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Monday, September 29, 2014

Zippy Little Sock

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Every time I sit down to knit this sock, it feels like it just zips right along.  It’s such a simple stitch pattern and so perfect for an easy pair of socks.  I made it to the heel this weekend and decided to do a Fish Lips Kiss heel for these instead of a heel flap.  Max even sat in my lap a little bit while I knitted on these.  (Max isn’t much for sitting ON laps, he likes to sit right next us, cuddled up close, but not on our laps.)

In house news, the port-a-loo was taken away over the weekend without once being knocked over.  I’d like to thank the high schoolers of north Texas for their restraint and maturity in the matter.  Clearly they are destined for greatness.  The only thing that’s left in cleanup after The Great Re-Bricking is to repair the window that they broke when they were removing the old bricks.  The fact that they only broke one is amazing.  They only broke the outer of the two panes, so it wasn’t a huge problem and it will be repaired/replaced tomorrow morning.  Then, everything is all finished!  I can’t believe we finally made it to this point!

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Friday, September 26, 2014

Finally, Back to the Knitting!

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This has been a crazy week!  I won’t bore you with the details, but last night was the first night all week that I even felt like knitting.  The other evenings found me curled up with Max trying to stay awake long enough for bedtime.

I’ve almost gotten through this section of the Standing Stones cowl.  The lace is easy to work and goes quickly. What you can’t really see in the photo (because the needles are holding it in), is that this section is wider than the first section.  The third section will be wider still.  This is why in the pictures, the top section sits like a cowl neck on top of the model’s shoulders and the lower sections go around her shoulders.

The third, and last, section of stitch patterns isn’t as long as the first two, so I better start figuring out what I’m going to knit for the next two projects of Loopy Academy!

Have a great weekend!

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Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Stripes

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I’ve got some stripes on my first sleeve!  I weighed the ombre yarn before I started striping, and I’ve got enough to add a few more stripes to this sleeve before switching to the white to finish the sleeve (and I’ll have enough of the ombre shades to make the other sleeve match, in case you were wondering).

I’m keeping my tails as short as possible while still having enough to weave in, since I’m trying to get as much yardage as possible out of both the ombre and the white.  I’m still playing with the idea of 3/4 length sleeves but I haven’t decided yet.  I guess I’ll need to decide soon!

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Monday, September 22, 2014

Changing Plans

This weekend I was working on my Twisted sock and I made it past the heel flap and the heel turn.  I started picking up stitches around the gusset to continue on with the foot, and as I was doing this, and reading the directions, the directions just seemed more complex than I wanted to deal with.  I thought about it for about 30 seconds and decided to frog and start over with another sock pattern.

I like the Twisted pattern, and I think the finished socks are really pretty, but this week is going to be crazy and I’ll need a traveling knitting project.  Socks are a great traveling knitting project as I wait for appointments and things, but these socks didn’t feel very portable.  Maybe if I had already finished the first sock and was working on the second sock, I might feel differently, but for now, I needed something simple.
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I’ve started a pair of Hermione’s Everyday Socks.  For the edging, I worked three rounds of stockinette (so it would roll) and then six rounds of K2, P2 rib before diving into the stitch pattern.  The stitch pattern is subtle enough to show off the delicate color variations in the yarn and easy enough that I have it memorized.  It will be perfect for knitting in public this week.  It felt good to change my plans and start a pair of simple socks!

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Friday, September 19, 2014

Cowl-ing Right Along!

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I’m almost halfway into the second stitch pattern of my Standing Stones cowl, AKA Project One, Freshman Year, Loopy Academy.  I’m also almost done with my first skein of yarn.  I bought three skeins because the pattern called for that much for the fingering version, but once I started reading the pattern, I realized that the fingering version was going to be too big for me, so I adjusted the numbers to get one the size of the worsted version.  I think I’ll only use two skeins, but I’ll use the spare skein for a pair of fingerless mitts.

I hope you all have a great weekend!  This will be the first weekend since the beginning of August that I don’t have workers all over the outside of the house.  I plan on sleeping in and wandering around in pajamas!  There might even be afternoon naps!

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Thursday, September 18, 2014

Time to Start Thinking

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I’ve completed my second skein of the white on my two color Ombre Ravello.  I have a total of four skeins of white that match perfectly.  I also have a partial skein of white that’s a tiny bit off from the others.  If I have to use that partial skein (and I think I will), I’ll use it for ribbings where the slight color change won’t be noticeable because of the texture change in the stitches.

I decided that when I got to the end of the second skein of white on the body, I would put stitch holders on my cables and start the sleeves.  Once the sleeves are finished, I can finish the body.  Unless I’m not sure I have enough yarn to do long sleeves and then I’ll put the sleeves on holders too, go back and finish the body and then finish the sleeves.  I think.  I haven’t figured out everything yet.  Also, I’ve got to weigh some yarn to see where I am on the ombre mini skeins.  I’m planning on adding a few more stripes to the sleeves, which will cut down on the amount of white I’m using, but I’ll need to make sure I don’t run out of anything on the second sleeve.  Theoretically, I should be fine because I only use about 175 yards of the accent color and I have 400 or so.  However, since these are mini skeins, I only have about 80+ yards of each step of the ombre.

I’m going to get some caffeine now and see what I can figure out!

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Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Bricks, Check!

Yesterday they finished the bricking!  All the bricks are on the house.  Of course now they have to caulk the windows, wash the windows, put the screens back on the windows, put the downspouts and vent covers back on the house, reinstall the exterior lighting, put the fence back together where they opened it up, fix the sprinkler system and replace the landscaping they killed.

Oh, and we still have a Port-A-Loo.

So, not done yet, really.

Yesterday Mickael and I replaced the ceiling fan in our bedroom and it was so nice and quiet last night!

We’re getting there, but we’re not there quite yet!

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Monday, September 15, 2014

Loopy Academy

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I’ve finished the first stitch pattern for my Standing Stones Cowl (AKA Loopy Academy project 1) and started the second stitch pattern.  If you look really closely, you can see the beginnings of diagonal lines of lace at the bottom edge, right above the needles.  If you can’t really see it yet, hang in there, I’m going to knit more of it - you can see it later!

In bricking news, we had workers here Saturday and Sunday this weekend, working 12 hour days, and they’re almost through with the bricks!  I think (maybe) they’ll be finished with the bricks today. Then it’s going to take them a week to clean up.  The amount of brick dust, sand, and mortar that are all over the outside of our house is crazy.  I don’t even want to talk about how much I’ve cleaned up inside the house.  I have hopes that we’re almost through with this adventure though.  I think we’re going to get there soon!

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Friday, September 12, 2014

A Few More Squares

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I periodically (when I’m not casting on for new things) add a few squares to the blanket.  You can kind of start to see how I’m working this - I’m alternating light and dark, and I’m doing one warm square, followed by two cool squares.  Sort of.  It’s not carved in stone and sometimes I just grab something and make a square of it, but by having a loose pattern to follow, I don’t drive myself crazy overthinking things (or maybe I’ve already done the overthinking when I started working in a pattern).  The next square will be a dark, warm color, if you’re curious.

Have a great weekend!  We’re listening to the dulcet tones of brick masons doing what ever it is that they do.  I think we’ve got another week of re-bricking and then they’ll come put our downspouts and light fixtures back on the house, as well as all the other things that were taken off before this started.  After that we’re going to have a discussion about the shrubbery.  In case you were curious, shrubbery doesn’t like re-bricking projects.

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Thursday, September 11, 2014

Changing Gears

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I was working on my newest Ravello yesterday and as I added the darkest stripe and began my last white stripe (before the gray), I had a thought.  What if I didn’t use the gray?  What if I made this Ravello with an all white background?  I didn’t feel like I needed the gray, particularly since the ombre is so interesting color-wise.  The closer I got to where I should have been starting the gray, the more I wanted to just keep going with the white.  Since this is usually a sign that I should do whatever it is I’m thinking about, I did a quick count of my skeins of white and decided to keep going.  The farther I got in white, the more I feel like this is the best choice for this Ravello.  This will be my first two color Ravello (if you count the ombre as one color).

There’s going to be a fun part though, for you, as you watch me knit this.  I’m not 100% sure I have enough white to do this.  It’s going to be a squeaker.  I’ve already added another stripe to the body and I’ll use more stripes on the sleeves than I have on previous Ravellos.  Each additional stripe of the ombre color means I’ll use less white.  I could also make 3/4 length sleeves, but the fact remains that I don’t know for sure if I have enough white.  I’m going to be doing a lot of weighing of skeins as I knit to figure out exactly how I can do this (and I will be able to do it), but it might take some creativity on my part.

Challenge Accepted!

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Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Loopy Academy

After Camp Loopy this summer, I was all prepared to get back to my regular knitting schedule and get some things knit up from stash.  Then Sheri came up with Loopy Academy!  If you haven’t heard about it, here’s her blog post with all the details.  It’s much more relaxed than Camp Loopy, the projects can be smaller, and you have more time to get them finished (until the end of the year).  This means I can fit Loopy Academy projects into my regular knitting much more easily than Camp Loopy.
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I haven’t chosen my hat or mitten projects yet (or picked yarn), but I’ve gotten yarn and started the cowl project.  I’m using Dream in Color Smooshy With Cashmere in Rock the Olive for a Standing Stones cowl.  I’ve adjusted my numbers a bit because the variation in fingering weight will be too big for me.  I want it to fit like the worsted weight version does (the solid, blue green one at the top of the pattern page).  I also used a picot cast on for the first time because I thought that might be nice for the top edge of the cowl.

I’ll decide on the hat and mittens projects later.  The cowl will be my biggest project of the “semester” so getting that out of the way quickly will give me a head start.

I haven’t looked at the cowl together with my new Ravello, but I think the purple/multi colored yarns are probably pretty similar.  I’ll have to take a look at them later.

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Tuesday, September 09, 2014

A Sock and a Paw

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This morning Max assisted with the blog photo.  Thank you Max!  (I think that’s a rear paw because he was using his front paws to grab the yarn.)

I’ve started on the heel flap on my left sock.  I’m using the Twisted pattern for these.  In order to make the socks mirror images of each other, you have to knit a left sock and a right sock.  I’ve started with the left one.  Hopefully I’ll remember to work a right one later.  I did enter them separately in KnitCompanion so assuming I open the correct piece, I should be OK.  Once I finish the heel flap and turn, I’ll have to pay more attention because the pattern does things with the gusset shaping.  Up to this point, it’s been an easy pattern because there’s a two round pattern repeat, so once you get going, it’s easy.  Here’s the link to my Rav page.

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Monday, September 08, 2014

Startitis

I have had a severe case of Startitis lately, but I’ve mostly kept it under control.  I really want to cast on all the things, but I keep reminding myself that if I do that, I’ll feel overwhelmed and I won’t get anything done.  I know from experience that too many projects at once doesn’t work for me.  After finishing Mom’s bunny (she loved it!), I decided to go ahead and cast on one new project.
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This is another Ravello.  I’m using the same colors for the upper background and lower body that I did on my last Ravello (The Loopy Ewe Solids Series in White and Dove), but I’m using something different for the stripes.  I’ve mentioned before that I’m in SpaceCadet’s Mini Skien Club (the Ombre and Gradient Mix), and I’m using an Ombre set (Tranquility Ombre) for the stripes.  I had actually just gotten this set when I found the Ravello pattern last fall and thought the two would work together well.  It took me some time to figure out what other colors to use with it though.  I’m doing five stripes on the body of this Ravello, so I can use all five colors.  I’ll probably be adding more stripes to the sleeves too, because I don’t want to end in the middle of the ombre, but I’ll figure out the details on those later.  I’ve made it past the place where the sleeve stitches go onto holders and I’ve started the fifth body stripe (the darkest).
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The colors of Tranquility Ombre are mostly purples, but there are also blues and greens in there.  It reminds me of abalone shell in the lighter shades.  I’m enjoying the play of colors from these hand dyed yarns, but I think pairing them with the solid white and gray will anchor them nicely.  Here’s a link to my Ravelry page for more details if you’re interested!

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Friday, September 05, 2014

Happy Birthday Mom!

Tomorrow is my Mom’s birthday (GeorginaBow on Ravelry if you want to say Happy Birthday to her, or you can leave a comment here) and for part of her birthday gift this year, I made her a few things.

When I was little, Mom made me entire wardrobes for my dolls (and our kittens wore them too).  As I got older, she taught me how to sew, cross stitch, do embroidery, and even attempted to teach me to knit (the knitting didn’t take until later).  She has spent countless hours making me things over the years.  It’s easy to look at someone who is constantly creating things like this and think that they wouldn’t want something you made, since they can make it themselves.  On the other hand, creative people know that when you make something  for them, you’re giving them more than the finished project, you’re giving them your time, your creativity, your effort, and your love.  While there are non-creative people that are worthy of our efforts, they don’t always understand everything that is part of a handmade gift.
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I had seen the Little Cotton Rabbit patterns (they aren’t all rabbits, there are also foxes and elephants available as patterns) and decided to make Mom a Bunny Girl.  I made her with Berrocco Ultra Alpaca in I used the Elephant Girl legs (all the bodies are the same size, so the dress and sweater patterns will fit all of them) because I didn’t want to make her wear tights (tights are too hot in Texas most of the year).  I gave her black Mary Janes so they’d go with any outfit she wears, and blue knickers for the same reason.
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Then she needed some clothes.  I made her a simple, saffron yellow dress (it’s the dress pattern that comes with the bunny girl, knit without the dots, in one color), and I made her a cardigan to go over it.  The temps will be dropping around her for Fall soon!  The cardigan pattern is in the Seasonal Sweaters pattern set.  (Sorry about the bad color in the photo, we have blue plastic on all our windows to protect them from the brick work and it’s made photographing warm colors impossible.)
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I also made her a party dress from the Seasonal Dresses pattern set.  She needed something to wear for Mom’s birthday!
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The directions for both the bunny and the dresses and cardigan are very well written.  There are lots of pictures to help with the step by step.  All of the pieces are knit flat and then seamed because you use the seams for shaping.  This adds more work, but I think it pays off in the finished project.

I hope Mom enjoys her little bunny girl and of course she’ll need more dresses periodically!

Happy Birthday Mom!


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Thursday, September 04, 2014

Drive By Blogging!

I’ve got to get Caleb to the orthodontist this morning, but some commenters tracked down the hat pattern from Tuesday!  Here is a link, and it works (double checked it again this morning), so if you’d like a great, simple hat in worsted weight, download this pattern.  I’ve also updated the link on Tuesday’s post so you can get it there too!  Thanks for the detective work!

Happy Thursday!

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Wednesday, September 03, 2014

A New Sock

I’ve got several projects going right now, but none of them are really the kind I can work on autopilot.  I either have to pay close attention to my work (the Meditative Stash Buster) or the pattern (the Skyrim hats).  I can’t just knit.
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Yesterday I decided to do something about that.  I have yarn picked and wound for another Ravello, but I want to get the Skyrim hats finished before I start anything big.  It’s been a while since I knitted socks (regular socks, I’ve done footies fairly recently), I decided to knit a simple pair of socks.  I’m using Hedgehog Fibres Sock Yarn in Whisper, which is a really soft pink with some fawn and cream and darker pink, and I’m knitting Twisted Socks.  I’ll probably have to pay attention when I get to the foot, but until then, I can just knit on autopilot.

My post yesterday linked to The Boy Hat on Ravelry, but I didn’t check to make sure the link on Ravelry went to the pattern page.  Unfortunately, the hat pattern doesn’t seem to be available any more.  I used my Google Fu but it was to no avail.  Fortunately, there are many free patterns on Ravelry for ribbed beanies, but I’m sorry I linked to one that isn’t available.


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Tuesday, September 02, 2014

A Hat

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It’s still in the high 90’s here, but I know that cooler weather is coming.  Eventually.  That means I need to knit warm, wooly things.  This is The Boy Hat, which is a great pattern (and free).  I’ve knit it several times before and it’s gone over well every time.  This time it’s knit in Madelinetosh Vintage in Charcoal, which is a nice, manly gray.  It’s super stretchy and should fit most heads from pre-teen boys all the way up to their father’s and grandfather’s noggins.

I didn’t do a project page because I’ve knit this before and honestly, it only takes an afternoon and evening to make this, so by the time I get around to starting a project page, I’m through with the knitting.

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