Monthly Archives: July 2014

Eye on the stash

Lately I’ve been enjoying pulling more yarn from the stash, especially as I work on this stockinette sweater project – it’s a cardigan and apullover…and oh heck, I might as well do a second pullover in a different yarn, just for fun. And while I’m at it probably a second cardigan, since the first cardigan might feel lonely.

Stockinette

Stockinette projects move so much faster (I do not know why I’ve neglected them, I need more of them in my life clearly) than my more typical cables-all-the-time approach to knitting life. I caught myself thinking the other day that I could just cast on that second cardigan this weekend, even though I’m only halfway through the current pullover, and then the immediate “oh Glenna don’t be ridiculous” reflex kicked in.

But then I realized that, wait, this is stockinette, and I have a holiday weekend coming up with lots of knitting time planned, and if I play my train commuter time right this week all that adds up to higher probability of actually getting a new cast on item.

Eye on the stash

So in that case, the dark blue Cascade 220 I pulled off the shelf last week may not have been so naievely selected after all. (And okay, some Koigu sock yarn in there too, because that’s only reasonable).

Already can’t wait for my weekend of knitting. Stash-busting ahoy!

Happy Wednesday, knitter friends!

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Pattern: Personal cardigan pattern, completion/release TBD
Yarn: Cascade 220 heathers, ‘summer sky heather’ #9452

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Reset to stockinette

As the July cards continue to shuffle themselves out and I resume a still not entirely normal schedule (though admittedly better than the week immediately following vacation at the beginning of the month), I’ve been getting a reasonable amount of knitting done. Partly this is due to concerted efforts at Getting Knitting Done Because It Is Relaxing, but also because I’ve assigned myself relatively simple projects for the moments.

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Cabled projects are swirling around in my head at the moment, but I’m letting them continue to swirl while I knit away on a stockinette sweater and some plain ribbed socks. The sweater (above) is a cardigan version of the stockinette pullover I finished last month, of my own brain and for a planned fall release. It’s a simple sweater pattern intended to be an approachable knit as well as a comfortable wardrobe staple. I wanted to make sure I knitted one of each of the pullover & cardigan versions, and am going to knit myself at least one more pullover I think. (Partly to reassure myself of the instructions, but mostly because I want more sweaters for my fall closet. Ah, selfish knitting.)

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I have also started on pair #5 of Socks From Stash (unofficial theme of Glenna’s Sock Knitting 2014), in a nice skein of Socks That Rock mediumweight purchased at some Rhinebeck excursion some time in the past. Nice thing about mediumweight is that the yarn is a bit heavier so it needs fewer stitches to make a sock. A couple of weeks worth of transit riding and boom, socks. That’s how we do that.

How is your summer knitting going so far, dear knitters? No doubt the patio season will be over before we know it, better get the deck chairs and wine glasses at the ready.

Happy knitting!

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Pattern: Personal cardigan pattern, completion/release TBD
Yarn: Berroco Ultra Alpaca, ‘redwood mix’

Pattern: A Nice Ribbed Sock (by me), modified for 56 sts instead of 64
Yarn: Socks That Rock lightweight from Blue Moon Fiber Arts, ‘Valkyrie Fledge’ colourway

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July, what’s up?

So, I spent the first week of July in California (San Francisco area) and it was lovely and sunny and pleasant temperatures, and I was fully prepared to come back and report on how I made it to a yarn store even though I hadn’t originally thought I would (2 skeins of Madelinetosh sock followed me home from Article Pract in Oakland – I couldn’t very well buy only one and leave the other one all lonely, now could I?).

Madtosh sock

And I was also going to talk about how I got to see Lake Tahoe for a bit, and it’s just as pretty and alpine as everybody says (there are photos of it somewhere on a camera, um…somewhere…), and even with a cell phone camera it still looks like this:

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Then I was going to say that I even got some reading in (although it turns out that even if you read a tidy 50 pages a day for a week you will still only be halfway through The Luminaries, but it’s an engaging read so that’s not bad) which meant that most of the knitting I got done was my latest Lorna’s Laces jaywalkers. They’re done now though, and are pair #4 of this year’s sock drawer replenishment. (I may need to start doing more careful sorting of the sock drawer to make sure they all fit in there).

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What actually happened is that I arrived home to discover, in my (and everyone else in the household’s) absence, that a toilet hose had gleefully disconnected itself and caused a whole bunch of damage. So then for a while I wasn’t actually living in my house, and here we are 2 weeks later and the repairs are hopefully actually starting soon.

So it’s been a rather disorienting couple of weeks, but I have at least had the knitting in hand which is a good thing, and maybe August won’t be so bad? Let’s hope.

I hope you have a good Monday, knitter friends!

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Pattern: Jaywalkers (Ravelry link), pattern by Grumperina originally featured on Magknits, now free on Ravelry
Yarn: Lorna’s Laces Shepherd Sock, in ‘ghoul’s gala’ colourway, now re-released as ‘ascot

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And then you get a shawl

So it turns out that after just ten months of entirely undedicated and sporadic (mostly in movie theatres) knitting, and then a final push for about a week, ta da! You can get a finished Pi Shawl.

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This is my 3rd one of these, and definitely not my last. It’s an extremely versatile pattern, this thing that Elizabeth Zimmerman dreamed up. You can do it in almost any weight of yarn you want, and just follow the instructions until it’s as big as you want it to be. This is my 2nd one in sock yarn (aka fingering weight yarn) and I sort of want one in every colour (It’s nice to have long-term knitted wardrobe ambitions). I enjoyed wearing my last one as a spring accessory for chilly mornings, and this muted purple will be a nice versatile neutral colour for all kinds of situations.

The Pi Shawl, for real, is an extremely accessible pattern. Like many of EZ’s patterns it exists mostly as a set of guidelines that can be modified in different ways – her pattern instructions come with a lace panel version and this eyelet one that I’ve done (every 6th round is [k2tog, yo], producing a basic lace effect). If that’s too complicated, then all you really have to do is keep knitting around and around in a circle and doing increase rounds (which all go [k1, yo], repeat) in the order the pattern tells you. If you can knit in a circle, you can make a Pi Shawl.

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I enjoy that this shawl is fairly simple to execute on a technical level, because what it is really asking of you is not so much skill as emotional commitment. Everyone I know who’s done one of these eventually gets to a point where it has become All Too Much and it feels like it’s never going to end. In my experience this also happens about right before the point when it feels like It Might Actually End After All, and then you reach down into the depths of your soul and pull out the momentum you need to get it done. And then you get a finished shawl.

Possibly the only part with any complexity is the knitted edging to finish it all, but even then it can be just garter stitch (I didn’t even do a selvedge slipped stitch at the edge, eh, I said and threw caution to the wind). Even if it’s a new skill for you there, it goes on for long enough that you’ve got plenty of time to get past the ‘hey this is a new thing’ phase to move into the ‘this has been going on forever when will it end’ phase, and then once again you’re basically back to the Perseverance > Technical Skill level. I enjoy that about Pi Shawls, I tells ya.

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Super great. Probably by fall I’ll be starting a new one. Maybe in chocolate brown. Or bright red. Or both. Or maybe I’ll start on square shawls instead of circles, just for variety. (I may need help).

I hope it’s pleasant summer weather where you are. I’ve been enjoying the environs of San Francisco this week (these Pi Shawl photos courtesy of a friend’s cabin in the mountains south of Tahoe, where it is gorgeous), and it has been sunny and mild and not nearly the stifling humidity of Southern Ontario – it’ll be a bit whimpery to head back on Monday. But a bit more vacation time shall be mine, first. Cue up the sock knitting in the mean time!

Happy shawl (or other projects) adventuring! Keep knitting and eventually they’ll get finished, as it turns out.

[P.S. - for those of you wondering how I wear a circular shawl, here's me with my 2nd one.]

 

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Pattern: Pi Shawl (July shawl), directions in Knitter’s Almanac by Elizabeth Zimmerman
Yarn: Malabrigo Sock, in ‘eggplant’ (3.5 skeins and 5.0mm needles yielded a 5’9″-ish wingspan circle)

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