Stitches West 2015

Stitches just ended, so it is time for a blog post!

First, let me acknowledge that I didn’t do an FO round up for 2014. I looked at how many things I had finished and the number was depressingly low so I didn’t want to rehash it. Alas. I did declare my skirt to be finished and I wore it today, the last day of Stitches. I didn’t get a good shot of it in action, or any shot of it being worn, actually. I liked wearing it and I got lots of compliments so I am calling it a success even without an FO photo.

My rule at Stitches this year was that I couldn’t buy sweater quantities of yarn, since I have not finished a sweater in… I was going to say two years but it looks like I haven’t finished a successful sweater for myself since 2010. How depressing! I did finish three other sweaters that I gave away but those don’t count. Do they? Maybe they do. In any case, no sweater quantities of yarn for me!

I started off with yarn from RedFish.
Stitches West 2015

I am going to make Color Affection with these three colors.
Stitches West 2015

The fourth green was rejected as too close to the grey by all of my knitting friends. I can’t say I disagree but I loved that color so I kept it. I will find something else to do with it.

Followed by a non-knitting purchase of two cups from Jennie the Potter.
Stitches West 2015
Only one is pictured here because the other is in the dishwasher already.

A project bag from Knerd.
Stitches West 2015
How true this is!

New Signatures and some notions.
Stitches West 2015
Mmm, Signatures.

I rounded up Thursday’s market preview shopping with a scarf from Miss Babs.
Stitches West 2015
I might be in love with this.

Yesterday I purchased some cotton tape yarn from DanDoh.
Stitches West 2015
I already started a project with it!

And today I fell down at WEBS and ended up with another skirt project.

Stitches West 2015
It’s not a sweater, right?

I was $12 away from 20% off so I grabbed these two for free basically.

Stitches West 2015
I think they will be a slinky cowl.

Last, but certainly not least, Lisa and I are splitting these three cones for a cowl.
Stitches West 2015
The booth that had this had a gorgeous cowl out of five colors, but we compromised and got three.

I also took a market session class on crocodile stitch.
Stitches West 2015
It’s an interesting crochet stitch. I think I will take the teacher’s advice, though, and work it in much smaller yarn for actual wear. It was pretty stiff in this worsted yarn on an H hook.

I had a good time, as usual, visiting with knitting friends from near and far and now my head is full of new project ideas! I should start by finishing one of my old projects, though.

Advertisements

unfinished skirt

It has been a bit of a crazy day today. I got the kids up and out the door, I went to work, then to the grocery store, then to school for set up for my art class, then home to cook dinner, and back to school for a meeting. Whew. No wonder I’m tired today! I did manage to get a photo of my unfinished skirt, though!

skirt

It is scrunchy and unblocked. You can also see the elastic that is almost all the way installed sticking out of the top. I really should finish it. (I know, I said that already.)

Close up of the cables.

cables

It really should look better once it is blocked. Now I am questioning even sharing these photos! At least these before shots will reinforce the power of blocking.

NaBloPoMo Day 5: something I never thought I’d want to knit

I am going to skip over my apologies for missing yesterday. Clearly, this is not going to manage to be a daily event.

There are a lot of patterns out there for knitted skirts. Lots of them are cute on the right figure and lots of them look like interesting knitting. I never thought I’d find one that looked like interesting knitting but also like something I could wear but I think I have. Dickson, by Norah Gaughan (of course). I won’t be knitting it in the alpaca/wool yarn it calls for but I have enough of a cotton/acrylic Berocco yarn called Love It to make it with that instead. It’s blue, just like the denim skirts I wear all the time.

berroco love it

I’m pretty excited about the idea of this but I need to finish my sweater first… right? I’m almost done with the first sleeve so I’m going to go work on that.

NaBloPoMo Day 26: in which I disagree

Those of you who know my knitting tastes know that I love Norah Gaughan. I have knit four of her sweater patterns, another Berroco pattern which was probably overseen by her if not designed by her, and I have another of her patterns on the needles right now. I have loved all put the Pucker sweater which I think was only a failure because I didn’t use the recommended yarn. But today, I disagree with her.

She posted on the Berroco blog today that

Loose sweaters are back. Not only comfortable and cozy, they are great for all figures (REALLY, I mean it)…

I love you, Norah, and I would knit almost anything you designed, but I have to disagree. I like the oversized, loose cardigan look (see the Rill sweater) but oversized pullovers flattering?? I don’t think so.

What I find most frustrating is that Norah herself actually has a similar figure to me but the models are pretty much all model shaped (which I am not). Berroco does have a plus-sized model in their booklets now, which I appreciate but I still think I disagree with the fundamental premise that those sweaters are flattering. Is it just me?

stitches yarn and stuff

I must admit that I was not really looking forward to Stitches this year. I’m not sure what happened. I think I was bummed about Signature not being there and then there was lots of snow in the Sierra and it didn’t look like Kristi would make it. Signature still didn’t make it, but Kristi did, which is better than the other way around.

I bought some yarn.

sunshin yarns silk
Sunshine Yarns Sunsilk Lace

I don’t know what I’m going to do with that, but isn’t it pretty? I’m considering the Curatio Shawl (Ravelry link). Or maybe an infinity scarf (a large cowl that you loop around yourself twice, basically). It’s just so sort I want to snuggle with it.

At the end of the day, I got some more yarn.

manos cotton stria
Manos Cotton Stria

That pile of burnt orange is 10 hanks of that yarn. They were in bundles of five and marked down and I couldn’t resist. I am considering Kiama (Ravelry link). We’ll see. I think the color would be overwhelming on me on something that closed in the front but I like the idea of something drapey and open.

I also got buttons for Christine’s Liesl.

buttons for liesl

It’s a set of 12 buttons but I only need three. I think they’re perfect, though, and I’m sure I’ll figure out something to do with the other nine. I’m working on the first sleeve and they’re short, so I should be done soon!

Last, but not least, I got Norah Gaughan Volume 7, some highlighter tape, a 10-dent heddle (for DK weight weaving projects) and a book.

stitches stuff

The book comes with a story. I saw Rachel Herron in line to get a ticket so, as I was walking by, I told her how much I love her first book and how I stayed up late reading it all in one night because I couldn’t put it down. She said, “You win, then!” and told me that since I was the first person to approach her I could have a copy of her next book, which isn’t out yet! She even signed it for me even though between the three of us (her wife, Lala, was there also) we didn’t have a pen that was completely functional. Ah well, I know who was signing it.

autograph

I wonder if the kids will let me curl up on the couch one day and read this one all at once too. Fat chance, eh? Later, Kristi told me that there’s a short story available on Amazon for Kindle (or Kindle for Mac, iPod, etc) for free! I downloaded it tonight and am looking forward to reading that too!

All in all, it was a good day. I am looking forward to heading back to the market tomorrow for the grand prize drawing. I have two more tickets I forgot to drop in. I need to make sure that I’m there on time!

two FOs and one definitely still in progress

I have done the finishing on three sweaters recently. First I finished Bellambie (Ravelry link).

Seeing that photo, I wish I had done some shaping on the bust. I thought the stretchy stitch pattern would be enough but I don't think it is. I do like it though.

Next up is Rill (Ravelry link).

finished rillfinished rillfinished rill

I don't think this one is that exciting from the front but it's cute from the back and side. In that last photo, you can really see how much knitting it was. The only change I made was to cast on more stitches for the sleeve than the pattern called for because, as Norah Gaughan suggested, I know myself and wanted a wider sleeve.

In between I made a few coasters for almost instant graitification (Ravelry link).

modular coastersmodular coasters

This project was on Knitty Gritty a couple of years ago and I unearthed the pattern while cleaning my desk. I'm glad I did. I like the way they turned out and think they'll be useful.

Last up is Pucker, which has the ends woven in but is not done. It's too … tenty. That is the intent of the top but it most definitely doesn't work for me.

pucker... still in progresspucker... still in progress

I like the top though, so I am going to pick out the ends (I even split the plies to weave them in more securely. Oy.) and knit down with shaping. I hope it will turn out nicely after I do that. I have high hopes.

I've been busy, huh? I am determined to have all of these done and a new sweater on the needles before school starts in three weeks.

Read and post comments | Send to a friend

a weekend away and lots of wips

I have been neglectful of my blog but no one wants to read blog posts about how few blog posts there are, right? Right. So let's just pretend I'm not neglectful, deal? Thanks.

I went away this weekend with some of the BobaKnitters. We went to South Lake Tahoe and spent the weekend knitting, eating and watching movies. Oh, and drinking margaritas and/or wine. It was fun. There were some beautiful views to be seen, of course.

the view up the mountain from outside our hoteltahoethe view of the mountain from the lakeside

A bit of wildlife.

And lots of knitting and hanging out. All of my people photos were taken on my phone and are not so great. Sorry, guys.

To update you on what projects I've been doing since March, here's a run down of my current WIPs.

Pucker needs the ends woven in and to be washed before I decide if it's long enough or if it needs an edging at the hem. I didn't want to do the hem in the pattern so I'm at a loss.

By the way, after searching high and low and finding someone on Ravelry with a ball of yarn it turns out I had one more! It had fallen behind the sofa. So now I have an extra. I'm pretending this is amusing and not really irritating.

Next up is Bellambie, which also needs the ends woven in and to be washed. I want to split the plies and weave them into the stitches on both of these projects which makes end weaving even more tedious than it usually is. I'm a masochist.

Next is Ishbel, which I finished (according to the pattern) and then realized I was going to have way too much yarn left so I pulled out the bind off ripped back to add more lace repeats. I don't have much yarn left this time, I think it was a good choice. It clearly needs to be blocked.

Finally, the only WIP that I'm actually currently working on: Rill. It's a Norah Gaughan pattern from her Vol. 6 booklet. I bought enough Berrocco Seduce to make this or another sweater from WEBS at Stitches (thanks for the gift card, BobaKnitters!) and then my friend Pamela said she was going to knit it so I decided to knit it along with her. It's a big wide rectangle and it is s l o w going. I think it will be worth it in the end, though.

I love the colors in the yarn. The only problem right now is the edges. I'm not sure what is going on with them. I might wash and block this piece to see if they get settled in that process because otherwise, I might have to rip back (and cry).

As you might have noticed form the above picture, I am using my new (again) Signature circulars for this project. They sent me a replacement pair after the first broke. So far so good! Cross your fingers for me.

Read and post comments | Send to a friend

finished anhinga photo

I washed and blocked my Anhinga so I can really truly declare it done now. I'm happy with it but I still might put in a stitch or two to hold the tuck in place. I do think washing it helped that. We'll see how it wears.

It only took me four months to finish my one month sweater! (It did sit idle for a fair bit of that time but I'm still proud of finishing it!)

Read and post comments | Send to a friend

a few finished items, stitches

I am back to my non-regular posting schedule with pictures of finished stuff like once a month. Here we go.

First of all, bike helmet ear warmers for Niels

No action shot because he doesn't like them. They're too tight under his helmet or something. Live and learn.

Next up, things knit with Blue Sky Alpaca Dyed Cotton that I got from the BobaKnit yarnswap. I was seized with the desire to knit it all up immediately.

Blanket for Pete and Surgirtha's baby (born a few days ago, I better send it off).

Baby Bolero from One Skein for Diana's baby, also born a few days go, also not yet delivered.

Single Cable Scarf, also from One Skein, for my mom.

The two babies are also getting bunny buddies, of course.

I have no idea what this yarn is. My aunt gave it to me from my grandmother's stash, I believe. It's some kind of cotton plied with a thread so it's bumpy. It makes a nice bunny.

My Anhinga is also finished but it is blocking right now. I'm trying to see if the pleat stays in just from blocking or if I'll to sew a tuck it. We'll see soon, I hope.

Last weekend was Stitches West. I took a class on sweater finishing that was mostly about swatching, including washing your swatches so you understand your fiber and then about seaming. I do think I learned some new techniques that will help me improve my seaming but I could have lived without the instructor trying to convince me that I am allergic to dyes and not wool. Trust me lady, I am sure I'm allergic to wool, just ask my nebulizer.

As I mentioned, my lovely Boba friends gave me a gift card for WEBS. I used it to buy a sweater's worth of Seduce.

berrocco seduce in gris-bleuberrocco seduce in gris-bleu

I also got the books I mentioned previously (Berroco booklet #294 and Norah Gaughan Vol. 6) from WEBS and Whimsical Little Knits by Ysolda Teague from Verb For Keeping Warm. I want to make Ishbel out of the Handmaiden Sea Silk that I bought at Stitches two years ago… I think? (I looked it up, yes, it was two years ago!)

Last but not least, I got a few tools and notions.

Three bone "wandas" by Lacis from Carolina Homespun, they're a crochet hook on one end and a knitting needle on the other. One of my friends described it perfectly: it's an "oh crap!" tool. Perfect for fixing things; the Sinature circulars were too hard to resist once I learned that the point rotates on the cable! If you knit on circular needles you'll probably understand right away why I think that's a wonderful idea; last up: highlighter tape, red from the wooden sock blocker people and yellow from The Mannings. The highlighter tape has already enabled me to go back to my tapestry cowl, a double knitting colorwork project with no repeats in the pattern. NO REPEATS. I might get it finished by the time it's cold again, which would be a Good Thing.

Just because they're so awesome, here are the points of my Signature Needles.

I find Stitches to be inspiring and exhausting at the same time. It inspired me to finish my Anhinga and then to pick up two UFOs that had been hanging around but by Sunday night I was so tired, and I didn't even spend time in the marketplace except on Thursday evening and Sunday after my class. I'm not sure what it is: the crowds, the wool fumes, the sensory overload. I'm going with all three.

I'm glad Stitches is over and now I need to focus on finishing the projects I have planned with this year's yarn AND last year's! That sweater still hasn't been knit either. Oops.

Read and post comments | Send to a friend

NaBloPoMo Day 19: sweater fronts done!

I wove with the kids at school again today. They didn't seem as fast as last week. One of the other moms and I may have come up with a way to help the warp on the Beka looms stay tighter. I think it helped the kids a bit. I have a couple of weeks off before we weave again so hopefully I'll get my act together and rewarp the looms in advance. I'd actually like to try warping my loom for Niels and seeing if he can do it. He was really interested in it.

I have had a kid-intensive week, with a field trip and Arts Focus and tomorrow I'm working in the preschool to pay someone back for covering for me so it was good to get out tonight to BobaKnit. Those BobaKnitters know how to make me laugh. Hannah especially. ❤ you, Hannah!

Both front pieces of my sweater are now done! I am ready to start the top of the back. I think I'm pretty on track to finish this thing by the end of the month! Although, that front middle piece is pretty big so maybe I shouldn't get ahead of myself. Since it's all still on one circular needle it's kind of hard to photograph, but hopefully you can get the idea from this picture.

I'm pleased with it so far. I look forward to the back being done so I can sort of try it on. Right now that's impossible unless I put parts on waste yarn or another needle and that seems like too much work.

Read and post comments | Send to a friend