Spooky September Challenge: Campfire stories? Nah!

Spooky September Challenge

Today’s Spooky September Challenge was supposed to be my favourite campfire story, but anyone who knows me well enough is aware that I don’t camp.  I haven’t been camping for about fifteen years now, and that last time was supposed to teach me about all the awesome things I’ve missed out on, not being a camper. It was cold and rained almost the entire trip. Seriously. We had to go back into town to get a tarp because nobody brought one. Not my best weekend – only salvaged by good company.

Continue reading “Spooky September Challenge: Campfire stories? Nah!”

Don’t Panic!

Meet my buddy Max

Max is a Phrenology head. He is currently modelling Robin’s Bowler hat and 2-Row Noro Scarf (Robin accused me of dressing Max up, but I maintain it’s to keep the hat from getting crushed). Max sits in our front hallway, where he can greet people as they come through the door.  Eventually, I will have a hat for every season for him. Until then, he makes a great hat-stand for the Bowler. Max is going to help me out today by modelling my latest finished project: my Noro 2-Row HitchHiker (Pattern by Martina Behm).

It isn’t blocked, but it’s nice and big. I’ve tried it on and it actually wraps around my shoulders and can be loosely tied in front with enough of a tail hanging down to look cheerily jaunty. It’s warm, too. It’s going to make a really nice, warm, small wrap. I cast off using Jeni’s Surprisingly Stretchy Castoff (or at least, my version of it). Makes me wonder how big this scarf will be when I finally get around to blocking it.

I also really love the colours. I’ve probably mentioned that before, but the colour vs white striped look is very pretty together.  Definitely a woman’s scarf.  Can’t see the Husbeast stealing it (though if I re-knit the scarf in manly colours, all bets might be off, and it definitely IS something I’m considering).

And yes. I’ve already cast on another one.  Did I mention I like this pattern?  I like this pattern.  Best (approximately) 4 bucks spent evar (well, if I was paying the individual price. I actually bought the 4-pattern collection for about $13, which is what 11 Euros translated to at the time).

 

(I apologize for the grainy-ness of the photos. I’ve found that my iPod can sometimes take the best photos ever in the lowest light possible, but the resulting quality is unpredictable. I’d have hooked up my digital camera, but wasn’t sure the batteries were working & I didn’t have a transfer cable handy).

Moar Stripes

I have a weird feeling that this scarf/shawlette may actually fit me. I’m also impressed with the camera in my iPod (it’s been handy, and doesn’t seem to distort colour the way my cell phone recently has).

The “point” of the scarf (and thus the current “middle” of the scarf) is up on the stool. That stuff hanging down? That’s one full side of the scarf. This puppy is going to be long.

Because, you see, I’m only halfway through both balls of yarn. Sure, you can’t see them to scale with anything but each other, but trust me…I’ve got another couple of days of happy, care-free knitting before I have to make decisions about what I could/should be knitting on next **

I love shawlettes, but I have to say that the wearing of them is horribly skewed towards skinny/”Normal” sized ladies. I’m sure that blocking wires could be my best friend when it comes to this issue, but I never feel that my shawlettes are quite long enough. And if you keep knitting on them, they just seem to get deeper, rather than getting longer in the arms. I admit it…I’m fat. I have more neck and shoulder area to cover, and I’d rather not look like I’m trying to wear something made for a toddler. This particular design, with it’s elongated shape, might be one of those shawls that actually fits.

It’s also really really warm. I realized this as I was bringing it back into the house, draped over my arm. The Weather Network says that it’s 14 degrees out there (57 degrees for non-Canadians who don’t believe in Celsius), and the area the scarf was covering was starting to get a couple of heat prickles. Say what I will about Noro, they know how to make yarn to keep you cozy. This will definitely be a fall/winter scarf.

 

**The Yarn Harlot expounded on her Inner Knitter today, and pretty much got mine bang-on. Except that mine’s a couple of years older, going on a Siouxie and The Banshees/The Cure jag, and has been cranky at me for the past 7 years that she’s been unable to indulge her craving for a clove cigarette.

Don’t Panic

Remember this?

It’s been ripped back and now being knit as such:

May I just say that I’m loving the HitchHiker pattern by Martina Behm?  And that I’m particularly loving it as a Noro striped-scarf?

I’m also thinking that the pattern might be a good knit for some of my completed handspun. It’s definitely worth a try!  And will probably go faster than juggling two balls of yarn at the same time. Thinking that if I’m not tired of the pattern by the time I’m done this scarf, it may go on the list of upcoming projects 😀

Let me just say that I’m not the biggest fan of Noro…I don’t particularly like the inconsistent gauge of the yarn. However, I’m willing to overlook that for the silk content. I can already tell that once it’s washed and blocked, it will be soft and warm for spring and fall (maybe even winter!), but I’m thinking that I could have gotten a similar effect with some less-fussy yarn from the store. I just didn’t feel like spending money when I had a whole triangle of yarn that was sitting around getting absolutely no use whatsoever 😉

Clockwork (with orange! Really!)

Not exactly a WIP for Wednesday…I cast off my Clockwork Scarf yesterday!

I decided that the deck post could do the modelling for me. At some point I may get Robin to do the honours, maybe on a less-overcast day. The scarf needs to be blocked, but even so, it still looks wonderful. I think that the gauge shortened the length a little, but that can be blocked out. I may attempt this again but with a lighter gauge of fingering weight yarn.

I was right about the colours, though. The oranges, greys and blacks just kinda *pop* against the charcoal grey of the “spokes”. Seeing as how the yarn is Kroy (Patons Kroy in “Gentry Grey” and “Burnished Sierra Stripe”), it should be one heck of a warm scarf.

I’ve been letting my fingers rest since casting off. They hurt a bit, from moving stiffly crammed stitches down my straight needles. I will admit that I never used to enjoy using straight needles, but since learning how to lever-knit, it’s a lot easier. It’s still something I’m practicing, so I’m not exactly ready to knit Estonian lace on them, but for mostly garter-stitch items, it’s a win!

Trying to figure out what to work on once the fingers stop aching.  Maybe go back to my blanket? Cast on a HitchHiker or Wingspan? Maybe…I dunno….find a nice, simple pair of (gasp!) socks?  I guess we’ll see!

Like Clockwork

Not much going on, knit-wise, but that scarf I showed on the 24th?  It’s grown!

The Clockwork scarf is basically knit in two sections. I’m finished the first half and am  working my way through the second. I’m starting to run out of room on the needles, and I think that’s due to the fact that Kroy tends to be closer to a DK weight than the light/fingering weight called for in the pattern. I’m still not sure who belongs to this scarf – while I suspect Robin, I keep thinking of his maternal grandfather whenever I see the way the colours pop. It’s possible that his Granddad has a sweater with these colours that I’m vaguely remembering.  Whoever gets it will likely wind up being nice and warm!

A little distraction

I keep meaning to work on the sleeves for Robin’s sweater, but I keep getting distracted.

That’s about an inch or two of Stephen West’s Clockwork being knit in two different colourways of Kroy sock yarn on size 5 straight needles.  Colour A is “Gentry Gray” and colour B is “Burnished Sierra Stripe”. I was a bit worried that the combination would be too dark, and the colour would be lost among the grey, but it appears to be working just fine.

(And yes, two posts in one week?!  Yep. Taking advantage of a little downtime & making an effort to share a bit more) 🙂

What’s in progress?

Well, I’ve gotten most of my sock knitting done for the time being, and now I’m just playing with yarn and seeing where it takes me. I could be trying to bust a move with cranking out last minute gifts, but I’m very happy to be going into my Yule celebrations without having any kind of last-minute crises. Yes, I can crank out a K2P2 scarf in about 43 or 4 days, but I have other things that I could be spending time on.

I think I've added three rows since this photo was taken...bad knitter....

Like my Pimpelliese. It would be nice to have another scarf, particularly for the winter months. I put the yarn ball onto my little kitchen scale and unwound yarn until I was at the 50g mark, then tied a piece of waste yarn at that point so I will know when to start my decreases. When I see that marker coming up, I’ll know that its all downhill from there.

It hasn't grown much since this past summer

I’ve also dug out Robin’s “Theoretical” Sweater. While the pattern says “Cobblestone Pullover” by Jared Flood, Robin isn’t convinced that it will ever actually turn into a sweater. All I can really say is that I haven’t ripped it back yet. I’m at about the 8-inch mark on the body, and have a couple of inches on one arm.

This is always my goal…to be able to get to this point of the year without going nuts over last-minute knitting, and I think I’ve pretty much made that goal this year. The main gift knitting has been done, and a couple of extra gifts were made along the way – putting me ahead of where I wanted to be. I suspect this is that “planning and organization” crap that people have been telling me I need to explore 😉

How are your Holiday preparations going?

 

Just as an aside, I realize that not everyone celebrates Christmas, so there’s a movement to “sanitize” the season. I also realize that not everyone is happy with this, and have started a movement to “put the Christ back in Christmas”. I’ll be blunt…I lean towards Paganism with a splash of Agnosticism. It would be hypocritical for me to jump on the “don’t take away my Christmas” bandwagon, and I find the sweeping non-denominalization of the season to the point of sidestepping the whole holiday to be in poor taste to those who *do* celebrate. So please don’t be offended if, instead of Christmas, I substitute Yule (as it’s the holiday *I* celebrate), and I actually admit to celebrating something instead of pointedly ignoring the holiday entirely. Cheers! 🙂

Executive Decisions

I tried. Honestly, I did. I snagged my Regia and proceeded to cast on 125 little tiny stitches using a provisional cast-on. And then I did it again because I wasn’t happy with the way my provisional cast-on turned out. Then I muttered and cursed because I wanted to get that second set of 125 provisionally-held stitches off the needle I was using and onto waste yarn…and then I decided I didn’t like what the Regia was doing and decided to switch to some nice variegated Cascade, and the thought of going through that hell again just made me call a stop to the whole crazy endeavour.

That is why I cast on for a pair of very simple toe-up self-striping socks with toes and (afterthought) heels made out of black Kroy. I’m using some yarn that was tucked away in the stash: Schoppel-Wolle Sockenklecks Edition Tausendschön. I have no idea what that means, whatsoever. All I know is that it came already knit up as a scarf. I gather that the idea is that you wear and unravel the scarf while you knit it into socks. Myself, I unravelled it first, re-skeined it, washed it in SOAK, and dried it by hanging it off the shower bar in the main bathroom. It stayed skeined up for the past 6 months or so, and only last night made it into the nice puck you see there. It’s really really soft and nice to knit with.

I’m very surprised that there aren’t more socks knit from this stuff.  It’s pretty nice. Maybe folks preferred to have the scarf! Myself, I love me some stripey socks. I need even more stripey socks. Going to have to do something about that.

The other thing on my needles right now, at least that I’m actively working on, is a scarf. I call it my “rescue scarf”. I recently changed departments at work, and had to go through the bin that all my stuff was stored in. I found things that were over 8 years old in that bin; thankfully nothing that could decompose. This was what I considered my “emergency knitting”, for those days when I forgot to bring my day-to-day knitting. Yes, it has happened that I’ve gotten to work and realized that I’d forgotten my knitting at home. I essentially rescued the scarf from the bin, brought it home and transferred it to straight needles for faster knitting.  Yes, I said faster. I find scarves go faster on straight needles, at least when i don’t need to do a lot of silly things like lace or cables.

At any rate, the yarn is Paton’s Shetland Chunky, which I think has a bit of Alpaca in it. For all I know, it’s 100% pure acrylic, but it feels really nice to knit with so I rather like it. The pattern is the ever-popular One Row Scarf by Stephanie Pearl-McPhee. Really easy scarf to knit with a very attractive finish. I like it as a gentleman’s scarf, as it seems to go well with everything from a ski jacket to a dress coat.

I figure that I’ll take it easy on this year’s lead-in to Yule, and if I get the urge to cast those Sidewinder socks on again? Well, we’ll see what happens 🙂

Stuff in Progress

Last week I mentioned the socks that I’m designing.  I got a little farther along and have decided to take a little rest to decide where to go from here.

You see, I love the texture, but it takes a little longer knit.  I’m also a little worried about whether I will warp the fabric if I continue with the texture along the sole and start knitting plain stockinette above the toe cap. I’m thinking what I’m going to do is continue that texture up the foot til just below the ankle.  We’ll see how it goes.  In the meantime, it will marinate in my thoughts while I work on something a little less taxing on the brain.

Plain ordinary stripey socks out of Trekking XXL in some very happily girlie colours.  I’m just sorta ticking along, using the more salient directions for a Fleegle Heel. Normally I would just knit them one-at-a-time, but I’ve been on a two-at-a-time kick lately. I’ve been experimenting with Magic Loop vs. Two-Circ methods, and I will admit that I still prefer Magic Loop. I’m thinking, though, that the two-circ method may work better with the Chiaogoo needles.   Their cable is a little stiffer than the Addi Turbos, and as a result, the “bunny ears” of the trademark Magic Loop loops…don’t flop properly.  I may have to pick up a couple of pairs of the slightly shorter bamboo needles to test this theory.

Finally, I managed to get a picture of the scarf that I cast on a couple of months ago and never finished.  I’m thinking I may need to switch to straight needles, but again, it’s something I’m still pondering.

Outside opinions, as always, are certainly welcome! 🙂

 

(ps: I noticed when I was going through to add links that there don’t seem to be many really *good* pictoral representations of the Magic Loop and Two Socks on Two Circulars knitting methods. If there’s enough of a demand, I could be pursuaded to get together with someone with fairly steady hands to put together a tutorial or two… That is, if I’m not totally on crack & just haven’t found the GOOD tutorials yet, in which case, please leave a comment letting me know where they are so that I can link ’em!)