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Friday, August 29, 2014

Second Verse, Same As The First

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I’ve started the second row on my Meditative Stash Buster blanket.  I sat down and got all the ends from the first row woven in the other night.  It takes about an hour and a half to get them all done (yes, I timed myself on a couple of squares), or by starting at the first of Thor 2, you’ll be done by the time he’s saved us all from the dark elves.

I’m still joining as I go, but now I have to start the join earlier, because I do it on two sides.  This isn’t any more difficult, but I do have to pay attention, which is sometimes difficult.  I’m getting the hang of this square, so I don’t have to keep looking at the pattern, and that makes it easy to watch TV or talk while I crochet, but that also makes it easy to go past the point where I should have started joining the square to the blanket.  Now that it’s getting two rows, I think I can call it a blanket, right?

Have a great weekend!

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Thursday, August 28, 2014

Ta Da!

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Stick a fork in it, Camp Loopy 2014 is done!  Here is my third project, all the ends are woven in and it’s blocked and finished.  The challenge was to knit 800 yards or more in a project with your favorite color.  My favorite color is blue, so I made a blue striped Ravello.

Here’s a link to my Ravelry project page with all the details if you’re interested, including actual yardage used.  I will definitely be making more Ravellos in the future.  This is a fun, fast pattern, and the stripes make it fun to play with colors.  Fingering weight sweaters are pretty much perfect for cooler weather around here - you don’t die of heatstroke indoors, and if it gets really cold, they’re lightweight enough to wear under a coat or jacket.

I’m thinking of making my next Ravello with an i-cord neck edging (the pattern has directions for a plain neck edge, a ribbed neck -I’ve done this twice now, and an i-cord edge), just to mix things up a bit!

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Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Mine!

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Max has decided that with all the chaos around here, he’s going to take over Logan’s bed.  When we first got this bed (for Logan), Max had to check it out and the first couple of weeks he slept in it during the day and Logan used it at night.  Logan didn’t mind sharing so we didn’t worry about Max using it.  After a few weeks, the novelty wore off and Max went back to his cat beds and our bed.  For the last couple of years, except for occasionally playing with his soccer ball in it, Max has stayed out and Logan has been the only one using his bed.  We bought the bed for Logan, it fits him perfectly (he likes to sleep curled up like a cat), and he likes it.

Fast forward a couple of years, we are in the middle of the big brick switch and all of a sudden Max is back in the dog bed!  He’s not just exploring and sniffing either.  He’s playing, he’s bringing toys into the bed, he’s taking naps there, and he’s sitting in it like he owns it.  Fortunately, he’s getting out of it at night (when Logan wants it) and he will move if Logan wants him out of it during the day. (Logan can snarfle him with a big, wet, nose and that will get him moving.)  We’ve discussed getting a smaller bed in the exact same fabric for Max (they make them for smaller dogs too), but we’re not sure he would use it. We’re afraid he would give it to Logan and take the big one (and we don’t really have floor space for a second big bed).  For now at least, we’re going to leave things as they are because he may get out of the bed as suddenly as he got in, once this rebuilding is over.  Until then, it’s a good thing Logan shares so well!

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Monday, August 25, 2014

Finished With The Knitting!

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I finished knitting my Ravello for Camp Loopy 2014, Project 3 this weekend!  I’ve still got all the ends to weave in from the sleeves, and it needs a blocking, but the knitting is finished.  I easily cleared the 800 yard requirement for this project and I’ve put the actual yardage I used for each color on the project page (I weighed my yarn before I started and after I finished).  I also included needle sizes - what I used where.  One thing I’ve figured out is that I tend to knit tighter on the 9 inch circulars I like to use for sleeves.  It’s taken me a while to figure this out but I did finally learn.

I’ve got yarn for two more Ravellos in the stash and I may cast on for one of those later this week.  I love the shape (and the stripes) of Ravello.  We don’t get bitter cold winters here, but when it gets cold, it’s usually still humid, which makes it feel a lot colder than it actually is.  I’ve found that wearing lightweight sweaters like a long sleeved T-shirt and then layering heavier sweaters or scarves over them makes a big difference on the cold days.  Not that it’s cold here yet.  Things won’t start cooling down around here until later in September and I won’t need a sweater until October or November.

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Friday, August 22, 2014

Crawling Along

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My plans to have the first sleeve finished by now have fallen through.  This (the cream color) is all the knitting I’ve gotten done over the last two days.  Things have been crazy around here and there just hasn’t been any knitting.  As you can see, I haven’t woven in any ends on the sleeve, but I’ll probably wait until I’ve finished both of them to deal with the yarn ends.  I’ve also added markers every ten rounds because I’m so distracted right now that I keep forgetting to change the counter and then I have to count rounds.  If I want the second sleeve to match the first, I have to keep track.

There was a question in the comments after my last post, asking about my bind off on the body.  I just did a standard bind off below the ribbing although I did bind off purl wise (I think it looks better than binding off knit wise and I really don’t like binding off in pattern).  I’m always really careful to work my bind off loosely, but I know some people who find they bind off too tightly will go up a couple of needle sizes for the bind off.  You wouldn’t have to change both needles, just the one in your right hand (assuming you knit Western style, from left to right).  Learning how loose to make the bind off takes a little bit of practice, but I’ve learned how it should feel for my own knitting.  Unfortunately, this isn’t something that can be photographed.

The new brick is going up now and we’re loving how it looks.  I’ll get some pictures this weekend.  If the delivery people will cooperate (the load of sand was three days late), things should be finishing up in a couple of weeks.  I know this was something that needed doing, but the actual doing of it has not been fun.  I’ll be glad when everything is all done and there’s not a port-a-loo in my yard!

Have a great weekend!

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Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Stripy Sleeve

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I’m about halfway done with the first sleeve, and I am done with the stripes on the sleeve!  From this point to the cuff, I’ll knit in the cream color.  That should make the rest of the sleeve go faster, so I hope to finish this first sleeve either today or tomorrow.  I’m still on track to have this finished before the end of the month, so I should have another successful Camp Loopy summer!  (On the other hand, I can’t believe that August is almost over!)

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Monday, August 18, 2014

On to the Sleeves!

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I got the body finished over the weekend, bound off and the ends woven in!  It obviously could stand a good blocking, but I’ll do that at the end.  I’m ready to pick up the stitches for the first sleeve later today.

We had workers here again Saturday (I was hoping for some peace and quiet) and they finished removing the bricks from the front of the house.  Then, early this morning, the first half of our brick arrived!  Whenever the workers show up this morning, they’ll have brick to start working with!  I know this part will take longer than the demolition did, but it should also be quieter.

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Friday, August 15, 2014

Camp Loopy 2014, Project 3

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I’m within a couple of inches of starting the ribbing (or maybe even less, I haven’t measured in a while)!  I should get the ribbing started, and maybe even the body finished over the weekend.  I’ll weave in the ends before I start the sleeves, but I’m still on track to finish my third project by the end of the week.

This is the second time I’ve knit this pattern and I’ve actually got yarn stashed for two more Ravellos!  I like the design, I like the shape, I like the stripes!  At some point, I’d like to make one with just two colors - the background color and the stripe color.  Of course it would also be fun to make one with a different color for each stripe (and probably a single background color).  See why I have more Ravellos in stash?  It’s just too much fun to play with colors in this pattern!

On the home front, they’ve just got part of the front brick to remove, and we’re supposed to get half of our new brick today.  (There’s not much space to store things like brick and mortar what with the port-a-loo and the dumpster and scaffolding and construction stuff, so we’re getting the brick in two separate deliveries, a week apart.)  We’re very excited to see the new brick and can’t wait to get it on the house.

I hope you have a great weekend!  I’m hoping we have a quiet weekend!

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Thursday, August 14, 2014

One Row, Done!

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I’ve completed 24 squares in my Meditative Stash Buster project!  As you can see, they’re being inspected by tiny gray toes before the ends get woven in.  That’s my next job - weave in the ends.  I’ll get that done before I start crocheting the squares for the next row.  I did a quick measurement of this first row (since deciding to do 24 squares per row was based on an eyeballed guesstimate that it was the right width for the blanket) and it’s about 50 inches long.  I’m loving the join-as-you-go thing because I know that I won’t have to sew thousands of little squares together later.  I do realize that as the blanket gets bigger, join-as-you-go will get a bit fiddly, but I think it’s worth the trade off.

On the home front, the only old brick we have left is the front of the house and about eight feet of one side.  I’m guessing they’ll get that removed today.  We got a new dumpster early this morning - before 7 AM (I’m sure the neighbors are loving us at this point), so whenever the crew gets here this morning it’s ready for them.  We get a new dumpster every day because the weight of the brick debris means they can only fill it about 1/3 of the way full.  (See, I’ve learned something new!)  Tomorrow the first half of our new bricks will arrive and at the rate they’re going, I think they’ll be ready for them.  Max and Logan have completely adjusted to the new activity.  Max just doesn’t care, and Logan barks once or twice and then he’s done for the day.  I’m keeping the blinds closed because as long as Logan can’t see them, he can pretend they’re not here and doesn’t feel like he’s got an obligation to bark at them.  It’s just easier on all of us.  Once Logan has done his daily woof, he settles in for his regular schedule of naps, following me around, and messing with Max.  It’s a rough life, but he’s up for the challenge.

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Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Now With More Gray, More Scaffolding, and More Noise Than Ever Before!

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I’ve gotten a good chunk of the lower body (in gray) knitted on my Camp Loopy Ravello!  I’ve actually finished the first skein of gray and am knitting on the second one now.  I’d like to get the body knitted to the top of the lower ribbing this week.  Of course, it would be great if I can get it finished this week.  The body that is, there’s no way I’ll get the whole sweater finished this week.

Yesterday the workers showed up to begin the demolition of our brick.  Basically, they take hammers and bash at the side of the house, breaking up the brick and getting it off, down to the sheathing.  It’s kind of loud.  Logan settled down pretty quickly, but he wasn’t sure if he should pace or lie down.  I finally got him to lie down but he didn’t relax until they were gone for the day.  Max was taking a nap under the sofa when they showed up and he stayed there until they left for lunch.  Then, he came to me and had some questions.  They worked until about 7:30 last night and they got all the brick off the back of the house and half of one side.  They also cleaned up really well before leaving, which is always appreciated.  If they continue at this pace, the noisy parts should be done pretty quickly.  At least that’s what I’m telling myself!

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Monday, August 11, 2014

A Pink Lemon First!

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This weekend, thanks to Mermaid’s Escape, I was on the Hot Right Now list on Ravelry!  Even more exciting, it was number one!  This was the first time one of my patterns has been on Hot Right Now!  Thanks so much!  (For Non-Ravelers, it’s on the left, about halfway down, in the box.)

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Friday, August 08, 2014

Mermaid’s Escape

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This design was created because I had a full bag (10 skeins) of Noro Silk Garden Lite in my stash. I wanted to use as much as possible in a single project and I wanted to showcase the color shifts that Noro yarns are famous for. I knew something complex would get lost in the colors, so I went with a simple stitch pattern, worked on the bias for interest and to add drape.
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As I was working on it, I was reminded of a tropical island: the cool blues and greens of the ocean, the soft white sands, the faded beige of driftwood, the golden splash of rum, and a black hearted pirate. Maybe I've been watching too many Pirates of the Caribbean movies or maybe I need a vacation, but those were the images that danced through my head as the yarn colors shifted in my hands. It also occurred to me that if you were a mermaid, you could easily knit this because the pattern is extremely easy to memorize. You won't need to worry about your paper pattern getting soggy, or water getting into your iPad or computer (if you were one of the fortunate few mermaids who had reliable Internet access) every time you have to dive underwater because you won't need to refer to the pattern while you're knitting it.

For those of us with legs instead of a flippers, it's a great design to knit on the go. It's easy to knit while you're visiting with friends, watching your kids play soccer, waiting in the after school pick-up-line, or watching The Walking Dead with your zombie loving husband.

As it turns out, this is more of a recipe than a pattern, but you can use it to make a wrap, a scarf, a blanket, a placemat, or anything else you can come up with that's generally square or rectangular in shape. You can use any weight of yarn you like from lace weight to super bulky, and you don't have to use a slow striping yarn like Noro either. You could work it in a multicolored variegated yarn, a tonal solid, or make your own stripes and do some stash busting at the same time. Have fun, go crazy!

Finished Size: My wrap measures approximately 23 inches x 76 inches after washing and smoothing out to dry. Finished size is highly adjustable.

Gauge: 20 stitches over 4 inches in pattern stitch. Gauge is not crucial to fit in this design.

Shown in Noro Silk Garden Lite in color 2043, 10 skeins.  Knit on US 5’s (3.75mm)

$6.00


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Thursday, August 07, 2014

Onward!

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I’ve made it past the underarms and the sleeve stitches are on holders!  I’ve also started the gray which is the lower body section, so at this point, I’m through with the body stripes and I can just knit around and around and around!  Zoom!  There are more stripes on the sleeves, but those are for later. I’m on track for finishing the sweater on time at this point - this is my third Camp Loopy 2014 project, so I only have until the end of the month.  I do need to sit down and start weaving in the ends soon, before they get completely out of hand.  Oh, and here’s a link to my Rav project page if you need more details.

Remember how I mentioned that we’re getting the house re-bricked yesterday?  Well yesterday afternoon we had a delivery - a Port-A-Loo.  They hadn’t mentioned that was coming, but now I’ve got one in the side yard.  I cannot even begin to describe my feelings about this, but if that thing gets knocked over, we’re going to have to move.

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Wednesday, August 06, 2014

Skyrim!

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I’ve gotten some more done on Mickael and Caleb’s Skyrim helmets/hats.  I’m working on the cabled band that goes around the hat right now and I’m more than halfway around at this point.  I’m trying to work very carefully because since I’m doing them both at once, my tendency is to do the first one with the charts and then kind of wing the second one.  This leads to frogging and reknitting of the second one.  I’m making a conscious effort now to use the charts for both the first and the second one, which may make it a little slower row by row, but should be faster in the end.

Starting bright and early Monday morning, there will be a new adventure around here!  We had been noticing, particularly on the North side of our house, that every time it rained, we were getting brick crumbles.  We contacted the builder (the house is only 9 years old) and after having multiple visits from them and a couple of masons, they determined that the original brick wasn’t cured right, so our brick is going to be replaced.  Mickael and I got to pick out a color and Monday morning they start the demolition of the original brick.  It’s going to involve little sledgehammers according to my contact at the builder.  I can not even begin to tell you how excited we are about this, but we know it has to happen and the sooner they start, the sooner they’ll be finished.  I think the noisiest part of it will be getting down the old brick and they should be mostly done and onto the quieter parts before we start school again on September 2.  I was given a time frame of 45 days from when they start, but the 45 days includes all the work as well as inspections and has some wiggle room built in.  So, this will be new and exciting, or at least that’s how I’m trying to think of it.  Logan will probably have kittens at everything that’s fixing to happen so it should be interesting.

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Tuesday, August 05, 2014

A Few More Squares

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I have added four more squares to my Meditative Stash Buster blanket.  I don’t find it meditative yet although I can now work a square without the directions right in front of me.  I think if someone were more comfortable with crochet it might be more relaxing, but with my current skills, I have to pay close attention to what I’m doing.
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At this point, I have 16 squares total.  I’m thinking I want to go 24 squares wide and then build rows from there.  I haven’t actually measured anything (yeah, real scientific around here), but when I had 12 squares done, it felt like it should be about double that.  So I’m going with my gut feelings here.  There will also be some sort of border at the end to tie it all together and that will make it a bit bigger.  Of course, I realize that I could always add more rows of squares going the other way and it’s not going to really change the look of the blanket if I need to make it bigger before the border.  Oh, and I’m going to weave in ends when I get to the end of the row.  I think that will keep them reasonably under control without obsessing about them.

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Monday, August 04, 2014

Camp Loopy 2014, Project 3

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I cast on for Project 3 Friday evening after we got back from Guardians of the Galaxy (go, it’s great, have I mentioned there’s a talking raccoon?) Over the weekend I got a good start on it.  I’ve just started the third stripe of blue and I’m working my way towards separating the sleeve stitches from the body.  Here’s a link to my project page if you need more info.

I also got all the ends woven in on my Noro wrap and got it washed and blocked.  It did get MUCH softer!  More about that later this week.

Hope you had a great weekend too!

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Friday, August 01, 2014

Finishings and Beginnings

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I’ve got the Noro wrap off the needles!  I’ve got a lot of ends to weave in before I can wash it, but I can work on those over the weekend.  I’ll also get the directions together and finished up soon!
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On another subject, today is August 1 which means Guardians of the Galaxy (AKA The Talking Raccoon Movie) comes out, but also Camp Loopy Project 3 begins!  The requirements for project 3 are to knit 800 yards or more using your favorite color.  I will be making another Ravello using blue for the stripes (blue is my favorite color).  I’m using the Loopy Solids Series in White, Cerulean, and Dove.  Don’t you think Cerulean sounds like some sort of alien species from Star Trek?

And on that note, I hope you have a great weekend!

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