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Thursday, June 30, 2011

Fiori Di Sole

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I've gotten some more on the middle section of Fiori Di Sole. I'm still able to get the point of the top flower motif in the picture so hopefully you can see how far I am, but I still have a ways to go. I'm not quite halfway through this middle section yet, but it feels like it's moving along pretty well - to me at least. I'm still loving the color and this is the first time in several years that I've used Zephyr. I had forgotten how much I enjoy it as a laceweight yarn. I might have to add some to my stash as this was the last I had in it. I've been doing a lot of fingering weight shawls lately!

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Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Man Sock

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I'm finally to the point of starting the toe decreases on Mickael's first sock of this pair. I've been just a few rows from this point for over a week now, but I kept forgetting to get him to try it on when he was around. That's the problem with knitting socks for other people - their feet walk off. Now that I have the major issues of the first sock figured out and written down, the second sock is not dependent on Mickael's feet being around and theoretically I should be able to finish it up quicker. Theoretically. It still won't knit itself.

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Monday, June 27, 2011

Logan's Whippoorwill

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I'm all finished with Logan's Whippoorwill, AKA Camp Loopy 2011 Project 1! I used Hand Maiden Sea Silk in Ivory for the main color and Shibui Knits Silk Cloud in Ivory for the contrast color. I love the way the two textures worked together and it finally hit me last Friday what this was reminding me of. You know how when the waves come in on the sand and they've just started to go back into the ocean, they leave that foam for just a couple of seconds? That's what this reminds me of. The main color is the sand and the contrast color is the foam just between the wave and the sand. Also, it matches Logan.

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This is a great pattern, easy to do and it goes quickly. I do recommend double checking your stitch count periodically, but the designer gives you stitch counts throughout the pattern.

On Friday we find out what Project 2 will be, but don't worry if you're still working on Project 1 - we've got until July 15 to get this first one finished!

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Thursday, June 23, 2011

A Distraction

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Mommy said I could blog today since all she's got to talk about was that same thing that she's been talking about for a week. She did say that she's ready to bind off on it though, so that's good. I like that the thing matches me. I can't wait to wear it, because I love to be near stuff that matches me. My favorite thing to do is lie in the dirty sheets and chew on my toys. Our sheets match me (Mommy calls them "Ivory"), they smell like my people, and when I'm laying in them, no one can see me - I'm invisible. When you're invisible you can't get in trouble, except Mommy can find me every time I'm in the sheets. She might have special powers, or maybe I shouldn't chew on my squeaky toys in the sheets. She always makes me get out of the laundry pile.

I had my first birthday last weekend and my people had cake. They sang to me and I got a special treat and Mommy gave me a little tiny bit of cake, but she said chocolate isn't good for dogs so I couldn't have very much. I don't know what a birthday is, but it seems important to my family. Mommy said she's going to get me a new, fancy bed for my birthday, but she's waiting until the weather gets cooler and I have to do something called "mature." I had a bed, but I was making origami projects out of it and it stopped being flat. You can't sleep on something like that. So now I'm practicing being "mature." I think this means I should stick my head through the curtains in mine and Mommy's and Daddy's bedroom (the curtains match me) and then grab them and shake them to death. I wouldn't want the curtains to get any ideas about trying to hurt my family. Keeping curtains in line is very mature, don't you think? I'll have that new bed really soon! I hope it matches me!


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Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Back to Whippoorwill

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I keep saying that I'm going to work on something else, but apparently this is all that's happening around here. On the other hand, I'm less than 10 rows from finishing. The little ball of yarn is what's left of my main color (I'm through with it now), and I didn't run out. According to weight, I have 84 meters left and the skein was supposed to have 400 meters when I started (but I didn't weigh it before I started knitting). Assuming it did have 400 meters and not more, I used 316 meters, which is just under 346 yards. The pattern gives the yardage correctly, but there's no extra wiggle room there. I'm using US 6 (4.0mm) needles on this, as the pattern calls for and I'd say my tension is about average (not tight, not loose). It's a pretty fast knit and not complicated, which is exactly what I need right now and probably explains why I keep working on it.

We got all the glass picked up yesterday and I even vacuumed part of the yard with Daddy's shop vac. (Never thought I'd be vacuuming the grass.) As soon as the insurance adjuster takes a look at things we'll start talking to roofing companies and get started on repairs. There was another decent storm last night, but it was just lightning, thunder, and rain so no new damage as far as I can tell. Mickael and I have never dealt with this kind of storm damage before, so we're figuring this out as we go.

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Tuesday, June 21, 2011

No Blog Today

We had a big storm come through last night and while we're all fine, we lost a few windows. They were all double pane and only the outer pane was broken, but I've got to get outside and get the glass picked up from the patio. To make things even more fun, we've got more storms moving in this morning. On the bright side, we're all safe, we need the rain, there's no damage inside the house, and Logan says hail tastes good. Squirrels and bunnies might be a little jumpy today in North Texas!

Be back tomorrow!

Monday, June 20, 2011

More Whippoorwill

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I know, I was going to blog something else today, but I started worrying about my yardage for Whippoorwill so I kept knitting on it all weekend. I seem to knit faster when I'm concerned about running out of yarn (it's like driving faster when you're getting low on gas, but at least with driving, you can at least coast into a gas station - there's no coasting in knitting). I've done my first Contrast Color stripe and I'm starting to get the wave shape at the edge. I've got only a few more rows in my main color, after my next contrast stripe, and at this point I think I'm going to make it, but I won't know for sure until I do it. I was originally hoping to do some sort of main color bind off, possibly a picot thing or something, just to give the very edge a little bit of weight since the Silk Cloud is so light and fluffy. I'm pretty sure that isn't going to happen, but if I can just finish out the pattern as it's written with the yarn I have, I'll be happy.

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Friday, June 17, 2011

Whippoorwill

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It's moving right along! I'm almost to the first Contrast Color stripe! I can't wait to see how the two yarns look knitted together. I'm enjoying the Handmaiden Sea Silk (I also used this yarn for the Angelfish Shawlette, so I knew what it was like). It's a very slippery yarn with no elasticity, but knitted up, it has a wonderful drape and shine. It should hang on my shoulders nicely when I wear it.

Today is a big day around here because Caleb comes back from camp! This has been the first time he's been to sleep-away camp and honestly, he's only ever spent the night at his grandparent's homes before so this was a huge adventure for him. Mickael and I were excited for him, but it was pretty weird for us to not have him around here. Logan looked for him a little bit, but didn't seem too concerned overall. There was one evening that he spent some time barking at me, but whether that was concern for Caleb or just wanting me to go downstairs and fix his dinner, I don't know. I'm sure he'll be just as happy as Mickael and I are to get Caleb back home later today!

Have a great weekend!

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Thursday, June 16, 2011

Logan's Whippoorwill

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I started my Logan-Matching-Whippoorwill yesterday and after an initial re-start after not having the right number of stitches at one point, I'm well on my way now. You can kind of see the different "colors" in the Ivory yarn in this picture. I'm doing the medium size for this, which should give me something a little bigger than a shawlette, but not quite a full sized shawl. (There are actual dimensions on the pattern for the approximate size the medium finishes at, but I don't have the pattern sitting here while I type, so I'm trying to describe the size. You probably already figured that out, didn't you?)

This project might be tomorrow's blog post as well, because it's all I'm working on right now, but I'll do some other things over the weekend so it won't be the only project all next week. I've got to go find a longer cable now because I'm almost out of cable at this point.

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Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Camp Loopy 2011 - Project I

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Today is the start day for the first project for Camp Loopy. We have until July 15 to get them finished and photos posted to qualify for finishing this first project. We had a choice between a shawl, a scarf, or a cape for a project, but it had to use two or more colors of yarn. I'm doing Whippoorwill (that's an Etsy link, but it's available on Ravelry too) and above you can see my yarn. I'm using Hand Maiden Sea Silk for the Main Color and Shibui Knits Silk Cloud for the Contrast Color - both are in the Ivory colorway. And yes, it matches Silly Logan!

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Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Fiori di Sole

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I'm working right along on Fiori di Sole. It seems to be moving along nicely, but I'm in the middle section which is going to look a lot like this picture for a while. At the moment I can still get the big flower thing at the top of the shawl in the picture, so you can see how far I've gotten in the Shetland Fern, but as I get farther from the top, it will be harder to photograph with that part visible. On the other hand, it's now definitely TV knitting in this section, so that should make things move along nicely.

Tomorrow is the beginning of the Camp Loopy Project 1 KAL so I'll show you my yarns tomorrow morning. I chose yarns that look like someone, but I didn't realize I had done that until I got the yarns and went to photograph them and realized they matched the crazy thing bouncing around after me. Guess who they look like?

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Monday, June 13, 2011

Austin Hoodie

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I've separated the fronts from the back! I'm working on the back now, but I'm more than halfway done with it at this point. I'm also into the final stitch pattern for the body. I feel like I'm actually getting something done on it at this point and I realized that for some reason, top down sweaters seem to go faster to me than bottom up. Realistically, there's no difference because there are the same amount of stitches either way, right? But for some reason, working top down feels faster.

On the other hand, it's not like I'll be wearing this anytime in the next 3 months, so it's not really a race.

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Thursday, June 09, 2011

Man Sock

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I'm still working on Mickael's sock, but I haven't had as much knitting time on it lately. I've set a goal of having the full pair (this is the first sock) finished by the time school starts up again at the end of August. I do love a challenge, don't I? Since I don't forsee any major North Texas blizzards in July, I don't think Mickael will be needing the socks before the end of the Summer.

Also, since I seem to think I need more projects going than I currently have, I'm going to be doing Camp Loopy this summer. The first project is a two color shawl, scarf or cape - the previous link has all the details. If you order by the 10th of June, they'll give you a discount on your yarn for your first camp project. I'm going to be knitting Whippoorwill for my first project and I'll show the yarns when they get here.

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Wednesday, June 08, 2011

Fiori Di Sole

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I've made some more progress on my Fiori Di Sole. I'm just past the flower at the top and I'm getting into the Shetland Fern in the middle of the shawl. I love this stitch pattern because it was my introduction to lace in Birch. Birch is all Shetland Fern and I did work it in Kid Silk Haze (love the yarn, but not necessarily for beginning lace knitters). There were definitely some bumps along the way of knitting it and Ramius would occasionally get his legs tangled in the yarn when he jumped off my lap. We all know that the best way to untangle yourself from something is to run. Fast. I'd just hold on to my knitting really tightly and when he was free and had run off to do other things, I'd get up and gather up the ball of yarn again. It was in knitting Birch that I began to see how the lace pattern came together. I noticed that the YO's always fell to either side of a center stitch and the decreases made diagonal lines. I started seeing when I was off of the pattern and was able to correct my mistakes before I made to the end of the row (tinking KSH, not fun). I was learning how to read my knitting, but I didn't know it at the time. The whole time I was knitting this, I was working from written out directions, not a chart. Luckily it was only 8 rows of pattern that I had to slog through, but I had never seen a chart before so I didn't know what I was missing.

I've learned since knitting Birch that Shetland Lace patterns are all pretty repetitious and easy to read because they were never written down. They were passed from knitter to knitter visually and usually knit while walking or in between chores - they carried the pattern in their head. Because of this, Shetland Lace patterns are wonderful stitch patterns to use to learn to read your knitting and I've recommended them to newer lace knitters who are trying to figure things out. Of course I didn't know all this at the time, I just noticed the diagonal decrease lines and the stacks of YO's. This stitch pattern will always be one of my favorites.

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Tuesday, June 07, 2011

Austin Hoodie

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I'm still working on my Austin Hoodie and I'm actually to the point where I stop doing stockinette stitch and switch to a textured stitch. The next row I work will be in the textured stitch (I can't for the life of me remember what stitch it is and I haven't started caffeine yet this morning so it's not going to suddenly pop into my head mid blog post - we'll just call it the textured stitch for today). If memory serves, I think I will divide the fronts from the back somewhere in the middle of this (upcoming) stitch pattern. I know from experience that once I separate the fronts from the back of a cardigan, it seems to grow faster, even though in reality I have to do about the same amount of work. I think maybe its that I can see whatever part I'm working on growing faster than when I work the whole thing in the round and that inspires me to keep going. (Oh, it looks like there are holes in my knitting but those are just places where I joined a new ball of yarn and need to weave in the ends.)

Last time I blogged this I mentioned that I was really enjoying these new needles, particularly the swivel cables and there was a question in the comments, so I'll answer it now. These are from my new set of Hiya Hiya Interchangables* and the way they built the cable sections, the actual cables can swivel in the parts that screw into the needles. This means that the cables won't try to get twisty on me as I work (because they can rotate to a relaxed position) so I'm not fighting them, and it also means that they won't try to unscrew themselves from the needle tips because they did get twisty. I'm really enjoying these needles and will be adding to the set (because I keep multiple projects going at once).

*This link is to the set I have, with the 4 inch needle tips. They also make a set with 5 inch tips that some people find more comfortable to knit with.

Also, there was a concerned comment yesterday about whether or not I would be blogging this month since I finished up my Knit Something of the Month Project for June. I will definitely be blogging because I still have (many) other projects on the needles and if I get really efficient around here and finish up all my projects, I can always cast on new projects. I just finished that one project before it even got an "in progress" post, that's all.

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Monday, June 06, 2011

June Knit Something of the Month Club Project

Well I cast on for this on June 1, fully intending to blog it in progress, but I finished it up on Saturday morning (June 4) so there was no "in progress" blog post. It just flew off my needles and I (and Logan) love it.

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This is Ishbel from Ysolda Teague done in Fleece Artist Sea Wool in Burgundy. I followed the directions for the smaller fingering weight version and as you can see, it fits a laughing puppy pretty well. If you're looking for a fast little shawlette, take a look at this pattern.

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Thursday, June 02, 2011

A Walk With Logan

Yesterday Logan and I were out walking and we thought the wildflowers were so pretty, we just had to get some pictures to share with you. All of the following pictures were taken one handed with an iPhone 3Gs with a wiggly puppy on a leash in the other hand (I picked the best ones, but they aren't all perfectly in focus, sorry). Enjoy!
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There was also some wildlife on our walk. The bunnies didn't stick around for photos, but this little snake didn't seem to mind.
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We saw these geese by one of the ponds and had to get a little closer. As soon as we started heading their way, all of them snapped to attention and started honking. Logan also snapped to attention. We stopped and they relaxed and went back to their goose business. Unfortunately, they wouldn't let me get close enough to get a good picture with my iPhone (and there was excited, intense wiggles happening at the other end of the leash for this shot).
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Wednesday, June 01, 2011

Keep on Sewing, Keep on Sewing

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Slowly but surely, I'm getting there! Do you see the section of Babette that's at the top right of the picture? That section (I'm calling it about 1/4 of the Babette) is all sewn together. It's not really taking too long, but I can't work on it for very long either since it's in the sewing room and a certain puppy is behind the child gate, outside of the sewing room (and carrying on like he's being beaten with a wet noodle).

One thing that I'm very happy with is how the different sized squares are going together so well. Since this project was made using lots of different brands of fingering weight superwash yarns, there are some squares that are bigger than others because some yarns are bigger than others (I'm talking about about squares that were made to be the same size, not comparing tiny squares to larger squares according to the pattern here). I was a little concerned about this and when I found two "same size" squares that were clearly different sizes, I made sure I didn't put them together as I was laying it out, but I thought I might run into trouble sewing the whole thing up. So far, everything is lining up nicely and while I'll block the finished blanket to really get it all smooth and flat, it's laying pretty nicely now in it's freshly sewn, unblocked state. Now I have to sew up the next section!

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