Rules for Feeding the Stash

Friday, May 29, 2020



This is easily one of my favorite things I've ever made. I love it. It came out exactly how I hoped it would, the colors are perfect, I can't get over it. I love it.

I started knitting this in October 2018, but I first had the idea some time before that. I was a supporter of the Great Northern Kickstarter, and when the Lonely Souls pattern was released I soon realized that it had a lot of potential. The pattern is great as written, but for my own tastes I decided to change all the moss stitch to 1x1 ribbing, and I eliminated the clever little overlaps at the hem and sleeve cuffs.

I added a bit of length to the body (I'm not sure how much, I kind of just eyeballed it) and I added two inches to the sleeves. I love shortened sleeves, but I prefer them to hit below my elbow. I also knew I wanted to eliminate the keyhole back—it's super cute, and I love the way Teresa designed it, but having just a small spot on my back where I can feel the breeze drives me crazy. I waffled a bit on how I wanted to do the yoke—I initially thought of knitting the yoke in the round and doing the unicorns in duplicate stitch afterwards, but at the last minute I decided to knit the yoke flat as written and use intarsia. I decided that duplicate stitch would feel too thick in those spots, and I was worried at this gauge (it's not super loose, but it's definitely not dense) that the speckled yoke might show through the duplicate stitch.

Obviously, I changed the horse chart from the pattern to a unicorn. That was pretty easy, and I typed up my new chart in excel and printed it out alongside the pattern instructions. I mirrored the instructions for the second unicorn, and I also changed the placement, moving each chart ten stitches towards the center, so the unicorns would be more on my chest than hiding in my armpit. I don't think I would have changed their placement if my bust was significantly smaller, but knowing how far out my bosom protrudes, there was a real chance that you'd only be able to see the unicorns from the side if I'd left it as written!

I closed up the back of the yoke with mattress stitch before knitting the neckline ribbing. I did shorten the yoke a bit—as written, there should have been another inch or two and a fourth row of decreases, but at some point my stitch count became very off (????), and I was running out of the speckled yarn, so I tried on the sweater, decided exactly how many decreases I wanted before the neckline (not as many as written, because of the stitch count problem), and did the ribbing. I certainly wouldn't be opposed to a deeper yoke (I love a deep, roomy yoke!), but I'm really happy with how the yoke came out. It fits well, and the silhouette works perfectly with my plan for the sweater.

As far as my name for the project on Ravelry, well, the sweater has unicorns, and they're not lonely souls, because they're right there with their friend. I know, I'm adorable.

Ravelry Page: Not-So-Lonely Unicorns
Pattern: Lonely Souls by Teresa Gregorio
Yarn: Knit Picks Hawthorne Fingering, "Turkish Delight" and "Andromeda Speckle"

Friday, May 22, 2020

Day Seventy

I can't believe it's been ten weeks! The pandemic has really changed a lot very quickly, and it's hard to comprehend that I've been isolating in my apartment for so long.

Anyway. Let's talk knitting! I finished the sleeves for my unicorn sweater and got them attached to the body, and I'm currently ten rows into the 26-row intarsia chart. I very rarely knit yoke sweaters from the bottom-up, and that first inch after attaching the sleeves is so hard! I'd love to get the intarsia finished this weekend so I can zip through the yoke decreases and get started on finishing, but it took over five hours to knit the first twelve rounds of the yoke (two rounds in the MC followed by ten rows of intarsia), so we'll see how I do.

I went back and forth up until about three minutes before I started the yoke about whether I wanted to knit the yoke flat and do the colorwork in intarsia, as written, or if I wanted to knit it in the round and duplicate stitch my unicorns on later. Obviously, I decided to go with intarsia, and now I have a confusing, tangled mess to deal with. It'll all be worth it, though.

I'll go more into details about mods when the sweater is finished, but it's pretty heavily modified, just for my own preferences. It's made following some parts of the pattern challenging, as I have to remember what I've changed and how it affects the instructions, but that's all my own fault for making half-assed notes on the pattern (and using water-soluble ink and then spilling beverages on it, so quite a few of my notes are now just a blob...).

As always, I love you. You are each very special to me, and the world is better for you being in it. 

Monday, May 18, 2020

Day Sixty-Six

No photo today. I've been too lazy to come up with something to photograph, which is telling, as I've actually made quite a bit of progress on a couple different knits. The second sleeve of my unicorn sweater is moving along—it's not quite halfway done yet, but still, that's good progress—and I've passed the halfway point on the body of my tank top sample.

This weekend was mostly pretty quiet. Saturday morning my mum and I got up early to drive to the next big town near us to see if their Walmart had dog food, as ours has been out. My car hasn't gotten to go on the highway since early March, so it was nice to get her out for a drive. Alas, we didn't have any luck finding dog food, but my sister managed to score some in the city later in the weekend, so we're set for a while now.

When we got back, I pretty much went straight back to bed. When I finally woke up again, I read in bed, until late afternoon, when I went to mum's for egg rolls and special rice for dinner. Then I had a bubble bath and afterwards I watched some cartoons and knit a bit. And that was Saturday.

Yesterday was also fairly nap-heavy, but I managed to get a pan of brownies made and two dozen chocolate cupcakes. I had the idea a couple weeks ago to make chocolate cupcakes with cream cheese frosting and keeping them in the freezer so I could grab a quick piece of cake when I wanted. Today I'll make the frosting, and I'm also hoping to bake bread, as it's been a while since I've done that.

Overall, not a bad weekend. This week I'm starting a time-consuming, detail-oriented, somewhat boring work project, which, while not as interesting as some of what I do, is very important, and will give me a chance to catch up on some podcasts.

Hang in there. You're doing your best, and that's enough. We are all trying to be patient and generous, even though it's hard sometimes. I love you all, specially and individually. 

Monday, May 11, 2020

Day Fifty-Nine

Happy Monday! Is it Monday? Time is meaningless. Anyway.

It feels like it's been a hot minute since I've shared my unicorn sweater on the blog, but quarantine has me making some major progress. I finally finished the lower body, which should not have taken the better part of a year and a half to get through, but that's what I get for starting projects willy nilly and then abandoning them in strange corners of my apartment.

I'm even almost finished the first sleeve! It's amazing how much more quickly half sleeves knit up than full sleeves. I think there's about ten more rounds on this before I can attach it to the body and start the second sleeve. I binged the podcast The Dream last week, and that was the perfect background to knit to (except when I had to pause it to call my mum to relay a particularly horrifying story).

I'd like to get both sleeves finished and attached this week, and I think that's a reasonable goal. I still have my tank sample to work on, and that cabled sweater I've only briefly mentioned here but haven't actually shown you all yet, but for some reason some mindless stockinette sounds like just the ticket right now.

It was a quiet weekend here at Casa Wayward. I made a blueberry coffee cake on Saturday afternoon for my mum for Mother's Day—I have a thing about most cooked fruit, so I never make coffee cake with blueberries, but for her I can make an exception.

My town is talking about starting to open up, which makes me nervous. We haven't hit our peak here yet, and aren't due to until next month. I don't know what's going to happen with my town or with my work, but I'm definitely not planning to leave my apartment for more than safe bike rides or weekly grocery trips for a while. It's a strange, strange world we're living in right now.

Friday, May 8, 2020

Day Fifty-Six

I've been working from home for eight weeks now. It feels simultaneously like I just started two weeks ago and that I've been doing this forever. The university is supposed to start opening up after next week, at least for staff and faculty. I don't know what that means for me, yet. I don't know what anything means right now.

I started this My Little Secret Crop Top back in March, right when the pattern was initially released. I banged out most of the body pretty quickly, and then it sat for a while while I dithered on how much length to add. In the past couple days, I've finished the body and the first strap. I hate knitting straps, but I know I can finish this in less than an hour if I just sit down and make myself do it. 

I could probably do a lot of things right now, if I just sat down and made myself do them.

Yesterday I made bagels. My stand mixer arrived on Wednesday, and she is the brightest gem in my life. Today I plan to make eggs so I can turn some of the bagels into breakfast sandwiches to keep in the freezer for days when I just really need a breakfast sandwich. 

I've been poking at some housework this week. I made a list in my phone of housekeeping projects I want to get done during quarantine. Some are bigger than others; I don't know if I'll get them all done. 

Lee Lee has arthritis, and her bad leg has really been bothering her for a couple weeks. This week we got a hold of some pain meds for her, and she's starting to improve. I find myself gauging my mood based on how she's feeling: if she isn't walking, it'll be a quiet, slow day, and if she's happy to wake up and ready to try running, then it will be a good day. My own moods lately feel at once unchanging and wildly unpredictable, leaving me feeling like nothing is changing but also exhausted from the work of existing as a person. It's no wonder I'm trying to outsource my own feelings to my dog's recovery.

Hang in there, kittens. The first wave hasn't even peaked here, yet, but I know some of you are already gearing up to prepare for the second wave. You are beautiful, and you are strong, and you're doing great so far. I know it doesn't always feel like it, but you're doing enough. 

Monday, May 4, 2020

Day Fifty-Two

Hello, Kittens! I hope you all had a good weekend, whatever that means for you.

The tank top sample I cast on last week is progressing nicely—I'm a few rounds away from starting the waist shaping, and I'm maybe having a little bit of a wobble because I'm knitting this from the bottom up and I'm not used to waist shaping from this direction. But! It will be fine! I have done math and I have checked it multiple times and everything is going to work out GREAT.

Yesterday my mum and I went to the greenhouse in town so mum could get some stuff for her garden and I maybe tripped a little bit and bought some new plants myself. This prompted me to reorganize my succulent/cactus aquarium, which I've been wanting to do for a couple weeks now. I turned it on it's side, which gives me more surface area inside as well as the ability to put things on top of the tank as well. It blocks less of the window this way, and it'll be much easier for me to water the plants inside now (as opposed to having to stand on my tiptoes to reach down inside the tank to water them before). I'm very pleased with the final result.

My new stand mixer is due to arrive anytime between tomorrow and Saturday. I am, of course, crossing my fingers for an earlier delivery, but as long as it gets here safe and in one piece I will be a very happy baker. I worked on tidying up my kitchen yesterday so I have a space on my counter ready for my new addition, whenever it arrives.

Friday, May 1, 2020

Day Forty-Nine

Is it depressing seeing how many days I've been home in the post titles? I started it as a way to keep track, but I can change it up if it is.

This week I made bagels! I've been wanting to make bagels for a long time, and these came out GREAT. The recipe only makes four bagels though, and since I only have a hand mixer right now I had to mimic a dough hook with my spatula at the end of mixing to get the dough ready. It'd be tough to do that if I multiplied the recipe.

So I ordered a Kitchen Aid stand mixer.

I've been wanting one for a while, but they are EXPENSIVE, but also they last a long time, and I'd use it every week, probably multiple times a week, but they cost SO MANY DOLLARS...and back and forth and back and forth. For years.

I ended up ordering a refurbished one, because they're just as good and quite a bit cheaper. It'll be here sometime next week and then I will be able to bake ALL THE THINGS.

Back to bagels: these are so good. Since being diagnosed with celiac disease ten years ago I've only had one really good bagel, and the rest have been "better than no bagels, but not great." These bagels are great. I almost cried when I ate the first one, it was so good. The other night I made eggs Benedict on one of my homemade bagels and it was the most delicious and satisfying thing I've ever eaten.

I'm hoping to be able to make some big batches when my stand mixer comes so I can share bagels with my mum and also make some breakfast sandwiches to keep in the freezer. I want to get better about meal prepping on the weekends (for reasons) and having a stand mixer so my hands don't get worn out doing all the baking with a hand mixer is really going to help!