50 beads. Yes, I know how many rows and beads that is. It is going to be stunning once it is done, but this is just the really boring part. And I sort of have to pay attention for a couple of reasons. First, it is fine thread, and it’s a cashmere silk blend, so it has no memory and wants to jump off the needles if it gets a chance. And then I have to focus on putting on each bead. So it’s not really good TV or movie knitting. It’s not really whisky knitting either for the same reason.

If it looks like there is a stray white thread in there, there is. After I finished the body of the shawl, I put in a fine lifeline since I’ve never done a knitted on border before. I figured if I screwed it up, I’d have somewhere to go back to. I probably should put one in now after one of those repeats as well. When I get all the way around the circle, I will have to graft the beginning and ending of the edging together, so there will be a lifeline there as well.

And just because I can, here is Lewey. He wandered outside while I was taking photos.

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By the way, Wintergrass was a total blast. We had a great time. There were lots of great bands, including some old favorites and new-to-me groups. My favorite of the weekend was Mark O’Connor, who is a terrific fiddler/violinist. He is originally from the Seattle area, though has never been to Wintergrass before. He is a fabulous musician, and plays in multiple genres, including jazz, swing, classical, bluegrass, and American folk. I have been following his music career for years, so it was fun to see him perform. And we got to meet him after the show, he is as nice as he is talented.

My other favorite, which was one of those new-to-me groups, was Steel Wheels, a band from Virginia. They are very high energy, and great musicians. They were a crowd favorite, so hopefully they will be back. Give them a listen, this was one of my favorites that they did.

And another one. This is not as good of a recording, but this was simply electrifying live.

If you want to see some photos, check out my husband’s blog, One Eclectic Guy!

*Work In Progress for you non-knitters!

John’s Old Friend Sweater

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And it’s DONE! It is about time, is all I have to say.

Project Details:

Pattern: Old Friend Pullover, Peace Fleece pattern by Peg Richard

Yarn: Peace Fleece worsted, color Violet Vyehchyeerom, 6 skeins. Close enough to BLUE.

Needles: Swallow Ivore straights, 5.00 mm (4.5 mm for ribbing)

Started: August 1, 2013

Finished: February 7, 2015

For: John

Modifications: the pattern as written has ribbing on the bottom, but a rolled hem on sleeves and cuffs. I did ribbing to match for all, and did a tubular cast on and bind off. I also brought the neck up a bit, the pattern as written has a bit wider and lower crew neck.

What I Learned: Well, it’s a pretty simple sweater pattern. I don’t think I like the dropped shoulder construction so much in this heavier yarn, but John loves it. I finished the neck last night and tossed it his way, I’m not sure he’s had it off since. And I adore Peace Fleece, but I already knew that. I suspect this will be a well-loved and well-worn sweater.

Here are a couple more photos.

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Sewing Up

 
This is one of those knitting tasks that most people hate, as evidenced by the growing popularity of top-down, knit-all-in-one-piece sweater patterns out there. No finishing! No seams!
Where's the fun in THAT, I ask? Hand sewing seams is one of those things that is easy to do once you learn to do it properly. It also provides some structure to your sweater, especially if it is knit in a heavy wool yarn. And if you have the right tools, it's a snap. Those clip things do wonders to get things lined up and hold it all together while you are sewing. The brand name of these is Knit Klips, by Susan Bates, you can find them in many knitting and craft shops.
Here's my favorite book for instructions as to how to do a variety of seams.
 
 
The other handy tool is a perfect sewing needle.
 

Mine is a sterling silver handmade needle from Celtic Swan.
It's hard to get a good photo of that, here's another one.

 
And yes, since you are wondering, I do have a couple sets of the sock needles in silver as well. I covet everything in her shop. And she is local, from nearby Lopez Island.
Back to sewing!

 

Already Sidetracked

I started the big Dredging Out project of 2015 this AM. The stuff around here has gotten a little out of control, it’s time to de-junk. I started with my office.

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Right. Maybe I should have started with a different challenge. But this room is such a holy disaster that it is dragging me into psychosis. I finally got the clutter off the top of the hope chest to get it open.

The Hope Chest of Doom. Really.

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Yes, that is my mom’s hope chest. And no, that’s not going anywhere. One of my nieces will probably get it as I get closer to the ultimate retirement. It is currently full of totally useless junk instead of being available for useful storage.

Here are just a couple of examples.

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The tassels are from my graduation from high school and medical school. Don’t ask me why I kept them. And no, I have no idea where the college one went. It’s probably in the depths of the hope chest.

The little ceramic girl was made by my mom. Yes, it’s cute. No, I’m not keeping it. At this point in my life it is just clutter. Sentimental clutter, to be sure. I don’t need this to remind me of what a wonderful lady my mom was.

And yes, I got immediately sidetracked into a blog post. You should see how much time I wasted coming up with the ultimate Dredging Out music playlist.

I figured you’d all want to see all the junk I discover. Just wait until I get to the knitting stuff. Yes, some of that is going out of this house too. I have more knitting bags and tape measures than any one person will ever need.

Back to work.

John’s Old Friend Sweater

I have been working away at this one for a long time. You wouldn’t think a plain stocking stitch heavy worsted sweater would take so long. I finally finished all the knitting today. Here it is (minus one sleeve-not enough clips!)

Now it goes into the washing machine for a soak, then blocking, then sewing together. I think my old friend will look dashing in his Old Friend!

 

Guayabitos

Good morning from Mexico!

We've been here all week. Guayabitos is a small town north of Puerto Vallarta, we are in a lovely bed and breakfast right on the beach. This is a very low key place compared to PV, not much to do besides hang out, stare at the ocean, and occasionally muster up enough enthusiasm to walk into town for lunch or dinner. I brought my flute so I've been able to practice, and of course the knitting.
And it's time for breakfast, so I'm off.