Wednesday, March 30, 2016

A New Cowl


I've had this skein floating around in my stash since at least 2012, and I can't describe how good it feels to be knitting it up. I pulled it out the last time I reorganized my stash to let some ideas percolate out in the open. I feel like it's been ages since I've worked on a new design, and while the break was really good for me, it feels amazing to be doing design work again.

As usual, I was heavily influenced by the colors in this skein, and every time I looked at it it reminded me of The Tempest. I've been obsessed with that play since middle school, so I was really excited to dive into what I associate with that play and how to represent it visually, and I've been having a lot of fun so far. 

This is going to be a long cowl with a couple of lace patterns interspersed with garter stitch, and I'm completely charmed by it so far. I'm juggling a lot of WIPs right now, but this has been so enjoyable to knit so far that it's practically flying off the needles!

Linking up with Yarn Along

Monday, March 28, 2016

FO: Talus


Guys, I know I say this every time I knit one of Cory's patterns, but seriously, I really freaking love knitting Cory's patterns. I really admire her work, and she is such a great pattern writer-every one of her patterns is just a joy to follow.

Okay, now that the gushing's out of the way, check out my hat! I fell hard for this hat as soon as it was released, and my main hangup in terms of actually knitting it was finding yarn for it. I wanted something nice, and I actually bought a skein that I earmarked for this hat before I got home and realized it was the wrong weight (don't worry, it turned into Cabot).


I got this skein in my reward box for the Great Northern Knits Kickstarter last year, and it's pretty much just been sitting around since then waiting for me to find half a second to cast on. This was such an enjoyable project to work on, and now I have a cozy new hat, just in time for spring!


Ravelry Page: Talus
Pattern: Talus, by Cory Ellen Boberg
Yarn: baa ram ewe Dovestone DK, "Parkin"

Linking up with KCCO

Friday, March 25, 2016

In Progress


I'm back to juggling projects this week, and juggling several different books as well. I'm working on the first sleeve for my Que Sera, and I'm halfway through the lace edge of my Nusa cowl. (Pro Tip: When you're going to be in a poorly-lit auditorium all day for a Show Choir Showcase, maybe don't bring the lightweight dark grey lace project to work on). I also started another new cowl, added some more rows to my Rios Scraps Cowl, and am fighting with the neckline of a new cardigan.

Que Sera is still a total dream-so far the sleeve doesn't even feel like a sleeve (could it be, I'm actually enjoying knitting a sleeve??). I'm planning on having the sleeves be a bit more than elbow-length, so hopefully I'll keep being charmed by them until they're done.

I've made it to the third book in the Fairyland series, and I'm also working through one of Catherynne M. Valente's short story collections. I've read a lot of these stories before in online publications, but it's really nice to revisit them in print. I'm also reading Shirley on Kindle now, and it's a bit slow, even though I love Caroline as a character. She just met the titular Shirley, though, so hopefully the story should be picking up quickly.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

FO: Beach House


I finished my Beach House last week, exactly as planned, and I am super happy thrilled with it. I love the length, I love the fit, I love the color-really, this is one of my favorite new tops. I cheated for pictures-the finishing's not quite done here. I usually weave in all my ends before blocking, but I missed one, and decided to get it once it was dry. Then I got all set up for the photoshoot, remembered that there was still one long end by my armpit that needed to be woven in, and tucked it secretly into my brassiere.


(And now I've ruined the secret by telling all of you. Also, I've attracted god knows how many spambots because I said "brassiere." Oh well. Hello, spambots. I hope you like knitting, because that's really all I talk about.)

Anywho, I am incredibly pleased with how this top came out, and I think it's going to be a really flexible piece. This yarn is an absolute delight, but there was still a lot of dye hanging out in it-I rinsed it six times before the water went from "washing the blood on my hands" to "mild pink." I got it from a destash sale, and it's discontinued now (because of course it is), but other than the bleeding it was a total delight to work with and I'm loving wearing it!


Ravelry Page: Beach House
Pattern: Beach House, by Teresa Gregorio
Yarn: Noro Lily Solid "24 Purple Red"

Linking up with Yarn Along

Monday, March 21, 2016

Pie with a Cherry on Top


Pictures of my Cherry Pie Skirt, as promised! There is so much I love about this skirt-the length, the colors, the pattern-I'd love for it to be a wardrobe staple. But remember that little hangup I had with the hem? I'm still hung up on it.


The fabric of the skirt drapes amazingly, but adding that extra layer to the last inch just stiffened it up too much to hang the way I want. Which is an easy enough fix-and if I can tear myself away from my renewed obsession with Que Sera, it'll be all set and ready to rock the town this week.


For comparison I pulled out my Yellow Skirt, which I love. When I knit this skirt a couple years ago, I ended up running a little short on yarn, and I was afraid of doing a folded hem as written and ending up with too-short a skirt. So I finished it off with two inches of moss stitch, and it's perfect.


So that's what I'm going to do here-I'll rip out the hem, rip back a few more rounds, and finish it off with a couple inches of moss stitch. See? Texture fixes everything. Except for the four hours of my life I spent on the most perfect folded hem ever, but a few hours are nothing when it comes to making something something that I'm merely proud of currently into something I'll want to wear all the time.


Friday, March 18, 2016

Beaching Along, and Biking


Happy Friday, friends! Is it just me, or has this been a really long week for everyone? Fortunately I have some good stuff to look forward to: my Beach House has just half of a front left before it's done! Which means it's definitely on track to be done today, and now I need to decide what to work on this weekend. Tomorrow I'll have about four hours in the car, plus several hours in concerts, so I'll probably want a variety. I'm really tempted to pull Que Sera out of hibernation for the car at least, though I might need a sock or something for the actual concerts.

I'm mulling around some cowl ideas for that blue-purple-greenish skein up there. I've had it in my stash for years, and I really love the colors too much to keep it cooped up in a bin much longer.

Yesterday I did a training ride for the Tour de Cure on my stationary bike-it was just too cold for my pathetic little lungs to want to bike outside. I rode foe 100 minutes, because I'm concerned about the psychology of staying in the saddle for a long ride. My Tour route is 50 miles, which could take 3.5 to 4.5 hours, and that's a lot of time on a bike. Yesterday's ride felt really good, but I cheated a lot and sat up to give my hands a break, which won't be an option during the actual Tour.

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Reading and Stitching


I'm still working on my Beach House-I promise, I'll have pictures of the Cherry Pie Skirt soon, and then we can discuss that hem I keep talking about.

Beach House is still going spectacularly-I'm so excited for this top, the yarn and color are delightful, and the pattern is so much fun. I'd love to get the knitting done this week-we've got a weekend full of concerts coming up, and I'd like to work on something a little further from completion, so I don't run out of knitting!

I've been rereading the Fairyland books by Catherynne M. Valente this week-the final book came out on March 1, and I didn't want the series to be over so soon, so I decided to start from the beginning again. I'm on the second book now, and these are just as enjoyable as they were the first time around. I remember reading the first book on Cat's website, under a "pay-what-you-want" model, and it's a little bittersweet to have the series ending.

Linking up with Yarn Along

Monday, March 14, 2016

Numbers on a Monday


Hola, wayward comrades! I had a crazy busy weekend, so we're going to number it up:

1. I got a new mattress, and holy crap is it comfy! It is, however, twice as thick as my old mattress (to fit all the comfort) and it's a bit high to climb onto. We're going to try and lower my bed an inch, but I also think I may like a step or stool to give me a boost too.

2. I finished my Cherry Pie Skirt! And I'm super happy with it and it looks great...but (there's a but) I don't know if I love the hem on the bottom. In the mirror, when I wear the skirt, the hem looks like it drapes oddly, and I don't think I love it. I haven't taken pictures yet, and sometimes things can look different in pictures than in the mirror, so I'm going to take some before I make any decisions about changing it.

3. I finished the back of my Beach House! I had a bit of an episode on Saturday when I realized I was incorporating stitches into the garter stitch section half as frequently as the pattern calls for (come on, Kat, by now you should know better. Read the pattern!) so I tore it out and re-knit. Womp-womp. But it looks so much better now, and I'm ready to tackle the fronts!

4. If you're following me on Instagram, you saw that I got some new plastic tubs for my stash. I'd had one of the tubs for a while, and I finally got around to getting three more. One more should do the trick, but I need to wait for Walmart to restock (the pitfalls of living in a small town in the middle of nowhere). Most of my sweater quantities are in a small dresser that I have for yarn, and I have some more stuff on a bookshelf, but it's nice to get the bulk of the stash in the protection of these bins. For the curious, the bins are organized by sock yarn, fingering-not for socks, lace weight, and sport-dk-worsted.

How was everyone else's weekend?

Linking up with KCCO

Friday, March 11, 2016

Sprinting Towards the Finish


First order of business: the wayward knitter has its very own domain! You can now type in the much shorter URL thewaywardknitter.com (thewaywardknitter.blogspot.com still works, and if you follow with Bloglovin' you should be fine and not have to update anything). So really, it's not a huge change, but it's a nice step forward for me and the growing bloglet to move into a domain of our own.

It's looking like another busy weekend for me-I'm going into the city tomorrow, probably for most of the day, and I'm hoping to get a decent training ride in on Sunday. I'm also omgthisclose to being done with my Cherry Pie Skirt, and since that KAL ends on Monday, I'll be sprinting towards the end of that. I'm working on the purl round for the folded hem now, and once that's done it's just 2,106 more stitches and a bind off (and, you know, blocking, and sewing the hem, and putting an elastic in the waist, and sewing the waistband casing).

I really have been enjoying knitting this skirt, but I am going to be so glad to have it done-all of the grey knitting seemed to take forever, and I was so relieved that the colorwork went quickly and smoothly. It's gotten to be a big hunk of knitting to keep carrying around, so I'll definitely be glad to get this one off the needles.

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

A Me-Made Plan


I love the concept behind Me-Made May. Every year I want to join in, but May is a bit of a transitional month, and it can get pretty darn warm, and I really don't have a whole lot of warm-weather appropriate knits.

Last weekend I was Instagram-stalking a sewing blogger, and I got the urge to check my self-made wardrobe situation. Lo and behold, I've actually got a shot of making it! And, since I'm thinking about it this early, I have a chance to plan and strategically fill in any gaps in my wardrobe as needed.

So here's things as they stand-the following eight knits are done and in my wardrobe and should be appropriate to wear during May at least once:


Some of these I'm nervous about-most days it will likely be too warm to wear either Marion or Amiga, and my No Boyfriend Sweater is pretty heavy.

I also have three projects on the needles that I plan to get done before May:


And, I have yarn for four new tops as well-even though I know I won't get all four done:

-Drift (a short-sleeved cropped version!)
-Tallahassee (also cropped!) 

I'd love to get at least the Work+Shelter top knit, and one of the crop tops. I've also gone through most of my fabric stash and pulled out some things to try sewing. I'd love to get an easy skirt or two and a couple of simple tops done, and hopefully those will help cover some of the warmer days.

I'm really looking forward to the next couple of months now-anything to distract me from my yarn diet, lol! Is anyone else planning for Me-Made May yet?

Monday, March 7, 2016

Weekends


I hope you all had a fantastic weekend! Mine was busier than usual, but good!

Saturday I went up to the city to look at some bikes from Craigslist, and I came home with a vintage Schwinn Le Tour that's been kept in excellent condition. I rode it to the grocery store on Saturday, and to choir on Sunday, and it's a great bike-and so much faster than any of my old ones! I can't wait to get out on some real training rides for the Tour de Cure over the next few weeks.

I got through almost all of the grey on my Cherry Pie skirt as well, and I'm ready to start the colorwork! Since that project's getting large and unwieldy, I decided to pull my Beach House out of hibernation to work on. I love knitting this so much, and it's one of the things I want to get done for Me-Made May (I'll talk more about those plans later), so it was great to pull out again. I actually managed to get to the front/back split last night, so this is just sailing along!

Friday, March 4, 2016

Yarn Diet *GASP*


I've been toying with the idea of a yarn diet for a while, and when I realized that I have 50 patterns in my queue that I already have yarn for (!!), I decided it was probably a bit overdue. I have my annual knitting retreat in mid-April, so I've decided not to buy any new yarn until then, because I know I'll go crazy over all of Tara's yarn, and I have very little self-restraint in dyeing workshops, and we may or may not have begun hatching a plan involving a sweater's worth of yarn and some bright yellow and green dye. So I'll feel a lot better about going totally crazy for three days if I'm good and save up for the next six weeks.

Which, ugh. I love buying yarn. I really, really do. I know six weeks really isn't very long, and I know that I could have been really crazy and said no new yarn for six months, or even for a year. But of course, as soon as I decide to not buy new yarn I come up with new ideas that I just need yarn for now, dammit! When, ultimately, I know that I'm not going to have time to knit anything new in the next six weeks, so really, being on a yarn diet should be no problem. Except, we all know that's not really how it works out.


Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Creativity, and Being Kind


I've been struggling a bit creatively since the start of the year-I have a couple of sweaters stewing in my head, and one that I'm working out on the needles now, but I haven't had an original idea in weeks, and that's a bit paralyzing. I know it's technically impossible to run out of ideas, but it had been so long since I'd felt any kind of creative spark that I was really starting to feel a bit down.

Of course, my approach the past couple weeks to just take things as they come and pick up and put down projects as I feel like it has apparently freed up some of the creative space in my brain, and now I'm solidly in the brainstorming phase (so far it's a pretty big brainstorm, and I can tell there's going to be a lot of editing in my future).

My goal for this month (maybe I'm the kind of blogger that sets monthy goals now?) is to continue being kind to myself. I want to focus on getting some of my WIPs done-especially my KAL projects, but I've also got my Talus hat up there to finish before spring really gets here. But I also want to keep this attitude of letting myself work on what I want when I want to, and not to put undue pressure on myself, and to let these new larval ideas percolate as much as they need to in order to reach maturity. I love this concept solidification part of the creative cycle so much, and I'm really looking forward to enjoying it after that 2-3 month stint in the "I will never have another original thought ever" phase.

ETA: I just realized that this is the blog's second birthday! The past two years have been so much fun and our wider blog community as a whole is such a rich one that I am so proud to be a part of. So, in honor of my second blogiversary, go spread some blog love through the community! Share a favorite old post from one of your favorite bloggers, spread comments far and wide-basically anything that will help us all remember and appreciate that what we have here in the blogiverse is so special.