Wednesday, May 27, 2015

I Have a Spreadsheet

My 3 Color Cashmere Cowl is well into the blue (farther along than this picture shows, actually -- I'm nearly done) and then it's just a spot of lace, a couple of stripes, and the ribbing to go.  And that's 600 yards towards Stash Dash 2015.

The Blue Really Makes It
Stash Dash started on the 22nd, and I am totally prepared.  If by "totally prepared" you mean "I have a spread sheet."

And I do.

So this is more or less what I have on the needles as of right now, today.  And it is more or less in order of priority.  I have estimated yardage to one side and room to enter Actual Yardage once it is known.

Am I the only one a little bemused by the fact that I have basically a half marathon worth of yardage on the needles right now?


Okay, it's just me then.  The rest of you aren't even surprised.  What did I think was going to happen when I started yelling, "I do what I want Thor!" every time I cast something new on?

Anyway, I'm aiming for somewhere in the 3K - 5K range, and we'll see where I land.

I'm starting to think that I may need more strategy than "I have a spreadsheet!" if I'm really gonna pull this out.

Monday, May 18, 2015

This, That, the Other Thing, and Stash Dash

It's been another week of jumping from project to project here at chez woolly.   Most of my knitting time has been spent between two projects that I probably won't get much use out of until this winter.

The first is the 3 Color Cashmere Cowl by Joji Locatelli that I've been talking about.  I'm to the stripy bit, and can't wait to add the bright pop of blue into the mix.

I'm actually a little farther than this...I kept knitting after I took the picture.
The yarn is pretty nice to work with -- though the construction makes it prone to being splitty.  It's basically a blend of silk and cashmere singles that the vendor selects and plies together, so it's kind of a "DIY" yarn-- pretty clever, really.  And that color brown is my jam.  

I also cast on When You Wish by Amy Kenagy out of my Into the Whirled in the "il tramonto" colorway on the Manchester Sock base.

I love how different the yarn looked in a cake (and in mid-project) than it looked in the skein.  It's the very best kind of surprise.

I keep telling myself that I'm going to stop buying variegated yarns, but then I don't listen to myself.  So I just need to keep finding patterns that can mix it up and prevent flashing, pooling, and other assorted color-related shenanigans.  

I've also cast on mates to both pairs of socks that I finished last week.  The pink one is past the cuff, and the purple one isn't even past the first row yet ... but it's on the needles by golly, and that counts.

Stash Dash

And to completely change the subject... I am seriously thinking about playing along at home during Stash Dash.   Stash Dash is a summer stash-using event sponsored and run by the KnitGirllls.   The idea is to finish projects during the summer months, and the total yardage should be equivalent to a 3K, 5K, or (for the very hardy) a 10K.   

Best part is, works in progress totally count, and you can count ALL the yardage of a completed project.   There are knitters out there finishing all but the last five rows of a sweater in preparation for this event.   While I'm not that much a gamer (I lie.. am just not that organized well enough in advance), I do have a fair number of projects on the go.   

I probably won't post officially, because frankly that sounds like too much work, but I plan to track my yardage here.  A 3K is about 3281 yards.  I could totally wrap that much up this summer.  Hell, last summer I knit four sweaters.

(I totally just doomed myself.  You don't even have to tell me.)

What are you doing to keep the things you love interesting and fun?  

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Two Socks Don't Make a Pair

My recent cast-on  explosion has led to a proliferation of socks on the go.  I have four different pairs that I'm actively working on, and a fifth pair that is in hibernation until I can handle the concept of pumpkins again.

The upside of having four pairs of socks handy and in different stages of completion is that I'm pretty much covered for all occasions.  My vanilla socks have gotten me through two viewings of Age of Ultron (don't get me wrong, I wasn't bored...but my hands were moving pretty much the whole time.  I don't have to look to knit stockinette in the round), and a two-day conference in Nashville.

Plus there's Carl's socks -- I'm turning the heel on the first sock, and it's every bit as exciting as knitting a big sock in browns sounds like it would be.  It wasn't a good candidate for movie or conference knitting because it's at a fiddly bit.    And of course there's my Monkeys, which are not a good candidate for auto-pilot knitting.

Anyway, socks for all occasions, yadda yadda.  The down side of course is that even though I'm doing a fair amount of sock knitting, I'm not netting much in the way of pairs of socks.

Yet.   I mean, this is a long game, obviously, and I'll have to wait a bit for the pay off.

I finished two socks yesterday.  I have a feeling that if I offered Morgan would be happy to take these two socks and call them a pair.

Best Thing about Spring and Early Summer is the Green Backdrop for Photos
The pink one on top is Lara Neel's "Fork in the Road" socks.  The bottom is a plain, top-down, heel flap sock.  I had a hankering for vanilla socks with fun and funky stripes, so I visited my local and grabbed some Jarbo Garn Mini Raggi (say that three times fast) in the "68103" colorway, and some  Lana Grossa Meilenweit Merino in "2152."   (As an aside, can I just go on the record and say that while I understand that using numbers for colorways in commercial yarns probably makes things easier for the manufacturer, they are evocative of exactly nothing.)

Two Heels, No Waiting
In other knitting news, I'm still working on my 3 Color Cashmere Cowl.  I haven't gotten as much done on it as I'd like, but I'm making some progress.

Between all the sock knitting (which, to be fair, was mostly done out of the house anyway), and the fact that I'm spending way more time exercising than I ever used to, I'm just not knitting as much as I'd like.   Turns out that an hour spent walking is an hour that is not spent knitting.   I'm already feeling more energetic, but I'm still waiting for that balance-payout where I'm getting enough energy out of exercising that I'm not half-dead by the time I finally sit down at the couch.

What's on your needles, hooks, and in your sewing machines these days?

Thursday, May 07, 2015

FO: FebROOary Baby Sweater

One of my very dear friends is going to be having a little girl just about any minute now.  And new babies mean new excuses to knit tiny babby things.

There is nothing quite so satisfying as a wee sweater.  They knit up quickly and their cuteness is often in inverse proportion to their size.  Plus you get all of the satisfaction of sweater knitting at a fraction of the real estate.  Seriously, baby sweaters.  You can't go wrong.

No really, I mean it. Even if you have a disastrous gauge accident, it's fine.  Too small?  Find a bear that needs a jacket.  Too big?  Babies grow.   About the only thing you have to worry about is making sure the neck opening is big enough if you're going the pullover route.

Anyway, do you remember a couple of months ago when I was all "Uh, yeah.  I knit a thing.  But I can't show you."   Well, it's been delivered (ha!), so here I am now with my FO post, nearly two months later.

Meet Elizabeth Zimmermann's February project from Elizabeth Zimmermann's Knitter's Almanac. This is a "Baby Sweater on Two Needles" -- which does exactly what it says on the tin.  It's my first real EZ pattern (the Baby Surprise Jacket is also on my to-do list), and it was charming, easy, and fun to knit.

Truth be told, if I were to do another, I'd modify the sleeves to knit them in the round.  Just because you can knit a yoke sweater on two straight needles doesn't mean you have to.

I used a microfiber yarn I had in my stash to make life easier for mother and baby alike.  She's a crafter herself and would be absolutely able, willing, and prepared to care for a wool sweater, so that wasn't a concern ...but this is Tennessee.  In May. Microfiber is just fine, thanks.

I did a bit of fiddling here and there to get the sleeves to match, and to have the solid purple land on the garter hems.  I love how it turned out.  That little bit of fussiness just makes the whole thing feel more polished.

I didn't even mind the extra ends to weave in.
Project Notes

Pattern: Baby Sweater on Two Needles by Elizabeth Zimmermann
Yarn: Premier Yarns Serenity Garden, in the "Hibiscus" colorway
Yardage: 239 yds
Needles: US 5 (3.75 mm)
Size:  Wee
Started: March 5, 2015
Completed: March 15, 2015