new filters and fuzzy friends

In case anyone is curious, this is my new air filter. It kind of looks like a giant version of the old iPod nano.

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shiny

I bought it on Amazon, of course. For comparison, this is my old air filter, which doesn’t have fancy cycling modes or an air quality indicator (that blue light on the right goes red when the air is bad) and it is super loud but if the light on the new one is to be believed, it has been doing a pretty good job!

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less shiny but still doing its duty

I need to figure out what model it is, actually, and buy a new filter. It has been running constantly for several days and I last replaced the filter last year during a bad fire week. I’m not sure how much of the smoke they can handle and I’d rather be safe than sorry!

In less boring, more cute news, my dog had a playdate today. They spent some time wrestling under the couch as usual, but then they had a rest, adorably.

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doing a snoozle, as they say

I have been knitting on the sleeve since I last posted about the sweater problem but it’s too late to get a new picture. I’ll aim for that tomorrow!

sweater problems

I posted about my breezy cardigan in progress last year on November 3. As you can see, I have made almost no progress since then!

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looks just like last year’s shot!

The problem is that i think the sleeve is too big. I knit a whole sleeve and didn’t like it and ripped back but I’m not sure it’s making any improvement.

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bunch sleeve?

Then again, the store bought hoodies I wear aren’t exactly form-fitting either.

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same problem, different sleeve

So maybe it is not so bad and I can just just keep knitting? That is the plan I am going with for now. The body of this sweater is just so much knitting. I can’t face frogging the whole thing and starting again. It’s an open, loose cardigan, it doesn’t matter if it has loose fitting sleeves as well.

Right?

(Please say right.)

current WIPs

As promised, here are my two current WIPs. First up is a Breezy Cardigan in ArtFibers Chutney.

Breezy Cardi in progress
Ravelry Project Page

I bought a sweater quantity of this yarn a while back and started another project with it but gave up on that one. It’s a top down wrap cardigan. I ‘m a little stuck because I knit most of one of the sleeves but it was too loose and I’m not sure how I can make the sleeve more snug when the number of stitches I start with is kind of set. If I decrease too fast it will end up poofy on the top. It’s a conundrum.

I had been working on the sweater pretty faithfully but I was going to travel by plane and I wanted to have a smaller project to bring a long, so I started a Deceit from the Curls book. This one is knit in ArtFibers Ginko.

Deceit Curve in progress
Ravelry Project Page

This yarn must have been an end cone from ArtFibers because it randomly had 338 yards. The Curls book has these triangle scarves that you knit to any size you like. The increases are all on one side so it causes the edge to curl, hence the name. I am getting close to the end and I hope it blocks out a bit larger so that I can actually wear it when it is done!

There are, of course, other WIPs on my project page, but it might be time to make some decisions about those projects. We’ll see if I do, or if I just keep knitting what I have and starting new projects.

crocheting like crazy

I have been neglectful of my blog… again. Sorry about that… again. In June a friend from my knitting group passed away from breast cancer. Her daughter saw on our group’s email list that we were having a yarn swap in the summer and asked if she could bring her mother’s yarn for us to divide up. I didn’t end up getting the yarn from her until after the swap and I was talking to Kristi about it, debating what to do when Kristi came up with a brilliant idea: crochet items for donation to Breast Cancer Connections. We are crocheting because it is fast and uses up lots of yarn but also because our friend was mostly a crocheter. She used to make bed-sized afghans and give them away. They were truly epic creations: so big that she carried them in a bag from Costco. Shortly after this decision, I went to visit Kristi and delivered some of the yarn to her so she and I (and Janice and Cookie) have been crocheting away. Teenuh has been weaving and I haven’t gotten a chance to see her woven scarves in person but the photos have been lovely!

In any case, here is what I have made so far. The charity only wants “hats, scarves, and booties” so that’s where I have been going.

slippers

The slippers didn’t quite work. I don’t think this pair is going to get donated because I don’t think they will stay on. I might try to find another pattern to use instead.

first timba hat

Janice designed this pattern with the yarn I delivered to her. I think mine is bit too big and I’m working on a second with a smaller hook. It’s a very cute hat though, huh?

first divine hat

I liked this pattern so much…

second divine hat

… that I made two in a row.

very not tiny scarf

A very-not-tiny scarf.

checkers

This was actually the first project I made, although I got a foot into it and had to rip it out and restart because the hook was too small at first and the resulting scarf was, in Teenuh’s words, like iron. She was right to talk me into ripping it.

potato chip ruffle scarf

Potato chip scarf, so named because you can’t make just one, I think. I did, though, just make one.

kristi's scarves

This is Kristi’s pile so far (sitting on my bike just because it was there). She also made a tiny scarf, two flower motif scarves, and a big, cozy fringed scarf. I might have to make a fringed one too. That one is coziest.

There has been some knitting going on as well, with my own yarn.

finished palindrome infinity scarf

I started this infinity scarf as a car project when we drove to Southern California. I really like it. The yarn is bamboo and is soft and warm. I have another skein of it that might need to become another cowly and/or scarfy thing. One can never have too many scarves, cowls, and shawls, right?

annis in progress

I hope not because this is also the very beginning of a shawl. This pink silk yarn ended up in my stash after the yarn swap with the BobaKnitters. I’m making an Annis but I opted for beads in place of the Nupps. I was really into that pattern for a few days but it’s 300-something stitches so I didn’t get very far. When I’m done crocheting, I hope to get back to it.

giants zito socks scarf in progress

My final current project is a Giants Scarf “Zito Socks Style” as requested by my friend Sandy who is a Giants SuperFan. I am hoping to finish it before baseball seasons ends but she is such a fan that she wears Giants colors all year round so I know she’ll get use out of it even if the Giants are done playing by the time it’s done. Also, there’s always next year.

Whew. I’ve been busy, huh?

a realization and a few UFOs

I just realized that it’s only about two and a half weeks until Stitches. If I want my Aidez to be finished by then, I need to get a move on! Right now I have two sleeves knit and about 5″ of body (knitting the back and both fronts as one piece).

aidez body in progress

That’s not at a lot! At least I’m to the point where I can start waist shaping so the stitches will decrease for a bit. I am still debating whether I will add any bust shaping. We’ll see how it’s going at that point.

I’ve been distracted by a couple of other projects (aside from the finished ones I posted the other day). One is a baby doll for Stefan, by request.

baby doll in progress

So close and yet so far. I’m having a problem with the head.

head problem

I think I might have to pull back there and do actual decreases. That is an unacceptable amount of puckering to try to hide with hair.

I also decided that my mom needed a shawlette for her birthday, so I’m using the Summer Tweed leftovers that Juls gave me. (Yes, there is a theme to my yarn these days! Thanks again, Juls.

shawlette in progress

I think it’s turning out beautifully and it’s a very quick knit. I have about six more rows before I am on to the edging chart and then it’s blocking and it’s done! I started it on Friday. I feel like that’s miraculously fast.

Ah, the lure of the shiny new project. I am going to finish it and then buckle down on Aidez, I promise!

more bread, two WIPs and and FO

I am really getting into this bread thing. I made a  batch of the Oat Flour Bread dough, also from Artisan Bread, a few days ago. The recipe said to make it in loaf form but I wanted a round loaf. I'm not sure it turned that well. The crust was good but the crumb wasn't great.

I may not have cooked it long enough. I'm still getting the hang of this. Today I made the rest of it into two loaves (which were only 1 lb of dough each instead of 1.5, for some reason, so they are on the small side). I haven't cut them yet, but the look nice.

I also made a batch of the light whole wheat dough because I realized that I am blazing through the inherited white flour but haven't touched the whole wheat. I think after this one I will try the 100% whole wheat bread which has honey and milk in it and sounds yummy.

On the subject of knitting (and crochet), I finished a toy crocheted grocery bag for a friend of Stefan's. (We got her some wooden food for her birthday so I made the bag for her to carry it.)

I finished to top of the mermaid costume that I'm making for the little sister of the recipient of the previous mermaid costume. I finished the tail portion of the bottom but I think I've twisted the cast-on stitches for the rest of the skirt so I'm going to have to go back a bit. Boo.

mermaid topmermaid tail

Rill is still waiting for sleeves or for the body to be blocked, or both.

Last weekend Purlescence had a sale on Rowan Revive, which I have been wanting to try. It was 50% off! I could not resist. I have 12 balls of it, close to 1500 yds of DK weight yarn. I'm thinking about another cardigan. We'll see if I can finish this one first, or maybe one of the two cotton tops that I have knit that need ends weaving in!

And on a totally random subjsect: one of our silkworms made it through his/her lifecycle and the kids named him/her Silkie. Sorry the photo is blurry.

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a pile of WIPs

Those are all my current works in progress. If you click over to Flickr I have added notes to each item. Would you believe that I used to have a rule that I couldn't have more than three projects going at once? Yeah, I've broken that.

As far as my Tunisian crochet progress goes, I finally found a size J (and K actually) hook at Creative Hands. I bought both, just in case. I'm glad I did because I think I like the drape of the fabric better with the K. These ones were only $3.75 each so I'll keep them. I already returned the kit to Michael's that had the size I hook, the only afghan crochet hook in the store. I still have the size H circular crochet hook to return to JoAnn. Creative Hands had many sizes, though. I'm still not sure exactly what I'm making. A baby blanket is as far as I've gotten.

I also ordered some shine sport and worsted from Knit Picks to make Sheldon, two actually, as baby gifts. I am also making a sweater from Nature Babies.

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