Oh My Stars and Stripes

Note: It is really hard to start blogging again when you’ve been on a hiatus, but I’m going to try. I’ve been meaning to post more for weeks now, but I keep getting stuck on what to post about. So I finally decided to just dive back in and post about whatever. That means at least the first few posts back will probably be all over the place, but I’m just going to go with it in the interest of getting back into the swing of adding content without getting bogged down in the details. ETA: Sigh. And then I forgot to give it a title

Pic of me wearing a red white and blue American flag-style scarf
Mine is quite a bit smaller than the original, but that’s by design.

I realized the other day that I hadn’t actually finished anything in awhile. I don’t actually know how many projects I have in progress right now, but it’s a lot. Like, more than 10. Maybe more than 20. And that’s just the ones that I know where they are and occasionally pick them up and work on them. So, I knew I had this Protest is Patriotic shawl from Craftivist on the needles, and I decided to go ahead and finish it up for 4th of July because I only had a few rows left to go.

Except…I didn’t get it finished for the 4th, but that turned out to be okay because it was so stupid hot here that there’s no way I could have worn it, even though it is both tiny and cotton. I finished up the knitting a couple of days later, and then I left it on the couch to stare balefully at me until I wove the ends in. Which I finally did last night, and now I have an adorable shawlette, as seen above. Who doesn’t love a happy ending?!

Unicorny Goodness!

Lion Brand recently released a series of long-repeat cakes called Mandala, and it’s pretty gorgeous (full disclosure: I work for Lion Brand, but they didn’t ask me to write this). It’s 100% acrylic, which is not always usually my favorite, but this one doesn’t have that plasticky feel that acrylic can have, and has a nice bounce to it, similar to what you’d expect from a wool or wool blend. I picked up a couple of colors to try out (working next door to the warehouse has its benefits), and decided to use Unicorn to make a new version of my old Sangria Swirl, which I was never super happy with.

 

The original was way too long and not nearly as wide as I wanted. The color was gorgeous, but was stash yarn I’d long ago lost the labels for. So. I’m trying it again with the Mandala, which is quite a bit thinner (the original was more like a bulky/category 5, while Mandala is a nice DK/category 3). It’s working up beautifully, if I do say so myself.

I Don’t Even Know

Okay, so I should blog something good and interesting, but it’s just not going to happen tonight. I *did* have a very productive evening…my new rowing machine came in and I got it all put together AND THEN I rowed for 20 minutes.

Oh! I know what I can tell you about! This Saturday I’m going to be marching in the Morristown St. Patty’s Day Parade with my derby team. The weather forecast is for cold with a side of extra cold, so I’m making myself a nice headband to wear (I already made a lovely ginormous woolly scarf, but no pics of that yet). Gotta go finish it up so my ears will be nice and toasty!

 

Make’n’Tell p2 Day 1&2:

image

Super seekrit knitting project. I’m using Lion Brand’s new Shawl in a Ball yarn, and am really enjoying working with it. It’s a bit tough to rip out, though. I mean, not that I make mistakes. Not me. Nooooope.

Also, Red My Lips 2016 has kicked off.

image

On the one hand I kind of feel like I’m cheating because my default color these days is red (Stella from Elixery). But then I thought about it and decided that since I pretty actively support and espouse the ideals of Red My Lips even when it’s not April, it’s all good. #supportsurvivors #ibelieveyou #ok2share

Make’n’Tell Day 15: New and Renew

Another twofer today, since I missed a couple. I’ve been really overwhelmed since last week and I’ve been doing a lot but not making a lot.

Tonight I attacked my mending pile and got everything done except one shirt that it’ll be easier to run through the machine.

image

Not only that, but I designed and swatched a sweater! It’s actually been on my to-do list for awhile now, but it got bumped to the top due to a seekrit (for now) thing at work. I’m super excited about it, and will do a longer post about it in the future. For now, here’s a little sneak peek:

image

Make’n’Tell Day 10: Pedi on My Piddies

Spring has begun sprunging here in the Northeast, so I’m back to flipflops for the duration. Which means I need more than basic red on my toes. It’s been awhile since I did a fun design, so hey, there it is. It’s really subtle, which I’m not sure if I’m pleased with or not. But I’m not changing it now!

img_20160311_081725201.jpg

ALSO, I re-did the two rows I ripped yesterday plus a few more, and have now completed the first mosaic section. YAY ME! (I’m actually writing this before it’s done. Let’s see if I’m prescient or just indulging in some wishful thinking.)

And in other, non-makey news, I have a big hole in my mouth (no, you don’t get a picture of it). This one tooth has been a problem for YEARS. I’ve gone from fillings to root canal to post & core with crown…and the other day the crown popped off and I swallowed it. Ulp. To make matters worse, my beloved dentist (who did all the recent work on the tooth) hurt his back a few months ago and hasn’t returned to dentistry. So I went to his associate, who tells me the reason the crown fell out is because the tooth broke, and now there’s not enough tooth to mount a crown on. My options are: gaping hole, bridge, implant. Oh, and by the way, the remainder of the tooth needs to come out and it’ll have to be a surgical extraction because the root has fused to the jawbone. GOOD TIMES. Good, very expensive times.

Now, my aforementioned beloved dentist would totally cut me a deal on the implant (or bridge, but I’ll probably eventually go implant b/c it’s lower maintenance and only a couple hundred bucks difference which at that point isn’t worth quibbling over), because he’s awesome like that and even though it’s not his fault he always took responsibility for when his dentistry didn’t stand the test of time (seriously, though, it’s not him — it’s this tooth). But the new guy has no reason to do that, which I totally understand — it’s just irksome because I’d be going to my guy if he was available.

On the plus side, though, it’s not at all painful, so it could definitely be worse. I mean, it’s going to be painful when I have the extraction, so I have that to looks forward to, but at least it’s not an emergency type situation. Small favors and all that.

Make’n’Tell Day 9: The Little Things

image

No post for yesterday. I swallowed a crown and, well, dealing with that took up most of my free time.

Today I just did a couple of rows on my shawl and a rough re-work of part of the tattoo I’m getting started Saturday. You can see a bit of the full rough under the tracing paper — the tat is going to be quite a bit different from my sketch, but I’d planned for that going in so that’s fine. I met with the artist last week, and I’m really excited to see how he reworks my ideas. We’re doing the line work Saturday, then we’ll fill in the color in a few weeks (I have to make sure I schedule for when I’m going to have a couple weeks off derby — don’t want to risk falling on it fresh!).

On the shawl, I screwed up the last two rows I did. It’s in the mosaic section, which really doesn’t read strongly with the yarns I chose, so I’m not sure it’s worth it to rip back. OTOH, if it does end up being more obvious, like maybe in the light where the solid is more gray than pink, it will always annoy the hell out of me. Sigh. Time to do some un-making.

Make’n’Tell Day 7: Too Tired to be Clever

image

But I did get some knitting done. This is Emiliana by maliha designs. I’ve been working on it for awhile now, and I’m about halfway through. The slip stitch pattern is really simple but fun. Unfortunately, I think a lot of the mosaic pattern is getting lost because of the variegated yarn I’m using but we’ll see how it turns out. The best part is, I’m using two yarns from my stash! The variegated is Socks that Rock mediumweight in Tanzanite, and the “pink” is actually a color changing yarn that looks grey in some light. I got it at Rhinebeck a few years ago, and of course I can’t manage to put my hands on the label right now. Will update when I find it.

MnT Day 2: Midnight Run

image

You may notice that the time stamp on this post is a bit after midnight, so technically no longer “day 2” as such. But I haven’t retired for the evening yet, so I’m going to say it still counts. Edit: And then the damn thing didn’t post! But it was done and photo’ed and written. Thwarted by technology still counts.

That hot mess up there is a silk chiffon cowl. (I’ll update tomorrow with a pic of me wearing it — it’s actually really pretty. Updated!)

Cowl, worn by me
Please to enjoy my morning face. Also please note, because I feel this shows significant personal growth, there was a much better picture of me but the cowl didn’t look so great in that one.

This yarn (LB Collection Silk Chiffon) comes in one of a kind skeins, and I think this is my favorite so far (I’ve made 3. Or maybe 4.). It works up really quickly on size 50 needles, with a drop stitch row every 4th row. Also, it’s a good thing it works up quickly, because size 50 needles just suck. But! I’m happy it’s done, and I’m probably going to make more, too. They’re just so pretty!

Je suis Paris (et al)

IMG_20151116_105015559Let’s get this out of the way first: I am sad also for those who died in Beirut, and in other terror attacks around the world. It is all senseless and terrifying. But the news from Paris touched me in a particular way, because what happened there reminded me so much of what happened on 9/11. Not just the attacks, but the aftermath and reactions of the others in and around the city. Although I have never been to Paris, it is familiar to me through books and movies, through friends’ recollections and shared stories. I can imagine vividly what the survivors are going through.

I first heard about the attacks when I got home from practice Friday night. I iced my knees and went to bed as usual, but when I woke up Saturday it really hit me. My mind was in a turmoil and I needed to do something, but I didn’t know what. I wandered out to my studio and caught site of a skein of red, white, and blue wool that had been sitting on the corner of a shelf for months, waiting to become something. I’d originally thought it would be something for Memorial Day or Veteran’s Day, but it didn’t. When it caught my eye Saturday, I knew this is what it had been waiting for.

This cowl is easy and repetitive, and it truly doesn’t matter a whole lot if you forget one of the plain knit rows or add an extra one — no one but you will ever notice. So it’s a good project to work on when you want to sit and contemplate what is going on in the world, or send good vibes out, or you just need something to do with your hands so that they’ll stop shaking from being so angry and sad all at once that this keeps happening.

Freedom Cowl

Materials:
  • Size 17 needles.
  • App. 80yds super bulky thick-thin yarn
Special Stitch:

k1w: Insert needle into stitch to be worked, wrap yarn around needle twice, pull through as normal to complete the knit st. On next row, work into only one of the wraps, dropping the other wrap as you work the stitch.

Pattern:

Cast on 13.

Row 1: k1, work 11sts k1w, k1

Row 2-4: knit

Rep rows 1-4 until desired length, ending on row 3.

BO and join short ends.