Mysterious

So I have a hard time keeping track of my cable needles. I seem to lose them more than any other tool I possess. My all time favorite cable needle is from Brittany. I like them because they are short, smooth, but not slippery, and they have a slight non-ridged indent in the center. I used to have 3. I now have 1, the largest. This size, I find, unsuitable for worsted cables. I really need to scour the internet more diligently for a replacement set.

You may recall, I purchased a 3 pack at my LYS last week of Knitters’ Pride small, straight, grooved cable needles. They are ok. I find the ridges to be a bit too deep for my personal preferences. I digress. Last night, I was watching Enola Holmes with my spouse and working on my Chaos Cables cowl. It was time to do a cable row, BUT WHERE THE HECK IS MY NEW CABLE NEEDLE. It wasn’t tucked into the cowl. It wasn’t at the bottom of the bag or tucked into the yarn cake. I came upstairs, retracing all my steps on the places I’ve worked on it. Not in the living room couch. Not under the other furniture. Not at my desk. Or the dining room table, or under the rug. Or in a catch-all box. My medium sized cable needle was NOWHERE. It was MISSING!! A thing that I had used only hours before had vanished.

So, I did the logical thing. I got a new needle and soldiered on.

This morning. I had started writing this post. Lamenting my lost cable needle. I went to snap a picture. I got out my white foam board. I lined up every cable needle I could find.

Then. In the midst of my line-up. THE MISSING RED CABLE NEEDLE. I have no idea how it got there. I would have recalled picking it up.

A band of misfits. My favorite styles from left to right.

There you go. A magical window into my curious morning. The case of the missing cable needle solved. The potential for haunted cable needles: open.

Year of Projects: Week 6

Make all the things that are not on the list. Then lament the list is not shrinking.

I’ve been plugging away on my Chaos Cables/Handspun mash-up. This morning I started the third of three balls for the cabled section. Due to the depth and diameter of this cowl, I believe it will be prudent to bring in the cowl for the neck ribbing by about half, effectively turning it into a caplet shape. This also means the top ribbing has the potential to be twice the length of the bottom, and foldable. For people who live in moderate climates, this could be worn in lieu of a coat; I’m 100% planning on wearing this OVER the shoulders of my coat. I might look weird, but at least I’ll be WARM.

Chaos Cables as of the afternoon of 9/27

This past week, I had to go to the post office to ship a couple gifts for friends. Bonus: my LYS is LITERALLY ACROSS THE STREET FROM THE POST OFFICE. Recently, my very awesome and lovely LYS (the Knot House. THEY SHIP) has by appointment only shopping opportunities Thurs-Sun! I absolutely coordinated my post office trip so I could schedule my LYS visit. I actually showed up with a list. I purchased the yarns for the reasonably sized version of Chaos Cables. Malabrigo Rios in Aniversario and Knot House Yarns Worsted in Hot Pants!

An ARM LOAD of pretties!!!!

I also needed a new pair of (long) size 8/5mm circulars. I had a pair of Susan Bates needles (circa 2003/4) that the cable was beginning to form cracks; this situation did not inspire confidence. The metal of my new Hiya Hiyas are super slick and CRAZY POINTY. I also needed some new wooden cable needles. I got the grooved Knitters Pride set. They are ok. I lost one of my Brittany wood cable needles (the middle size, that I use all the time) some time ago. I’ve been limping by on various metal and plastic ones that I already own. Nothing has been quite the same. The Knot House had a different non-grooved set of cable needles, but they were too long for my preference. I tried looking for the Brittany ones this past spring, but I was having a difficult time finding them.

So delightfully bright. Just like the friend its named after.

I finished up Justine earlier this week. Its awesome. I’m going to pattern develop it in solids starting mid-October. Debating on yarn held single or double (like the original); maybe I’ll do both if I’m feeling overly ambitious.

Still plugging away on my Cute-Fight sweater. I tried it on the other day. I still have 10 inches of body to go. DK weight sweater…. WHAT WAS I THINKING. No good photos. It looks like a pink/purple/green/grey blob.

YOP count still at 7. Have machinations to finish Chaos Cables v. 1.0 this coming week.

A Few of my Favorite Things

And I do love warm woolen mittens.

All the yes.

I love tea, my favorite is a robust chai of any persuasion. A strong bergamot scented pot of loose leaf Earl Gray is my ultimate indulgence. Hot beverages on cool days. Coffee in the morning, with just milk, no sugar. I like fru-fru sugar-filled coffee-ish beverages. My fall always has a few PSL. I love “seasonal” lattes.

Colorful! Maine May 2014

I love color. My favorite color is purple. I love the palest of lavenders to the deepest almost black plums. I also really like blue. I employ frequent use of jewel tones in my projects and in my decorating. I joke that in winter I look like Mrs. Weasley; covered in colorful mismatched knits. I love silly printed socks.

Rainbow Farting Unicorn Socks

I love fiber arts, obviously. I love the smell of indie dyed yarn. I love creating beautiful things from nothing but string and sticks/hook. When the mood strikes, I love spinning my own yarns. Even if I do go years sometimes without touching my wheel. I love textures. I love projects that look difficult, but are easy. I like unfussy clean lines. I like sewing quick projects, after a few hours I find it difficult to be excited about it. I love sharing my joy about everything with everyone.

The most beautiful Challah I ever made. Circa 2014

I love to cook. I’m pretty good at it. I love vegetables and tofu and fresh baked bread. Even though my favorite meal is a sandwich, a tuna sandwich in particular. I love cheese. My favorite is Brie, particularly the pungent ones. I have a sourdough starter named Hamilton. I’m an imprecise bread baker, my loaves are always good but never the same twice. I love biscotti and scones and kinda sweet cookies.

Suggested Light Reading.

I love to read. I love fantastical fiction. Single subject non-fiction. I love gaining knowledge about anything. Learning is my JAM. If a book is interesting, I’ll read it. I like reading when I knit. I’ve recently discovered that I do, in-fact, not dislike audio books. They are great for when I can’t decide if I’d rather read or sew or crochet. While I CAN read and crochet at the same time, I’m really slow at both together.

I love my friends, even if my social circle is small. Now that I live so far from my closest friends, the time we spend together is really intense. We rarely remember to take pictures of our times together, we are too busy enjoying each other and laughing loudly and raucously.

After a sweltering summer workout. July or August 2020

I enjoy moving fast. I love to bike. I liked to run (when I still could). I still dream about running (albeit slowly and for short-ish distances). I like lifting heavy things only to put them down and repeat the process. If I don’t get enough exercise, I get anxious and jittery. Similar to a dog.

Sleater Kinney at Union Transfer, Philly. February 2014

Don’t even get me started on music. I like so much music, that its difficult to pin down exactly what I like. But I like weird. I enjoy live music. I’ve been to hundreds of punk shows. My partner in college was in a punk band- it was fun going to different places and seeing what their scene was like. I’m on a limited scope indie rap kick right now: Aesop Rock, Hail Mary Mallon, Atmosphere, and Sage Francis are what I’m listening to when my kids are NOT in the car. I love classic rock. I LOVE riot grrl bands from the mid-90’s, I still find the messages poignant and the music still speaks to my soul. I like listening to Radiohead’s Kid A album when I ride trains/regional rail lines. There is lots of music I dislike, but I’m not going to talk about that.

Old Kitty snuggles.

I’m a cat person. I like dogs, but still prefer cats. I love how aloof and independent cats are. Maybe it’s because they remind me of me. I miss my cat. He was my constant companion for almost 18 years. It was sad to let him go, but it was time. Someday we’ll get another cat, but I can’t fathom replacing him now.

This is by no means an exhaustive list. Just some things that bring me joy. What brings you joy?

Justine

I had every intention of writing this post yesterday, but the afternoon/evening got away from me. Ah, life.

Even with the poor lighting of early evening, this blanket looks great!

Have you ever seen a yarn that instantly makes you think of a specific friend? That’s exactly what happened with this project. I had no idea what to do with the 5 skeins I snatched up (on sale) back in February, but I DID know that this yarn was screaming Justine’s name. To be honest, I really LOVE the new Lion Brand colorways. Self-striping yarns are my jam. They let me create, they yarn does all the work, and forces me to not obsess about where color changes happen. As a control freak, this can be liberating OR obnoxious, depending on the day.

Snuggly

It was months before I had an idea about what to create, or a few additional cakes to complete my idea. I’ve made a few blankets out of the Cupcake yarn, as a single strand already. They take up considerable time. A couple Christmases ago, I KNIT blankets for my kids on size 5 needles. Each blanket took 5 balls and 3 months- I’m being somewhat hyperbolic when I say it nearly broke me. I know myself, if a project is taking too long, I abandon it and move on. Hence the holding of the yarn as a double.

Honestly, I hadn’t planned on writing up a pattern. Especially not with this yarn, only because it is not easy to clearly see where the directional changes are. But have no fear, I have just the solid yarns waiting around, ready to be used!

Tech Specs: 8 cakes of Lion Brand Cupcake in Tutu Much. K/6.5 mm hook. Finished dimensions: 64”x54”.

Year Of Projects: Week 5

Arbitrary stuff I want to do for an arbitrary timeline.

Sorry friends, no finishes this week. I’ve made a bunch of additional masks, did some scrappy projects for wrangling said masks (read more about it here if you want), and worked on two other projects.

Justine
Justine Blanket 3/4 complete.

I’m further than this now. Justine isn’t part of my YOP projects, but I love it and want to share it. Now that I’m on the last set of cakes, I’m just going around and around. Realistically, this will be complete in a couple days and I’ll be able to mail it Thursday or Friday. I can’t wait!!

YOP Project Mash-Up

What I did with my Sunday afternoon

My handspun ribbed cowl is now married to my green chaos cables idea. They were joined this morning in holy knitting and will now, and forever, be inseparable. I decided to go in a different direction than initially intended with my cables. The body of the cowl will be a cabled fabric, with no end and no beginning; hence the chaos.

My photo is 100% unstaged. You can see the ring of Tazo Pumpkin Spice Chai (made with coconut/almond milk) in my mug. Target understands me: procrastination and pumpkin spice and chai. I’m the Queen of Procrastination, and it drives my spouse UP A WALL.

I wiped the lipstick smudge off for you. You’re welcome.
A closer look at my project.

Interesting development in my knitting style. I’ve been an English/Thrower for the entire time I’ve knit. So ingrained that it makes holding my crochet yarn in my left hand all the time challenging. The 9,000 stitches required for the 2×2 ribbing was tedious, I switched from English to Continental for the majority of the rib. BOY HOWDY!! Once I started to purl through the back loop, to avoid twisting because of how I wrap the yarn in this position, the ribbing was completed really fast. Then, once I was done with the ribbing, my hands wanted to do my knit rows in continental too. I am not able to cable continental yet. Who knows, maybe someday. Or never. Both are fine options.

I’m really excited to finish up some projects and share them with all of you.

Scraptastic

Yesterday I got the itch to work on some small projects to corral masks for myself and the kids. Our entryway is SUPER tiny, so making the most of my space is important. Additionally, since my space is SOO tiny, keeping it organized is a must. Disorganization looks like a huge mess. I made three projects, 2 baskets and a little flat pocket.

I used the an L/8mm hook for each project, the grey and pink are Lion Brand Homespun (which I held double), the mustard is Lion Brand Thick ‘n’ Quick. I used white to stitch up the flat mask pockets, but using the same grey would have also worked adequately. I thought about sewing the flat pocket hanger, but when the kids are doing virtual school, I can’t be with them in the dining room running the machine.

I did have a fun sewing project from the other morning- a couple of mask holders. I do outdoor fitness classes a few (2-5) days a week and I need to wear my mask whenever I’m not actively engaged in class. But tossing it on the ground seems gross and counterintuitive to what my mask is for. So I played around with various ideas to make something to hold my mask. I wanted something simpler than a zipper or a drawstring, but something that was semi-closed so when in a purse it wouldn’t fall out or attract nastified bits of whatever.

For a first draft, I stitched one up with snaps- no pictures, its in my car holding onto my emergency mask already. Similar to the envelope, but a little bigger. This envelope style one is really close to what I envisioned. I did this without actually taking measurements, no surprises there. I’m a fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants-no-patterns-here kind of crafter. Next time, I’ ll take some measurements so the mask fits flatter. I just wanted to see if my idea would work, and it totally did! It was also super easy to put together. You’ll likely see more of these in the future. I have a bunch of scraps that would be perfect for little mask pouches!

Now to my “real” projects. I added my last two skeins to my Justine Blanket, for a total of 8 skeins held double. I’m super excited to post about this!

Justine Blanket 3/4 complete.

I am also almost through my first ribbing for the Chaos Cables cowl! I’ve been working continental for my 2×2 rib. My purls were twisted, so I have just been working all my purls from back to front. I guess you could call it purling through the back loop? I usually knit English/throw, but for ribbing it gets tedious. I still cannot get my hands to commit to continental for long stretches of knit, but variety is the spice of life??

No objects for scale, current ribbed length is 5″. But still a lot of nothing really.

The slight thick and thin of the rustic handspun combined with the color changes seems to hide any of my twisted stitches and uneven tension pretty well. I’m usually really bad about hoarding my handspun instead of creating something beautiful with it. I have a bunch of handspun that I really want to turn into finished objects in the next couple years. Simply because I don’t want to look at my work hanked up indefinitely, I want to WEAR it and ENJOY the fruits of my labor.

I thought I had an idea about the cables for the green midsection, but now I’m second guessing my initial choice. I don’t want to add a bunch of stitches. 300 is enough! I could modify the panel width to be divisible into 300. Maybe the cables aren’t “chaotic” enough. They are slightly skew, but not really as irregular as I envisioned. I will need to review this before I boldly forge forward. I’m not second guessing my green, yet. I hope to have some pictures for my Sunday YOP update of this project.

Year of Projects: Week 4

In the past 4 weeks, I have crossed off 7 items off my YOP list. I have finished many other non-list projects as well.

Amusing non-YOP item first. My spouse has lamented that his masks are not the best when he actually has to talk to other people while wearing them. Like they are too short. He does have kinda a longish face. So this morning, I whipped up a boring mask in a bigger size. The pattern is a bit boxy. And HUGE. Yeah, I made the XL size, but I wasn’t expecting it to be so comically large. Below are some pictures of me modeling it. I’m a rather large woman to begin with. Please take this opportunity to laugh WITH me. Its entirely too large for the spouse as well. He was not interested in being photographed.

In light of this sew-fail, I had a pile of sew WINS. I made 4 pillow cases for my daughter, as opposed to the 2 on my list. I finished the quilt last week. My son will be getting a new quilt soon-ish, don’t worry he won’t be left out!

I started the quilt back in 2017 or 2018, I wanted to make a quilt for my daughter when she transitioned from a toddler bed into a twin bed. Well…… I made most of the top and then lost steam. Its what I do. I think it turned out pretty good. I had a couple pieces of fabric leftover to make the edges of a couple of pillow cases, the front of the one that echos the quilt. I wanted to make a decorative sham style one, but wanted it to be reversible. I had a 20″ zipper hanging out in my sewing accessories drawer that was perfect for the pillow. I backed it with some unicorn pegasus fabric I picked up to make more PJ pants out of, since my kids have both grown 6 inches taller since I last made them PJ pants. Soooo coordinated.

I used the Mister Domestic tutorial to make the regular pillow cases. He’s so enthuastic about fabric and sewing and creating. Be like Mister Domestic, Don’t downplay how much you are enjoying yourself!

I’m toying with the idea of marrying my handspun rib cowl and my chaos cables cowl. Working the 2×2 rib is a bit tedious over 300 stitches. I might get half through the handspun and measure, if its not deep enough, I’ll splice in the green cables section in an 8 instead of the size 6 ribbing. FUN!!! A 1000 yard cowl. I have sweaters using less yardage.

I also finished my Sunspots blanket, the edging complete, ALL the ends wove in. NO recipient planned. Into the gift/donation pile I guess. No good pictures. Just these from the other day.

Sunspot Blanket: Corner.

Plans for the week: Keep plugging away on the Justine blanket (not a YOP project), some deep stash socks, my cowl, and more sewing projects. I really want to make some microwave potato bags, popcorn bag, and tortilla warmer. I think I have enough of the special batting to complete all of these projects. Goodness knows I have enough fabric!

Boring

Me. I’m the boring one. This blanket I’m working on? She’s pretty and exciting.

Object is more square than it appears in this photo.

Project monogamy makes for boring updates. How many times a week can I really show you the same blanket? This was taken yesterday, just after adding the second set of balls. I haven’t had the time to work on “Justine” much today. This morning I did Body Combat (the cool weather means I can LEVEL up my punches and kicks without passing out), took a trip to the Farmer’s Market for meat (no shower, ew), then an afternoon that included lunch, a shower, sewing, and playing Barbies. Once the kids are in bed and the spouse and I are free to watch grown-up TV shows, I’ll break out my project and hook for a couple hours.

I’m liking the “Log Cabin” style vibe this blanket is throwing me. I wasn’t really sure the direction I was going to take with this yarn when I started. I’ve switched up the direction once again. I’ll update you with a picture again soon!

Funny story about the yarn. I have 9 cakes of this Lion Brand Cupcake yarn in Tutu Much. I didn’t buy them all at once. I got the first 6 (all they had in the store on sale), then a couple months later I ordered 3 additional cakes (why not 4? I can’t remember) from online (fulfilled from a warehouse, not the same store). Party people. THE DYE LOTS MATCH. I can barely get matching dye lots when I purchase all my yarn at the same time. If anyone cares about this kind of occurrence, its you.

Start. Finish. Repeat

Its already Thursday evening. I’m not entirely certain exactly how that happened. I mean, the sun has rose and set in predictable cycles, I’ve just lost track of updating before today.

The lighting is rubbish, but here are the two cowls, together.

I started and finished another emPower Cowl this week, started on Monday (Sunday??) and finished it on Wednesday mid-day. It worked up super fast, because its crochet! This time the yarn was a variegated purple/mauve/gray sparkle acrylic that was given to me at Xmas 2018 by my mom. I lost the ball band, so I don’t remember the brand. Caron, Bernat, Red Heart? I wasn’t able to find it this morning while doing a quick Ravelry yarn database search. As I was finishing the cowl, my daughter sidled over all sneaky and asked who the cowl was for. It was obvious she was eyeing it for herself, because she’s 6 and LOVES glittery stuff. Honestly, I just worked it in that yarn to get the yarn out of stash. I don’t think it was something my friends would wear in public, on purpose. So I pretended that it was a difficult decision, letting HER have the cowl. Now her and I have matchy-matchish purple cowls!

Some construction details: the yarn is a light worsted, I used an H/5mm hook. Followed the pattern for the increases. Worked to 43 stitches across, then 10-12 rows with no increases (forgot to count). I had 12″ of yarn left; whipstitched hers together- worked out MUCH better!

Another bad photo. I’m 2/2 today!

I finished up weaving in all the ends for the Sunspots Blanket on Tuesday. HDC border with crab stitch edging. I’ll talk more about it on the Sunday YOP blog.

Humble beginnings. See my “center”? Top right.

I started a NEW crochet blanket today. I’m calling it Justine, after a friend who inspired the color choices. Actually, I saw the yarn, Lion Brand Cupcake in Tutu Much, and I said to myself, those colors remind me of Justine. I didn’t have a pattern in mind. I purchased all they had on the first day, 6 skeins. Then ordered 3 more skeins a couple months later. I’m holding the yarn double and using my furls Camwood K/6.5mm hook to work a granny square style blanket. But to keep it interesting, I’m working the granny skewed and almost like a log cabin style. Maybe.

Right before I backed that thing up, flipped it and reversed it.

It has an error toward the beginning that I didn’t notice until multiple rows later that I am choosing to ignore and keep going. Its a gift that I know will be used, to someone who isn’t going to judge me for making a tiny error. It will still be warm and squishy and made with love. Don’t worry, you’ll see more of this blanket in the coming week(s)!

Year Of Projects: Week 3

Arbitrary to-do crafting goals: week by week

When I first start challenges, I like to FINISH ALL THE THINGS AT ONCE!! But that is unrealistic and unsustainable. And defeats the purpose of the challenge. I’m not one to stick strictly to plans.

This week wasn’t a waste by any standard. I had quite a few bonus projects… an emPower Cowl, and 25 rectangular folded masks and a handful of chunky earsavers for a friend (since first grade!!) who teaches at a preschool. I’ve really been sewing a lot, and stashbusting my fabric, an unofficial goal of mine for YEARS. This morning I even finished a “quilt” for my daughter that I started 2.5 years ago. Now, its not taking up space in my closet, taunting me. I’m going to make some coordinating pillow cases this week. The “burrito method” has yielded good results in the past; why mess with what works?

Instead of focusing on what wasn’t part of my initial Year of Projects list, lets focus on thing I ACTUALLY accomplished from my list.

The HPW Stripes Sweater.

On Monday, I finished the sweater I started for my daughter back in the spring (of this year even). All of the yarn was leftover from Baby Surprise Jackets I made a few years back. I had partial balls in 4 colors- I used all of it! No actual pattern, just a standard top-down raglan. Three season wearability: cotton/acrylic blend. The only thing I might do is add a little button to the neck or the hem to delineate the front from the back (not that it matters).

Sunspots Blanket

I’ve only been motivated to work on this blanket in the evenings this past week. The spouse and I have been watching a couple episodes of DARK on Netflix every night after the kids go to bed. This project has been perfect, its repetitive enough that I can still keep my eyes glued to the screen. Except last night when I was sewing the last 5 blocks into a row, and sewing 3 of the 4 rows together. That took a bit of looking. In addition to the edging, which is so far going to be a couple rows of HDC (through the back loop on the next ones), I have ALL the ends to weave in. No idea who this will be for. I made it just to make it; I had an idea and just ran with it. Execution: 7/10 close, but not quite. I will not be using this version to write a pattern. Hopefully iteration two will be closer to my vision than this. The 2nd round of the blue needs tweaking to maintain the circular center- the issue is my corners turning my circle into a squircle. No fear, I’ve ideas.

The back side… and SO MANY ENDS to weave in. SOOOOO MANY.

I hope next week brings a continued finishing of items from my to-do list! I’ve also been working on the handspun ribbed cowl for 10 minutes a day, most days. But that isn’t really moving fast enough for progress pictures yet. 300 stitches is A LOT of stitches to rib.

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