My Wonderland

Despite the day of the week, I have a smile on my face.  Why?  This weekend, is the Alta Knitter’s Retreat.

Yes, let it sink in. Just there, over the bump of Wednesday and Thursday is a 3 day wonderland of knitting and friends, food and yarn, mountain vistas and naturely stuff.  I am so excited I don’t know what to do with myself.  We’ve chatted with people who have gone, and it sounds like the best thing ever.  In past years, only some of the resort was for the retreat.  This year, the entire place is filled with yarny people, 70 or so of them.  At least that is the rumor.  We shall see.

So Chantel, Leo, Jennifer and Melanie are going. The whole group all together. We’re having lunch in Salt Lake and then driving together.  I know, don’t be jealous.

What to take? We’re debating and planning and I’m stashing stuff away, and buying yarn, and K finally said, have you at all thought about clothes?  Uhm, no. Not really.  Who cares?  Yoga pants?  Slippers?

I am planning some treats, because I guess people share snacks and wine.  Not drinking really, unless maybe they have mimosas at the Sunday brunch.  I do like those.  But K is baking some bread, and I’ll find something to share.

I have planned knitting for trips before.  Even trips with long drives, so I needed big projects, etc.  How do you plan for a trip where there is possibly 3 days of knitting?  It’s a problem I’d like to have every single day.

Knit Puttering

It’s one in the afternoon and I’m finally realizing what a perfect Sunday I’m having.  No where to go, and nothing to do. Rain outside my window and comfiness inside.  K is in his office, watching football and doing his analysis stuff, while I am puttering.  Knit puttering.  Is that a thing?

We had a nice brunch and I went through my stash and flipped through some books and IMG_20140921_131026_618magazines.  Just generally reminding myself of what I have and what I want to do.  Then I pulled out a shawl I knit a while ago and want to send to my aunt.  It’s blocking now.  Picture does not do it justice. The color is fabulous. I hope she likes it.

Anyway, I am working on some gloves for Kimball, and as usual, knitting over a few times to get the gauge/size right.  But it’s Shibui, and I love knitting with it, so that is not a complaint.  Since K is off with football, I can catch up on ‘Outlander’ the series on Starz.  I read the book a few years ago and had no idea it was a series.  What is is on, 12?  Something like that?  It’s nice to watch while I knit putter.

Next weekend is the knitting retreat.  So I need to decide what to take.  Chantel visited yesterday in the morning and brought three projects, just in case.  So that should tell you how I’m feeling about packing for an entire weekend meant for knitting, right?  Clothes, who cares?  It’s the wool that matters!

Lately all my knitting has seemed a bit easy.   I bit, not boring, but not challenging. I think I need something difficult.  The retreat may not be the right time to break out the hard stuff, but I’m thinking about it.  Looking for it, really.  Something interesting will come up I’m sure.

house scarfIn Hogwarts on Ravelry news, I’m working on my Hufflepuff scarf.  Just need to finish it by the 17th.  Shouldn’t be a problem. It has to be 65″ long. I finished my first skein of gold, and it was exactly 32.5″.  That amused me since I thought I might be short.

Suggestions anyone, on a hard knit?  Don’t say Rock Island, because as we all know from the screaming I did while I knit it, I should not revisit that!

Bogged Down

So it’s been a couple of weeks, and it might be attributed to my knitting state of mind.  And state of projects.  Some of the things I’m working on are not my favorites, and then I start other ones and focus on nothing and it’s not a good situation.  I’ve realized my ravelry project page is so out of date it’s not even helpful.

I offered to fix my sister’s Teddy. His arms were falling off and he needed a jacketgood coverup.  K so very nicely made some patterns for arms and around them, since the material was basically gone. Then we cut patches in those shapes and ironed them on and I sewed them on. But they were ugly. So I think sewed over that a little jacket to cover them.  Then I started knitting.

The pattern I picked probably fits a baby great, but a Teddy Bear, not so much.  First try, didn’t fit at all.  Luckily, I was only down to his legs, right?  I calculated how much it would need to be increased and ripped it out, increased, and knit it again.  Down to his legs again.

What would have been nice is if I would have taken a few minutes while calculating to think, ‘oh, his arms stick out the front and a baby’s out the side, so possibly, the fit will be different.’  As per ME, I did not. So it was tight in the back and way to big on the front.  I ripped it out again.  And did real math this time.

Then I took it on the train and didn’t bring the pattern with me. Guess what? I’d knit it twice already. I didn’t so much need the pattern at that point. This time worked. I modified the join into the round, the bottom, and the arms, quite a bit. I think it turned out okay.    See, it worked;

onsieHe’s bundled up and all cute.  Now I just need to do a hat. Which I may put off, as I’m a bit tired of that whole thing.  But if I put it off, it will feel unfinished, and leave me all distracted.

hemlockHemlock Ring got blocked this weekend.   It basically took over the living room for a night.  I still need to tuck in the ends, but that’s one more thing I can be done with.  It’s nice. I like it.  Chantel has started hers in almost the same color.  She’s enjoying the knit.  It was pretty relaxing.

Now I have a cowl I need to fix before it can be done, a shawl that needs blocking, a baby cardi that needs the button band ripped out and reconfigured, because frankly, it just was too many buttons, and a ravelry page to update. How’s that?

Still working on:

1.  The sweater

2.  The Fox and The Hen

Started:

1. Hufflepuff Scarf

I’m tired just thinking about it. What project can I get excited about? I need one.

Although, this morning on the train I managed to finish a chapter in my CPA study guide and knit 30 rows on Hufflepuff….so that’s all good. Right?

 

 

 

 

I’ve Got It Going On…Sorta

So I think I won’t go on and on about the 42 gauge swatches I did (only a slight exaggeration) or the fact that I’m knitting a sweater on size 2 needles, or that it might take me more than an hour to unwind said swatches.  Just thinking about it bores.  But the sweater is in progress, and I keep checking gauge, and so far I am okay…maybe it will be slightly over, but not by much. So there is that.

Here’s the thing so far so you can see the colorway:

sweaterAs always, Madelinetosh is a dream to knit with.   Since there is so much purling, I’m doing combined knitting.   It does seem to relieve stress on my hands.

Last night I went to Blazing Needles for knit night and it was pretty darn fun.  Saw some people I haven’t in forever, which was lovely.  Cynthia  relaunched their website to include an online store, and it’s really quite nice.  Channi did the copy for the yarn, and the pics are gorgeous.   I bought a couple of skeins of Shibui Sock, which I think is going out of production. Kind of a dark grey.  I hate knitting gloves, but I am knitting some for Kimball before it gets cold.  How to keep that a secret, I don’t know.   Also picked up some Malabrigo Silkpaca because I saw it there and it just taunted me into buying it.  A very silvery grey.  Leo is knitting a Pretty Thing, and suggested a KAL (because we don’t have enough of those), and I am so on board.

Halfway through it being wound, I realized I was going to miss my train and had to run off.  Good thing Channi has a winder, right?  She took it home -which is why I have no pic- and tonight when we are there for dinner, I can wind it up. Can’t wait. Love new yarn. Love looking at it, touching it, just having it.

This Sunday we are meeting at Sugarhouse Park to knit.  10am?   Somewhere near the entrance, but far enough away from the new age religious people not to hear their recording.

Starting Over

I don’t even know how long ago I purchased stephenlovestosh Madelinetosh for Candelia.  Honestly, I knit it up, almost halfway, in June of last year, and I bought it awhile before that.  So I would guess about a year and a half ago?  It’s not the pattern, not the yarn, not the knitting, it’s just my gauge issue.  You know.  I get gauge, knit a bit, and suddenly it’s huge and I’m drowning in this sweater.

BTW, it was funny to take it off the needles and put it on yarn so I could try it on.  Not funny, but just one of those things.   When I tried it on I thought, this is too big.  Then I did the wrong thing and asked my hubby, who said it looked fine.  Even when I explained that if it was too big I risked running out of yarn, he said it looked fine.   So I kept on for a bit.  Then I took it off the needles, again, and put it on yarn, again, and tried it on for Channi.  Right away, she said it was ginormous.   Sometimes you just have to ask a knitter.  Or a girl.  A boy knitter works.  : )

Anyhoo, a couple of times I’ve knit up gauge swatches, couldn’t get it, and put it away.  Well, this weekend I am determined. I am going to work this out.   I want the sweater for fall. The colors are for fall.  So I have not much time, right?   I am putting this out to the universe, and I am going to get it done.

Plus, it should be a quiet weekend.  All the family is gone, Jude is working, we have nothing planned.  It seems prime for a project, which getting gauge might be.

I also have to finish The Fox and The Hen though.  Co-worker’s wife had the baby.  Toy to be delivered soon.  And the fox’s head is wobbly.  Wibbly.  Moving around too much.  I need to figure out that soon.  It’s cute.  Very cute.

So that is my weekend.  It’s supposed to rain tonight.  My plan is to go home, have some carrot soup and grilled cheese while listening to the rain, then to curl up with some knitting and relax.  Ahhhh.

Yesterday taught me….

that I really need at least an hour of knitting in the morning to start off my day.  Yesterday I drove, and frankly, when I got home at night and realized I hadn’t knit AT ALL, the entire day, I wanted to throw a little fit.  Whaaaaa?!

I am sure, positively sure, I think, that there are weekend bag mornings when I don’t start with a little knit sit down.  But even if I miss a bit in the morning, I know I have hours to knit during the day.  But a weekday without train knitting just does not feel right.  It felt as if  I kept remembering I’d forgotten something, only I hadn’t!   I just hadn’t touched any wool or needles in way, way too long.   And there, in my purse, inches away, is my cute new project bag with fresh new yarn in it.  It’s knit torture, that’s what it is.  You know what I’m talking about, don’t you?  Uh huh.

Having a little trouble starting things lately.  Anders was on my needles.  I thought, I’ll solve my gauge problem by using smaller yarn than called for instead of knitting everything on size ones.  Only I got gauge but it just didn’t feel right.  Too loose really. So I knit half a sweater and ripped it out.  After consulting my Knitters of course.  Something like the Three Witches, but not witchy, just knitty.   Holla out to Leo, Jenn & Channi, and Jude for good measure!  So I’ll start looking for some sport yarn, and get my fingers really for some size 1 needles.  Sigh.

purpleThen I wanted to start something stripey and picked a pattern.  Started to read it and realized it was one where you don’t always knit back and forth, sometimes you do a little icordish thing where you move the yarn back and forth on the needles.  It is not my favorite thing, so thank goodness I read the pattern first.  Which is something I am starting to do more regularly.  Second, I thought I could just do a stripey triangle.   But triangles aren’t my fave either and I think I currently have 47 of them.

I ended up deciding to make a striped pattern that I came up with for some madelinetosh.  Unfortunately, I have not written the entire thing down yet, so I’m whistling along on my memory, which we all know is just  a fool’s errand.  What’s the worst that could happen though? I go a little too far and have to take a bit out?  Pfft.  I live for it.

IS IT REALLY ONLY WEDNESDAY?   Sigh.  It is.  And back to it.

 

Knitting Center Stage

I had quite a bit going on this week and this weekend, but it seemed like I got to knit quite a bit and it was fun.  I know, you know that I love to knit, so if I got to knit a lot, obviously it was fun, but still. I have to say it.  If I didn’t, I wouldn’t be appreciating knitting now, would I?

First, I must show you what Kimball did.

This:  eiffel

Became this:feltedYes, he washed and felted a shawl I had knitted with love. My fault. I was going to wash it myself and so tossed it in the laundry basket and he got to it before me.  Anyway, I’ll miss the pretty lace, but I actually still like it and will probably wear it in the bitter cold.  My chin and neck freeze in the winter, and I will pin this piece of felt around me and be warm.   And you can still see the pattern a little.  I didn’t cry.   He was more upset than I was, truly.  I think he is afraid I will stop knitting him socks in revenge.  Not going to happen.   It’s my responsibility to keep him in good wool.

Saroyan was completed Friday night.

shawlIt seems a crime that Shibui Worsted was discontinued. The stuff is so soft and lovely.  After putting it around my neck, it became very difficult to actually put it in the wrapping to give to my Aunt.  But I did.  It involved reminding myself I have more things to wrap around my neck than I can even store, and looking away as it was swallowed by the pretty flowery bag.  Sigh.

To take up my train knitting time, I’ve started Anders.     Unfortunately, the dreaded missionaries were like ants on the train today and I did not get a table to hold my pattern, and not even the seat next to me, or an extra chair anywhere, was available.  My lap was taken with my purse, no way to maneuver, so I had knitting tucked away that I could not do.  Imagine.  It was tortuous.  Sigh.  What’s worse is the little mongrels are so happy and excited and it just makes me want to punch them in the throat.  Sorry, I know my animosity is telling, but there it is.   Out for all to see.

Sunday morning was fun.  We knitters all met at Sugarhouse Park, along with Pearl, Jenn’s dog, and it was just beautiful and chatty.   If we hadn’t had to move because of the amplified new age resurrection happening next to us, it would have been perfect.

Saturday Chantel was sitting at the table with Kimball and I walked in and she said, “Hey Knitta,” and he freaked out!   “What did you just call her?” he asked, eyes wide in horror.  Chantel then repeated, hitting the Ts a little harder, along with the ending R, and he started laughing.   What a difference an R will make!

 

Knitting is Comfort

It’s my busy time at work…coming in early, waking up at night over some little thing, trying to look at a million transactions to make sure they’re all correct, and constantly waiting for things to hit so I can do my thing.  Still,  it doesn’t matter how busy or stressful work is, or how little sleep I get, somehow I still knit and still feel better after I do.

For awhile I’ve been knitting things I wasn’t really excited to knit…I had the yarn and it needed to be used or someone asked for something, or babies.   I am afraid I will never improve much at saying no.  Except to those I learn are not knit worthy.

So all the ends are weaved in and my little project I designed is all ready for pictures, and I started searching around for what I wanted to knit.   I know, right?  Beauty.

scarfI started Saroyan by Liz Abinante.   I’ve had some Shibui worsted, discontinued around.  I made a hat from it, but didn’t love it and didn’t think I’d wear it.  So I ripped it out and started this lovely little scarf with an edge of leaves.  It’s written so well, with options that basically allow the use of any yarn, odd amounts of yarn, any size needles, ect.  That made me happy. I pulled out my little scale and started off knitting.   I think it will only take a few days, and the white is going to basically go with any other thing I’m wearing.  Right? Right.

I also picked up the houndstooth cowl again.  I love how the inside is different completely, and with one stranded side and one straight-knit side, it’s going to be really, really warm in the winter.  I have a ton of yarn left over from the navy and white, and will likely have the same of the interior yarns, so I think I’ll do some mitts in the patterns to wear with it.   Can’t wait.  I love matchy matchy.   Or not.   Sometimes.   But a worsted weight knit in the round is just fun for a change and I love it.  The houndstooth pattern was very fun and quick and this side is flying.   My jogs even look pretty good!

cowl

Next up:  Anders

Saturday my sis called and asked if I’d take her kids for the day.   Oh gosh, I don’t know, but YES!!!  I love having them around.  We went to the green house and got some new kikiherbs for a little planter and they each picked a cactus and a pot and we planted those.   It’s kind of a tradition that they pick a fun dinner and dessert from Pinterest and we all make it, so that happened too.  Then Kiki asked for help with another embroidery project.  How fun is that?  She’s picked a precious little tweet of Kanye’s to immortalize.  It’s sort of hilarious.   So that was fun.  She’s quick.  I don’t know why I take so long to do a project, but she is like, whammo, all traced and ready to go in 5 minutes and then halfway done in 30 more.   Natural talent I guess.

Since I don’t have to be here super early in the morning for a few days I started my morning workout again this am.  Only instead of waking up at 5:20 to the irritating alarm, I woke up at 4:37 and waited, irritated, for the alarm.  Now I’m feeling like I will not make it.  So tired.  And even though I’ve given up Coke Zero, I went ahead and had one today.  I’ll quit again tomorrow.   I really will.

 

Enter Life

Oh the plans that are waylaid by stuff.

Two weekends ago, I did finish quite a few projects.  The dreams and plans my slight success gave me! I was going to block and finish and knit and start and just have ever so much knitting accomplishment.  Then, I got a bit ill. Friday.  And I stayed home.  Okay, normally,  Ill means more knitting, and I did knit a bit, but this was painful ill, and moving to pick up a water glass on the table beside my chair hurt, so needless to say, pinning and blocking and getting up and down for projects and needles and everything else was out. Plus the narcotics:  I am not good with medication.  One Benedryl or two extra strength Tylenol and I am pretty much out.   I will wake up not remembering where I even am. so real pills…uh, lets just say I caught up on all the sleep I’ve missed for the last 3 years or so!

Anyway, by Sunday I was feeling a bit better, and by the afternoon, the pain was pretty much gone, so we went on a walk and to a store. Those sort of wore me out.  And then it was back to work.

I realized though, if I don’t count hibernating things, I am down to 4 projects on needles.  Exciting, huh?  Which means I need to update my queue, right?  Right.

So it is first; Saroyan with my Shibui Worsted, in white.  Second:  Anders in Knit Picks Stroll in Navy and some grayish Cascade something or other I have in my stash.  Third: Double Knit Floral Cowl with the…..gosh, I will have to look.  Oh yeah, some madelinetosh sock Jude gave me and some white I picked up somewhere and don’t think I even put in my stash.  Fourth and last to be covered here;  Snowman & Tree from my Susan B. Anderson book Topsy Turvy.   I have a little stash of cotton I’ve been buying at Blazing Needles. I don’t remember what kind it is, but they have a million, or a hundred colors, so it’s nice for those little things.  Takhi Yarns?  Yes, Cotton Classic. So there is the plan.

I think at this point, four is not too many projects, so my plan is, as I finish one, I will start one.  How’s that?  The Double Floral Cowl is for the Knitting Retreat at Alta Lodge at the end of September, so that will likely move around on the list.  It’s squishy that way.

I love having a plan.  Now if I can just stick to it!

Am I wrong?

It seems like the last few months have just been bereft of knitting opportunity.   We always have guests, parties, appointments, and stuff to do on the weekend, when all I want to do is knit.    And all those things that I don’t do on the train, just weren’t getting done.   As a result, my list of wip was growing, and growing, and I was into a pile of things that needed to be finished.   Which is not my favorite.

Well, this weekend I purposely said no to everything.   And I told K to say no to everything.  So we basically vegged, watched/listened to the Harry Potter marathon, did some re-organization on the house, and finished projects.

xmanI’d actually finished a Christmas Stocking on Wednesday.  It had to go with my Sis to Oregon Thursday morning, so I quickly decorated, weaved in ends, and sent it.  I could have used more time on the name, and I did a simple heart just to get it done. That’s what comes of procrastination.   But if people want perfect they can ask someone else to knit them something, right?

Absolutely.

 

So Friday I started on my list of things to finish.  First was the darn linen stitch scarf.  Not sure I like it. The colors, the yarn, the pattern, are all just eh.  Know what I mean?  Jude likes it though, so he can have it.   It just feels….fuzzy.   But Jude is Mr. Fashionista,  so if he likes, it I feel okay about it.

scarf

Then I pulled out the baby sweater for the baby due at the end of the month.  I will look for buttons now and depending on what they do for it, decide if I want to decorate with some embroidery or something.   I don’t really mind sewing things together, and I cant’ figure out why I put it off until the end of time.  Sigh.

babyLastly, I finished The Hemlock Ring Blanket, and it’s about time.  As far as finished, I mean, am done knitting it.   This weekend my hubby is going out of town, so I will block the ginormous thing then.  I ran out of yarn about 30 stitches from the end.  I had another brown, which Jude and K couldn’t tell wasn’t the original, so I used that.   I can tell though.  It’s grayer.  But I think I bought the yarn discontinued, so I’m not trying to get more, and frankly, I was trying to just keep knitting the blanket until I’d used it all up, so I think 30 stitches in something else is pretty good.   Excellent in fact.

blanket

The last thing I did was rip out a striped cowl to use the yarn on something else.  Jude knit it from Madelinetosh, and I thought it was a beauty, but he just put it away somewhere and wouldn’t get buttons for it, so I took it, and the leftover yarn and am making something stripey myself.  After all, good wool should not be stuck at the back of a closet.  It needs to be free.

I am making up a pattern;  nothing very creative, because well, I’m not.  But, I like thestripey triangular points on the ends of shawls, but not a triangle in total. So I’m doing a scarf with points at each end, varying widths of stripes with some stockinette and some garter, and I hope it turns out great.  We’ll see.   I’ve made some of mistakes, but frankly, I don’t care.   I think I said once before that if they want a perfect knit, they should go ask someone else to knit it for them.

Which is actually kind of funny, because at one point,  I did have a rep for frogging everything at least a couple of times until I thought it was right.  Hmmm…