Rules for Feeding the Stash

Friday, October 31, 2014

Blog Hop!

I got tagged in a blog hop by the amazingly talented Cory over at indie.knits. This actually gave me a lot to think about, and I feel like it's helpful to take stock of where I am in terms of my blog and my work. To pass it along, I'm tagging Tahnee over at Woollen Wilderness.
 1) What am I working on?
A few different things right now. I just started my Xmas knitting (a little later than usual this year, but I've cut way back on project number and scope than in years past) for my mum and sister. I also have a pair of Rose's Wrist Warmers on the needles just for me, and another pair of mitts for a new design project. And a pi shawl I started on a whim. I'm also working on formatting and editing a couple of new patterns that will get released over the next few weeks.
 2) How does my work differ from others of its genre?
The word I find myself coming to most often in my knitting and design work is "charming." I want to be charmed by an object or charmed by the process of creating it. Textures, lace, and cables are all a ton of fun to work with, so I find myself trying to find new ways to make them work together.
3) Why do I write/create what I do?
I've always felt like I must create things and put them out into the world. This is my way of interacting with the world, and the process of creation makes me really happy.
 4) How does my writing/creative process work?
I'm a self-taught knitter, and a lot of how I do things was just made up along the way. As a result, my design philosophy is "Why the Hell Not," so there's a lot of trial and error. Very rarely does any idea stay the same from conception to actualization. As an example, Peony started out as an allover cable shawl with a wide center panel instead of a spine. That idea hasn't totally died, but the end result is very different, while still keeping the essence of what I wanted. It's hard to describe, but it looks like what it felt like as an idea, even if it's totally different. On the other end of the spectrum, Transitions Sleeves turned out exactly how I intended. 

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Numbers Because It's That Kind of Week

1. FINALLY started Xmas knitting (well, one of them-the second one I'm having second thoughts on, but I think I'm still going to go for it). It's later than I usually start, because for some reason I can't get in the right mood for it this year. But like I said, I started Top Sekrit Xmas Project #1 and so far it's going really well. Except I'm already nervous about running out of yarn. So I really need to get this one done soon in case I need to order more.

2. In case you've dropped the holiday knitting ball too, I have a quick accessory pattern coming out this week. I love it, I think it's super cute, and it knits up in a couple hours. Boom. So keep an eye out for that.

3. It's finally starting to get cold here, which means I've been fighting with my office HVAC system again. My office won't get above 60 degrees Fahrenheit, which isn't super terrible, but it does get a little chilly. To cope, I have two pairs of fingerless gloves in progress right now (actually just finished the first glove of one pair last night but haven't taken any pictures yet).

4. Friday I'm taking the day off work to go see Anemone for Halloween and I realized that I have two different reward punch cards for the yarn store there that each have only $60 left before I get free yarn, so we'll see how that develops.

5. Related to Xmas knitting: intarsia is weird and I'm definitely doing it wrong but I am a wayward knitter and rules are dumb. At least it looks cool so far.

6. I maybe accidentally cast on for a pi shawl this week even though I have Xmas knitting to do and a buttload of design projects to start finish.

7. I'm really sorry there's no pictures today but I promise there will be tons of pics next time.

Monday, October 27, 2014

FO: Havina

 I was worried about this shawl for a while-it seemed like it was going so well after I had to start it over, but then it started feeling like it was never going to end. Once I finally got to the border it started flying along again, but there definitely was a rough patch in the middle there.
Now that it's all done, it's so worth it. Blocking it was an adventure, as I told you all. It took longer to dry than most shawls, so I had to carry the dogs around the mess of pins in the floor for a couple of days. I've worn it several times since it finished blocking, and I really like the size of it. The yarn is absolutely perfect, and a perfect match to this pattern. I'm really very pleased with it and so far I love having it in my shawl rotation.
Ravelry Page: Havina

Saturday, October 25, 2014

New Stuff and Organization

Yesterday the postman brought me the best kind of mail.
Holiday edition of Knit Simple, plus some books from KnitPicks 40% off sale, buttons for my Gothic Lace cowl, and a nice big bottle of Kookaburra wool wash. Yum. I've already flipped through both stitch dictionaries, and they're definitely worth the investment, and I'll hopefully be spending a lot of time looking through Knit to Flatter. From a quick first glance, it looks like there's a lot of good information in there to chew over.

Yesterday I also finally sat down and organized my circular needles. They used to just be thrown all in these two boxes, all tangled up, and it took a while to find what I was looking for.
I hesitated to look for a new solution for a while, because I figured this worked. I also tend to be really picky about how I keep my things, and I didn't want to invest in a new option if I wasn't sure about it. Enter the paper accordion file:
I've seen other people use this solution, so when my brother decided he didn't want this one anymore I grabbed it. It's a low-risk solution, and so far I love it. Eventually I'd like to invest in a good vinyl one, but for now I like this a lot. I cast on an impulse project last night and got the right needle in 5 seconds. Seriously. I even labeled the tabs!
So yay. Personal growth. This has also motivated me to finally get or make some needle rolls for the double points. Because as cute as the vintage teapot is, it's ridiculously difficult to find a complete set without dumping everything out.
The teapot is still super cute though, so I'll still definitely keep some sets in there, but there will definitely have to be more discretion about what goes in it.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

FO: Shelves Upon Shelves

I let these go too long and started resenting them pretty hard for not being done (I know, if I would just actually knit the socks they would be done, and I wouldn't resent them). Now that they're done I absolutely adore them.
Those colors. Those floats. Sheer perfection. They were a joy to knit, and I got pretty much the whole second foot done in one day once I picked them up again.

I wore them one day on my vacation with my Birkenstocks (bad heel blisters=no real shoes) and the sole of the first one has already almost worn through, so I'm super pissed about that. I don't know if it was the Birkenstocks, or the yarn, or what, but I haven't had this problem before. Thankfully, it doesn't look like it actually tore through anywhere, so once I get them cleaned I'll see about reinforcing the soles. Anyway, they were lovely once they were finished, and hopefully I'll be able to salvage them so I get lots more wear out of them. Will keep you posted!
Ravelry Page: Shelves Upon Shelves

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

FO: Marion KAL

Done! I finished with about 10 days left in the KAL, but it took about four days for my sweater to dry after blocking. Last Friday was finally supposed to be pretty chilly, so I sewed my buttons on first thing in the morning and wore it all day. Then again all day Saturday (Sunday it warmed up again, but otherwise I would have worn it again-I get a little obsessive over new FOs).
Mods! Because there are always mods: I never keep track of how many stitches I pick up for the neckband, so that certainly isn't worked how it's written. Other than that, I shortened the sleeves by about 20 rounds because I thought they might get too long. It worked out perfectly, and they ended up just the right length.
Ravelry Page: Marion KAL

Sunday, October 19, 2014

All Vacations Must End

Alas, my vacation must come to an end. I go back to my day job tomorrow, and while I've missed my office-mates, having the last week off has only cemented my conviction that I would make a terrific trophy wife.

As expected, I got a boatload of knitting done, including samples for two upcoming patterns that need to be typed and formatted. More detailed FO posts to come, but for now, here's a little preview:

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Hello From the Land of No Work

Hello my dears, from the wonderful world of Not Having to Get Up and Go to Work in the Morning. Vacation is pretty much exactly as I hoped it would be so far-just one looong weekend with no real plans. Perfect.

I've been Netflixing Arrow this week and I'm really liking it. I'm almost done season one, and I hope it stays really good. Of course, watching this much tv means I'm getting a crapload of knitting done.
Boom. Done but for want of buttons. Miraculously, I already have buttons for this and am just waiting for it to dry (it's been two days already why isn't it done yet).
The hat I did surgery on earlier this week. It's a new design, and not quite what I thought it would be when I started. But I really love it, and it's everything I wanted from it. I'm hoping I have a couple of bowls big enough to block it out. Otherwise, we've got some pretty big butternut squash in the cellar, and maybe there's one that's reasonably close to head-sized.
I knit this yarn up into a cowl yesterday, but ran out of yarn. Doing some math stuff now to figure out what I need to do to make it work. It's going to be so worth it and I can't wait for the finished thing.

Today I'm planning on running to the thrift shops and seeing if there's anything good. I also want to sew the Sorbetto tank from Collete Patterns. I think it's exactly what I want in a top, and hopefully it will go smoothly. I washed my fabric yesterday, and once I change the needle on my sewing machine, we should be good to go. Tomorrow my mum and I are making applesauce, because we got 40 pounds of honeycrisps through our produce exchange, and Anemone is supposed to come visit this weekend, so hopefully she and I can go down to the river and get some good FO pics.

Monday, October 13, 2014

A Knit-Filled Vacation

I am officially on vacation right now. For the next week, I don't have to even think about my day job. This is my first proper week off since college, probably, and I intend to enjoy every minute of it.

So far, my vacation is off to a pretty good start with two things blocking right now.  However, I may be foiled in my attempt at one FO for want of decent buttons. But at least I can go to the yarn store this week, and they may have buttons (if not, the project will end up in a bag in my closet for a few years, buttonless). At least I have one definite FO coming:
My Havina shawl, and it is gorgeous. I took pictures to see just how big this blocked out to, and it grew a lot, considering it's mostly stockinette. Can't wait to get FO pics of this one.

On a different note entirely, it turns out that while I have no problem writing a cable chart, I am apparently incapable of reading a cable chart. I was hoping just to tear back the center 15 stitches, but I ended up tearing out all the cables.  Knitting surgery is going well so far, and I should have an up-to-date progress photo on this bad boy soon.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

WIP: Shelves Upon Shelves

My current pair of socks has been kicking around in my purse since the end of August. I love this pattern, and I love the colors in the yarn. The first sock was done in three days, but since then I've only managed to work a couple of rounds at a time on the second one.
Once these are done, I think they'll be a favorite pair. I don't know if I've ever matched a pattern to a yarn so well-I love how the horizontal lines work with the stripes. I'm a bit worried about how these will hold up-I worry about the durability of the long floats, but these are certainly going to be very pretty, and I'm having a lot of fun knitting them.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Another Monday

Wow, has it really been a whole week? Sorry for the unexpected and prolonged absence-this week will be better, I promise. But it's been a busy few days.

Remember how I said I was renovating my room? It's done. I have just a little more picking up to do, and I'll need to order a new rug, but otherwise it's totally done. That's such a weight off my back now (and I have a floor again! There's room for my yoga mat again!). Now that I have my floor back, I'll be able to block some FOs that have been hanging on my towel rack for the past week.

I started a swatch yesterday for the skein of Malabrigo Rasta I picked up a couple of weeks ago. I have a few other things I need to be working on right now too, but this is just too much fun.

I also made myself get out of the house on Saturday and went to a free watercolors workshop hosted by my local library. I used to paint quite a bit, but it's been several years and I'd like to get back into it, just for fun. I had a lot of fun at the workshop, and I got two seascapes I'm pretty pleased with out of it.