Monday, January 21, 2019

What???

What???  Seriously???

I officially own no DK weight yarn.  How is that possible?  I have drawers and drawers and drawers full, entire dressers full, more bins full than I can count, a large cedar chest and two closets full of yarn...  And not a single skein is marked DK.  How is that possible?

The closest I came was something labeled "sporty."

So why the urgent need for DK weight yarn?

My local yarn shop (remember me talking about Center of the Yarniverse opening?) hosted their very first Sit and Stitch this past week. 

Sit and Stitch, held at Ashland Coffee and Tea; Wednesday night knitting group
First ever Sit and Stitch, photo courtesy of Center of the Yarniverse

The shop itself is on the smallish side so they worked out a deal with Ashland Coffee and Tea to have it at their place.  Good thing too!  Twenty-eight people showed up for the event!  The location couldn't have been better suited for the group.  Lots of large tables,  sofas and comfy seating areas.  The cafe wasn't open for business so we didn't get coffee and cookies, but it was still a fantastic time. 

So, what does the Yarniverse's first ever Sit and Stitch have to do with my need of DK weight yarn?

Andrea Craig from Knitting for Sanity was there with her Chevlace hat.  I instantly fell in love.

Chevlace Hat

The only hitch - the pattern calls for DK weight yarn.

After tearing through my entire yarn stash and not finding any, I considered making the trek to the yarn shop but it was after hours and pouring down rain.  (When in the last 400 days has it not been pouring down rain???)  Unable to wait, I decided to go with two skeins I found called Ewe So Sporty.  I also decided to go with knitting the medium sized hat.  Because as you know, I'm not bothering with a gauge check... and I figured it would still be wearable by some human if the hat turned out slightly smaller or larger than expected.  The main goal here is to knit the pattern, not to have a hat for my own head.

So I'm using Ewe So Sporty in a pale gray and a pale blue.  The gray will be the inside liner and the blue will be the outside.  And I'm saying a prayer as I type this... because I was just reading the ball bands trying to find color names and realized the skeins contain almost 100 yards less than the pattern's recommended yarn.  Andrea did say that two skeins of the recommended yarn was enough to make two hats though so.... Keeping my fingers crossed.

And while you pray for me and keep your fingers crossed too, please ignore the weird coloring in the photo.  Apparently I'm running out of colored ink so everything I print has that weird stripey effect.  Lovely.

And, while you are praying and crossing your fingers and ignoring weird stripes on photos.... if you are in the Richmond area, come join the next Sit and Stitch.  It's going to be every Wednesday from 7 to 9 p.m. at Ashland Coffee and Tea.  Hope to see you there!

Sunday, January 20, 2019

Larry's look of scorn

Cast on a hat knit with Wool of the Andes from Knit Picks https://shareasale.com/r.cfm?b=726901&u=1446317&m=59159&urllink=&afftrack=
Larry's look of scorn.

Larry is looking at me with scorn and disbelief.  

Yes, I did cast on another project before finishing the sweater, but in my defense, I needed a small, portable project.

Friday, January 18, 2019

Catching Up Part 2

I'm still trying to catch up with the Christmas knitting report.  But first, a giant thank you for all the recent love and support you've sent my way.  You'll never know how much it's been appreciated.  

Christmas Day is my mom's death anniversary and as much as I've always loved the holiday, I struggle with it now.  And December was just comically bad.  We definitely experienced a Murphy's Law December.  And then starting 2019 off with the loss of Minnie...  I haven't been in the best place, but your support and thoughtfulness have kept me going.  And I thank you!  I also apologize for all the whining I've been doing.  But mostly, I thank you.  

But enough about my weird head space.  Let's talk knitting...

Simple ragland sweater knit with Wool of the Andes from Knit Picks. https://shareasale.com/r.cfm?b=726901&u=1446317&m=59159&urllink=&afftrack=
Easy Ragland Christmas Eve Cast On

My Christmas Eve Cast On project was Easy Ragland from The Green Mountain Spinnery Knitting Book.  The sweater's name says it all!  It's truly an easy ragland pattern that I've knit... gosh, probably 15 times.  

I got home from my December 23rd shift in the wee hours of Christmas Eve morning and knew that if I was going to get something cast on on Christmas Eve, it must be cast on then.  So, around 5:00 a.m., I started knitting.  

I started with a mock cable neckline...  And by 6 a.m. I decided the sweater needed some color.  An hour into the project and I was already bored.  Not a good sign!  (If you're wondering, the yarn I'm using is Knit Picks Wool of the Andes Mineral Heather.)  

Being 6 a.m. and starting to get sleepy, I didn't put a lot of thought into modifying the design.  I simply grabbed my nearby copy of Alterknit Stitch Dictionary and quickly chose Beacon (p. 42) and a barely used skein of Blossom Heather Wool of the Andes that happened to be laying near my desk.  (It's these wee hours of the morning/end of shift times when I'm always glad I'm a slob and don't put things away when I finish with them.) 

If I had it to do over, I'd have chosen 1) a different ragland increase,  2) a different accent design, and 3) a different color yarn for said accent.  I didn't try the sweater on, or really even pay that much attention to my modification until I'd already knit more than half the body.  

My mods aren't Horrible but they aren't great.  I followed the written pattern for the ragland increases and they break up the color work.  Instead of being rounded, the design came out squared.  And I probably should have knit two repeats of the design instead of one but....  And the pink....  as pinks go, I love the Blossom Heather colorway and it looks good with the purpley Mineral Heather but... it's kinda a little too girly for me.  I just keep thinking, am I really going to wear a pink and purple sweater?  But like I said, it's not Horrible so yeah, I will wear it.  And feel like I'm a 12  year old girl when I do.


Thursday, January 17, 2019

Three on Thursday

I'm joining Carole for Three on Thursday...

Three things about life without pets:

1.  I now have to remember to rinse my dishes before putting them into the dishwasher.  It's been 14 years since I've had to rinse a plate.

2.  I have a lot of spare time on my hands now that I don't have to keep putting the trash back into the trash cans for the second... fourth....tenth time.

3.  We need to be a little more careful about eating things like popcorn and Cheetos.  There's no longer a four-legged vacuum cleaner licking up the dropped pieces from the floor.  We can no longer brush the crumbs off the kitchen counter and have them magically hoovered up by the dog before they even hit the floor.  And dammit!  The family needs to remember to stop throwing tomato slices on the floor.  I never realized how many tomatoes we eat until we no longer had a tomato loving dog who lived to catch tomato slices mid air.

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Christmas catch up

While the first snow of 2019 falls, I'm playing catch up with showing you some of my Christmas knits.  Please forgive the photo quality.  I was hastily snapping photos in bad lighting at 4 a.m. moments before cramming the gifts into their wrappings.

Hitchhiker scarf or shawl knit with Knit Pick's Hawthorne http://shrsl.com/1e47r
Hitchhiker

I knit my sister a Hitchhiker.  I used Knit Pick's Laurelhurst Hawthorne.  My sister lives a pretty busy lifestyle full of dogs and grandkids so I thought washable wool was called for.  I have to admit, I had a hard time parting with this one.  I came dangerously close to keeping it for myself.  I just love the 'pond scum' greens and browns in the yarn.

Simple cowl knit with Uptown Bulky Amplify yarn from Center of the Yarniverse
VCU Cowl

And a VCU cowl....

Black and yellow Uptown Worsted Spirit Stripes
VCU Hat

And a VCU hat for my brother in law.  The hat turned out hideously bright, but it's VCU black and yellow so....  The yarn for the hat and cowl came from my new local yarn shop, Center of the Yarniverse.

knitted f-bomb, knit with scrap yarns as a joke gift.
F-bomb

And F-bombs for the supervisors at work.  The F-bomb project idea started off as me knitting one as a joke for a friend, then it sort of snowballed into all nine supervisors in my department getting one.  I was a little hesitant about giving them but they seemed to go over well.  I was a little surprised when several of the supervisors immediately sent pictures of the F-bombs to their mothers.  Thankfully the moms thought they were funny too.

And because it's snowing (sadly, more like sleeting mixed with a little frozen rain now)...

Snow on cedar
There's just something magical about the way snow hangs on the cedar's branches.

Monday, January 14, 2019

Lost

I'm lost.

This past Thursday, we said goodbye to Minnie.


She'd been showing her age for a while and we knew our time with her was short but....


Wednesday night, she seemed restless and kept walking up to us with her head hanging low.  She ate her dinner over the course of about 4 hours instead of her normal 30 seconds.


Thursday morning, I woke up and couldn't find her.  She wasn't on her bed beside our bed.  She wasn't on her bed in the hallway.  She wasn't on the upstairs sofa and she wasn't on the down stairs sofa. We have an always-open dog door so I thought maybe she'd gone out and couldn't get back up the steps to come in.  But nope.  Where was she?  I finally found her in a bathroom, laying on the floor, gasping for breath and unable to move or even lift her head.

I called the vet and changed that afternoon's pedicure appointment to a "We're having an emergency and are on the way" appointment.  And less than 45 minutes after arriving at the vet, she was gone.


Minnie was the last of our four legged children and I just don't know what to do with myself.  I feel lost and the house is just way too quiet now.



Thursday, January 10, 2019

Three on Thursday - A New Year's Celebration

I celebrated New Year's by kitchnering my Hulk vs. Slytherin socks before I went in to work.  Why was it such a celebration?

socks knit with 2 different dye lots of Paton's Kroy sock  yarn. Colorway is Bramble Stripes
Hulk vs. Slytherin Socks

1.  My kitchner job worked!  It's always questionable.  I always, ALWAYS, get interrupted and I loose my place while mumbling, "Purl on, purl off, knit on, knit off...."

2.  It only took me eleven months and two days to knit the pair of socks.  The first sock was on the needles for eight months to the day, the second sock took four days.  Eight months vs. four days.  How does that happen??

3.  It was New Year's!  Of course I celebrated! 

The socks are obviously not identical.  I didn't even try to make them so. Each sock was knit from a different skein and the dyelots didn't match.  One skein looked to contain much more green and purple (The Hulk) and the other green and gray (Slytherin.)  The colors ended up matching much better than expected.  About the only difference is that one sock has 'dirty white' grayish stripes and speckles in some of the stripes while the other sock has no speckles and the the 'dirty white' isn't all that dirty. It's more of an oatmeal color.

No matter what the socks look like, they fit and they're warm.  Exactly what I was hoping for.

Happy New Year!



Wednesday, January 9, 2019

Joy

So, pardon me while I just jump right in.  I've been away from the blog longer than I meant to be.  Christmas got the best of me.  And working full time through Christmas!  Good grief!  How do people do that year after year?  I know I'm spoiled, spoiled rotten, and I'm Way out of practice dealing with Christmas, a job and a family all at once but...  It has been 24 years since I worked at Christmas time.  But still....  Wow!  Hat's off to those of you who not only survive it but, thrive throughout it.  If it wasn't for Amazon and my daughter doing all the baking, we would not have had any Christmas at all.

Anyway...

Phew!  I'm glad it's over!  And let's move on to 2019.

My word for 2019 is Joy.  And meet Larry the Lama
Joy

My word for 2019 will be Joy.  And as luck would have it, the day after I put it in writing, I found this Joy cup in the dollar section at Target.   And it's already bringing much joy.  The cup itself is a nice gray color and I seem to be slightly obsessed with gray these days.  It has an awesome travel lid that doesn't leak when I'm my silly self and bend over to pet the dog with a cup in my hand.  (I can't count the number of times I have dumped my drink all over the poor dog and floor from doing that.)  My hot drinks stay hot much longer than in a normal coffee cup.  And of course, it's a constant reminder to find the joy in everyday moments, which is something I desperately need.

And speaking of joy....  Meet Larry.  Larry the Lama.  Is he not adorable?  He arrived in the mail the other day and has kept me company at my desk ever since.  He's so soft and a stroke or two of his soft fur calms me right down when I'm stressing over 2019 budgets, taxes and general to-do lists.  He may become my blog mascot of sorts.

So, as I mentioned earlier, please bear with me.  I'll get to the knitting soon enough.  So much has happened since I stepped away from the blog back in mid-December.  There was Christmas, New Year's, Winterfest, life, and of course, plenty of knitting.  I'll tell you all about it but probably not in time-line order and not today.  Today, I'm going to go be joyful and knit another round.  Or ten.