Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Summer Planning


As you can see, I've started the sleeves for the back of my Rhombille, and as long as nothing comes up, I just might be able to finish this weekend. I have a couple of WIPs that I want to try to get done before community theater rehearsals start (after the wedding present, of course), and I'm still working my way through an impressive library book stack.

I've also decided to do the OAL this year- I've been wanting to join in since the first year Andi and Lauren hosted it, but I always felt like summers got too busy. This summer is certainly no exception, but I've decided to say to heck with it and jump in. Community theater season ends on July 24, so I still have a week there at the end to speed up and finish things if I need to, but I'm sure I can find some time to work on stuff before then.

I need to go digging around in my stash and figure out what I want to do for my knitted item- I have some fabric that I'd already earmarked for a Kim dress, so I'll probably stick with that for the sewing portion, but with the wedding coming up and lots of travel next month, I don't really want to spend money on yarn right now, but I'm sure I have something in my stash and queue that will work great.

Monday, May 22, 2017

Weekending


This weekend was exactly what I needed. I had planned on just hanging around and cleaning for the most part, but Sunday morning my mum asked if I wanted to go into the city, and that's what we did. We ate at our favorite Mediterranean/Middle Eastern restaurant, and after a quick run to Target I have another new bike! We had a heck of a time fitting it into the little sedan, but we managed. Then we hit up Goodwill and got a new pie plate and a couple of sundresses. All in all, a pretty good day.

As you can see, my Rhombille is getting bigger! I'm just a few rows away from starting the sleeve shaping. My Psychedelic CYOAT is also done, except for needing some ends woven in and a trip through the dryer. I have a four day weekend coming up, and I'm hoping to make good progress on Rhombille, because after this weekend I've got, in order:

1. My best friend's bachelorette party weekend
2. Starting weekend for community theater rehearsals
3. My best friend's wedding!!

The wedding present is sitting about half-done right now, so next week I'll go back to work on it. It really is such a pleasure that it zooms right along, so I didn't want to have it finished too early- having finished white lace lying around my house for more than a week is a recipe for disaster!

Linking up with Crafting On

Friday, May 19, 2017

Sweaters and Weekends


Well, I for one know that if I have to show you another progress pic of my Psychedelic CYOAT with the promise "it's almost done," I'll scream. So here's the back piece of my Rhombille. I'm still loving everything about this sweater, and hopefully I won't be too bored knitting the back (it's identical to the front up to partway through the sleeves). It is a quick and engaging knit, so I shouldn't have too much trouble, but you can never be too certain with second piece syndrome.

I managed to cut off a piece of the top of my middle finger on my right hand, which is making quite a few things more difficult than they should be. Fortunately, knitting isn't one of them, but I'm having lots of trouble typing (especially bad when I'm working on a computer all day!) and putting my hair up. I'm keeping it clean and covered and going through tons of antibiotic ointment, so hopefully I'll have some new skin cover there soon and everything will go back to normal.

There's been a cold front here the past couple days, and it's supposed to last through the weekend, along with some rain. I'm really looking forward to cozying up on the couch with the dogs and knitting. Sunday is my friend's dance recital, but other than that, I don't have to be anywhere. I have a couple of big weekends coming up (my friend's bachelorette party and wedding!), so I'm really looking forward to a couple more slow weekends.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Getting There, and Casting News!


I had hoped to finish my Psychedelic CYOAT last night, but that didn't happen. It's almost done, though. Before adding this current ball, I finished the sleeves and neckline, so once I bind off the body I only have to weave in ends. I'm definitely excited for this top - I've already identified a couple dresses that I should be able to layer it over nicely.

In community theater news, the cast list went up Monday morning and I got the part of Yente! It is one of the parts they had me read for, but I still wasn't expecting it and I am completely thrilled and blown away. I'm so excited for this show and this role, but between this and my best friend's wedding, I'm going to have a busy summer!


Monday, May 15, 2017

Cast Lists and Crop Tops and Bikes, Oh My!


The cast list for community theater is supposed to go up today (of course, they haven't told us what time today, and I know that they don't know for sure, and the anticipation is driving me crazy). In the meantime, my Psychedelic CYOAT is getting bigger.

I'm just two or three rounds from separating the body and sleeves, and once that happens it'll all come together pretty quickly. I still love these colors, although the dye is rubbing off a lot while I'm knitting- I think that a good soak will take care of that though.

Yesterday my mum and I went to the city to look at bikes for me. My main ride right now is an old mountain bike I've had since middle school, and the breaks aren't great, and it makes lots of noise when I ride it, and it really doesn't fit me well. I still have my Schwinn Le Tour, but that's a touch big for me, and it just doesn't work for general town riding- I can't see traffic when I'm riding it, and I can't really carry anything on it.

We ended up finding a great step-through hybrid cruiser that felt really great to ride, and I was super excited to get it all set up and show you all. But when I started filling the tires after we got home, the tire blew, and I decided to return it instead of replace the tube and tire. So I'm back on the mountain bike for now, but hopefully I'll find another great bike soon.

Linking up with Crafting On

Friday, May 12, 2017

CYOAT the Third


I promise I'm still working on my Rhombille, but yesterday after work a bunch of us library people went out, and I needed something a bit smaller and less focus-intensive to work on at the bar, so I cast on another Choose Your Own Adventure Tee. This is the third one I've knit, and I really can't get enough of this pattern, it's definitely become my go-to for tops that fit and look good on me.

Since I'm knitting this in a worsted/aran cotton, I'm knitting the smallest size. I'm going for a straight cropped body and I'm modifying the sleeves to be mesh instead of stockinette. I really love the colors in this yarn, and I think it's going to look great with my hair. The yarn is rubbing off quite a bit on my hands, but I'm hoping a good soak or four will get most of the excess out.

I had my callback for Fiddler on the Roof last night, and I'm pleased with how it went. The cast list will go up some time on Monday, and then we'll have a month to get ready before rehearsals start. I'm taking advantage of these last few weeks of free time- the other day I started a new book, Nelly Dean: A Return to Wuthering Heights, and I'm really enjoying it so far. Books like this can be very hit or miss, and Wuthering Heights has been one of my favorite books since I was ten, so I really didn't know how I'd like reading another interpretation of it, but I'm finding this really engrossing so far.

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

A Little More White Lace


Despite being distracted by my Rhombille, the white lace project is continuing to grow. I'm not really concerned about this at all- it's such a joy to knit, and I'm already on the border of the first half, and there's still five weeks before the wedding.

I'm not sure how much I can talk about how charmed I am with white lace before you all slowly go insane from boredom, but I really do find this ridiculously engaging and charming. I really try to only knit things I find engaging and charming, but for whatever reason, white lace ticks boxes I didn't even know I had.

In non-knitting news, community theater auditions were Sunday, and I have a callback tomorrow. This year we're doing Fiddler on the Roof, which I actually know very little about, so I'm looking forward to learning it. Rehearsals won't start for another month, which gives me time to try and read through the stack of library books I have in my room before all my free time gets sucked up.

Monday, May 8, 2017

Knitting as Balm


Last week was rough. For my international friends, the US  House passed a bill that would effectively strip millions of people of health insurance and raise costs prohibitively for millions more. There are still many steps it has to take before it becomes law, and there is always a chance that it won't make it through all of them, but it's still a very hard thing to see your country do.

So Thursday evening when I went to the store, I stopped in the yarn aisle. I grabbed two cones of kitchen cotton, and when I got home I cast on Rhombille. This is definitely not a color that I usually work with, but it's apparently just what I need right now, and it's doing me some good. For whatever reason, this project is soothing my heart in a way that none of my other current projects had been doing, and over the past few days I've been taking time to sit and breathe and work on this.

It doesn't make everything better, but it's like a small, calm oasis in a world that's filled with fear and uncertainty. I can't stay angry and afraid all the time, as easy as it would be. So I find these little moments that feel beautiful and good, and I hold them close. Right now, Rhombille is soothing, and by the time it's finished I'll have processed through most of the terror and fear that I'm feeling right now, and I'll be a bit more ready to face the rest of the world.

Linking up with Crafting On

Friday, May 5, 2017

FO: Drift Crop Top


I actually finished my Drift Crop Top a couple weeks ago- right before Easter, in fact! For reasons that have a lot more to do with laziness than busyness, I didn't get photos taken until last weekend, despite having worn it out and about more than once.


I am absolutely thrilled with how this turned out. As soon as I started knitting my Rainbow Connection Drift the other winter I knew that this pattern would make an incredible crop top. The mods for this were actually pretty simple: I worked the pattern exactly as written to the last waist decrease, and then I did a few inches of 1x1 ribbing instead of the 2x2 the pattern calls for. For the sleeves, I just worked one repeat of the eyelet section after picking up the stitches, and then about six rows of 1x1 ribbing before binding off.


I really love it with my yellow skirt here, and I have a few other skirts that it will work well with. The top came out exactly how I imagined it, and I'm constantly impressed with how well this pattern handles loudly variegated and handpainted yarns. I'm definitely looking forward to wearing this a lot- the library gets very chilly in the summer, which is perfect for wool crop tops!


Ravelry Page: Drift Crop Top
Pattern: Drift by Kristen Finlay
Yarn: Colinette Jitterbug, label lost ages ago

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

White Lace


Sometimes I think that I could knit nothing but white lace and not get bored. I usually remember pretty quick that I love colors and colors are super fun, but I still maintain that white lace is reliably one of the most charming things possible to knit.

I started this a couple weeks ago, for my best friends' wedding present, then set it aside to focus on my TTTKAL knits and Chaverim. Now that Chaverim is out in the world, and I've hit a road block on my Zinone (I'm trying to get more yarn so it will cover my bosom, will keep you posted), it's clearly time to avoid casting on for anything else and pick this back up.

It really is super charming- the original pattern is for a stole, and I'm modifying it to be a table runner, so I get to cut out quite a few repeats. It's going to be both skinnier and shorter than the pattern calls for (but the pattern itself is super easy to modify, and sorry, I'm not linking to the pattern here until after the wedding, so you'll have to take my word for it).

Which is good, because there's a wedding in six weeks, and I've got half a repeat done so far.

Monday, May 1, 2017

New Pattern: Chaverim


Happy May Day, friends! It's snowing here, but I hope that some of you are having nicer weather.

Up until this weekend it had been getting warmer, and I have my new cardigan ready to enjoy all the fun that spring and summer have to offer:


From about fifth grade onward, I spent a week or two every summer at camp. I wasn’t the most gracious camper– I refused to hike or swim or do many of the traditional, running-around camp games.


I spent as many activity periods as possible in the arts and crafts hut. There is where I practiced sewing, weaving, and spinning, as well as popsicle-hut building, leaf collages, and my favorite, friendship bracelet making. I made hundreds of friendship bracelets over the years, in countless colors and styles.


Every night before returning to our cabins, all of the campers and staff would congregate in the middle of the camp, making a circle around a peace pole, and, holding hands, we’d sing together, “Shalom, chaverim, shalom, chaverim, shalom, shalom.” Peace, my friends, peace, my friends, peace, peace.


This sweater is about camp. It’s about summer memories, the smell of trees, campfire stories, and friendship. Use some of your favorite sock scraps for the cuffs, or to keep in the spirit of summer camp, swap mini skeins with your friends to knit up true friendship bracelets.


I really loved designing this, and I'm thrilled with the finished project. It's supposed to be a hot summer here, but I'm hoping for some cool nights around the fire pit to really enjoy my Chaverim- although I suppose I can wear it in the air conditioned library in a pinch!


The pattern is currently available on Ravelry.



Friday, April 28, 2017

Weekending


Yesterday I finished the final touches on Chaverim, and it's now blocking. As long as the weather cooperates, I'll get photos taken this weekend (fingers crossed!).

I also finished the second upper front on my Zinone and cast on for the neckline. I just have a few more rows before I can join the front and back, and then I should be able to zoom through the rest of the body. There's a week and a half left in the TTTKAL, and I'm confident that I'll be able to get this finished.

My weekend is gearing up to look pretty busy: it's the high school spring play, which my brother is in, so Anemone and our friend Matt will come down tomorrow, and Anemone will come down again on Sunday with her boyfriend. I'm planning at going to the performance tonight as well, and I also have my handbell choir concert Sunday morning. Of course, I can think of far more worse things to fill up a weekend than music and theater!

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Stripes and Shawls


During my last semester in college, I knit a striped shawl. I finished it two days before I graduated, and it was one of my favorite accomplishments from that year (yeah...I wrote and passsed my thesis, and I was still more proud of this shawl). By this point I had been knitting for two years, and I wanted to completely freehand something, and I've always been fond of the result.

Last year, I got to thinking that I'd like to use that shawl from senior year as a starting off point for a new design. I knit most of the striped body last fall, and then I decided to set it aside while I figured out what I wanted for the border. A couple days ago I finally figured out what I was hoping for and how to make it happen, and I dug this shawl out of hibernation.

It's still got a ways to go, but I'm super excited to be working on it again. Of course, now I'm definitely feeling the strain of juggling so much- I've got this, Zinone, my friend's wedding present, and some finishing touches on Chaverim all happening at once! 

Monday, April 24, 2017

Springing On


Spring appears to have truly come to the plains, so I spent the weekend getting my rose bushes ready for the warmer weather. I was pretty worried about them- when the frosts and snow came at the start of winter, they all still had green leaves on them, so I wasn't sure how well they were going to hibernate. Fortunately, they've all survived. The two yellow bushes did the best, and after some heavy pruning they're all green branches and new leaves. My one red bush, however, almost didn't make it at all. After I got in there with the pruning shears, I managed to find some green way down at the base, and I ended up having to cut the entire bush back to about 4 inches. What's left now is good growth though, and hopefully it'll grow enough over the summer to handle next winter better.

I've also been steady at work on my Zinone I finally came to terms with the fact that I don't have enough of the black yarn for Corrine- I'm more than halfway through the yarn already, and I haven't even reached the halfway point of the front piece. So that's going to get ripped out and I'll just have to wait until I find the right yarn for Corrine. I definitely want to knit up the black yarn this year, though. The current front-runner is Morning Mist, but I'm going to try and finish Zinone before I go crazy casting on anything new.

Linking up with Crafting On

Friday, April 21, 2017

Oops, I Cast On Again


My Corrine is moving along nicely, even though I managed to get...distracted. I've had a skein of SRK On Your Toes Bamboo in my stash for ages, and I've never been quite sure what to do with it. This week I had the thought that I just might be able to squeeze a crop top from one skein, and I promptly did some math to figure out knitting Zinone at a slightly larger gauge.

So now it would appear that I've saddled myself with two yarn chicken projects, because of course the On Your Toes is discontinued as well (I keep imagining that someday there won't be any discontinued yarns in my stash, but I know that is but a false hope).

I always get super into knitting warm-weather tops, so I'm sure I'll accidentally cast on quite a few more over the next few months. I have tons of patterns and yarns lined up for lighter knits, and I'd definitely love to make a dent in my stash and queue before the cold weather sets back in and it's all sweaters all the time for this girl.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

I'm Not Sure if it's Going to Be Enough


As I was trying to take today's picture, I realized that black is the absolute worst color for blog photographs. I apologize for this, but hopefully we shouldn't be stuck with black WIP photos for too long, because Corrine is really zooming along. I've finished the back piece, and the front shouldn't take more than a couple of days, and then I'll be at the fun lace side panels.

I am getting nervous about my yardage- the back ended up using just over two of my seven balls. I'm already planning on making my sleeves shorter than the sample's, but I'd still like for them to be around elbow-length. Of course I'm using discontinued yarn, and of course there's none listed on Ravelry as trade/sell, so I've got to work it out with what I've got.

I also started my best friend's wedding present over the weekend as well- the wedding is less than two months away now, but her thing is so pleasant that it's going quickly, despite the fact that I'm only actively knitting it sporadically. I plan to keep doing so throughout the TTTKAL, and then I'll devote myself to banging out the rest of the wedding present.

Monday, April 17, 2017

TTTKAL-ing


Happy Monday! I hope everyone had a good Easter weekend- the state ended up giving us Friday off, which was just what I needed. We had a couple of good thunderstorms, including ten minutes of the biggest hail I've ever seen in this part of the country. We did some garden prep, watched movies, and I knit a lot, so it was pretty much a perfect weekend.

I finished my Drift Crop Top on Friday night, and I need to get pictures for you all, because it is exactly what I hoped for. I'm so pleased. My attention is now turned to Corrine, and I'm loving knitting this up. I wear a lot of black, but I haven't actually knit much (any?) black things, so when I found this bag of yarn at the thrift store I was thrilled. It's a bamboo-soy blend, and is about the slinkiest thing I've ever knit with.

I have just enough yarn, so I might end up shortening the sleeves a little bit- we'll have to see how the body goes. I have several more summer knits I want to do this year, so I definitely want to get this one finished during the KAL. I fell in love with this pattern as soon as the summer 2016 Holla Knits collection dropped, and I know I'm going to love wearing it!

Linking up with Crafting On

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

TTTKAL Time!


Just as I was starting to wonder when it was going to be time for the TTTKAL, Shannon announced the dates, and I'm so pumped! I did this KAL last year for the first time, and it really is a ton of fun. I love me some warm-weather knitted tops, and this KAL is the perfect excuse for me to take some time to pound some out as well as check out everyone else's projects and see some patterns that I may have missed before.

I'm entering with Drift, which is pretty close to being done- it just needs a few more inches on the body and whatever I decide to do for sleeves- and I've also cast on a Corrine (which might need to be restarted because I didn't swatch because the back piece starts out small enough to count as a swatch), and I have yarn ready for Route 1 if I have time. Last year I finished two tops for this KAL, while also working on my Nusa and Que Sera, so I think I might be able to get all these tops done. I'm also really looking forward to pounding out some stuff just for me once I'm finished with Chaverim.


Monday, April 10, 2017

Cropping Along


After some back and forth, I decided to just bring my Drift Crop Top along to this weekend's show choir competition, and I'm really glad I did. The plain stockinette ended up being just what I needed, especially once  the room got really crowded and loud. We ended up taking home the state championship for our division, which is super exciting and well-deserved. Our choir and band work really hard and put on a great show, so it's great to see that paying off for them.

My Chaverim sample is almost done- I have just the cuff of the second sleeve left, which should only take a couple of evenings to finish- and I have most of a first draft of the pattern written, so I'm really pleased with where that's sitting. I have a long weekend coming up, so hopefully I'll be able to get the sweater finished and the pattern ready for tech editing by next week!

Linking up with Crafting On

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Second Sleeving


The second sleeve of my Chaverim sample is coming along nicely, and I'm starting to think about some summer knits. The TTTKAL is coming up soon, and I definitely want to knit something for that, but I also have another big project looming as soon as Chaverim is off the needles.

My best best friend is getting married in just over two months, and I need to get started on her wedding present. Longtime readers know that I knit all my friends a white lace table runner for their weddings, and I feel like I'm starting to tempt fate by not having started this one yet. I do have all the yarn wound and the pattern picked out and printed, but I have not yet cast on, and I'd been planning on holding off on starting it until I was finished with Chaverim.

This weekend is the final Show Choir weekend, and this competition's six hours away, so I might pack the wedding gift for car knitting, but we'll have to see how I'm feeling about the state of the Chaverim sample. Since finishing that first cuff I'm even more in love with this sweater than I was before, and I can't wait to have everything finished so I can start wearing it everywhere!

Monday, April 3, 2017

And There's a Sleeve


This weekend was all about catching up on stuff, and while I'm not quite where I want to be, I'm definitely more caught up than I was last week. I got the first sleeve of Chaverim finished, and I am so pleased with it. This is really the most fun part of the sweater, and I'm just absolutely tickled with how it turned out. I wanted the cuff to look like a huge stack of friendship bracelets, and I think that's exactly what it looks like.

The second sleeve is moving along nicely- I picked up the stitches last night before bed and managed to knit an inch or so before I passed out. I'm hoping to get the sweater totally done this week, but we'll have to see how that works out. The cuffs are a bit fiddly and time consuming with the color changes, but it's so worth it, even if it makes the sweater not very portable for the final stages. I didn't manage to get a pattern draft written before my vacation the other week, so that's my goal for this weekend.

Linking up with Crafting On

Friday, March 31, 2017

WIP: Guernsey Wrap


I brought one other project with me when I went to visit my friends last weekend- longtime readers might remember that these friends brought me back some gorgeous Donegal Tweed from their trip to Ireland a couple years ago. It's been sitting in my stash since  then while I tried to figure out what exactly to make with it. I finally decided that it would be perfect as a Guernsey Wrap, and I cast on the day before I left.

I was a bit nervous working with this at first- it's a single ply, and a bit thick and thin, and it broke several times during the cast on. Fortunately, that seems to have been a result of my propensity for tight cast-ons, and I haven't had any issue with it since then.

I've made it through two repeats of the first chart so far, and I'm loving it so much. We're definitely coming to the part of the year when I won't need a big cozy wrap, but I'm still super excited to have this great memento of my friends' trip!

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

I'm Back!


Hello, friends! I am back and I had an amazing time in the cities. My friends and I watched cheesy 90's movies, did arts and crafts, ate pizza, went to the Arboretum, and all sorts of other shenanigans. It was a really great trip, and I got quite a bit of new knitting done.

I brought two new projects with me, so I'd have an easier one and a more challenging one. This is my easier project: a crop top version of Drift. As soon as I got past the yoke on my first Drift, I knew I wanted a short sleeved and cropped version. I mentally assigned this yarn to it pretty quickly-it's Colinette Jitterbug, and I had a skein and a half sitting in my stash waiting for destiny. The half skein is quite a bit darker than this full skein, so once I get to the stockinette part I'm going to start alternating them so I don't end up with a big colorblock.

I have about two more repeats in the yoke left on this, and once I get to the underarms it will go really quickly. Every year at the end of winter I start craving more warm-weather knits, so it'll be nice to have this ready for summer. Since I'm back home now, my little Drift Crop Top will have to get put on the back burner while I finish Chaverim, but it's such a charming little knit that I hope to be back to work on it very soon.

Linking up with KCCO

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Prepping for Go


Hi friends! I leave tomorrow for my vacation to the cities, so  there won't be posts on Friday or Monday, but I'll be back in a week with tales of adventure and hopefully a nice pile of bus knitting.

I've been keeping on with the first sleeve on Chaverim, and it's going more quickly than I anticipated, which is always refreshing. I'm almost to the bit where it gets really fun, so that will be waiting for me when I get back. As will a new ball winder, hopefully- I ordered it yesterday, and hopefully it will be smooth sailing from here on out and I'll have a pattern ready for you all in April.

I'm still in the middle of Pandemic, but I decided to bring a few poetry books on vacation with me- firstly, because they're a bit lighter and easier to carry than a hardcover, and secondly because I have more than a couple dozen poetry books out from the library right now and I need to get some returned. Someday I'll learn how to show restraint in the library, but apparently it's not going to be any time soon.

Monday, March 20, 2017

On to a Sleeve


I hope you all had a wonderful weekend! Mine was very busy- I almost feel like I need another one! Fortunately, I have a short week this week because I'll be visiting my friends in the cities, and I'm really looking forward to that.

I finished the collar of my Chaverim on Friday night, and realized that I hadn't calculated the sleeves yet, so I ended up leaving it home on Saturday and bringing along a couple of other projects to work on in the car and during the show choir showcase. It was a nice break, and I'm hoping to get this sleeve half done before I leave in a few days. I'm going to need to wind one more skein of this yarn to finish the sleeves, but that will have to wait for now. Sadly, I dropped a picture frame on my ball winder a few days ago and broke it, and I think it's not repairable, so I have to order a new one. I'm hoping it will be waiting for me when I get back from my vacation and I can get back to work.

Linking up with KCCO



Friday, March 17, 2017

Cephalopods!



Hey, look! I crocheted a thing! My octopus is finished and it has eyes and I am absolutely thrilled with how it came out. It still doesn't have a name- I've been calling it Octopus for the time being, and I'm afraid it's going to stick (I have a stuffed tortoise that I've been calling Turtle for eight years now), but I haven't completely given up on finding a good name.

I crocheted this following Leah's Realistic Crochet Octopus pattern to go with her Realistic Squid sample that I adopted. Now, crochet and I have a tenuous relationship. Crochet generally makes me say some very unkind and vile words (this coming from a girl who got called out for her language by a bartender) and I usually only do it when I really want the FO and can't figure out a way to get it otherwise.

This pattern is the first crochet pattern I have ever read that did not make me cuss once when I was crocheting it. I did not think one unkind thought towards Leah or towards the project itself. It is so clearly written and approachable that I actually enjoyed every part of it. I didn't even know it was possible to enjoy crocheting, but here we are.


Ravelry Page: Octopus
Pattern: Realistic Crochet Octopus by Leah Coccari-Swift

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Yarn Along


It's a good thing that the collar only needs five more rounds, because I'm running out of ways to photograph a white blob, and I'm sure you're all sick of looking at it. The good news is, I have a real, honest-to-goodness FO to share on Friday, and I'll have tons of knitting time this weekend, so hopefully the next time you see Chaverim it'll be looking pretty different.

I'm still trucking along on the tidying front, and it's really starting to wear on me. My room looks like a herd of cocaine-fueled rock-star-wannabe frat boys went on a rampage. But at least my closet is somewhat organized. I'm also using this cleaning bender as an opportunity to check my stash for wee beasties, which probably wasn't the best idea.

I'm still reading Pandemic, but I've got some poetry books lined up for car reading this weekend too. I have way too many library books checked out right now, and I really ought to get some finished and returned. I'm hoping that Sunday can be a lazy day and I can get some reading done, but there's just too many books and not enough hours in the day!

Linking up with Yarn Along

Monday, March 13, 2017

Adding a Collar


Well, my Chaverim sample is looking a bit different, isn't it? I finished the body Friday evening, and picked up stitches all around for the collar. I'm a little more than halfway through the collar now, and hopefully I'll get the first sleeve started in a couple days. This next weekend is a show choir weekend, so I'll have eight hours in the car and several more hours in an auditorium to crank out some serious sleeve action.

I didn't quite manage to get everything done I'd hoped to this weekend, but I caught up on six loads of laundry, reorganized my bookshelves, organized my fabric stash, and made coffeecake without over-baking it, so I'm calling the weekend a success. I still have a bunch of tidying and cleaning to do, but I'm hoping to get short bursts done over the next couple of weeks. My goal is to have my space totally clean and organized and reset and ready to go before the spring cleaning bug hits, so then I can focus on other things around the house.

Linking up with KCCO

Friday, March 10, 2017

Sweater Progress and Weekend Plans


My Chaverim sample is coming along nicely- I've got ten more stockinette body rows, then I'll pick up stitches all around to do the bottom hem and neckbands in the round. Then it's on to sleevesville. I'm getting a little nervous about finishing before my arbitrary self-imposed deadline- I'm leaving to see my friends in just under two weeks, and I'm still on the body- but whatever I manage to finish before I go won't be waiting for me when I get back, so it's not like there's much at stake here.

This weekend's going to be a nice relaxing one- the next month gets kind of crazy, so I'm looking forward to doing some tidying and some baking and lots of knitting. I also started a new book this week that I'd like to finish- Pandemic, by Sonia Shah. I'd been trying to read a novel for the past few weeks and finally made it a third of the way through before realizing that I wasn't ever going to get invested or interested in it enough to make it through the next 400 pages. It's been a while since I've had to quit a book like that, but I'm zooming through this one- it's equal parts interesting and terrifying, and right up my alley.

If I'm really clever and responsible, I'll take the time to pound out a first draft of this pattern this weekend. If I don't get a draft out before I leave this to go visit my friends for a few days, it'll be so much harder to get the pattern writing gears cranking when I get back. Also, like I said, the next month's worth of weekends gets pretty busy, so if I don't do it now, I don't know when I'll get the chance to sit down and get this part done.

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

International Women's Day

Happy International Women's Day to all of the magnificent, hardworking, passionate women out there! Today I decided to give a shout out to some of my favorite women around the knitting blog circuit-our community has so many incredible women in it (especially since this is such a women-heavy industry) and I definitely don't give everyone the number of shout outs they deserve!

Brandy @ brandyvdesigns.com- What's not to love? She designs gorgeous, gorgeous things, dyes incredible, playful yarns, and is a doctor (not that kind of doctor)! She even started the dyeing part of her business, Long Dog Yarns, while she was in the final stages of her PhD! I mean, if I had a tenth of the drive and time-management ability Brandy does, I can't even imagine.

Leah @ rubysubmarine.blogspot.com- Leah is a fantastic designer-some of my favorite finished objects come from her patterns-and she also has the distinct honor of writing the only crochet pattern that doesn't make me swear up a storm.

Teresa @ canaryknits.com- Teresa is Leah's partner in crime the Great Northern book, and she's a fierce designer as well. She is a crop top queen, and she's spending this year reseraching and analyzing sizing standards as part of her Knit Petite Project to help all knitters figure out their fit pitfalls and make garments that accomodate their bodies.

Cory @ blog.indieknits.com- Cory is one of the best pattern writers I've ever come across, and she is a genius at bringing dozens of sources of inspiration together into one carefully edited pattern. She also really knows how to have fun with clothes and fashion, and it was her blog that encouraged me to explore my own love of style and fashion more.

Heather @ thingsimakeplusrocks.blogspot.com- When I first met Heather in the blogosphere, she was a geologist, sewer, knitter, crocheter, and all around badass. Now she's all those things and she owns a yarn store. I don't know how she finds enough hours in the day to run a successful brick and mortar shop and sew and craft, but she does, and seeing a new post pop up or getting a message from her always puts a smile on my face.

Joan of Dark @ joanofdark.com- Joan was one of the first online knitters I ran into back in college, and she's a constant source of inspiration. She's funny, she's smart, she has amazing adorable animals, she runs a coffee shop, does roller derby and aerial lyra, and still finds time to write knitting books! Her blog and patterns really inspired me to be creative and have fun with knitting, and her general outlook on life constantly motivates me to try new things and find the things I'm really passionate about.

Holly @ sillylittlelady.wordpress.com- Holly has been my tech editor for two years now, and every day I'm thankful for her. She is better at math than I could ever hope to be, on top of just being one of the nicest people I know and an amazing designer. She's also got a crasy amount of drive-on top of designing and tech editing, she's also a realtor and avid rock climber, and her adventures always make me want to pack up and hike through a national park for a week or two.

I hope you all have a fantastic International Women's Day, and that you all have a chance to appreciate and thank some of the fantastic women in your life!

Monday, March 6, 2017

Weekending


Yup, the sweater body is growing. I'm somewhere in the neighborhood of nine inches past the underarm, out of eighteen total, and I'm  trying to keep my momentum up. I definitely needed my little crochet break this weekend, and as soon as I get eyes for him (or her), my new octopus friend will make their blog debut.

Anemone's birthday was this weekend, so I got to make a spectacular series of kitchen disasters in preparation of her birthday brunch. You know in paper towel commercials, when people don't put the lid on the mixer and stuff flies everywhere? Yeah, I did that. Flour, sugar, eggs, and butter everywhere. I was still finding spots a day later. And then I made a repeat performance the next morning while making the frosting. Powdered sugar everywhere.

But it was good to see Anemone, and we had delicious brunch and cakes, so it was all worth it. To round off the weekend, yesterday evening my mum and I made strawberry jam and I managed to not splash and burn myself horrifically, so that's nice. Although I did drop a cookie sheet on my foot and bruised it, but that's way more preferable to burning your skin off with boiling sugar, so I'll take it.

Linking up with KCCO and Yarn Along

Friday, March 3, 2017

Friday I'm...Crocheting?


I know, I know. I'm a knitter. I have, at best, a tenuous relationship with crochet. I have called crochet by some very rude names, and I have used some very rude words in its presence. What on earth could move me, someone who gets so stressed out by crochet, to break out the hook?

Well, it's cephalopods.

A few weeks ago when Leah was destashing some of her old samples, I brought Mr. Squidly Big Squid into my life and home. And he's a good little buddy. But perhaps a little lonely. Cephalopods are really special, magnificent creatures, and I noticed Mr. Big Squid feeling a little out of place among Kevin the Unicorn and Turtle the Tortoise.

I've had this yarn sitting in my stash for a while, and I've been struggling with what to use it for. Sometime last week, the idea popped into my head to hold all three strands together and make a giant octopus buddy for Squidly, and last night I sat down and began doing exactly that. So far I have the head and mantle finished, and I'm about halfway done the first tentacle, so sometime this weekend my cephalopod collection will increase by one and Mr. Squidly Big Squid will have a buddy.

This pattern is beautiful so far. I haven't had any trouble following it, despite being an anti-crocheter (I did have to ask Google how to do a magic ring and an invisible decrease, but that was it), and looking ahead, there's a great photo tutorial for sewing all the octopus pieces together. So if you're into cepholopods as much as I am, Leah's crochet patterns for Squid and Octopus are the way to go!

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

New Pattern: Brizo


Happy March! I have a new pattern out today, and I'm really thrilled with it.

Brizo is all about keeping the ocean sun and wind in the coldest, greyest days of winter. Large gauge seashell lace plays up the spirit of the beach while super bulky yarn keeps the winter chill at bay. Drape it once or wrap it twice, Brizo's got your back until beach weather returns.


I have such a love for large gauge lace-to me it's just the right mixture of pretty and funky, traditional and trendy. We all need a little brightness and cheer in the middle of winter, and a great beachy (but cozy!) cowl has been just the ticket for me.

Brizo is worked flat and grafted, and the lace pattern is both charted and written out. It's available in my Ravelry Store now.


Also, since it's Malabrigo March, all my patterns are 25% off with the code "malmarch17" The code is good all month long, and it works on all my individual patterns (including Brizo!) as well as the ebook for Granite


Linking up with Yarn Along

Monday, February 27, 2017

A Growing Sweater


I hope you all had a good weekend! I was home with strep, which sucked, but it gave me an excuse to stay in bed all weekend and read and watch Hulu. I didn't get very much knitting done, but I've been carrying my Chaverim sample around as lunch knitting and I'm five or six inches past the underarms now.

I've joined the second ball of yarn, and everything's still going pretty smoothly. Sadly, there's not too much that's interesting about a fingering weight stockinette sweater body. I probably knit a couple thousand stitches on this over the weekend, and it doesn't really look much different than it did on Friday. C'est la vie. I'm hoping that by tracking my progress here, I'll be more motivated to make substantial progress so I don't have a ton of posts that say "I know it looks just like it did last week, but I promise there are 3,000 more stitches on there!"

Once I get through the body there's some fun stuff  that I'm really looking forward to, but I'm not going to spill too many details yet. As much as I might want to complain about knitting a mile of fingering weight stockinette, it's going to be so worth it, and I can't wait for the finished project. I've got just under four weeks left before my self-imposed deadline, and I bet I can still make it!

Linking up with KCCO

Friday, February 24, 2017

Two More Finished Projects


Happy Friday! I have TWO finished objects to share with you today! The first is my Wainthropp from the SSKAL, and I am completely in love. I managed to bind off a couple days before the deadline, and since then it's been blocked and worn to work. I'm super pleased with it, and I'm sure it's going to go in regular rotation.


I had originally planned to try to lengthen the body a little bit, but I ended up knitting the body exactly as written. I did shorten the sleeves- I usually push my sleeves up anyway, and this makes it more of a three-season sweater. I also wasn't quite paying attention when I did my buttonholes, so I have an extra one up at the top. I decided to use a contrasting button in the top spot, and I think it looks perfectly fine.


Ravelry Page: Wainthropp
Pattern: Wainthropp by Andi Satterlund
Yarn: Knit Picks Wool of the Andes Tweed "25453 Prussian Heather"


Up next is my Cairn hat. I've been wanting to knit this hat since Cory's F/W 2015 collection came out, and I found this yarn in one of my favorite thrift stores sometime last year and knew that it was meant to be. And it's been sitting at the top of my to-knit pile for approximately forever until I finally decided to just knit it this month.


This was such an enjoyable knit. I love the little textured stacks and the eyelet cables. It's just as charming as I hoped it'd be, and it's definitely going to get a lot of wear. I have the yarn to knit Wayward from this collection as well, and while it's been sitting in my to-knit pile for ages as well, I'm definitely going to have to cast on for it soon. Cairn was just so engaging and enjoyable (and I know I say that about all of Cory's patterns, but by golly it's true).


Ravelry Page: Cairn
Pattern: Cairn by Cory Ellen Boberg