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Monday, March 30, 2015

So, There’s Been A Few Changes Around Here!

We like to mix things up here at Pink Lemon Twist:  different types of projects, occasionally some crochet or some sewing, and sometimes Max or Logan takes the blog for a spin.

Last week, my body decided to add a little adventure to my life.  I’ve been dealing with some back pain (muscle spasms) for a while now and late last Monday night, it turned into difficulty breathing.  We decided to head to the ER and find out what was going on.  A couple of CT scans later, I was being admitted.  Tuesday morning began with an Endoscopy to remove gall stones, Wednesday I was given a rest day (as much as you can rest in the hospital), and Thursday morning I was in the OR getting my gall bladder removed.  They had planned to do it laparoscopically, but when they got in there, realized that for reasons I won’t get into, it wouldn’t work, so they had to do a traditional surgical removal.  I was released from the hospital yesterday afternoon.  It feels so good to be home!  I had a very waggy welcome home, followed by Max waking up to give me purrs and kitty love.

I’ve got a lot of healing to do and my goals are small.  (Yesterday’s was to watch The Walking Dead season finale at home, in my own bed.  Check!)  I haven’t felt like knitting yet, but I know that will come as I heal.  The blog is obviously going to go quiet for a bit, but I do plan to be back as I get myself back.  I’ve had too much fun over the last 10 years or so to quit now!

Monday, March 23, 2015

Loopy Academy, Project 2

For my second project, I’m working on the stripes assignment.  I had picked the Alice Caterpillar mitts, but then after buying the pattern, I realized that I would never get to the yardage requirement using the DK weight yarn it calls for.  I decided to kind of wing it on the pattern and make my own version in fingering weight, and I decided to knit them in the round as well.
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Here’s what I’ve got so far.  I’m using The Loopy Ewe Solids series in Smoke and Charcoal for the mitt portion, but the ruffle is going to get really fun!  I’m carrying the yarns up the inside of the mitt instead of having thousands of ends later.  I figured that my stripes were narrow enough to do that and it’s working out just fine.  I’ve just got a little more to go on my first mitt now!

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Monday, March 16, 2015

Felted Bowls, Finished!

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I got all of the lace finished for my felted bowls, and I even got it blocked.  I was able to just add or subtract lace repeats for the different size bowls, and I also made my lace taller, since my bowls were taller than those in the pattern.  One Loopy Academy Semester Two project done, two to go!

This was an easy pattern and honestly, my only complaint is that they came out a different size and shape (narrower and taller) than the pattern bowls.  This is more a function of different yarns felting differently than any fault with the pattern.   Since this was a Loopy Academy project, I needed to use Loopy Ewe yarn and they didn’t have any bulky yarn that would felt (or they didn’t have it in a color way I was interested in, I can’t remember) so I used worsted weight, double stranded.

Overall, I’m very happy with the project and Max seems to like shoving his head into the bowls.  Logan doesn’t seem to care one way or the other about them since they aren’t storing bacon.

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Thursday, March 12, 2015

That’s Logical

I’ve recently finished both Artesian and Follow Your Arrow 2.  I’m still knitting on Alys and the lace sections of the felted bowls (haven’t touched those since you last saw them).  I haven’t even started my other two Loopy Academy projects for this semester and I have several other WIP’s sitting around staring at me.  So what did I do last night?  Cast on something new of course!
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This is the beginning of Big Damn Heroes, which is essentially a lace poncho.  It’s inspired by the dress Zoe wears at the end of Serenity (which is a seriously great dress, by the way).  I’m knitting it in Madelinetosh Pashmina in Smokestack, and I’m making the smaller size.  I’m knitting it from the charts (the ones that with the funny shapes, but that show how the lace pattern looks), which I’ve entered into KnitCompanion.  I definitely think KC is the way to go with this project, particularly if your cat likes to steal the correction tape from paper patterns, and run down the hall with it streaming behind him.  The lace patterns aren’t difficult, and I’m far enough into this that I can read my knitting and see what’s supposed to be happening.  Oh, and just for fun, I realized after I stuck the picture into this post that it looks like I’m knitting a lace toilet seat cozy.  We’re so classy around here, even the toilets wear lace!

OK, I’m going to go make some tea and get some caffeine into my bloodstream now.

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Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Another Wiksten Tank!

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I’ve made another Wiksten Tank, this time in one of the Liberty prints.  This particular print will work under my Alys cardigan, once I finish it.  (I’m still on the first sleeve, seriously, how long am I going to take on this?)  Anyway, I made this last night, and finished it right before bed, and clearly it could have used a little more attention from the iron on the center front.  I’ll be taking it away from Fifi later this morning and fixing that a bit.

I do have hope that I’ll be able to wear this little spring-y top soon because on this morning’s run, I saw something I haven’t seen in a long time.  I saw a couple small flocks of birds - flying North!

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Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Follow Your Arrow 2, Finished!

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I was able to finish my Follow Your Arrow 2 this weekend, and I got it blocked!  Of course, yesterday I woke up and it was too dark to get decent photos of it, but I got some photos later so here they are!
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This was a Mystery KAL and you got two clues each week: Clue A and Clue B.  You picked one of them and knit it, then the next week you’d pick again.  I knit clues A, B, A, B, B respectively, for each week of the knit along.  I only used one color, but there were additional directions for those wanting to use two or more colors.  I used two skeins of Madelinetosh Pashmina that I over dyed and US 5’s (3.75mm) to knit.

This was a fun project and I felt like the timing was perfect because typically at the end of January/early February is a little slow knitting wise.  You’re through the rush of Christmas knitting, it’s still cold outside, so you’re wearing warm knits, but your brain is waiting for spring and some colors.  At least that’s how I feel.

Monday, March 09, 2015

Changes

This morning’s blog post was supposed to be a different blog post.  Unfortunately, due to the time change and the rain outside, it’s really dark this morning.  Since photos are completely out at the moment, you can’t see what I finished until tomorrow (I’ll get pictures later today, when the sun is up), so I’ll discuss what I was going to discuss tomorrow (it doesn’t need pictures).

When I first started writing knitting patterns, I used a service called Payloadz.  Once a buyer’s payment cleared PayPal, Payloadz would email a download link for the pattern file.  It’s all automated, so a buyer didn’t have to wait for me to log on and send the pattern, and while there were occasional glitches (the Internet doesn’t always work perfectly), 99.9% of the time it worked really well.  It also enabled additional downloads (with my permission) in case the buyer lost the file due to computer issues.

Then Ravelry came on the scene.  When Ravelry started doing pattern sales, I signed up there as well to give myself additional exposure.  With Ravelry’s library feature, anytime someone buys a pattern, a copy is stored in their library, so if there is an unfortunate kitten/coffee/laptop incident, once you can log in to Ravelry again, you can download the file from your library without waiting for my permission.  From a pattern buyers point of view it is slightly more convenient than the Payloadz system if you have a Ravelry account (they’re free).

For a while, I had links to both Payloadz and Ravelry on my pattern pages, but the last few patterns, I’ve only sold through Ravelry, and so far, no one has even mentioned it.

The reason I’m bringing all this up now, is because I’m planning to remove all of the Payloadz links from the pattern pages.  Payloadz charges me more than Ravelry does, and they aren’t quite as convenient in the longterm for the pattern buyer.  I will not close the Payloadz account, because previous purchasers through that service can still request downloads, and I’ll be happy to help out when that’s necessary.  I wanted to explain my thinking on this change before I started actually making the changes, so if anyone had any questions or concerns, they could ask them.  I think this will be a win-win for both me (cheaper fees, more streamlined for record keeping) and my customers (files stored on Ravelry for immediate re-downloading).

If you don’t have a Ravelry account, please don’t panic!  You can still buy patterns there, and if you ever do set up an account, assuming you use the same email address you used when purchasing patterns, any patterns you’ve purchased previously will be added to your library.  Also, if you haven’t joined Ravelry because it seems overwhelming, remember, you can use it as much or as little as you want to.  You could use it just to store patterns and never get into the social chatter of the groups.  There are a lot of people there that just use Ravelry for the patterns.

I won’t start making any of these changes for at least a week, so if you have any questions or concerns about this, please leave a comment and I’ll address those later this week.

TL;DR - I will be changing pattern sales platforms exclusively to Ravelry, but those that purchased through Payloadz previously, will still be able to request additional downloads when they need them.

Friday, March 06, 2015

One Little Bowl

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I’ve gotten the lace knitted for the smallest of the bowls.  I sat down to start yesterday and decided to measure my bowls just to see how they compared to the pattern.  They don’t.  My bowls are taller and  have less circumference than the bowls in the pattern.  (This is part of the fun of felting.)  This meant I’d need to make some adjustments with the lace.  Fortunately, I was already thinking about doing something different because I really liked the lace they used on the medium bowl better than the small and large versions.  So I sat down with a tape measure and a calculator and started doing math.

This is the smallest bowl, and once I got it finished, I had a plan for the other two.  I hope to get them all finished this weekend and get the lace blocked on the bowls (that will keep the top edge from rolling).  The knitting doesn’t take long, but I have to keep checking the lace against the bowl as I go, so there’s lots of starting and stopping.

Have a great weekend and stay warm!

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Thursday, March 05, 2015

Artesian - Finished!

The sun is out this morning!  It makes the snow look pretty.  While I wait for the snow to melt and go away, (It’s March.  This is Texas.  Stop winter!) the birds are putting on quite a show for Max.  He loves watching them at the bird feeder.
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Also, I finished my Artesian over the weekend and now it’s blocked and ready for it’s close up!  This was definitely a pattern that benefitted from blocking.  It looks so much better now.  It’s also a lot bigger.  I didn’t measure it, but it’s over 72 inches across the top edge now.
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It’s knit in Madelinetosh Tosh Merino Light in the Mandala color way.  I worked seven repeats of the pattern and I used slightly more than one skein.
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Here’s a close up of the eyelet section after blocking.  Once I got a feel for the pattern and what was going on, it went very quickly.  I used colored markers to keep track of where I was in the pattern, as I explained in a previous post.  I’ve also added notes to my Rav project page.

I’m really happy with the way this came out.  It’s an interesting, non-traditional shawl.

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Wednesday, March 04, 2015

Bleh!

For the last week and a half, I feel like I have spent most of my time cleaning doggy toes and the floors around the doors.  Also, I’ve been cold AND it’s been too cold/too snowy/too icy/too wet to run.  I realize that we’ve gotten off comparatively easy this winter, but I’m sick of this!

This morning it was finally warm enough and dry enough to run (dry being a relative term as it was sprinkling and I had to put my iPhone in a ziploc baggie).  It felt great to get out there again and move!

This afternoon we’re supposed to get ice followed by three inches of snow.  I’m so OVER this whole Winter thing!

Okay, thanks, I just needed to vent a bit.

Monday, March 02, 2015

Before and After

Before felting, the bowls looked like hats for the Three Little Bears.  They were loose and floppy and not very bowl like.
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After felting (three times through the “towels” load on my washer), they look much more like bowls. They stand up nicely on their flat, little bottoms while they finish drying.  Once they’re dry, I’ll get some measurements and start knitting the white lace sections.
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I’ve got to trim some yarn ends now that they’re felted too.  I don’t like to trim the ends pre-felting because I figure they’re more secure afterwards.  Hopefully, I’ll be able to finish this first project for Loopy Academy, Semester Two this week!

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