Sunday, October 30, 2016

Vocal Sunday

I know it is supposed to be Silent Sunday...but....it is really hard to have a blog post of just pictures when the auto focus of your auto focus camera decides that it just isn't going to do it any more!

Instead I will point you in the direction of the preview for next weeks issue of Knotions.

And some exciting news, with a very unique way of telling it, from The Yarn Harlot.

Along with an  upcoming KAL with Unplanned Peacock and Criminal Knits.

~M

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Nothing To See Here

One of the problems with designing and test knitting is that sometimes I get so focused on just a couple of projects that are all "secret" and have nothing to show you.  But rest assured, there is knitting going on!  A lot of knitting!

Instead let's talk about TOB for a minute.

The Other Brother is the only one of my children who knits.  Which right now I am thinking is a good thing because....

He has started taking some serious commission knits from the people at the school he attends and it is seriously starting to damage my stash!



One of the students asked him to knit a camel, which he did, and got paid for!  Which led another to ask for a rabbit, which, again he did and got paid for...but it started a trend and now a selection of students want rabbits in various colors for gifts for younger siblings or themselves.

The problem is, although I have what I refer to as a robust stash, I do not have every color in the rainbow in every weight of yarn...and....well that is MY stash darn it!  What if I suddenly feel a need to knit myself a powder blue rabbit and he used up all my yarn?*

I keep telling him he needs his own Ravelry account to track what he has knit, but he would prefer to use my blog because...once you put something on the internet it is there forever and one day he will look back and say.....I knit how many rabbits?  :)

Don't look for a finished object Friday post from me...I have 50k stitches in one project and about 45k in another before I will be finished anything, but who knows, maybe the purple rabbit will be done by then!

~M




Sunday, October 23, 2016

Silencio

Wonder what's in here?

Looks big! - LMIMH

TOB's Rabbit

And it's tail

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Minimal Progress is Still Progress

I promised you yesterday that we would check in with my Colourmart Fall Contest piece....

It is progressing about as well as I would expect a piece of knitting that I haven't touched in days to progress - slowly! (And yes, that little voice in my head is still murmuring that she thinks it is bigger than I intend it to be, to which I have to whisper back - hush, trust the swatch.)

It isn't that I don't like it, I am still in love with my stripey chevrons and the yarn itself is a dream to work with, I've just had other things that needed my attention as well.

I have promised her that she will be my parking lot knitting for the rest of the week.

After all, my car has a handy cone holder for when I am knitting straight from the cone!
One year ago today I finished the shawl I knit for last years contest....Notice anything about the yarn?

I am nothing if not consistent.

~M


Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Tools on Tuesday

I got tagged recently on Instagram to post what my favorite knitting tool was, and thought it was interesting to look at the other posts with the same hashtag.  (Always on the lookout for a new favorite!)

I cheated and had two, my kitchen scales (not just for weighing fruit for jam or shrub...hmm I should check that it is probably just about the perfect black cherry and pepper shrub by now!) and a very basic calculator.

Other people picked things like their interchangeable needle sets. (I have to agree there, wonderful tools, which is probably why I have  no less than four different sets along with assorted extra tips and cables in my "go to" sizes.)

Tape measures in various sizes and shapes.  One knitter had this cute little red horse that a friend had made her that had a tape measure built in!  (You might notice in my picture rather that a tape measure I have a steel tape....I knit some pretty big pieces and to get the most accurate measurements  I like to use a measure that will not ever stretch, unlike the fabric one I used to use.)

Stitch markers galour!  I have such a love-hate relationship with stitch markers.  They really are useful and a great aid in counting large amounts of stitches when casting on, or to separate repeats of a pattern, but I find they get in my way sometimes too.  But...there are so many really cute ones out there!

The Knit Kit showed on in several peoples posts.  I actually made something similar as TOB's Christmas present last year, but I used a small plastic pencil box with a couple of dividers in it, threw in some stitch markers, a plastic tapestry needle, small stitch holders and a couple of other things.  He does a good job of keeping his tools all in one place, and we color coded them so he knows when he is borrowing my tools!

Swifts and Ball Winders also showed up, some made by knitters families and some purchased.  I know I would never be able to knit as many yards in a week as I do if I had to wind my yarn by hand and my ball winder has a permanent home on my desk, so I must use it pretty often!  :)

Nancebell in the comments on Sunday asked about the program I was using to draw schematics, and I am not sure if it is going to develop into one of my favorite tools or not, but I am using Inkscape.  Playing around with it has taught me how to do some of what I want, looking for tutorials on Youtube has shown me a lot of things that I will never use, but were interesting and helped me to figure out some of what I needed.  As with many things, I am sure I will get better at it the more I use it.

So, what tools are in your tool kit that you would call your favorites?

I'll have an update on my knitting for WIP Wednesday....I am going to have to come up with a way of making miles of chevrons in fingering weight yarn entertaining!

~M

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Sunday


TOB's Knitting
TOB's Knitting for the Week

I so want these!



The Full Sticker says I Adulted Today

Learning new programs so I can....
Draw This

Impromptu Cone Holder
Little Voice - looks big, don't you think?


~M

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Things That Drive Me Crazy

I am sure you have them, those pesky little things that just, well, bother you!

They might be things that you do to yourself, things that other people do or just plain things.

I am sure this list is nowhere near complete, but, to distract you from the lack of a Finished Object Friday post (did it work, by the way?) I thought I would start a list here, and would welcome you adding yours in the comments!

1) Self striping yarn of the same dyelot that is wound different directions!  Have you ever been knitting away quite happily on the second sock of a pair and noticed that it just doesn't quite seem to match the first sock?  We won't mention how long it took me to figure out that I had accidentally begun knitting fraternal socks when using both balls of yarn as center pull.  They started with the same color, and it all went backwards from there.  Ugh!

2) While we are talking about self striping yarn, what about those balls that have knots in them?  And worse, where the knot happens we suddenly find that two or three colors from that self striping yarn are missing in action! *

3) When I can find the perfect fiber and the perfect color, in my stash to knit with, but not in the same yarn.

4) When I can find the perfect fiber and color in the same yarn for my project in my stash...but I don't have enough of it to knit anything.

5) When I stress myself out starting two epic sized projects, both with deadlines.

6) When in the middle of those two epic sized projects I get myself sidelined because I cannot count to 8 successfully 12 times in a row.

7) To add to the above, when I am in the middle of two epic sized projects with deadlines and I allow myself to get sidelined writing a "one of a kind" pattern for someone, who never says Thank You.

8) Maybe this one shouldn't even go here, maybe somewhere in the world this is correct...but when people list their yarns on Etsy as "fingerling".  I hate to tell you this, but fingerlings are potatoes or young fish.** It is fingering weight yarn.

9) And finally, rounding out my top nine things that bother me...when I go to the pantry and someone has put the empty box that used to hold crackers back, so I didn't buy more!

What are your pet peeves or things that bother you?

~M

*I have learned to re-wind all self striping yarn...well most of the time!  :)

**I suppose that someone could figure out how to make yarn out of potatoes or fish, but I am not sure that I want to knit with them.

Monday, October 10, 2016

Monday's Favs

I'm not in this issue of Knotions, got myself bogged down with some other things and never submitted anything, but that didn't stop me from anxiously watching their preview threads on Instagram and Facebook.  Or from rushing over there when the issue went live.
Several patterns made my queue of things to knit "someday".

Today, a really cool feature was added and the editor is putting up pictures of the designs in different colors so that you can see ahead of time how they would look in your favorites!  Amazing what a little change in color can do for a design.  (And that is something I will have to keep in mind while designing too!)

Other favs this past week...the Yarn Harlot seriously tempted fate!

She has also Instagramed pictures of the nearly complete little cardigan that pretty little grouping of yarn grew up to be, but now the suspense lingers...will she or won't she be blocking the Rhinebeck sweater in a hotel room the night of Rhinebeck?

I got some knitting done today, not as much as I had planned, but some!

What's on your needles this week?

~M

Sunday, October 9, 2016

Little Voice Whispering on Sunday


There is a little voice whispering to me......














Reminding me that the days are getting shorter.....














 And the nights are getting long.....
 



And it looks big, don't you think?*





















 ~M

*Trust the swatch, I whisper back.










Thursday, October 6, 2016

Presenting....A Cozy Shawl for Fall

Long ago in a galaxy far away....no wait, that isn't right!

Not that long ago, in my own cozy work space I opened a package that came in the mail from Unplanned Peacock Studio.  Inside were two skeins of yarn.  Perfectly paired to co-ordinate the riot of color in one skein and the subdued tonal shades of the other needed to be together forever!

As a knitter I find there are two ways to handle the "riot of color" yarns.  You can just knit them in a very plain way and let them do their thing, or, you can intensify the riot, add a little fuel to the fire.




 
I decided to add fuel to the fire and swatched the crazy colorway in a couple of stitch patterns until I found one I liked.















Subdued tonals are wonderful in complex patterns.  They fade to the background and let the stitches do the talking and I use them a lot with cable, lace or textured stitches because of that.

 But this time, I wanted that quiet and calm to really offset the riot of color and texture that the variegated yarn gave me.  Not completely left out of the patterning, just a quiet, buttery grace.









For a warm and cozy shawl, a lace edging just didn't seem right. Instead, soft and squishy ribbing that you can knit as long or as short as you want, rounds out the pattern.








 And so...Crazy for Caramel was born. (Co-incidentally the color names are Crazy and Caramel, which worked out perfectly for a pattern name!)

Knit with those two skeins of Cozy Sock, a warm and, dare I say, cozy, alpaca blend, this shawl fulfills my need for a warmer shawl in the early fall.

The pattern is completely written, no pesky charts to keep track of, so even though I usually don't take my shawls as my traveling knitting, you can definitely take this one with you where ever you care to knit.


I had so much fun knitting this that it has been hard not to knit another one in different colors!

For a limited time, to celebrate the pattern release, use coupon code in ShawlsofFall in your shopping cart in my Ravelry Store to take 20% off the cover price of any of my patterns.

While you go do that, I am off to wrap up in my shawl and knit...maybe even on this park bench.

~M

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

WIP-ing in the Wind

Not that it is windy here right now, but it is October in Central Ohio, so anything could happen!

Wednesday's make a good day for taking stock of where I am, what I am working on and what I need to do to finish the week out in a good place. (In all aspects of my life, not just the knitting side.)  It is also "garbage day" around here, which means I am already in the mindset for throwing things out, so if something isn't working that mindset can carry over and I can re-think, revise and re-work the plan.

So where am I?

The Colourmart Contest Piece (I have to give this poor gal a name at some point, but I'm not there yet!) is in the long dragging "middles".  Actually, yesterday I put the section I was working on in a holding pattern and started from the other end. 





I want to match those pretty little curves and stripes, and as the yarn I have is all there is. (Unless Sue at Colourmart could find more in what we refer to as her "magic hat") I need to make sure I don't go over on my yardage estimates.





I did start a pair of socks in honor of Socktober. 
A friend had asked me to come up with a pattern, on the quick, that wasn't too difficult, had a contrasting heel and toe and maybe some new techniques.

I gave her the pattern, untested, but decided that as I had gone to the effort of writing it, I might as well knit it as well and bang out a pair of Christmas Socks for one of the boys. It wouldn't be Christmas without socks in a stocking or three!






In between those two projects there was a little swatching and charting, but mostly I have been trying to teach myself how to draw schematics and after taking stock today of where I am, taking better pictures!

So while there is a little light left, I think I am going to go practice!

What's on your needles?

~M

Sunday, October 2, 2016