Rules for Feeding the Stash

Monday, March 30, 2015

More Thinking, Less Doing

As I hinted at on Friday, I needed to take some time this weekend to think through some stuff. I'm sure everyone deals with personal inertia to some extent, and I know I struggle with it a lot. So it's healthy to take time every so often to take stock of things.  Figure out goals, re-establish priorities, you know. So it was a good weekend in that respect, and I got psychologically caught up with myself, but I really didn't get much else done. I almost thought about trying to squeeze in a photoshoot yesterday, but the wind was really intense, and it was nice to not really do any work this weekend.

The green shawl's still not finished, but it should get done this week. I only managed a couple of rows this weekend. I did spend about 2 hours in a coffee shop with my current socks and In the Woods, and I just had such a good time that I forgot to take any pictures. But it was the best way to spend an afternoon-I really ought to do that sort of thing more often. Also, In the Woods is really good so far-I'm 2/3rds of the way through now and hope to finish it this week.

I'm still in a battle with my WIP baskets-I'm down to nine projects right now, which is pretty good. With any luck, I'll get two done this week and I'll be in an even better spot. I'm toying around with my idea for my summer pullover design project, and I pretty much have my big summer knitting projects figured out (because it's been hot enough to think about summer knitting). I have enough of the crochet thread that I used for my Ella cardigan last summer to make an almost-hip length Featherweight, and I'm ready to give Mottled Daydream another go-I have the perfect yarn picked out, if only I can find it in my stash. Hopefully having some fun stuff lined up will motivate me to get some of the current WIPs out for good.

Friday, March 27, 2015

Frazzled Friday

I feel like I've been trying to play catch-up for the last few days. The replacement needles for the green shawl arrived earlier this week, so I should (fingers crossed) be able to finish the border on that this weekend. I have a pile of stuff that needs to be photographed, I have emails that need to be sent, I have emails that I need to respond to, and I'm really starting to wonder where the week went.

After last weekend, I'm not too concerned that this weekend is not going to be as productive. If I'm lucky, I'll get the green shawl done, but I have a ton of non-knitting personal stuff to take care of this weekend, and it just feels like I've been rushing everything the last few days. I'm hoping that next week I'll be able to breathe some more and refocus on some things.

Sorry that this post is kind of all over the place, but that's what my mind's been like the past couple of days. But I've already decided that next week is going to be good, and that I'm going to take the time I need to this weekend to get some important background things done so I can face next week with a bit more of a restful attitude.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Pattern: Josey

I have a really fun pattern today. Josey is a quick knit, made from bulky-weight alpaca, and while winter is technically over, I know the cold is still sticking around most places.

Josey features a picot cast-on edge that transitions into 2x1 ribbing, and the rest of the hat is worked in one-row horizontal stripes with four vertical stripes running up one side. The vertical stripes are worked with slipped stitches, so you're only ever working with one color at a time.

The pattern includes written instructions for a traditional fitted beanie and a slouchy hat (pictured), with complete instructions on how to do the picot cast-on. Enjoy!

Monday, March 23, 2015

Pretty Darn Productive

I hope everyone else had as productive a weekend as I did (or, if not very productive, then very restful). I have a new hat pattern ready to go out sometime this week, and just a couple of tiny things for the revamped vest pattern before it's ready for its re-release. I also got a quick swatch worked up for a summer pullover that I'm planning, and I'm very pleased with it,

As might be predicted from my monogamous knitting last week, the yellow shawl is currently blocking on the futon, and the pattern is right on schedule for an April release. I'm really pleased with how it came out, and I can't wait to do the photoshoot (so many pretty dresses will go with this-how to choose??).

The replacement needles for the green shawl haven't arrived, so I'm taking a break from work stuff to get some more of Anemone's Shrowl knit. I'm a third of the way through the final ball of yarn, so with any luck this should be done pretty soon. My WIP basket has gotten a little out of hand lately, and I want to reign it back in a little.

Friday, March 20, 2015

A Shawl, a Pattern, Some Books, and a Page

So it turns out that when you focus on knitting one thing for a few days, it gets knit! This is the sunny yellow shawl (and it really needs a better name than Sunny Yellow), already a couple of rows into the border and looking pretty good for completion this weekend. As soon as the needles for the green shawl get here, that's up for completion too, and I'll have two more things off the needles.

I also have a bit of computer work to catch up on. I have a hat pattern to finish writing up, and I don't think I've mentioned it here yet, but I deactivated my Epidemic pattern to update the formatting and add more sizes. Like, six more sizes. It bothered me that I personally feel so strongly about diversity and body positivity and self-love but I'd only written that pattern for three sizes. It had felt wrong for a while, and I decided that now was the time to fix it before I get too deep in other projects. It's almost ready to go off for editing, and I'm already so much more pleased with it.

Book-wise, I finished Beauty by Sheri S. Tepper earlier this week, and I really enjoyed it. I'm surprised that I'd never heard of it before, since it has pretty much everything I love. I'm finally getting into In the Woods now-I'd read the introduction back when I bought it way back in December, but then I'd let it languish. I'm really enjoying it now, though, and I'm hoping to make quick work of it since I'm seven books behind my way-too-ambitious reading goal for this year so far. But I also have Neil Gaiman's new collection that I'm working through, and there's a new Fairyland book as well, so I think I may re-read that whole series.

Last, but (hopefully) not least, I've made a Facebook page for The Wayward Knitter. It's still a baby page right now, but I'll be adding photos and things to it over the next few days.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

FO: Salt Creek Hat & Cowl

Well, it's probably about time that I show you all Anemone's birthday present. I gave it to her while we were in the cities for her birthday weekend, and we grabbed pictures outside of a Caribou Coffee just before heading back home.

I made Salt Creek and Salt Creek Cowl as a matched set. I just love the little cables and garter stitch, and Anemone likes well-matched, put together ensembles, so it seemed like a perfect idea. The yarn is once again the sadly discontinued Reynolds Soft Sea Wool, grabbed from the back room at Athena Fibers, and I'm pretty sure this is the last batch I'll ever get my hands on, unless Reynolds brings it back. Anemone was with me to pick out the color, but she knew nothing else about her present until I actually gave it to her.

The only hiccup was my own failure to read the pattern correctly, and I threw in an extra cable repeat at the first edge of the cowl. I thought it would be fine and carried on, but ultimately it would have thrown off the proportions too much-the cowl would have needed to be two or three inches longer to make up for it aesthetically, and that would have made the cowl almost too long to be really useful for this sort of middle weather we're in now.

I am very pleased with how these came out, and Anemone loves them as well.

Ravelry Pages: Anemone Bday Hat & Anemone Bday Cowl
Patterns: Salt Creek & Salt Creek Cowl, by Cory Ellen Boberg
Yarn: Reynolds Soft Sea Wool, "Light Blue"

Monday, March 16, 2015

Green Shawl of Woe

There have been several moments over the past few weeks where I've felt sure that the green shawl would be done that day. For the most part, this has been a total joy to knit. The yarn is delightful, the colors charming, and the first 3/4ths of this shawl went exactly as planned.

But the border's been a bit tricky. I've ended up having to rip it out four times, for a mix of careless mistakes and poor math. I sat outside all yesterday afternoon and finally tinked it back for the last time, actually swatched for the border (yes, I did an initial swatch, but apparently if you change things you need to swatch again), and worked out an excellent final plan that will absolutely work and be done in just a few hours.

And then this happened. I knew I had one other US5 needle around, so I found it and started again, until I remembered that this set had split at one tip and was unusable and I hadn't remembered to throw it away yet. So this will have to wait until my new needle gets here-I've ordered one and hopefully it will get here this week.

But until then, it's not like I don't have other stuff to work on.

Friday, March 13, 2015

Epic Weekend with Anemone, Part Two

Okay, I realize that it may have been cruel of me to leave you hanging without even a peek at my yarn store scores from last weekend. But these really needed their own post.

First up, I made my way to The Yarnery, which is absolutely delightful. Everything is organized by weight and is clearly labeled, and the staff there is fantastic. They had a really nice selection of Malabrigo's new yarn, Mechita, so I had to grab a couple of skeins in Marte.

I also got a skein of Berroco Ultra Alpaca in color 6291, Nancy Bush's amazing book, Folk Socks, which I've been wanting for a few years, and a darning egg (for some reason I didn't have a darning egg before now).

Next up, I went to Linden Yarn & Textiles which is another fun little shop. I showed a little more restraint there, and ended up with two skeins of Malabrigo Rasta in Arco Iris, plus one skein of Madalintosh Tosh DK, in the fantastically bright Neon Peach. I've been wanting to try out Tosh DK for a while, and I love the colors in this skein so much-it's super fluorescent and has the perfect balance of pink and orange.

Also, unrelated to yarn shops, I am now the proud owner of 400g of Donegal Tweed that my friends brought me back from Ireland. This stuff is incredibly special, and I can't wait to find out what it wants to be.

I knew I was going to go a little overboard last weekend, and I'm super happy with everything I got. I have plans (or at least vague ideas) for all this yarn, and I'm crazy excited to start reading through Folk Socks (I'm also kind of excited to be able to darn socks without trying to keep the tension even while stretching the hole awkwardly over my hand).

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Epic Weekend with Anemone, Part One

Where do I begin? I had a fantastic extra-long weekend away with Anemone, I got to see my best friends, and I ate several pizzas. I took Anemone to visit her top choice for graduate school this past weekend, and it happens to be in the city where my two best friends from college ended up. It was great to get to catch up with people, it was great to do something special with Anemone for her birthday weekend, and it was nice to just get away for a few days.

 We drove out Friday and didn't get to my friends' house until pretty late. Saturday was the only day Anemone didn't have stuff at the university, so we went to Ikea in the morning, had amazing pizza for lunch, and we bummed around a couple of neighborhoods before heading back to the house. Saturday night was for Mexican food and margaritas, then watching Game of Thrones until some vague hour Sunday morning.

(Funny story about lunch on Saturday: we went there because they have great gluten-free food, and I ordered my own pizza. Food comes out, we dig in, and I'm halfway through my first slice when the waitress comes by the table and says, "I'm so sorry, but I brought you the wrong pizza." If you have any dietary limitations at all, you can understand the level of sheer panic that I felt for half a second before she continued, "This one is still gluten-free, absolutely for sure, so would you like me to bring the other one out in a box for you?" So I ended up with two pizzas. Now, how do I order a sausage and garlic pizza and then happily start eating a pepperoni, sausage, mushroom, olive, and green pepper pizza without questioning it? I must have been really tired, and I really lucked out that it was still a gluten-free pizza.)

Sunday we bummed around all morning until Anemone had a university tour, and I visited another friend in the area. Monday she was busy all day, so I'd planned from the beginning to use that as my yarn store exploration day, and boy was I not disappointed. But I'll save those goodies for Friday.

(Oh, and for the curious, I ended up bringing my Cinema Socks and Come Along, Pond as my travel knitting, and they worked out very nicely.)

Friday, March 6, 2015

Trouble With Travel Knitting

I'm leaving soon, for my long weekend with Anemone, and I still haven't quite decided what knitting to bring. I definitely don't want to bring work knitting, because I don't want to risk losing the paper that I write the pattern on as I knit it. I don't want to bring something too boring, and I don't want to bring something too complicated. I need something small, so it will fit in my purse easily, but not so small that I'll finish it an run out of knitting to do.

I always realize that the knitting is the part of a trip that stresses me out the most, but I'm never actually prepared for it when it happens. I haven't packed clothes yet either, but that's not stressing me out at all (part of that may be due to the fact that I still only own one pair of jeans, so there's not really much to stress over).

To be fair, I've gotten burned by travel knitting before. I've run out, or I got cross with a project, or I ended up only having a beaded lace stole to work on while watching scary movies in the dark and drinking wine (um, just don't ask how that ended).

Part of it too is that travel is fun, and feels like a fantastic opportunity to start a new project for the trip. I'm not letting myself do that this time because I have an awful lot of WIPs right now, and I feel bad enough about letting those ones languish without adding to their number. It feels like I haven't started a new project in forever, which is totally ridiculous, since in the last month alone I started and finished six whole projects (there's just a few you haven't seen, including Top Sekrit). So clearly I need to get a hold of myself.

Whatever i figure out, I had better do it soon. As per usual, Twitter and Instagram are the places to be if you want to know what I get up to in real-time. Otherwise, I'll see you on the other side, with a full recap.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

FO: Henslowe

I'm gearing up for a big weekend with Anemone, but I have one quick FO for you all. A couple weeks ago I took a break from most of my other projects and knit a quick shawl for my mum. The yarn is one of my skeins from the dyeing workshops at my knitting retreat last month-it's the Divinity base from The Dyeing Arts, and it was beautiful to work with. The bamboo content makes it just shiny enough, and I can tell that this yarn is going to hold up pretty well.

I've seen this pattern around Ravelry, and I've always thought it was gorgeous, but I never really got around to knitting it. When I decided I was going to make a shawl out of this yarn, I looked through pretty much the entire database for the right pattern. I wanted to get the most out of this yarn, but I knew I had nothing in my stash to match in case I did run out halfway through the border. I also didn't want anything too complicated. This pattern fit the bill exactly, and from cast-on to bind-off it took less than a week.

 Ravelry Page: Henslowe
Pattern: Henslowe, by Beth Kling
Yarn: The Dyeing Arts Divinity, dyed by me

(For those of you keeping track, you will be pleased to hear that Top Sekrit is indeed finished and currently blocking. You'll get pictures after this weekend, once Anemone's received it and we've taken care of the whole photoshoot thing.)

Monday, March 2, 2015

Now We Are One, and Some Mitts

Yesterday was my one-year blogiversary. It feels weird to think about, because even though I've accomplished several of the goals I set for myself when I started this blog, I am constantly surprised by how things are turning out. All in good ways, I promise. I've made wonderful blog friends, and it feels strange to think back to a year ago and how different I was. I wasn't really sure, going into this post, what I was going to say about this milestone, but I'm so glad I've reached it, and I'm looking forward to spending many more years in this space.

Anyway. I don't know if I'm coming down with something or just stressed (or even if I just haven't been drinking enough coffee), but I ended up sleeping a lot this weekend. Hopefully that's all out of my system now, though. Yesterday I made an amazingly delicious batch of snack mix that I'm really looking forward to munching on this week: Kind Healthy Grains Oats & Honey Clusters with Toasted Coconut as the base, with dried cranberries, raw almonds, and golden raisins thrown in. 

On the knitting side of things, I got probably 3/4 of the way through the second part of Anemone's Top Sekrit project and then had to rip most of it out. I'd made a "design element" early on, and I thought I could keep it and be fine, but it ended up throwing off the proportions in a way that I just wasn't happy with. I managed to get caught up to where I was, and I'm on track to get it done tonight, barring any unforeseen circumstances.

Slightly more productively, I made good progress on the green shawl, but it's at the stage where it still looks the same, even though I knit on it for at least three hours. I also got photos of these new mitts that I am completely in love with. The yarn's been in my stash for almost five years, so it was very gratifying to finally find the right pattern for it. I'm so pleased with how they came out, and they were very fun to knit.

Ravelry Page: Tauremorna
Pattern: Tauremorna Mitts, by Amora Designs
Yarn: Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock Multi, "609 Fiddlehead" 
(this is one of the old skeins, so it was only 57g/215yds)