Rules for Feeding the Stash

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Zinone Progress!

I'm back! I decided to really take advantage of my long weekend, and while I missed you all, it was great to have four days to just hang out at home. We got most of our garden put in, I finished Rhombille, and I got another skein of yarn in the mail from a Ravelry destash to finish my Zinone.

Right now I'm alternating the skeins every round to try and hide the change-the difference between them really depends on the light (it's far less pronounced in real life than in this photo, most of that's just light shining off it because it's wound so tightly), and while I'm mostly convinced they're practically identical, I'd rather be safe than sorry. I'm hoping to get another repeat or two done on it before I leave for the weekend.

I finally finished Nelly Dean, which I really enjoyed throughout, and I also finished And Then You're Dead, which I thought was interesting and a lot of fun. I haven't quite decided which book I'm going to pick up next, but I'm probably not going to have time to get very far into one before next week.

Tomorrow's also the official start of the OAL! I pulled my yarn out, though I still have to wind it, and I still have to unbury my fabric stash in my closet to pull out the fabric I'm planning to use. I have no idea if I'll actually finish, but I'm definitely looking forward to trying! I have a lot of other knitting to do this summer, so I'm going to be busy busy, especially once play practices pick up!

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


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.