Rules for Feeding the Stash

Monday, June 29, 2020

Day 108

First, just a quick announcement: if you are unable to access Ravelry and want to buy my patterns, they are all available on LoveCrafts. I love the community on Ravelry, and I sincerely hope that Ravelry fixes their accessibility issues soon so that everyone can keep participating.

This weekend was kind of a wash. I feel like that's happening a lot lately, but there's A Lot going on in the world right now, and I think that if I'm able to keep functioning at the level I am during the week then it's probably fair to take two days to eat chips and read romance novels and watch reality television.

I didn't get as much work done on my Sazerac as I'd hoped, and I'm just over halfway through one repeat on the front right now. I'd hoped to get a full repeat done, but c'est la vie. I'm still completely charmed by these cables, and this yarn feels like kittens, and I can't wait for it to get cold again. (It's supposed to get up close to 100 degrees Fahrenheit today and I am Done With It.)

Friday, June 26, 2020

Day 105

I'm low-key freaking out about the fact that I thought it'd be a good idea to sign up for the 10k-meter finish line for Stash Dash, how are all of you?

I do this thing where I make decisions without really thinking too much about them and then I spend way more time overthinking them and convincing myself I've made a mistake. Was signing up for the 10k a mistake? I joined Stash Dash late, just two weeks ago, and looking at what I'd already finished since May 22 I saw I was at 2000m already, so the 10k sounded reasonable. Now I'm sitting with two finished sleeves and an entire sweater body to go and realizing that it'll only bring me up to ~4500m once it's finished, and who knows how much time will be left in Stash Dash at that point??

Realistically, there's almost two months left. I'll probably be okay. And if I'm not, it's okay. It's a game, and no one is going to be hurt if I don't hit 10k. I know this.

But also there's a lot going on that's outside of my control and I'm a LITTLE BIT of a control freak (and by a little bit I mean A LOT) and this is something I have some control over and it makes sense that I'm clinging to it and putting pressure on myself to be in total control of this one thing. But also, there's a lot going on that's really stressful right now and I probably don't need to be putting this much extra pressure on myself.

Brains are weird.

Anyway, I finished two sleeves last night, I knit the first row of the front bottom ribbing, and I'm about a third of the way to a finished sweater, so overall I'm doing pretty good. I still have no reason to be working on a cashmere-blend sweater when it is NINETY DEGREES OUT beyond "it's for Stash Dash," but I am a free knitter and I answer to no one. 

Monday, June 22, 2020

Day 101

Thank you everyone, for your kind words and your support as I prepare to start grad school! It really means a lot that I have such a wonderful, supportive community here.

This weekend was pretty busy for me, but it was all good stuff! I did some planning for my design work and finished my ribbed shawl sample, and then I spent several hours yesterday watching reality tv and working on my Sazerac. This is the third time I've tried knitting this yarn, and I think this is the winning pattern. This is definitely not the time of year to be thinking about a wool/cashmere cabled pullover, but I decided to jump in and do Stash Dash this year, and I already had half the sleeves done on this. I'm knitting the sleeves two-at-a-time, which means when they're finished I'll already be a third of the way through the sweater, and sleeve island will be behind me.

I have another sweater I'm working on intermittently—it's a design sample that's been on hold for a while now while I figured out some motif placement on the fronts, but I'm ready to start work on it again. I'm hoping to have it finished and the pattern written before my fall classes start, but we'll see how it goes. I'm pretty confident that the biggest stumbling block is now behind me, but you can never know for sure until it's finished! 

Friday, June 19, 2020

Something New

Hi Kittens. I've been wanting to share this with you for a while now, and I'm so excited.

In two months I'll be starting grad school for my Master's in Library and Information Science!

I've been wanting to get my master's since I was still in undergrad, but I haven't been able to make it happen until now. I'll still be working full-time at the library, and I'll be taking online classes. So. I'm going to be very, very busy.

I'm not planning on stopping blogging or designing. They're both very important to me. Obviously, I'll have less knitting time, and I may not get new patterns finished with the frequency I have the past few years, but I have some great projects in my design notebook that I'm really looking forward to working on.

This is a really big step for me, and a big change, and while I am nervous about it, I'm mostly very excited. I've been working on the application/decision/enrollment process since December, and it feels so weird to know I only have a couple months left before classes actually start.

It's definitely going to be a big adjustment—my boss is very supportive of me, and is happy to flex my work schedule around my classes, but also we're still in the middle of a pandemic, and while I'm working from home now, none of us really know for how long that's going to be an option. 2020 doesn't really feel like the most auspicious year to start grad school, but I've been waiting to get on this train for so long that I'm not going to jump off now! 

Wednesday, June 17, 2020

New Pattern: Rockport Tank

Some of my favorite days growing up were visits to port towns along the New England coast. I spent several happy weekends at my friend’s home in Rockport. In the off season we’d watch the boats, dive into the frigid ocean, play on the docks, help the neighbors dig for clams—everything we couldn’t do in my own small town further inland.

In summer there was more fun to be had—tourist watching, wandering through shops, playing on the beach, cooking out, and eating our weight in ice cream and salt water taffy. The Rockport Tank is perfect for those kinds of summertime adventures.

The Rockport Tank is worked in one piece from the bottom up. The bottom edge features a twisted rib and lace detail, and the tank is worked in the round to the underarms. The upper front and back are finished flat, then topped off with i-cord straps.

Lace is both charted and written out.

Sizes: 32 (36, 40, 44, 48, 52, 56, 60, 64, 68)in/81.5 (91.5, 101.5, 112, 122, 132, 142, 152.5, 162.5, 172.5)cm at bust, to be worn with 0-2in/0-5cm positive ease

Yarn: 630 (710, 790, 870, 945, 1025, 1185, 1260, 1340)yds/576 (650, 722, 795, 864, 937, 1010, 1084, 1152, 1225)m sport-weight yarn (Suggested: LoftyFiber Euroflax Sport Weight, 100g/270yds, “Navy”)

Sample is shown in size 48in/122cm on model who is 5’4” tall and has a 46in/117cm bust

Pattern is now available on Ravelry, and is 20% off with code SALTWATER through Saturday, June 20th! 

Monday, June 15, 2020

Day Ninety-Four

Y'all, I've been hit hard by the organizing bug. Over the weekend I went through my fabric stash and reorganized everything—I got rid of some stuff I didn't like and I pulled out three projects worth of fabric to have at the ready when I feel like sitting on my kitchen floor and tracing patterns.

I also went through my bookshelves and pulled a lot of stuff to sell to the used bookstore in the city. Like. A lot. (Don't worry, my shelves are still pretty dang full.)

I love my stuff, and I love having lots of stuff around me, but every so often I feel the need to just blaze through and get rid of some of it. Shed the old, prepare for the new. Remove the things that aren't really serving me anymore and making space for things that I will want and love.

Because I was so busy organizing this weekend, I didn't get much knitting done—maybe four to eight rows on my ribbed shawl. That's fine; I usually get plenty of knitting done during the week. I do tend to like to get a bunch of cooking and/or baking done during the weekend, but that didn't happen either. Again, that's fine. I have butter softening and ready on my counter whenever I find a chance to throw a cake together (or cookie bars; man have I been craving cookie bars).

As always, keep washing your hands and wearing a mask. Covid numbers are not going down, and we need to protect each other. If you're protesting, thank you. Stay hydrated and keep your emergency contacts updated. If you're not protesting, keep donating to bail funds and medics and keep calling your officials and representatives. Take care of yourselves, kittens. I love you all. 

Friday, June 12, 2020

13 Weeks

It's hard to believe I've been home for thirteen weeks. I'm doing weekly grocery shops, and I've gone to a few small local businesses, but cases are starting to ramp up and we're entering our first peak here, so I'm back down to weekly grocery shops only. I haven't seen new projections, but ones from April showed us hitting our peak around the end of June. I'll be working from home for sure for another eight weeks, and then we'll see.

If you're protesting, keep up the good work. Thank you so much for what you're doing. If you're not protesting, please keep supporting protesters—donate to bail funds and protest medics and keep calling your local representatives and officials. Black lives matter, and we need to end police brutality, over-policing, and mass incarceration.

On to the knitting: my tank top sample is done and the pattern is with my tech editor. I'm hoping to get photos taken either today or over the weekend, and I'm really pleased with how it came out. My current projects are two shawl samples, including this ribbed shawl I started a while back. I'm past the halfway point on it now, and I'm really pleased with how it's knitting up. It's definitely not a summery shawl, but as much as summer takes up a lot of my mental space (I'm not sure if I've ever mentioned it here, but I have summertime seasonal affective disorder, which lowkey sucks) the reality is winter here lasts six months, easily, so it will be nice to have this waiting in a few months when temperatures start to dip again.

Monday, June 8, 2020

Numbers on Day Eighty-Seven

1. I spent pretty much all weekend working on the pattern for my new tank only to realize that I'd buggered up the entire upper body and also made a glaring error. I swore a lot, I cried a bit, and I think I got all the math fixed. I'm in the process of ripping back to before the underarm bindoff now, send coffee.

2. My county has more than doubled it's covid cases since last Thursday. We'd been pretty untouched for a long time, and we hadn't had any new cases in two weeks when a bunch more started being recorded on Friday. We went from fifteen cases to thirty-two in just three days, and we have cases tied to at least three local businesses. We've known from projections that South Dakota wouldn't hit its first covid peak until mid to late June, and it's really weird watching it finally happen.

3. If you're protesting, thank you. Please remember to take care of yourself. If you're not protesting, check in with protesters, donate to a bail fund or protest medics, check in to see what support your local protesters need, and keep contacting your local and state officials.

4. It was stupid hot here yesterday and it's going to be stupid hot again today. I hates it. Tonight we're supposed to get some thunderstorms and tomorrow and the rest of the week will be cooler. I can't wait.

I think that's it for today. Stay hydrated, kittens. I love you all.

Friday, June 5, 2020

Day Eighty-Four

Most of this week was a loss. I'd been feeling a depressive episode coming on for a couple weeks, and I finally tipped over sometime on Monday. Fortunately I was pretty well prepared, and I started feeling better yesterday afternoon. I'm sure there might be some dips over the next few days, but I'm cautiously optimistic that I'm coming out of it. 

I haven't really shared my tank sample since I cast it on, and it's almost finished! There's a few rows of the upper back left and then straps, and I'm hoping to finish writing the pattern this weekend. I'm not sure yet which project will take this one's place—it's been my main project since I finished the unicorn sweater, and I don't really know if I have another "almost-mindless" project to take it's place. I'm sure I'll figure it out, though.

If you're protesting, mask up and drink lots of water. If you're not protesting, check in with protesters, donate to a bail fund and/or protest medics, and contact your representatives. Love you all. 

Monday, June 1, 2020

Day Eighty

Thanks for all the love for my unicorn sweater! I'm really, really in love with it, and I'm so glad that it's bringing a smile to you all as well. This weekend was pretty quiet for me: a few naps, lots of reading, and some podcasts and knitting. 

Please, if you haven't yet, donate to your city's bail fund, or one of the organizations I've listed below, or another organization in your community helping protesters and defending Black lives and working to end police brutality:
Saturday night my two best friends from college and I had a virtual Christmas Party. We've been rewatching Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries together over the phone, and earlier last week we finished season two. We'd hoped to get through the Christmas in July episode that night, but decided we were too tired, and I threw out the idea of a party. We each had hot chocolate and some decorations, and I even found a box of candy canes I'd hidden in the back of my cupboard in December, and it really was the thing to lift our spirits for a few hours.

Last week I also got photos of my My Little Secret Crop! I knit this a bit longer than the pattern called for, and I'm very happy with it. It's too hot to wear wool now, even as a crop top, but I'm definitely looking forward to wearing it more this fall! 

Ravelry Page: My Little Secret Crop
Pattern: My Little Secret Crop by Jessie Maed Designs
Yarn: Knit Picks Hawthorne Sport Multi, "Happy Valley"