Rules for Feeding the Stash

Friday, September 18, 2020

In Which I Make Good Choices

So. I have a lot of projects on the needles. It's always been a thing, since I started knitting: I cannot be a monogamous knitter. It's fine, I work on things as I want to, I usually have something I feel like knitting on the needles, and eventually everything either gets finished or sits around so long that my taste changes and I frog it. It's fine.

Anyway. I've mostly been focusing on a couple of shawl samples lately, and then on Tuesday I decided to cast on a big fingering weight sweater that is also a sample and also the pattern requires two samples, so it's actually gonna be a lot of knitting. And I thought, maybe I should, you know, finish the hat that I'm knitting, or the brioche shawl that I started back in July and never intended to be a longstanding WIP.

So instead of doing any of that I pulled out a sweater I started in 2018 and then put in the closet after a week. I'd lost the printout of the pattern, the two inches of twisted ribbing that I had so far wasn't even on the correct needles anymore, and I hadn't noted what size I was knitting anywhere, because I hadn't anticipated losing the pattern (listen, sometimes I am very foolish about what I am and am not capable of keeping track of).  

And instead of working on anything that didn't require tracking down a needle and re-downloading a pattern and counting stitches to figure out what size I was knitting, I decided that the best use of my time was to do exactly those things, and now I'm four inches into a sweater that is neither a sample nor a quick project and I have so many WIPs piled around my home workstation and MY GODS won't any of these things knit themselves?

Monday, September 14, 2020

Two Hats

I hope you all had a good weekend! Saturday I had a belated birthday lunch with my mum and siblings, and it was great to hang out for a couple hours. I also got my first paper for grad school finished and turned in, and now I just have to wait and see how I did. I did manage to get my apartment picked up some, too, which feels great.

I finally blocked the first two hats from my current hat kick (I'm still working on my blue Pilstam, but I think that might be it for this current streak). The one on the left is a Cloudburst Hat (Rav link) by my friend Cory—I used a heavier yarn than called for, so I knit the smallest size and hoped for the best, and I'm pretty pleased with how it came out.

The other hat is Beanie Lines (Rav link again), and I really let the yarn do all the work. I'm so pleased with it, and I have just enough yarn left over to squeeze out a quick pair of fingerless mitts. Now, I've been planning to knit myself some new fingerless mitts least two years, probably, and I haven't done it yet. But the yarn is sitting on my desk so I don't forget about it (as opposed to the yarn for another pair of mitts that's been sitting on my bookshelf for over a year so I wouldn't forget about it...).

Friday, September 11, 2020

Numbers on a Friday

 1. Wednesday was my birthday!! I am now THIRTY, which is very exciting. (My BIRTHDAY SALE is still going on! You can use code HB30 on Ravelry and Payhip through September 15th to get 30% off all my patterns.)

2. I finished my sweater sample! I blocked it yesterday and it's still drying in my studio. I have the pattern maybe half written? I'm hoping to get it sent to my tech editor as soon as possible.

3. School is going well! I have my first paper due Sunday and a whole bunch of readings and summaries and analysis to do, but I really am enjoying it a lot.

4. It was cold this week! I always want it to be cold for my birthday but it almost never happens, so this was the greatest gift the universe could give me. It's sounding like we'll get back up into the 80s next week, though.

5. My apartment is lowkey a disaster because I haven't put away laundry in forever and I keep stacking empty boxes NEXT TO the trash instead of taking them out and really I ought to find like twenty minutes to deal with that because it's becoming A Problem.

6. Lee Lee had to start wearing her hoodies again this week, and also we got to make a nest on the bed with the fuzzy blanket, which she really loved.

Monday, September 7, 2020

Birthday Week!!

Hello friends! My birthday is Wednesday, and in true Kat fashion I will be celebrating all week (in fact, I started celebrating a week ago, and I'll probably keep celebrating through next week). What can I say? I love my birthday. Even the weather is turning out to help me celebrate—we may get some rain showers today and tomorrow, and it's not supposed to get above the low to mid 70s all week! 

I had a very good weekend—on Saturday I had to go into the library to do some book processing, and then Saturday afternoon my mum and I got pedicures and watched Miss Marple. Yesterday I took the whole day off: I slept in, I read in bed all day, I took a little nap, and I ate lots of junk food. I've got a bit of reading for school to do tonight for class this week, but it's well worth it to have an entire day with no obligations. 

The sweater sample is almost finished! I got the second sleeve finished on Saturday and started seaming it up. I do still have to knit the collar, but I'm very pleased with how it's coming out. I have yarn for a few more sweater samples lined up, and I'm torn between casting one on (well, swatching and grading and THEN casting on) or finishing up some WIPS. Right now I'm leaning towards the WIPs, just because a few have been hanging out for a while, but we'll see what happens!

**Remember that my BIRTHDAY SALE is still going on! You can use code HB30 on Ravelry and Payhip through September 15th to get 30% off all my patterns!**

Friday, September 4, 2020

Getting There

Grad school is not quite kicking my butt, but I'm definitely more tired than I used to be, and I'm keeping way closer track of my bedtime! I'm still working full time, and I'm in class 8 hours a week, and so far it's looking like I'm spending about 10 hours a week on readings and assignments. It definitely could be worse, but there's a specific type of thinking you do in academia and it's strange settling back into it. I'm adjusting, though.

I'm getting tons of knitting done during class, even if I haven't quite figured out when to get pattern writing done yet. This current sweater sample needs only half a sleeve and a neckband (and two seams, easy peasy). I'd love to get it written this weekend, but I know that's not going to happen—tomorrow morning I have to go into the library to do some book processing I can't do from home, and then in the afternoon I'm going to hang out with my mum and watch murder mysteries!

There were definitely some times as I was applying and registering for school that I thought it would have been easier if I'd just done it immediately after my undergrad, but part of being older and wiser means that I know to be gentle with myself as I adjust to the routine change and to not expect myself to have the same sort of "productivity" in my leisure time. And I know how important sleep is now, too (see previous comment about keeping track of my bedtime)!

I hope you're all doing well and being gentle with yourselves too, and that you have something fun planned for the weekend! 

**It is almost my BIRTHDAY, which means it is time for my BIRTHDAY SALE! You can use code HB30 on Ravelry and Payhip through September 15th to get 30% off all my patterns!**

Friday, August 28, 2020

The First Week

Week One of library school DOWN and I am TIRED. It's definitely just because this is a CHANGE and it is NEW and I do not cope well with change or new things. It'll get better. I have a stack of readings to do this weekend and I wanted to get a draft of my new sweater pattern finished and sent to my tech editor, but we'll see how the weekend goes.

I was very excited to start the sleeves for my sweater sample earlier this week only to discover (AFTER sewing the shoulder seams) that the back was twelve rows too short. This is what I get for not checking my notes. So the sweater back is back on the needles and I've been spending quality time with my latest hat project (this is hat number three of the current streak, but I haven't blocked the other two yet). 

I'm knitting my own pattern, which I don't do too frequently, but I thought that this rich blue tweed yarn would look super charming as Pilstam, and so far it's proving me right. I'm taking my time with this hat after banging the first two out, because, 1. cables, and 2. this yarn rips if I manhandle it too much, which means I have to be careful with my tension. I'm usually a pretty rough and tight knitter, so it's weird being forced to slow down and be gentle with this project. 

Monday, August 24, 2020

School and Sweaters

It's my first day of Library School!

I'm very excited, if you haven't picked up on that already. I took the second half of last week off to give myself a bit of a break before classes started and to have time to do my orientation sessions, and I feel pretty ready. 

I spent the weekend mostly relaxing—it's been super hot here, and it'll stay super hot through this week at least, so I've not really been going outside at all. Instead, I finished the front and banged out most of the back of this sweater sample, and I'm feeling pretty good about getting the pattern to my tech editor by the end of the month.

I also made a batch of cookies with the intention of freezing most of them so I'd have them handy throughout the semester when I needed a little something sweet, but to absolutely no one's surprise I have already eaten most of them. Whoops, guess I'll have to make more soon.

We're getting a bunch of new covid cases in my state, so please remember that there is still a pandemic going on! Wear a mask! Keep your distance! I know, I'm tired of it too, but we need to do our best to protect each other.

Monday, August 17, 2020

The First Hat


Longtime readers of this blog may know that occasionally I'll go on a hat kick. I love knitting hats—they're small, portable, endlessly customizable, and generally quick to knit—and generally when I have the hankering, just one hat isn't going to cut it. So on Friday afternoon, when I felt the start of a hat kick stirring in my brain, I grabbed some skeins from the stash, wound them up, and sorted  through some patterns.

This one is Beanie Lines, by Danielle Lewis, knit in some gorgeous hand painted sock yarn that's been in my stash for years. I'm holding it double, and I love how the colors are working up—it reminds me of kelp, or a magical secret grotto. It's very nearly finished, and I've already started the second hat of this kick (I don't know how long it will go for, but I pulled out yarn for five hats total).

This week is my LAST WEEK before my classes start! I have grad school orientation on Wednesday afternoon, and library school orientation on Saturday. All my textbooks have arrived, I have shiny new notepads, and my wall calendar is hung up and ready for me to start filling in due dates. I'm starting to get a little nervous about how I'll balance everything, but I've been planning for months, so hopefully I'm as prepared as possible! 

Friday, August 14, 2020

Cuddle Blanket!


Gosh, do I even blog anymore? I spent most of last weekend napping and couldn't think of anything interesting to share on Monday, BUT! I have great news today! 

I have finished my Cuddle Blanket!!

I started this back in 2015, and I'd had the yarn for it for at least a year or two before that. My best friend used to work at Walmart and sent me a whole big box of clearanced yarn and it took a while to figure out what to do with it all. Eventually I stumbled across the Garter Squish pattern, and after pulling a couple more yarns from my stash to make up the difference, I knew that this was destined to be a friendship cuddle blanket. 

This has been sitting in my closet for years, and it was about a quarter knit when I pulled it out for Stash Dash. It took a bit longer to finish than I initially thought it would, but it was still a super quick finish.

I did skip the i-cord edges that the pattern called for—I did them for the first couple of inches, but I had a hard time maintaining tension on them, and then I dropped one of the stitches, so I gave up and just slipped the first stitch of every row for the rest of the blanket. It looks fine.

I'm so pleased with how big this came out. It's probably a generous twin-size, but because it's almost all acrylic and it's not knit at a super dense gauge, it stretches really well, making it perfect for cuddling. 

Also, Lee Lee really loves it. (Side note: today is her twelfth birthday! We are celebrating with lots of ear scritches and cookies, and this afternoon we're gonna go catch up on her shots!)

Ravelry Page: Garter Squish Cuddle Blanket

Pattern: Garter Squish by Stephen West (Ravelry)

Yarn: Assorted 

Friday, August 7, 2020

Numbers on a Friday

 1. What is this, twenty-one weeks since I started staying home? I think?

2. I have done virtually no knitting this week. I did maybe ten rows on a shawl sample and that's it. Hoping for a knitting marathon this weekend.

3. My textbooks have started arriving for fall semester! Classes start two weeks from Monday, and I'm excited and nervous. The books are looking good, though, and I think they'll all fit on the handy little shelf on my desk.

4. I got a wireless keyboard and mouse this week and it has been REVELATORY. My laptop is now stacked on a pile of books and my workspace is almost ergonomic. I have a yoga ball coming in the mail (hopefully today) to use as an alternative to my chair, and I think that will help a lot too.

5. I ordered the batting for a vintage quilt top I got several years ago, and I'm hoping to sandwich and pin it this weekend. I'd always planned on hand-quilting it, and I want to get it set up in my big needlework frame before school starts so I can use it as a study break.

6. I think that's all I have for now? Drink water. Wear your mask. Donate to bail funds/protest medics (yeah, protests are still going on). Call your representatives. Take five minutes to breathe.