Monday, February 29, 2016

Careful Not to Twist


Friday night I finished winding the yarn for my Nusa KAL cowl, and I immediately cast on and found myself so smitten I just had to knit a few rounds. Saturday morning, I was similarly engrossed, and I knit several rounds during my morning coffee. Then, just as I was about to set it down to go for a walk, I noticed it,

You know that part in the pattern, where it says, "Join to work in the round, careful not to twist?" Heck, I've put that line in more than half of my own patterns, and I'm absolutely meticulous about checking my cast-on before I start knitting. But there, more than ten rounds into a project with a 336st cast-on, I saw it.

A twist.

I swore. I put it down. I went for a walk. I went for coffee. I went to catch up with some friends who were back in town. I went to the grocery store.

It was still there when I finally went home.

I'm almost back to where I was before I (gently) ripped back. Really, it's not much progress length-wise, but it was over 10,000 stitches when I had to rip it out. That stings a little bit. But hey, in terms of Tragic Knitting Mistakes, this is really pretty minor, and if that's my biggest problem right now, I think I'll be okay.

Friday, February 26, 2016

Along-Along


Well, the KALs I'm participating in are all trucking along just fine, and I'm...well, I'm not necessarily in bad shape, I'd just rather be in better shape. My Cherry Pie Skirt is at the point where I can knit a couple thousand stitches and not really see too much of a change, and I've been working on the main skirt for over a week and it still won't cover my bum yet, so that's disheartening. But I keep using up yarn, so that means that there's got to be some progress, right?

I did finally start working on this while reading-I'm behind on several library books, and I'd love to not have to return them without reading them, and I was so surprised to notice that I knit this faster when reading than when watching tv. I think it's probably because I read fast, and that naturally picks up my tempo, where with tv I generally match my knitting pace to the pace of the show. So that was a fun discovery, and hopefully I'll start feeling more momentum soon. Plus, I can't forget that I already finished a top for this KAL, so really it's unfair to think I should be further ahead than I am now.

My SpringTastic Socks are...plodding along. That's unfair, because I'm not working on them as much as other things. Last weekend I turned the heel on sock #1, and started the gusset decreases. hopefully it will pick up more now that only half of the sock is patterned, but it was hard to realize that the heel isn't actually the halfway point in an ankle sock. Womp-womp. This KAL goes until April 29, so I'm not really feeling rushed yet, which is nice.

Then...I tripped and fell in the indie.knits group and committed to the Nusa KAL. I've been wanting to do one of Cory's KALs, and this one just fit in perfectly-plus, it's almost eleven weeks long, so I'll definitely be able to finish on time. My yarn arrived on Wednesday, and I've been working on winding it, and hopefully I'll be able to cast on tonight, just a few days late.

**You may be wondering about the picture of me with a bike and a link to the American Diabetes Association 2016 Tour de Cure that's shown up in my right sidebar. I know I've mentioned it here before just a couple of times, but I've been living with diabetes since I was 18, and it can really suck sometimes. I rode the Tour in 2013, and I'm so excited to be able to ride again this year, and if any of you are able and willing to support me, I would be so grateful. So, it's there if you want to learn more, but I certainly don't want anyone to feel pressured at all.**

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

A Scrappy Cowl


Yesterday I had to get a crown put in, so I brought my Cherry Pie skirt to work on, since it's still an endless ocean of stockinette in the round right now. When I got home from the dentist, I really didn't feel like doing too much, so after a nap I switched over to my scrappy cowl for a bit of variety.

I'm loving this cowl so much-I've been saving up my Rios scraps forever with the hope of getting enough for a long cowl, and when I finally weighed them last weekend I had 224g, so I dove right in. I've been wanting an Amazing Seed Stitch Wrap for ages, but I haven't been able to commit to colors yet, so this is like a mini cowl version with the colors already selected. It's definitely renewed my interest for colorblocked seed stitch though, and I'm probably going to have to bite the bullet and choose colors for a wrap version soon.

My cowl is 47sts wide, and I think it'll end up around nine inches wide and 50-60 inches long. So far I'm absolutely smitten by how the Rios knits up in seed stitch that I don't mind only getting a couple inches done at a time-each finished stripe is it's own little accomplishment, and it's so fun to finally use up this bowl of scraps.

Monday, February 22, 2016

On Restlessness


I've been feeling a bit restless the past couple of weeks. I thought it was mostly due to my enforced near-monogamy with a couple projects-last week the only things I worked on were my Cherry Pie Skirt (at my lunch breaks) and a new sweater (in the evenings), and while I really enjoy both of them, it started feeling a bit structured. Thursday night around 10pm I finally snapped and finally cast on for my Talus hat that I've been planning for ages, and everything just seemed to click.

Right now, I have a fantastic queue full of patterns that I want to knit. I have a lovely stash full of yarns that I want to work with, and I have dozens of patterns and yarns matched up and ready to cast on. I also have several baskets, bags, bins, and shelves of WIPs, numbering well into the double digits, and I want to keep working on all of those things too.

But I know that there's always going to be more. I mean, some of the things in my Ravelry queue are five years old, so clearly they've been pushed aside by new patterns. As much as I want to be able to keep everything organized and scheduled, that's not how it works.

I very rarely have as many patterns tied to yarn and ready to go except for casting on as I do right now, and I can't stand to leave what is in my mind a WIP filed away in the stash for future use. I've been very fortunate the past several months to have some delightful yarns come my way, and to have  several yarns from Deep Stash finally reveal their ultimate purpose to me, which is great for these yarns, but not so great for a girl who has trouble delaying cast-on for any reason.

Over the weekend I tried just letting go. I brought all of my main WIPs to knitting group, and worked a little bit on each one as I felt like it. I started a new scrappy cowl. I turned the heel on my first sock for the Holla Knits KAL. I reorganized my projects, and that made me feel a little better. It's tough for me to let go and just knit in the moment, but clearly that's what I need to do right now. 

Friday, February 19, 2016

Finished Family Knits


 These have both been done for a while, so it's probably about time that I talk about them here! Anemone had requested a Portsmouth hat of her own back in September (eep!) and Mum mentioned that she'd like a Kermit (skinny version) of her own a couple of months ago as well, so I made an effort to finally crank these out.

I laughed a bit when I brought Anemone yarn shopping and she picked the same colorway as my Portsmouth sample. I think this skein is a little bit brighter than mine, but otherwise the two hats are identical. I banged this out in two days, and had it ready to give to her when I was in the city last weekend.

The skinny Kermit for Mum was also a really quick knit-not quite two days, but in less than a week of carrying it around it was ready for blocking, and she's already worn it several times. I love this green so much, and it's a spectacular color on her as well.


Ravelry Pages: Portsmouth and Skinny Kermit
Patterns: Portsmouth and Kermit, by Kat Riddell
Yarn: Malabrigo Yarn Rios "863 Zarzamora" and Knit Picks Swish DK "Forest Heather"

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

New Pattern: Old Davis


I am so happy to present my new cowl pattern, Old Davis! This one is very near and dear to me, and it's very heavily influenced by my time in the White Mountains and the poetry of Robert Frost.


Old Davis comes with two length options, for either one or two skeins of worsted-weight yarn, and to be honest, I'm hard-pressed to pick a preference. I'm usually a long cowl girl 100%, but the single loop has been perfect for walks around the neighborhood this week. The ribbed mountain lace is just the right weight for late winter and early spring.


Per usual, you can grab your own copy of Old Davis either on Ravelry or in the wayward knitter pattern store, and the pattern has both written and charted instructions. Happy Knitting!


Monday, February 15, 2016

Skirt & Derby, and A Tale of Greens


Saturday night I went up to the city for a roller derby bout, and I brought along my Cherry Pie skirt to work on. It turned out to be a perfect choice-all stockinette, all the time, and I didn't have to look at it once. Which worked out, since I was too busy watching us lose spectacularly: 128-241 at the end, but it was stacked pretty heavily in the visiting teams's favor pretty early on. They really skated well, and it was still a fun bout, but ouch.

Anyway, the skirt started out as a little narrow loop of stockinette, and by the end it was a slightly wider loop of stockinette, so I'm pleased. During the bout, the photographer swung around to my seat and said, "You have no idea how happy I am that you're knitting," so there you go. Kat Riddell, bringing joy to the people, one knitting project at a time.


Also, because I love sharing my shortcomings with you all (and it's a really funny story), here's a little anecdote from yesterday. Mum and I were making burrito bowls for lunch, and she asked me to get veggies out, including lettuce. We'd just gotten a bunch of greens on Saturday from our produce subscription (we thought we got spinach, green leaf lettuce, iceberg lettuce and cabbage), so I asked what kind of lettuce she wanted. "Doesn't matter," she replied, so I pulled out the iceberg lettuce.

I should have realized that something was up when it took me six whacks to even start getting the core out, and I ended up having to tear the whole head apart to get at the core. I tore the whole head up to rinse, and spread it out to dry. A few minutes later, Mum looks at it, and the center was a bit yellow, so she looked at me "What the heck did you do?"

"I rinsed lettuce!"

She picked through it a bit, "Oh, the color just looked a bit off. You're fine." She started chopping up some lettuce. "Hey, Kat?"

"Yeah?"

"Are you sure this is lettuce?"

"Yeah."

"Are you sure you're sure?"

"Yeah. At least, I think so." I went to the fridge. "Yeah, the cabbage is on the bottom shelf there, so that's definitely the lettuce."

"I don't think so."

"What do you mean you don't think so, it's definitely lettuce."

"It feels a bit off." At this point I finally pick up a piece and eat it.

"Huh. Nope, that's cabbage."

"Seriously?!"

"Yeah."

"So is the lettuce still in the fridge?"

"No, I'm pretty sure that one was cabbage. Did we get two cabbages?" I pulled out the fridge cabbage and ate a piece of that as well. "Huh, we got two cabbages."

SO I am a perfectly functioning intelligent adult and I tore up an entire cabbage thinking it was lettuce. And I will never live that down.


Friday, February 12, 2016

FO: From Another Place


I was afraid that I wasn't going to be able to blog about this until next week, but I ended up being able to grab pictures quick yesterday, so here we go! My From Another Place Crop Top is complete and perfect and I love it.


I had a bit of a tough time choosing yarn for this, and I'm so happy I went with the Knit Picks Stroll Tonal. The colors are so rich and vibrant, and I can already tell that I'm going to be wearing this top often, so I'm really glad of the nylon content in the yarn.


I knit the size Large, which worked out perfectly for my measurements (43" bust and 35" waist). The colorwork is like a nice warm hug around my ribcage, and I think the ribbing hits at just the right spot on my torso. I did eyeball a few of the measurements (mostly just when to start the waist decreases) because I didn't have a measuring tape handy and the first joint of my thumb is about an inch-ish anyway. Whatevs, it worked out perfectly.


Other than that I don't have too much to say. I did use less yarn than I thought I'd need-I managed to eke my top out in just 300g, so this is definitely a great top to try out if you have smaller amounts to use up. All in all, this was a whole lot of fun to knit, super fun to wear, and I had a lot of fun! And now, onto #GreatNorthernKAL Part 2, Cherry Pie.


Pattern: From Another Place Crop Top by Leah Coccari-Swift
Yarn: Knit Picks Stroll Tonal "Inverness" and "Pearlescent"

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

This Week in Numbers

This week feels like it's going to be really long. I mean, I'm getting a ton of stuff done, and I'm more productive than I've been in weeks, but I had a really bad case of "It feels like Friday" at about 2pm on Monday, so that's a big red flag right there. I'm immensely grateful that I have a three-day weekend this week, because I feel like I may need it.


Anyway. Numbers, because that's how this week is going so far:

1. My From Another Place Crop Top is Done (note the capital D). It's blocking now, and I am so excited to wear it and hopefully I'll have pictures for you soon.

2. I cast on for my Cherry Pie Skirt on Monday night, but I'm just a couple rounds into the waistband. I know this one is going to take longer than the crop top (mostly because it's bigger), and like I mentioned Monday, I have a couple other small things to catch up on, like...

3. The short sample for Old Davis is also done and blocking. I have the pattern is on schedule for release next Wednesday, so definitely keep an eye out for that.

4. I cast on for Anemone's Portsmouth last night-I want to hurry up and get this done so it can be blocked and ready before Saturday night. I'm driving into the city to meet her for dinner and a roller derby bout, and it would be awesome if I could give this to her then. Besides, if I write here that it will get done, she'll read this and won't stop texting me until it is done, and that can't hurt.

5. Not knitting-related, but I'm getting a new stationary bike (Amazon says it will be delivered tomorrow, but sometimes that's a lie since I'm in a small town in the middle of nowhere) and I'm super excited.

Monday, February 8, 2016

Most of a Crop Top, and Half a Cowl


Well, I probably could have finished my From Another Place Crop Top over the weekend, but instead I got into a bit of a cleaning tizzy and only snuck a couple of hours of knitting in. I got the colorwork done and the ribbing started on Friday night, and I finished up the rest of the body at knit group on Saturday. I grabbed this picture while it was still light yesterday, but I also managed to get the collar knit during the first half of the Superbowl, so now it just needs sleeves!


I also cheated on my top a little-I've been uncharacteristically monogamous with it since cast-on, so I don't feel too bad. But I've got Old Davis slated for release next week, and I need to finish the short sample and get a photoshoot done, so I brought it along to lunch on Saturday and choir on Sunday and I'm almost halfway through. The short sample is in Malabrigo Rios in Sand Bank, and this is probably one of my new favorite neutrals. I love the bright golden orange of the long sample like life itself, but this one has a lot going for it so far also. 

Friday, February 5, 2016

WIP: From Another Place Crop Top


I knew that my From Another Place Crop Top was going to go quickly, but thanks to a sick day and a day and a half of being snowed in, this thing is really zooming along! We got seventeen inches of snow on Tuesday, and it took most of the day Wednesday to dig out our driveway, so I've had way more knitting time than usual this week.

I'm loving seeing this yarn knit up so much-the colors are even richer and more tonal than I thought from seeing the skeins, and the Pearlescent pops so brightly against the Inverness. Part of me wants to slow down a bit to savor the knitting more (what little there is left), but I have Cherry Pie to start once this is done, and I know that might take me most of the rest of the KAL to get through. I have a couple of side projects that I hope to be working on soon too, so I'm pleased with my progress here.

And, honestly, look at those colors. I cannot wait to get this top off the needles and on my body!

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

KAL Yarns

Since I've been talking up these KALs, I thought I might as well show off the yarns I'm using. I love all the yarns I'm working with (Pro Tip: Only work with yarns you love. Life is too short for shitty yarn). I dove into some deep stash for the SpringTastic Socks KAL, then placed a Knit Picks order for both of the Great Northern KALs.


For the Cherry Pie KAL, I've got the Knit Picks Swish in "Squirrel Heather" and "Hot Tamale". I have very cleverly gone completely off-script for this KAL and instead of a zippered cardigan, I will be knitting a skirt! I have all the numbers figured out, and I'm super looking forward to it. Plus, look at how much that Hot Tamale pops!


For the From Another Place KAL, I will be knitting the crop top version in the Knit Picks Stroll Tonal in "Inverness" and "Pearlescent," with the yarn held double. I'm loving all the greens and blues in that Inverness, and I'm super excited to get it on my torso.


Finally, for the Holla Knits! SpringTastic Socks KAL, I am using one lone ball of Patons North America Kroy Stripes in "Sailor Stripes." I love the bright colors in this yarn, and I'm thrilled to finally knit it up.

In terms of knitting order, I'm working on From Another Place right now, and once that's done I'll cast on for Cherry Pie, since they require the same needles. I'm taking my time with SpringTastic and generally working on them whenever I need a break from the larger projects.

Monday, February 1, 2016

State of the List

All in all, I'm happy with how much I got done this weekend in between naps (Yup, still tired, turns out my thyroid is a dumb traitor and we should have it sorted out in a couple more weeks. Until then I am apparently Sleeping Beauty). I feel like I'm in a great place to start my KAL projects today.

So how much, in fact, did I get done? Well, first off, I wound a whole bunch of yarn-stuff for the KALs, some for a new design, and for a couple more small things I want ready to go, but it all totaled up to 2.93 miles of yarn. Yes, my arm feels like it's going to fall off. But back to the list:

1. Finish long Old Davis, send draft to editor, knit short Old Davis.

STATUS: The long version is done and blocked, the pattern is hanging out with Holly, and the short version is three rounds in:


2. Finish upper back of Que Sera and sew on buttons.

STATUS: I got nothing more knit on this than I had last week, but look, there's only a couple inches left:


3. Wind yarn for Anemone's Portsmouth

STATUS: Wound. Am contemplating casting on.


4. Cast on Mum's Kermit

STATUS: Oh, hey, it's 75% done already:


5. Finish Outlander

STATUS: Nope, still half-done. But to be fair, it's really bulky, and my hands are not made for knits this large. Nail polish bottle for scale, so you can see that crazy that I'm working with right now. Those are 19mm needles, and they're insane. So yes, this is slow going.