Saturday, August 30, 2014

The Needle Saga

Yesterday I lost a sock needle down a crevice in the taco bar of Qdoba. Those of you who aren't following me on Twitter, these are the sort of gems you're missing out on:

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

FO: Calorimetry

Way back when I first started knitting, I found the pattern for Calorimety. I immediately fell in love with how simple and utilitarian it was, while still being an accessory that I, as a teen girl, would want to wear. I knit several of these in college for most of my friends over various Xmases and birthdays, and when I was digging in my stash a few weeks ago and found this lone ball of Mochi Plus, I realized that I'd never made one of these cleverly cute things for myself.
I brought this on my work trip to the Black Hills a couple of weeks ago and knit it up in an afternoon.  I wear my hair in a bun frequently, so I'm sure I'll get some pretty good use out of this.  I found the perfect button in my button jar, and I couldn't be happier with the finished object.
Ravelry Page: Calorimetry for Me
Pattern: Calorimetry by Kathryn Schoendorf
Yarn:  Crystal Palace Yarns Mochi Plus "554"

Monday, August 25, 2014

Ada Lovelace

There's no good way to say this.

Last night, my female Betta, Ada Lovelace, died after jumping out of her bowl. This was even more sudden and unexpected than Sebastian's death, as she was very young for a Betta, and she'd never been a jumper (Sebastian was. I spent a great deal of time worrying about whether his water level was low enough to prevent an accidental death).

I adopted Ada Lovelace out of my sister's Biology department, and she was my only female Betta.  She was beautiful, gorgeous even, for a female, and I was very fond of her.

As you might have guessed, this has been a difficult week in regard to my fish.  I appreciate everyone's kind words so far, and I promise I have actual crafty stuff for you soon.
Ada Lovelace
October 2013-August 24, 2014

Sunday, August 24, 2014

In No Particular Order

1. I finished Ella. She's beautiful, I love her, she's everything I hoped she'd be. Real pictures soon, but for now:
2. I found my comforter.  It was in the back of my closet (my mother was right). Time it took me to find it: nine days (to be fair, it was in the way back of a fairly deep and narrow closet underneath and behind a bunch of stuff).

3. I am really behind on photographing and blogging finished stuff, I really need to get on that.

4. Also am way behind on work knitting.  Bad Kat.

5. And laundry.

6. And baking.

7. Pretty sure I'm out of milk, too.

8. Let's just assume that I'm twenty-something years old and have no control over my life.

9. I've lost ten pounds.  It's complicated.  May have to touch on that further later.

10. I should really learn to not half-ass swatches for design projects so that when I make changes in the full-scale sample I don't find out for the first time that something that I think works in my head is terrible knit up and end up tinking back eight rows of over 200 stitches ohmygodIshouldreallybebetteratthisbynow.

11. Baby knitting is the most ridiculously easy procrastination tool for work knitting.

12. Yes, it's August. But buildings have air conditioning. The baby needs a sweater.

13. Have y'all seen Andi's Marion KAL? I'm totally doing this one. No excuses. Ordering the yarn for it as soon as I get paid.

14. I need to start Xmas knitting too.

15. And more design stuff.

16. Marion's only a small sweater. It'll only take a day or two.

17. Ha.

18. But dudes, the KAL starts the day after my birthday, so that's totally a sign.

19. The pretty princess shawl is so pretty:

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Round and Round She Goes

After the different setbacks I've had with Ella, I was prepared for the neckband to be quite an undertaking.  I left her home when I went to the hills a couple weeks ago, with the hope that the separation would be good for the both of us.  Turns out, that's all we really needed, and I got the last 6 decrease body rows done in 10 minutes two days after I got home. 
This past weekend was spent picking up stitches all around the body, and I started to get nervous again.  It took over 4 hours, and I ended up with 464 stitches, in laceweight cotton, and the neckband needs to be 3 inches wide. 
Fortunately, it's been zipping right along.  I had planned for this to be my lunch break knitting this week, and do work knitting at hope in the evenings, but I've been bending that rule a little bit (I know you guys understand-I'm sooooo close to being done! There's no reason to keep dragging this out further!).  I'll have to measure it to be sure, but I think there's only a couple rounds left before the bind-off.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Sebastian

This morning I found that one of my Bettas, Sebastian, had died.

I know he was just a fish, but I was very attached to him. He was a graduation present to myself when I finished my BA, and he also was the only of my fish that was around when I had my first Betta, Justinian. I'd had Justinian for over 4 years, and he saw me through a lot, and I'd hoped to have at least as much time with Sebastian as well.

He was a good fish. His death was very sudden and unexpected, and I only hope that he wasn't suffering silently for very long.

Sebastian, June 2012-August 20, 2014
Happy swimming, little buddy. I miss you.

Monday, August 18, 2014

FO: (C)Owl

I thought that I only had one ball of this yarn left in my stash (I bought 10 balls of it four years ago to make a blanket. That never happened, and I've been trying to use this stuff up ever since in smaller projects).  I decided to make up a cowl for Anemone.

I love this color on her, and I love the way the owl cables shape the cowl to her neck.  She loves it, and I'm really pleased.  I'm a little picky about how I use seed stitch, but I'm pleased with it here, and it was a quick, fun knit.
Ravelry Page: (C)Owl
Pattern: from my head

Sunday, August 17, 2014

FO: Mum's Rainbow Leaf Scarf

As promised, the first of a little parade of FOs from my work trip last week:

I had three skeins of this yarn that I found last week at the beginning of reorganizing my stash, and I knew it needed to move on.  I had a bunch of this yarn, in different colorways, and it's been in my stash for over three years. I loved the colors, but I knew it wasn't necessarily something I'd wear a lot, and after looking at it for a bit, I knew my mum would love it a dozen times more than I would. 

I make no secret of the fact that I hate knitting scarves.  I just do.  I find them boring, repetitive, and unending.  So if I'm going to knit a scarf, I have to love the recipient, or really love the idea of the finished scarf.  Fortunately, I'm pretty darn fond of my mum, and once the idea of a rainbow scarf in a leaf pattern entered my mind, I couldn't get it to go away.
I pulled out an old simple leaf lace pattern, cast on, and knit all the way to the end.  It took three days without too much trouble.  I was hesitant about this yarn at first, but it felt so smooth as I knit it, and it blocked to a deliciously soft fuzz with just enough of a halo.  It was a little tough to give this one away, but I knew it was going to someone who would wear it more that I would.  I absolutely love this, and I really love how perfect it is for my mum.
Pattern: from my head
Yarn: Crystal Palace Yarns Mochi Plus "555 Tapestry Rainbow"

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Pretty Princess Swatch &etc.

I haven't really taken pictures of anything yet, except for most of a scarf while it was blocking on my bed with most of Ella:
Speaking of most of Ella, I started picking up for the neckband today.  It's taking forever.  I'm only half done after a couple hours of that:
But more on both of those later.

I finally caked up my Pretty Princess yarn (Colinette Jitterbug, Peaches & Cream) and it is delightful.  I know I've talked about how much I love this yarn before, but it's just so squishy and beautiful and I wanna smoosh my face in it.
I spent half of yesterday swatching, starting, frogging, and restarting.  I thought I'd gotten the whole thing figured out before I cast on, but I just couldn't make my idea work.  So last night before bed I frogged the whole thing one last time and spent several quality hours with my stitch dictionaries. 
After six false starts, I finally have a viable swatch.  Hopefully this looks as good knit up as a shawl as it does in the swatch (part of why yesterday was so disappointing was because THE SWATCH LIED).  It's not what I initially planned, but it has the feel I was looking for, and I'm excited to get this knit up.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Back Again

I have a ton of knitting to show you over the next few days, but for now I'm back in my own house and it's wonderful.  Except for the part where my comforter is missing (seriously, how the hell does someone lose a comforter?  Those things are huge!).  My mum thinks it's hilarious, I think it's disconcerting.  Hopefully it shows up (there's literally nowhere it could be. I think someone broke in and stole it.  It's a fantastic comforter).

Today though, I tossed my stash.  As I alluded to before, it was getting rather unwieldy:
That's my bed.  Want closeups?
Yeah, it was getting out of hand.  I'm pretty sure that's not even all of it, too (if it is, I somehow lost several hundred yards of purple laceweight alpaca, and that would piss me off).  Fortunately, still no signs of moths or carpet beetles or other nasties.

It's organized now, as best it can be.  Some of it is going to new homes.  Most importantly, the stash (mostly) fits within its confines, and I'm only keeping things I love and will use.

Saturday, August 9, 2014

From the Hills, With Love

Just checking in to let you all know I'm alive.  The drive out on Wednesday was uneventful (except for the part when I almost ran out of gas 20 miles from anywhere) and a lot of the "heavy lifting" type of work is done. 

The knitting is going well.  I have most of a hat and 2/3ds of a scarf. You'll get pictures when I'm back home, on my computer.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Go West

I leave tomorrow morning for a week long work trip out in the Black Hills, so tonight I'm doing laundry, loading up on snacks, and trying to remember where my travel shampoo is.

I'm not too worried about the knitting.
That's a lot of yarn.  That is, almost certainly, too much yarn.  But I've run out of knitting three times in the last month, and there's no way I'm taking chances when I'm going to be on top of a mountain with no idea where the nearest yarn shop is for a week.  (Also the startitis? Everything in that pile was cast on in the past 48 hours, with the exception of my Sockhead hat.) 

It's a seven-hour drive to the mountain tomorrow.  I really wish I could knit while driving.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Startitis

My stash is pretty impressive, and I'm really proud of it.  I love yarn and yarn makes me happy, and I believe it's important to surround ourselves with things that we love and that make us happy.  That being said, some of my stash is years old, and it's busting at the seams.  Since moving back into my parents' house after college, I try to be mindful of how much stuff I have, since I don't have an entire apartment to let it spill out into.  I have dedicated stash storage, and when that starts to overflow, I need to address it.  Fortunately, my overflowing stash is aligning with what's looking like an impressive case of startitis.

Less fortunately, I have a bunch of big projects planned right now.  I have a new design that needs to be swatched and knit.  I need to get caught up on work knitting so that when it's time to do Xmas knitting it doesn't kick my butt.  This is literally the worst time for me to get startitis, and since I've really only been working on big projects lately, it's looking like all I want to knit is stuff that will be done in a couple days.

What I mean to say is, I tripped while evaluating my Deep Stash and came up with a new cowl.  There's a couple more coming soon too.  I'm not sorry.

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Baby Stuff

I finished the first baby blanket for this year and the corresponding baby crown last week, but I've only just gotten around to blocking and photographing.
These were both super quick knits.  The blanket took about 8 hours and the crown took just one.  I wish I had estimated the width of the blanket better, but once it was all laid out I figured the dimensions are perfect for rolling the little tyke up like a baby burrito.

I'm really pleased with how they come out, and I hope the parents-to-be like them.  The baby's coming really soon, so I need to get these mailed out tomorrow so they're ready when he comes!

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Still a WIP: Ella

Happy Saturday!  I finally finished knitting the sleeves for my Ella cardigan (shrug?) (for the second time) and I've made it through the longest of the raglan decrease rows.  (For a while there, I was afraid it would never be finished-I could barely get through two rows in an hour!  But we're sailing pretty good now.)
I was afraid that I'd have to bring Ella to work on during my business trip next week, but I'm starting to feel more confident that she'll be done and I'll be able to wear her.  I've got 21 more raglan decrease rows, the underarm 3-needle bind-off, and the ribbed edging to go.  It sounds like we're watching the extended edition of The Two Towers at my house today, so I'm hoping to get the raglan shaping and underarms done and ends woven in so she can have a quick bath before I start the edging. 
(I apologize for the bathroom selfies, but in my defense, I think they're really good for bathroom selfies.)
Also, I went to the thrift shop this morning and got this fantastic piece of art.  Right now it's going to get wrapped and stored behind my bed, but when I move out to my own place, it'll hang above my sofa.  It's printed linen, and the six horses in the foreground are all three dimensional, with padding underneath.  In some places, they're raised more than an inch from the rest of the work! 
I've got some cute baby stuff that's blocking right now to show you tomorrow too, so see you then!