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Baby hat frenzy

August 12, 2014

Picked up the needles for the first time all summer – while the season rages on nights in Mount Shasta are getting a lot more cool and the sun is setting earlier. I can feel the breath of fall on my cheek and with that, the desire to nest and fiddle with fuzzy stuff again.

But it’s still summer – hot afternoons and too much to do and festivals i’m missing out on every weekend – oh, FOMO you slay me, and i’m knitting without netflix this go ’round. I moved and axed the internet entirely for a while, minus the mobile data plan anyway.

And because it’s still summer and i like quick gratification when it comes to knitting, i’m on a baby hat frenzy.

Pics soon. Yarn. Again.

it’s summer, which means not so much knitting…

May 21, 2014

i still knit.

in fact, i’m still knitting Nymphalidea – and more than likely, I will be knitting it throughout the summer.

Variety of reasons – for one, the challenging part is now over. Now, I simply knit one welt and one wedge, and after that i am BORED. It’s fingering weight on size six needles, and the amount of stitches is only increasing (we’re over 100 now). It’s BORING. Because that’s how knitting projects get for me after a while when they go on and on like this.

Thank god for self-striping yarn, though, because while boring, it is a beautiful project, and I am really, seriously enjoying the results. And also, i love any excuse to use my new Cubics needles, because as I keep saying, I find them to be the bomb. And Crystal Palace Sausalito yarn is also quite, quite nice. Soft and interesting, being a long-pattern, self-striping two-ply.

I really have nothing else to share. It’s gorgeous out these days and I live in Mount Shasta, which means that when I’m not working or sleeping I will be outside somewhere instead (our thursday night knitting group, while amazing, has all but disbanded thanks to the glories of Mount Shasta summers). There is also something tall, dark and handsome that may be stealing even MORE of my knitting time, so we’ll save the Netflix and knitting for the next time i’m ready to put on ten pounds and eat myself to sleep ;)

 

I have a secret to share…

May 1, 2014

I got banned from the Big Six for life!

Yes, it’s true – I have been a Ravelry member since December 4, 2007 – and in the course of that seven years i was blocked in three forum threads, which gets me banned from the actual, useful forums on Ravelry like, oh, Techniques and Patterns.

My crime?

Well, it took some digging, BECAUSE IT HAS BEEN SEVEN YEARS. But my first crime was verbally assaulting some snobby, offensive woman who claimed people with children shouldn’t fly on airplanes FOR HER BENEFIT. I was seven months pregnant at the time I blasted her.

The next? I can’t remember without digging again.

And finally? I mentioned that Hobby Lobby was closed on Sundays in my mom’s town, and probably everywhere, “probably for reasons we aren’t allowed to talk about”. Because it’s true, on Ravelry, when the topic of Hobby Lobby pops up, we’re not supposed to mention, AT ALL, that it’s owned and operated by a bunch of fundamentalist religious zealots who believe that back in the genesis of humanity, God said to take Sundays off. Oh, mind you – i never said that. My exact words were “they’re closed in my mom’s town on Sundays, and probably everywhere, for reasons we’re not allowed to talk about.” I guess these moderators are desparate for something to actually DO (you could, you know, pick up some knitting needles or something – or, god forbid, take a WALK – because man alive, obesity runs rampant in our particular hobby).

That’s fine, Ravelry. There are four million of us there now, and I probably won’t be missed too much, even though for some odd reason I sparked a somewhat historical post that has caused people to follow the gestation, birth and growth of my now three year old daughter the entire way, inspired a group of people to knit a collection of squares and combine them into a blanket for her and locate us on facebook, and refer to us both when similar threads pop up from time to time.

But whatever. I am going to miss the instant answers of Yarn, Patterns and Techniques, but thank god the internet’s a big place and there are a lot of knitters on it. I’ll keep you for downloading free patterns and periodically selling a few of mine. Thanks for everything. I hear Craftsy’s a lot of fun.

Butterfly wings

April 18, 2014

I’ve been knitting this – gosh it’s such a fun, easy knit for such a beautiful result. I was adamantly opposed to knitting shawly things for a long time but here’s the thing – they’re more fun for summer knitting, and there are a lot of easy patterns out there. Good for knit nights (because frankly, i enjoy the girly chatter ABOUT knitting and yarn and needles and blah blah blah, but not if i’m trying to count). Plus, these little angular scarves give just the right amount of “not a straight rectangle” to hold my interest. Now that i’m a mom and a business owner and i’m lucky to knit a row or two every couple of nights, projects that fit these criteria are what it’s about for me. There will be time enough again, some day, but in the meantime this keeps me connected.

The yarn is fun too – Cascade 220 Superwash sport, and Crystal Palace Sausalito, though i still can’t decide whether i am going to be happy with the chosen color combination, and i’m not sure about the feel of

I also realize how much all of this is a load of consumerist, first world problem. I love admiring Peruvian highland knitting – those dudes are knitting intricate masterpieces with bicycle spokes, and i’m all fussy about whether the join on my latest interchangeables is good enough for me. Perspective.

So much for my loyalty…

March 31, 2014

I am that girl who doesn’t swatch, generally. So basically my first attempt at Nymphalidea was a swatch by accident. I’d been planning on using two chosen yarns for ages, and was excited to cast on and start plowing through it but very quickly realized a few things…

A lace weight solid alpaca was not going to look right with a sport weight two-ply/two-color wool.

Lace weight alpaca is no fun to knit with (for me, anyway) – and especially not on metal needles.

I used to love and swear by my Hiya Hiyas. They were all I wanted to use. But the cables seem to be degrading – or the join, anyway – there’s a catch happening on the cable itself right where it joins the needle connector, and with lace weight alpaca, it is beyond dangerous. And also, I cannot for the life of me get this thin 32″ cable to stop its crazy looping (yes, hot water, all that) and it is going to be a long, long time before I have enough project on it to weigh it down (and my 24″ is already working elsewhere).

I switched to some bamboo tips, and switched the solid yarn to a stashed skein of some luxury sport weight silkiness I scored at the local Humane Society thrift shop months ago when a volunteer there was bagging up her divine discards, seemingly just for me.

The bamboo needles are helping me deal with the loopy nuttiness of knitting finer yarn on needles a a few sizes larger than standardly used for sport weight yarn, but I am a little sad about my needles (or their cables, anyway).

Recently I discovered Symfonie Cubix, and along with the square shape I am addicted to, after a bit of use what I first thought was too hard of a big plasticy cable is actually strong and sweet, holds a nice straight shape without looping everywhere, and square needles make my stitches much more uniform. These are wood, but so smooth.

So, that settled the use of my accumulated eBay bucks – I ordered some size six Cubix tips. And instead of casting on AGAIN tonight, I will just call it a evening – at least I have a better yarn match lined up and I’ve learned a bit about selvedge tricks for stripes. For the rest of the evening I will be viewing pattern modifications on Ravelry and making a few of my own (if I can get out of a “yo” I’ll do it, lol).

I am so glad I “swatched”.

Ten washcloth patterns for five bucks on Ravelry NOW!

March 24, 2014

So my dog went to the vet today to get two angry lumps looked at.- I left her there along with four hundred dollars so that they could be removed RIGHT AWAY.

That’s not good.

So in attempt at a little fundraising I am offering all ten of my not-free washcloth patterns for five bucks on Ravelry. That is fifteen dollars off for the whole paid collection (that means not including the two you can simply download for free).

You can use this link to have them all added to your Ravelry cart automatically, with discount in action (otherwise use the coupon code tenforfive). This will go on until the day end of March 31st, 2014.

This promotion works for those of you who have also bought a pattern or two at random already – now you can get the rest of them too.

rainy days mean lots of knitting…

February 12, 2014

note: majority of links in this post lead to pages on Ravelry.com:

my daughter’s still a little too young, but we have a skein of chunky purple roving yarn we’ve been fingerknitting a little with here and there… Lion Brand and Martha Stewart these days, apparently. Yarn is HIP.

mostly Paloma’s been playing with blocks a lot while i knit tho – she doesn’t last long with fingerknitting, as at this point it’s me knitting and her holding her hands out. She’s only three though, so the attention span for fiber arts isn’t entirely there yet – she does, however, repeatedly ask me to teach her to knit, which makes my knittin’ mama heart sing.

it’s been raining like crazy here in Mount Shasta, which is funny because Portland, Oregon, where I onced lived, is actually covered in snow.

The lack of snow is definitely hurting my business (i own a kids’ consignment shop – snow gear is what we generally sell a lot of this time a year, but not this year). So I am knitting a lot. I am doing paperwork, I am updating old knitting patterns, and basically ignoring the giant heap of clothes sitting behind me that need to be tagged and put on the racks. Yeah I am blogging this from my shop.

Anyway… Lately I knit a fuzzy little heart, then i knit a Quaker yarn stretcher that needs to be blocked – that was a good “knit night” pattern, because it was actually pretty boring after a second, but it turned out beautifully and i look forward to gifting it.

As much as I’d love to focus on creating some of my own knitwear designs again, I am actually enjoying being a “lazy knitter” – meaning, just knitting from someone else’s patterns, these days – picking the yarn and perhaps making a minor modification here and there and otherwise just doing what i’m told, pretty much. And i’m leaning, heavily, toward projects that don’t require a lot of thinking (this also makes them good for our knit night, which is comprised of five or six forty-something kinda-hippie chicks who chatter a lot – so knitting requiring thinking or excessive counting or concentration is out).

Most recently, I started another “thinking-free” pattern – it’s a beautiful throw, and a free pattern from Red Heart called the Squared Shades Throw (yep, you heard correctly, I said Red Heart). While I am not using Red Heart yarn to knit this throw, I actually DID buy a couple of skeins of their suggested yarn for this recently. It’s called Red Heart Boutique Unforgettable, and it’s a long-pattern, self-striping acrylic that’s spun to look like single-ply wool – and it might just be the prettiest, coolest yarn Red Heart has dealt with. 

Yeah, acrylic makes me cringe a bit strictly for the fact that it’s a petroleum product and we’re pretty much killing ourselves off in the name of petroleum projects, but seriously, this is a cool yarn. I wish it could be made from recycled plastics or something.

I’m not using it for this throw tho, I’m using another cheapie available at Walmart.com called Elegant Yarns Kaleidoscope (though I got mine on Ebay). The ill on this one? It’s actually WOOL and would probably be really fun to felt as it’s a nice splitty single-ply, but my beef with this one (other than the fact that I have to buy it at Walmart now since i bought up the last of the ebay seller’s stock) is that it’s made in China. No telling what kind of animal cruelty went with that one. China is horrific in its commercial treatment of animals. I could go on for days.

All this is to say that as much fun as I’m having knitting, I’m really also starting to focus more on how my favorite hobby can contribute to some bad things in this world, and how things like the concept of S.A.B.L.E. (Stash Acquisition Beyond Life Expectancy) really kind of gross me out. It’s easy to get caught up in fondling yarn, saying silly “eee” words like “yummy, cardi, squishy” etc., and forgetting that there are often environmental and ethical costs to our luscious habit – not to mention the fact that stocking an ENTIRE ROOM IN YOUR HOUSE full of yarn is really kind of… well honestly? sure, nothing can be more fun to me than opening up my overstuffed plastic bin full of yarn and fondling the crap out of the alpaca, but still… 

In the meantime, I’m going to knit up this 8 skein pile (oh, the biggest single-purchase project for me ever – until this blanket I haven’t EVER knit something that required 8 skeins!) of probably-unethical yarn into this beautiful throw. Here’s what it looks like so far, in the “Confetti” colorway:

Image

 

Can you blame me?

I’m also using Knitter’s Pride Cubix birchwood needles for this project. I had NO size 9 needles in my needle stash, so I used a Jimmy Beans Wool gift certificate I had to buy a set of interchangeable size 9 along with cables in all sizes. The cables are only $2.30 apiece, but the needles range anywhere from eight to fifteen bucks a pair. But I do love me some square needles, and I really, really love these, so I will probably start filling in as needed (i would LOVE to get rid of my scattered collection of fixed circulars in larger sizes, since they just take up so much space and are mostly Clover bamboos). They are, especially for wood, deliciously pointy – just perfect enough, especially for a splitty, single-ply yarn. And the cables, while they are pretty stiff and plasticy for a second, soften up nicely with a little hot water treatment and some use. I really like them. 

And so that’s that. I’m off to edit Japanese Garden and reupload it in a few places, and perhaps do some actual work here at my shop. Perhaps. 

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