TGIF

Wednesday is really my “Friday” since I started working part time. I do still enjoy Fridays though. I can sleep in, I’ve gotten most of the to-do things off my list on Thursday, and best of all, I have my weekly Friday knitting group.

I realized as I started writing today that I’ve not posted about many things that have happened over the past few months. My life is sort of an open book on Facebook, so if you follow me there, this will mostly be old news.

First off, we lost our kitty Zoe earlier this spring. She just disappeared one day and never came back. I suspect one of the eagles got her, or perhaps the occasional coyote that is seen around here.

Ripley started getting mopey and clingy after Zoe was gone, so we ended up adopting this little boy.

His name is Arlo, and he’s probably about 8-9 months old. After a few days of hissing the two cats are getting along just fine.

They both are going to be indoor cats, if I have anything to say about it. There is less decimation of the bird and bunny population that way, and the cats have a better life span. Our departed kitty Will announced his intent to be an outside cat early on, and tore holes in all our screen doors to prove it, and Zoe just followed in his footsteps. Ripley has been out, so knows the way to get back in if she escapes, but doesn’t really show any interest in being outside except on our enclosed decks. So far Arlo hasn’t made any escape attempts.

The other big event of the past several months is that I joined the Episcopal Church (and left the Catholic Church). There were a lot of reasons behind this decision, but I’ve really found my spiritual home. I was received into the church at Pentecost, along with several other adults, and a baby and older child who were baptized at the service.

I found some knitters among the congregation, and we started a Friday knitting group!

We celebrated July 4th holiday with family and friends.

No, it wasn’t all that cold. My California relatives just aren’t used to 70 degree temps in July.

I got a great sticky note from one of my clinic nurses last week. I didn’t think I’d done anything all that awesome, but she evidently thought so. It made me smile, and I saved it on my bulletin board.

On the knitting front, John’s sock (first of the pair) is almost done.

Last but not least, I started yet another knitting project, because, why not? It’s a Patty Lyons summer sweater KAL, and I love the pattern. The first clue just dropped this week, so it’s not too late to join.

I just got my yarn in the mail yesterday, so haven’t cast on yet. I haven’t washed that swatch yet, but the prewash measurement matches the pattern gauge perfectly.

I have a few more of those to-dos to get off my list today, then I get to knit with friends and go out for pizza with the neighbors this evening. Happy Friday to all of you!

493

That’s how many stitches I have on the needles for this shawl right now. I have about 100 rows left. Every other row increases this by 4 more stitches. The ending stitch count is 693 stitches to bind off.

Here’s the stitch pattern for the current chart.

This is going to be gorgeous once it is done, and don’t get me wrong, I’m enjoying every stitch of it, but OMG this is taking forever.

And yes, I’m almost out of the first hank of yarn, I do have the second hank wound and at the ready.

Stash fluffing*

I dragged out all of the yarn boxes yesterday and sorted through some things. Doing this every now and then reminds me of how much lovely yarn I have, and reminds me as well (or it should) that I don’t need any more yarn.

Here are a few photos:

No, that is not all the boxes.

I don’t need any more lace yarn. That’s not all the lace yarn, either.

I apparently don’t need any more Opal sock yarn. There is more Opal squirreled away in other boxes as well.

Or Three Irish Girls sock yarn.

Or anything else, for that matter. I sorted out a few things to get rid of that I know I’ll never use, those are going to my knitting group today to see if anybody there wants them, or knows someone who will want them. I put a few things back in the boxes that I’m pretty sure I won’t use ever, but couldn’t part with (I’m looking at you, 1500 yards of black lace weight cashmere), but overall I have a pretty fine stash of lovely yarn.

Whilst I was rummaging around in the lace yarn, I found the leftover silk lace from my Evenstar shawl. There is plenty leftover, but I have no idea how much. I started with 150 grams, but I didn’t think to weigh it on the cone before I started knitting. So now I’m winding it off so I can weigh it. It’s fine enough that I don’t want to use my industrial strength ball winder, so I’m doing it the old fashioned way.

Please send whisky. This is a very tedious project.

*Stash fluffing: pulling the yarn out of all the boxes, admiring it, and imagining what it might be some day.

Balvraid Hap

There is a finished shawl at Chez Knitting Doctor!

Project Details:

Pattern: Balvraid Hap

Yarn: Blacker Swan 4-ply. The color is Tussac. This is just the most divinely soft merino. I’m not sure how well it would wear in a sweater, but it is lovely wrapped around my neck. The shawl took 6 balls, a little over 1100 yards. The yarn comes from a small farm in the Falkland Islands, and they get one shipment a year. I have my credit card at the ready for the next shearing.

Needles: 4 mm for the main section and the border, 4.5 for the lace edging.

For: Me

Started/Finished: 6/3/18–6/9/19

Modifications: None

What I learned: Technically, I learned a new bind off, the suspended bind off. It looks very tidy, and is nice and stretchy without being sloppy.

The construction of this was fun. You start with a few stitches, then knit a big garter stitch triangle. About the time you are about to stab yourself to death with the needles out of boredom, you cast off the top edge, pick up stitches along the sides of the triangle, and knit the lace border. The edging is knit on sideways (applied edging).

Pattern Rating: ***** This is well written, the charts for the lace are very clear, and no errors that I could find. And it’s free. Of course that free pattern likely will lead you to Blacker’s shop online, which is a dangerous place.

I love knitting and wearing shawls. Even in the summer around here it is often cool enough to have something snuggly and pretty around my shoulders. This will keep me warm during cocktail hour on cool evenings.

Finally!

Or,

Go Green Bay Packers Socks for Sissie!

I finally finished these last night.

These are knit using the same white bread sock pattern that I always use. The needles are Brittany double points, size 2.00 mm.

The yarn is Artistic Yarn by Abi, in the colors of, you guessed it, the Green Bay Packers. Although while I was knitting this mostly in the Pacific NW, I had a lot of people that assumed that it was for the Oregon Ducks. That works too. I dare you to go through all of her self-striping sock yarn without buying some.

This is lovely yarn, I’ve knit one other pair of socks in her yarn, The yarn is on the lighter side of sock weight, but seems to be wearing well.

These are for my sister, Linda, who is a delusional Packers fan. Abi also makes this yarn, though it’s sold out at the moment (not my fault).

Market day

We made a trip to the Olympia Farmers Market today. We found provisions for several lovely meals.

We always end up buying way more than we planned, but our meals in the spring and summer tend to run heavy on veggies.

Now to get it all home and plan supper!

Tidying up

I posted a photo on Facebook a couple of days ago, of part of my fake tortoise shell straight knitting needle collection.

I had a whole bunch more of these upstairs in a big crock. Some are paired up, most just loose and jumbled together.

These tend to get more fragile as they age. I found a handful of broken needles when I sorted through them.

I soaked the whole bunch in water overnight and am now working on pairing them up and tying them together with a bit of yarn. The ones that were already paired are held together with rubber bands, which tends to leave a sticky residue on the needles. Once they’re all cleaned up and sorted, they’ll be a lot more fun to use.

And no, apparently I don’t need to buy any more of these.

Really, I can stop anytime I want

Things often heard around here:

“I’ll just finish that white stripe and then go get some chores done.”

“Oh look! The green stripe! That’s so pretty, I’ll get that one done.”

“Oh man, I just pulled a whole yarn blob out of the middle of that ball. I better knit some of that up so it doesn’t tangle up in the bag.”

“LOOK! YELLOW! IT’S THE YELLOW STRIPE!” I’ve knit a whole sock worth of this yarn, I know damn well what color comes next.

“I’ll be just a minute, let me finish this row.”

John:

“You’re knitting in the round, the whole damn sock is one row. Put it down!”

Surrender

This is why I don’t usually bother to match stripes on sock pairs. Three attempts later at casting on, I give up. These freaking socks are just going to be fraternal.

Here’s the first pretty sock:

Progress!

I’ve been knitting this shawl forever. It starts out with a big garter stitch triangle, then you pick up stitches on two sides and knit a wide lace border. I finally finished that part this morning.

The last section is a knitted-on lace edging, which is knit perpendicular to the shawl body, knitting the last stitch of every other row together with a shawl border stitch to attach it. It’s easier to do than to describe it.

Here’s another photo.

This yarn is so squishy soft that I want to keep knitting it forever. It’s From Blacker Yarns.

I might have a few more colors of this in the stash. It also comes in a DK weight, I’d love a sweater out of this.

In other shopping news, I’ve been coveting this bag forever. I finally broke down and bought it. It amuses me that it’s the same color as my Subaru. Army Blanket Green!

It’s Not My Fault

I’ve generally tried to keep the knitting projects down to three or four things. Usually it’s a sock, a sweater, a lace thing, and maybe a simple accessory item.

As of this morning, I had a sock, a sweater, 4 lace things, and 2 accessory items.

I bought a bunch of yarn a couple of weeks ago. I took photos of it today and got it entered into my Ravelry database. When I was closing the lid on the storage box, one skein hopped right out, rolled over to the yarn winder, then jumped onto the needles. So now I have TWO socks in progress.

IMG_7036 IMG_7032

The yarn is Signature 4 ply self striping, from West Yorkshire Spinners. It’s a BFL/wool/nylon blend that will make fine socks. The color is Owl.

John took one look at that and claimed it. Here’s where I got it, in case you need more sock yarn.

Spinning

I haven’t done much spinning the the past several months. I’m not sure why, since it is such a relaxing thing to do at the end of a stressful day.

This fiber has been on my wheel forever. I had just a little bit to finish, and sat down this morning and spun up the rest of it.

It’s a Polworth/silk blend, from Three Waters Farm on Etsy. I’m going to leave it as a single, there should be enough for a “neck thing”. This was a dream to spin.

I also dug out all of my spindles and played a little bit today. Here’s one.

That is a Golding spindle, which I love. The fiber is a very fine merino/silk/yak blend.

Last but not least, a photo of my wheel.

That is my treasured Watson Marie. Andrew Watson, the maker, sadly died a couple of years ago. His father, James, has found a new wheel maker, and they are back in business, but I am very grateful to have one of Andrew’s wheels. He was an artist, and a pleasure to work with. I was on his waiting list for a couple of years, and then it took several months for him to build the wheel.

I often joke about what I would grab on the way out of the burning house, but I think I’d try to save this, it’s one of a kind.

She also needs a good cleaning and a new drive band. That’s on my agenda for tomorrow.