Thursday, January 31, 2013

This is the frill that never ends....

It's pretty literally going on and on, my friends.

I'm still working on the frill for my Milk Run shawl at work. Using the same freakin' skein I was using a month ago. I mean, I knew the 'endless-skein-of-massiveness' thing happened with Pound of Love, but I hadn't realized Lion Brand had managed to use the magical, space-time-continuum stretching magic work with Wool-Ease, too.

Anyway. I'm having serious finish-itis lately. I've been working on three projects at once, thereby making little to no progress on any of them. It's driving me a bit nuts, if you must know. I just want to finish something, anything. Maybe I'll luck out and finish that shawl next week. That would be cool.

In other news, I totally got off the sheep and bought more yarn this week.

Knit Picks Brava, worsted weight. I may cave and cast on the project I purchased these for, the Little Giraffe Hat.

In grown up size. For me. Oh, yeah, baby! I'm gonna be so stylin'!

Saturday, January 26, 2013

For, lo, this I hath wrought.

I am so full of awesome, it's hard to be myself lately, you know?

I even learned French seams, which are a major pain in the ass, but somehow worth it. Still and all, I'm fairly chuffed. Now all I have to do is figure out what I want to do next: a decorative throw pillow (in which project I would learn trims and how to sew a pillow form into its case) or a small bag (which would be colorful and I would learn lining -- a far more useful skill to a knitter -- and adding handles and working with interfacing.)

Oh, decisions, decisions.

In the knitting news, I've decided to become mostly monogamous to my projects. Right now, I've got something like fifty gajillion projects on the needles. This is counter-productive to actually, you know, finishing anything. So for the time being I've only got three projects on the needles:

1. Double-Cross Scarf:

This is a freshly updated photo for the purposes of this post. Look at that sexy pooling! Anyway, I want this scarf, I do, so I'm going to make it one of my initial projects. The pattern is fairly simple, the yarn is like heaven in my hands, and I have a dreadful feeling Crowley is going to Come To A Well-Deserved Bad End at the end of this season (although how they'll survive without his delicious, delicious snark is beyond me).

I will cry. While wrapped warmly in my snuggly, wuggly little bit of the King of Hell.

2. Nereides Shawl:

Yeah. Still having problems with this one. She does the seafoam stitch a little differently than I'm accustomed to (but in a way that's probably oodles simpler, overall) making this far, far too complex a knit for the workplace. I can't answer calls while working on this, I can barely watch television and make my stitch counts. This is the fifth version of this that I've cast on, and in one repeat I've tinked back twice.

I think this one is going to end up being my knitting nemesis.

3. Milk Run Shawl (Adjusted):

Yes, it's an old picture. I'm not dragging this eight hundred pound monster out of its bag for a new picture. Besides, the only change is an inch of ruffle. One inch. It's heartbreaking how hours and hours of endless knit or purl stitches (oh, the curse of garter in the round -- I forgot how that would go until I'd already picked up and started knitting the ruffle stitches) will get you nowhere fast.

However it's a mind-numbingly simple piece, and will do excellently as a work project. I can answer phones, chat with visitors and probably even mop the floors (not a job duty, never fear) while finishing up the ruffle. The worst part is figuring out what I'm going to replace it with when the ruffle inevitably gets finished.

Oh, and by the bye, they tell you a knit-on ruffle will "eat up" yarn. They lie. One inch of ruffle isn't even touching the single skein of Lion Brand Wool-Ease I tied on before I even finished the point. I've got at least 2/3 of the skein left to go.

Oh, well. At least when I'm done I can toss this puppy in the washer to clean out the desk-clutter-gunk before I lay it out to sorta-block. That'll be nice.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Catharsis, or How The Blogger Felt Good About Her Day

You know, I'm over-burdened with yarn. This is a truth. But sometimes, just sometimes, you need to throw petty space concerns and the knowledge of how SABLE'd* you are out the window and just treat yourself.

This would be a pair of Bonnie's Bamboo by Farmhouse Yarns in the colorway Buttercream. Isn't it beautiful? I just love the way it shades from pale yellow to a medium burnished gold. The bamboo adds just enough sheen to make it look like spun gold, too. It's so pretty I can hardly stand it.

It was my impulse buy. My whole purpose for the trip was to find yarn to replace my Fluffley scarf, which has, alas, sprung a hole. Apparently, pure silk yarn can pull apart, did you know that? I do now. Sigh.

So this is what I got to make a new Fluffley:

Rowan by Amy Butler Belle Organic DK. In a delightful warm raspberry color (the sunlight is bleaching it out, but it's more along the lines of the middle color there between the light and shadow). It's cotton and wool, but I think it' soft enough to lay against my neck. It's awful, truly awful to have such delicate, sensitive skin as I do, but I'll knit myself scarves with only the best of yarns to keep myself warm.

Pardon me as I wipe tears of laughter from my eyes. That last sentence...truly amusing.

In other crafty news, I'm taking sewing lessons. I've never sewn anything on a machine, you know that? Well, of course you do, I just told you.

So I've decided to rectify this situation because I want a medium size black dress ("little" not being an adjective any dress I wear should carry), dammit, and shopping for a formal dress with sleeves and a hemline that doesn't stop at the meatiest, dimpliest part of my knee is becoming more painful than just learning how and doing it my own self.

The lengths I go to, I swear.

Anyway, my first project (which will be assembled tomorrow night) is a pillowcase. It's going to be made of this:

The dark green is the body of the case, the batik is the outer edge and the yellow is a bit of fancy trim for in between.

I'm sort of excited. I remember my mom and I going to the fabric store (which may or may not have been Joann's; these are old memories I'm digging up here), choosing patterns, fabric and notions and making clothing and toys. These are fond memories, too, so going and buying my own fabric, for my own project, is making me nostalgic.

I think I'm going to enjoy this.

*SABLE: Stash Acquisition Beyond Life Expectancy, also known as Beginner Stash.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Well, crap.

I finished my Bofurettes.

Aren't they purty?

But look what I've got left:

Well, crap. The whole point to the stinkin' fingerless mitts was destashing, yet I'm left with enough yarn to make something fairly sizable.

I've been having some cold-like symptoms lately, and now I'm worried that I'm allergic to the alpaca. Maybe it's the hot pink. Or maybe it's the pseudo-cold I started yesterday (and then slept off). Either way, I'm about as enthused about using the rest of this yarn as I am about sticking a chopstick in my ear right now.

I've got the mitts cleaned up and soaked and lying flat on my blocking mat. I'm hoping that it's just a cold. I'll put the yarn away, dig up some old stuff (to whit, this:


and work on the pattern I had in mind for it originally, The Nereides Shawl. I have to frog what I already have done, natch, because my old vision for it was vastly different than what I'm envisioning now.

If nothing else, it's a respite from the endless miles of mind-numbing seed stitch I've been doing all year. I need a break from it.

Friday, January 11, 2013


There's the first one. I am not (usually) a pink person, but since a) I got given this yarn by my mom, b) it's alpaca and c) did I mention it was free?, I'm going to roll with it.

Actually, it looks fairly nice on:
You can see the seam there, just under the thumb. I'm thinking of adding a thumb (just some simple ribbing or something like that), and I'll probably use the gray to do it. This means I can add the thumb and use the tail to cover up the pink seam yarn.

Or maybe not. I mean, these mitts are a homage to knits worn by a dwarf on a very dangerous journey who was wearing everything he owned (and some wicked cool Pippi Longstocking braids, too). Would Bofur have quibbled over the seam showing pink? No, I think he would not!

Yes, that is a sign it is far, far too late at night and I am exhausted beyond thought. I just wanted to put some pictures up and reassure you that yes, I am alive and yes, I am knitting.

Now, good night.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

More crap I've gotten done this weekend.

Well, I got the cowl finished. I think it's probably dry, so I should go get it and hang it up on my chair before bedtime (which is imminent; I'm going to detox from the computer for an hour before I go up), but that wasn't all I did this weekend.

I cleaned up some files (like you -- or I, for that matter -- truly care) AND I dug up some ancient yarns that I'm going to use to make a blanket on my knitting board:

Sensations Rainbow Classic. About a billionmillion yards (I've got two of these.)

Oh, alright, only a little over 1,100 yards. Still. Should make a nice big blankie, no? I've got a knitting board like this, and I plan to add three nails at one end to make it a glorified loom, slightly more than 56" long. That's nearly five feet wide, which is more than ample for my bed.

I also have another single skein in this color:

I'm not sure what to do with it. A lot depends on how much blanket I get out of the other two, I suppose. Loomed blankets would be a lot faster than knitted ones (at least during the stockinette stretches), so if the green one goes well and is long enough, then I'll use this one to make a lap rug for my mother. She's always after my knitting.

She baked cookies tonight. I think that makes her more than knitworthy.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Finally! Something comes free of the needles.

Sometimes, it feels like never finish anything at all. But today I finished this:

Yay! A completed cowl!

And it's long enough to do this:

So now I have a nice booby warmer. Always prudent to keep your boobies warm.

Actually, it's pretty nice and warm around the upper back and arms, which tend to get chilled. I mean, everything on me tends to get chilled (although this winter, interestingly enough, hasn't felt as cold to me as even last year did), but my upper back and neck in particular seem to bear the brunt. This thingie serves to warm both bits at once.

I've washed it and it's sitting on a mat in the dining room, drying in peace and quiet. Since I did a lot of the knitting at work this past week, I think it deserves a little of that.

Not like work is chaos and weirdness. If anything, it's too calm. I keep bracing myself for trouble, but it never comes. I wonder if I'll ever really relax again when it comes to working in an office. Maybe, with time, I will. But not for a good long while, I think.

Ah, well. Time to get back to my newest knitting project, my Bofur Mitts. Took me three tries, but I finally got them cast on. First, I thought the needles called for in the pattern were too large, so I used a smaller size with the called for number of stitches. That looked too small. I used the ones called for in the pattern, and it was massive. So I pulled out the smaller needles again, cast on a little more loosely, and it worked.

Then I put them back in the bag and let them sit for a couple of days.

Now, though, I think I'm riding a bit of a high from finishing up the cowl, so I'm going to get them out and work on them a little bit. I need a little warm.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Stuff and nonsense.

So, I'm destashing again this year, right? And I started a new job today, right? My office is freezing and my yarn is warm.

Match made in heaven.

So I pulled out my ball winder, a scale and a bag of some yarn leftovers aaaaand...:

Little yarnmen!

No, not really. I've divvied it up so I can be sure I'm going to be even-Stevens when I knit some Bofur Mitts, only all girlied up and stripey. Which is totally cheating, but I don't care. They'll be soft and squishy and warm as kittens. And I'll keep these for home and take my old Lion Brand mitts to work, because I'm not as worried about getting ink or anything on them. They're already sort of felted up, anyway.

In terms of old project progress, I ran out on Monday, in the snow, to my really L LYS and got some new cables for my interchangeable needles so I could continue to work on my infinity scarf/cowl/thing. Shorter ones, so that I don't have to sling the cable around the back of my neck to get it out of the way:

 Thank Bob she deals in these. I'd have been totally hosed if she hadn't -- I was about ten seconds from doing something drastic. Like, frogging in rage drastic. That long cable had gotten on my last reserve nerve, you know?

So to calm ourselves from the incendiary memory, let's look at one of our charming little yarnmen again: