Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Mitt, the sequel

One mitt down, one more to go. Not bad for a week's worth of knitting. At this rate, I will have warm hands AND warm ears by Valentines Day. Will the scarf be too far behind?

At first, I was mildly disappointed in the yarn. I thought cashmere blend would be softer. It seemed almost harsh in the ball.  But as the knitting progressed, the yarn seemed to soften. Not as squishy soft as my lace weight alpaca or mohair, but the mitt feels like a second layer of skin.  Further, the stitches have a crisp textured look. 

Today, it is all about the singularity. 

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Swathed in hand knits

As I entered Knittervention last night, I was swathed in non-matching knitwear: fingerless mitts, scarf, and ear warmer.     I took comfort with every stitch I added on the first installment of the Elegant Ensemble. 

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Weekend progress

In addition to the very large pile of laundry ( including my sweetie's pile of hunting gear that needs up be cleaned with the special soap that smells like dirt before being packed away until next fall) and other housework, I managed to make a bit of progress on the first installment on the Elegant Ensemble:  fingerless mitts. 

Even though there are two mitts (as I continue to have two hands) I thought these would be the quickest start. Definitely smaller than a scarf, and likely to be used longer through the months than a hat or even ear warmer. 

Today, it us all about the first in the series. 

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

The only one that wasn't bored

This morning, my usual court was running a bit late. I am used to the odd stares and intrigued looks when I knit, but I always want to point out: we are all waiting, and I am the only one not bored.

I took it to a new level today. I finished my swatch, so I started asking about needle size. I knit the swatch in four different size needles, and had it narrowed down to two, but really couldn't decide beyond that. After a couple muggle opinions, I remembered that there was a fellow knitter one floor up. Ironically, she cast her vote for the same size as the muggles. 

So, I started the first installment of the Elegant Ensemble: the fingerless mitts. 

Today, it is all about the unbored. 

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

The Elegant Ensemble

The yarn is here! The yarn is here!  Waiting for me when I got home from work today.  In the 45 minutes before it was time to leave for Cub Scouts, in addition to cooking dinner, corralling children, and eating dinner, I was able to gather everything I needed to start. 

Or at least swatch. Swatching really is the slow water torture or knitting. Before you start, please practice, because I am not sure if I can remember how to knit. Doing it for twenty years, but this may be the project where I forget. 

Today, it is all about the testing. 

Sunday, January 18, 2015

The Goldilocks Comparison

A few months ago, I frogged the Swirl Skirt, intending to re-start. It was way too big. It would have been mid-calf on me, which was far longer than I had pictured. 

I took a break, and tonight, I re-started. I am only two inches in, but I am already starting to worry that it is too small. I am too old and plump to want to knit a miniskirt. It is hard to judge length on the needles, so I am reserving judgment a little longer. The first inch put the skirt mid-thigh. The second inch has the length three inches above the knee. So we will see if the third inch drops the hemline another inch or two. 

I am starting to feel like Goldilocks in this skirt. "This one is too long. This one is too short."

Today, it is all about "just right" length.   

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Two shades of gray

I have spent more time than I will admit to anyone coasting around Ravelry drooling over yarn.  I had a few yarn ideas from the LYS and Knit Picks, but also thought I might find something nice through the stash buying on Ravelry. 

It didn't take long for a firm idea of what sort of yarn I was looking for:  crisp twist/plied, light to medium gray, quality/upscale fiber.

I browsed  yarns.  I pored over details about yarn, comments and descriptions.  I compared various pictures of the same colorway, to eliminate monitor/color issues. I took notes on fiber content, gauge, and general attributes.  I scoped on what other knitters had made from this yarn, judging their final products (taking into consideration the variation of patterns and user idiosyncrasy.) 

I mean, this time I have done my research!

And now I have it narrowed down to two sellers.  Same yarn, slightly different shades of gray, close in yardage, and close in price.  So which to buy. . ..

I am tempted to contact both sellers, and see who responds first. 

Today, it is all about the response time.   

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Double Header

I haven't been able to attend Knit Night in months.  It always falls on the same night as Bugaboo's Cub Scout Pack Meeting.  However, this month was the Pinewood Derby Race, so pack meeting details were handled there.  (Bugaboo received a very nice trophy for "Best Tiger", thank you for asking.  I don't know who was happier and more excited, my son or my husband.)  So imagine my glee when I saw Knit Night on my calendar, and realized that I could attend for once.  Knittervention fell on the same night, so I spent one hour at Knit Night, then proceeding to Knittervention.  A knitting group double header!  Three hours of knitting pleasure. 

I spent the first hour working on my Sequined Scarf.  Then I changed locations, ordered a pint of cider, and started Kitchnering.  Yesterday morning, I searched for my red handknit socks as a shield from the single-digit temperatures, only to remember that I had never finished the final seam.  Actually, I had two pairs of socks, finished except for the final seam. 

I took both pairs with me to the office, my head full of delusions that I would be able to Kitchner the seam and still wear the red socks that day.  I finished Kitchnering at 10pm.  Not much point then, but at least the socks will be ready the next time it is freezing cold and I wear the red shirt.  After I weave in the ends. 

As I got dressed this morning, I put on a purple shirt, and realized that the purple socks would have been perfect with it.  The purple socks that were still in the bag waiting to be Kitchnered.  The purple socks that maybe I should have done yesterday, instead of doing the red socks that I had no realistic way of finishing. 

Meanwhile, I have spent entirely too much time online today, researching yarn/patterns for the Elegant Ensemble.  I am trying to not get impatient, and do my homework. 

Today, it is all about the starting and finishing. 



Monday, January 12, 2015

Elegant ensemble

I wore my cozy new ear warmers to court  this morning. The good news is that my ears were toasty warm. (Though I will concede that it was not as frigid as last week.)

The bad news is that I don't feel like the ear warmers are as formal or matching for business wear. I just used the cute yarn that was already in my stash, but it doesn't match my full length purple wool work coat. 

It got me thinking: I need a elegant looking winter accessories ensemble. Something that would match my coat and each other, and would look formal enough to wear with a suit. 

I have been a knitter for over twenty years, so I am again wondering why I do not already have something like that, but I am focusing on the future. 

I spent some time online, browsing. I am picturing a gray ensemble: hat, ear warmer, scarf, maybe some fingerless mitts if I have enough yarn. Nice yarn, luxury yarn. 

I have finished two projects, so technically I am allowed to start something new, under the 2 for 1 vow. 

Today, it is all about the coordination. 

Friday, January 9, 2015

Just in time

One ear warmer, completed in only three days, ready to keep my head warm during this polar vortex. It is 3 degrees right now, and is forecasted to be -6 by the time I wake up in the morning. That is actual temperature, not wind chill. 

For once, I have finished a knitting project in time to use during the time in which it is needed. Yea!

Time to get back to my 2 for 1 vow, to finish the all too many projects in progress. 

But I really need to have a free more warm woollies during the darkest, most frozen days of winter. Lace shawls are lovely, but fine times, you really do need thick serviceable wool accessories to prevent hypothermia. Maybe a pretty little hat. 

Today, it is all about the timeliness.  

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Desperate measures

It is -5 outside right now, and that will not be the overnight low. I bundled in a full length wool coat, long skirt suit, wool scarf looped twice around my head and talk leather boots for the walk to the courthouse. Even still, I nearly froze my ears off.  
If I start an ear warmer tonight, can I have it finished by the morning?  

Perhaps, though I would have to forego sleep. This cold weather makes me want to snuggle under a warm quilt and sleep like a rock, so that isn't likely. (It also makes me hungry all the time, but that is a different point.)

Today, it is all about the race between the new ear warmer and the polar vortex. 

Monday, January 5, 2015

More wool, more wool!

As I was walking to the courthouse in single digit temperatures, not counting the wind chill factor, I found myself dreaming of wool accessories. Hats, scarves, mittens, anything that I could put between my skin and the wicked cold, biting wind.

I have been a knitter for twenty years, how do I not already have these items? I have lived in Indiana for twenty years, a state with only a chain link fence between it and the North Pole, and today, someone left the here open. How do I not already have warm woollies to protect myself string the cold, much less my darling small boys?

Some knitters can make adorable trendy accessories: purses, and teeny tiny fashionista scarves. I have a couple of those. Today I was reminded of the original purpose of knitting, from countries that don't have sunlight year round: to keep your loved ones from freezing to death, especially in weeks like this.  By the weekend, the temps are supposed to get up to the 20's, which compared to today will feel positively balmy. 

Meanwhile, I need to start planning some new projects, warm ones, in wool. I daresay Indiana will have another cold winter in the next few years. 

Today, it is all about bracing from the cold.  

Sunday, January 4, 2015

And then there were 18

Sea foam Stripes is finally finished. I don't remember how long I have been working on this shawl, but I do know it is counted in years. I also know that the shawl outlived its appeal before it was off the needles. 

I started this shawl before I knew how to knit lace. Before I knew the value of quality yarn. Before. 

So the new plan is to donate the shawl. Somewhere, someone will love the style, color and warmth. 

Today, it is all about the other someone out there.