Rules for Feeding the Stash

Friday, June 30, 2017

New Pattern: Cockle Shells

During my senior year of college, I knit a striped shawl with a lace border. I had played around with improvising shawls before, but this was the first time it really worked. I finished it about the same time as I submitted my undergraduate thesis and at that point it was the project I was the most proud of an impressed with.

Last year, I decided to revisit that shawl, and play around with that original idea, but bring it more in line with my current design sensibilities. The stripes immediately made me think of the seashore, and collecting tiny mollusk shells. I looked at dozens of different lace stitches, wanting to keep it simple, and after playing around for a few months I settled on this easy little lace pattern that reminded me of the seashells I used to collect all summer long.

Cockle Shells is worked from the top-down with edge and center increases on the right side. The border lace pattern is charted and has written instructions. The pattern is currently available on Ravelry.

Linking up with Crafting On

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Finished: Rhombille

This has been sitting finished for a month now, and I only just got around to taking pictures of it. Also: I cut my hair! I've been wanting to go short for a few months now, and I finally went for it last week. Over the years, I've done about everything possible to my hair, and while this definitely isn't the shortest it's ever been, it feels good to change it up.

In case you don't remember, I started knitting this sweater back in May, as a self-comfort measure after the US House passed an initial measure to repeal the Affordable Care Act. There's still a lot up in the air right now, and I really don't like uncertainty, but this sweater really helped me process a lot of the despair and hopelessness I was feeling in May.

I am absolutely thrilled with this sweater. It fits perfectly, I love the garter stitch sleeves, and even though this color is a bit of a departure from my usual palettes, I absolutely love it. I'm actually surprised by how much I enjoyed knitting with this yarn- I haven't really knit with kitchen cotton since I was first learning, and I didn't love it then- but it wasn't too bad, and I really like how crisp the finished result is. I had quite a bit leftover that I'm working up into another top, but it's stuck in UFO-land until I'm finished with collection knitting.

Ravelry Page: Rhombille
Pattern: Rhombille by Gina Röckenwagner
Yarn: Peaches & Creme Solids, "Seabreeze"

Monday, June 26, 2017

Progressing Along

I didn't get quite as much knitting done this weekend as I'd planned, but I'm halfway through the front of this top now, and everything still seems to be going smoothly. I did discover an issue with the pattern for the final top in this collection, and I'll have to work that out this week, but otherwise things are going swimmingly. I haven't started my OAL projects at all except to prewash my fabric and wind my yarn, so I'd really like to get the collection knitting done by mid-July so I have a chance of at least getting started with my OAL projects!

The baseball game on Friday night was terrific fun. We had great seats, and apparently a lot of people walking by were intrigued by my knitting. Saturday was a lot of cleaning, and yesterday I made Thai cashew chicken and had some one-on-one time with the community theater director to work on my characterization and monologues. That time was really invaluable and helpful, and I'm feeling a lot better about what I'm doing and what directions I can take things.

This week looks like another busy one- we're starting to run whole acts this week in rehearsal, which I find really helpful and love doing, but it means some long nights. The state gave us Monday off as well as Tuesday, so I've got a four-day weekend to look forward to. I don't know if we're going to go do anything for the Fourth yet, but I'm definitely looking forward to some relaxation time.

Linking up with Crafting On

Friday, June 23, 2017

Halfway There

Last night I started on the front of the second top in my upcoming mini collection, which puts me right about the halfway point, knitting-wise. This one is just a touch more involved than the first top, but still easy to follow, and I'm loving seeing the front knit up so far. I'm a little behind where I wanted to be with the knitting at this point, but the patterns are almost ready to go to my tech editor, so it's working out so far.

Tonight we're going to a baseball game (I love minor league baseball so much- the mascots, the cheap beer, the fun), and I'm hoping I'll get quite a bit of knitting done during the game. I know almost nothing about our team, I don't know who we're playing, and I can't wait. We used to go to minor league games with friends quite a bit when I was growing up in New Hampshire, and they were always a ton of fun.

I don't have any super big plans for this weekend. The laundry situation is starting to get a bit precarious, so I should probably tackle that, and I need to work on my lines for Fiddler. Otherwise, it's supposed to be a nice, cooler weekend (highs in the 70s!), so with any luck I'll be able to get some porch knitting time in!

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Days Off

Today is the last day of my little vacation, and I'm feeling really good about taking a few days for myself. I've gotten quite a bit of knitting and pattern writing done, I've watched Beauty and the Beast more times than is probably reasonable, and I've gotten some prime dog snuggles in. Abby especially missed me this weekend. Monday she wouldn't leave my lap, and while she's backed off some now, she still likes to peek over my laptop.

The first top for my mini collection is finished except for a few ends I missed before blocking, and I'm almost done the back of the second top, which puts me almost halfway through the knitting for this collection. I'm putting together the last big pieces of the patterns today, and I should have them ready for editing within a week. I don't have the final release schedule pinned down yet, but I'm looking at sometime in July.

Play rehearsals are going well. All of my scenes have been blocked now, and I'm learning my lines. Tonight I have my first costume fitting, and I've almost got all my songs down. Rehearsals have all been fun so far, even my Monday night choreography rehearsal when my legs were still crazy sore from dancing like a lunatic at the wedding this weekend.

Monday, June 19, 2017

Finished: Wedding Lace

Well, I'm back from the wedding, and I had a total blast! I'm still tired, and my legs are crazy sore from all the dancing, but it was the best wedding that I've ever been to, and I'm so, so happy for my friends.

I finished their wedding present last Wednesday night at theater rehearsal, and I blocked it quick on Friday morning before I left. I love knitting these white table runners for my friends, and I think every one of them is the most beautiful thing I've ever knit, and I'm especially charmed with this one. There's lots of love in every stitch, and there's really no better way for me to extend my best wishes to my favorite people.

I used the Once Upon a Leaf {wrap} pattern for this runner, with just a couple of small mods. I only knit three center motifs instead of five to keep it narrower, and I only did two repeats before starting the border. It's a great size to go in the middle of a dinner table, or on a hutch or bureau.

I don't really have the words to express how wonderful this wedding was. All I can really say is that my friends have the kind of love we all dream of, and there was so much joy as we celebrated them this weekend, and I really feel incredibly lucky to have been able to support them at their wedding.

Ravelry Page: Once Upon a Leaf
Pattern: Once Upon a Leaf {wrap} by Diana Rozenshteyn
Yarn: Knit Picks Gloss Lace Bare

Linking up with Crafting On

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

The Last Stretch of White Lace

The wedding present is almost done. It's so close. I have a four-hour rehearsal tonight, with a nice long break in the middle, so unless something terrible happens, I'll be able to bind this off tonight.

The first top for my mini collection is almost done- it needs to be seamed, and then it just needs a neckband and sleeve bands. I'm not going to try to do too much of the finishing this week, I'd rather cast on for the next top and have some mindless knitting to work on through the weekend. Next week I'll have to hunker down and do the finishing and the pattern bits that I don't love doing- yardage, materials, abbreviations, techniques, etc. I find them fiddly and I'd rather be making stuff. But they're important sections, and I really can't send the pattern to my editor without them.

Play rehearsals are going well so far. I'm definitely feeling more tired than I was a week ago, but I'm juggling my day job, play rehearsals, and working on the mini collection- plus traveling takes up a lot of psychological space for me. After this weekend I'm sure I'll feel much calmer, and I have those days off next week to recharge

Monday, June 12, 2017


I hope everyone had a good weekend! Anemone came down for the Shakespeare Festival Friday night, and then Saturday we went up to the city to run some errands. I ended up finding a stack of Elvis records at the thrift store, and they're already getting good use.

Yesterday was the first rehearsal for community theater, and it went really well. Most of rehearsal was dedicated to a read-through and rules for the space we use, so between that and the Shakespeare Festival, the first top for my mini collection is almost done. I'd love to get it finished this week, but I'm not putting too much pressure on myself. I'm still working on the wedding present, but I have an hour break at rehearsal tonight, during which I hope to get a big piece of that done.

Otherwise, this week is pretty much dedicated to getting used to being in rehearsal every night and wedding stuff. I'm taking a few days off from my day job next week, and I'm hoping to use that time to catch up on FO photos, pattern writing, and sewing prep for the OAL- I prewashed my fabric last night, and I wound the yarn for my cardigan yesterday as well, so next week I'll be able to dive right in with tracing and pressing and cutting!

Linking up with Crafting On

Friday, June 9, 2017

Shakespeare and Knitting

Happy Friday! This has felt like a really weird/long week, but community theater rehearsals start this weekend and I'm super excited. This weekend is also the annual Shakespeare Festival, so last night I got a chunk of knitting done at The Comedy of Errors. It's a great show, and I'll be going again tonight, and hopefully get another big chunk knit up. This is one of the samples for my upcoming mini collection, and at this rate I might just have it done before I go up to my friend's wedding next weekend!

I've also been working steadily on the wedding present- it's been my lunch knitting this week, and I've picked up to work the second half of it (it's one of those center-out deals). At this point, I have the pattern pretty much memorized, so between that and the addictive potato chip quality of white lace (just one more row!), I shouldn't have any trouble getting it done and blocked in plenty of time for the wedding.

Anemone is coming down for the Shakespeare Festival tonight, and then I think she and I have both been roped into moving some furniture tomorrow, but I'm definitely planning on getting a big chunk of knitting done and having time to relax before I jump into play rehearsals!

Monday, June 5, 2017

The Garden

The bachelorette party was an amazing success- we all had an amazing time, and I know I for one am still pretty exhausted from all our shenanigans. I'm looking forward to a pretty quiet week- community theater rehearsals start on Sunday, but other than that I don't have anything big coming up this week.

As I mentioned last week, we put our garden in the other weekend, and it looks great. I'm really not one to garden, but I did volunteer to help my mum with it this year. Anyway, I know we put in tomatoes, peppers, spinach, radishes, carrots, and cilantro. We already had sage, chives, and alum in, and we also put in a few rows of daisies. I think we're also planning on putting in some squashes before too long, and maybe kale.

I know lots of us in blog land have gardens, so how are yours coming along? Like I said, I'm not normally a gardener- I hate the outdoors, and while I love my houseplants, I've killed far more than I've successfully kept, including spider plants and cacti. Hopefully my mum's green thumbs will make up for whatever damage follows in my wake!

Linking up with Crafting On

Friday, June 2, 2017

A New Top

The other day I  got my most recent Knit Picks order, so I set my Zinone aside and started a new tee. I've got a plan for three of these little guys, they're just the sort of thing I love to wear, and I'm planning to release the patterns as a little mini collection this summer. I already have two of the three patterns written up, and I'm hoping to have this sample finished in the next couple of weeks. 

I'm not going to push myself too hard until after my friend's wedding, though- I leave for Minneapolis tonight for the bachelorette party, and then I have to finish the wedding present, and I'll lose about three days to the wedding itself, but I'm enjoying this so far, and all of these tees will be great lunch and play rehearsal knitting.

It feels a little weird to have so many projects on the go right now. I feel like I spent a lot of the last few months trying to cut down on my WIPs, and now I'm juggling projects left and right. I've always been a project juggler, though, and no matter how many times I get the urge to finish a bunch of stuff, projects just keep getting back on the needles.