I’m over here. You know, in case you want to visit.
Now to be found at yarnandsass.com.
I’m over here. You know, in case you want to visit.
So, remember the Allowable Knitting Basket? It was a great idea I had last year to keep myself motivated to clear out old stuff before starting new stuff.
Also, remember the Drawers with Plans? Another great idea I had to separate any yarn that was attached to a specific, desired, possibly Ravelry-queued and, ideally, from a pattern I already owned project from the leftovers and stuff I didn’t have a clue what to do with.
Both ideas worked pretty well at first. And it’s not that I’ve given up on them or anything. But remember my bookshelf do-over? See how nicely the AKB fits on the second shelf down and how it’s not at all clear that there’s a ton of half-knitted stuff in there?
Also, see those drawers? Those are not the Drawers with Plans, they’re the other ones. And this is the view from my couch.
So, you see, my problem is twofold. One, the unfinished items in the AKB are not right out there for me to see every day anymore. They’re neatly tucked away in out-of-sight-out-of-mind territory. Two, the drawers full of yarn I have projects in mind for are not in my line of sight when I’m on the couch wondering what to knit next. So, lately there’s a lot of knitting things from whatever yarn I happen to grab out of the no-plans drawers is my point. Lots of quick projects that are doing away with some neglected single skeins, which in the end isn’t such a bad thing.
Out of the no-plans drawers has come the scarf I showed you recently. That took care of a skein of Berroco Peruvia Quick, which it turns out would never have worked for the Winding Path I bought it for. The scarf also cleared out most of my first real skein of handspun. Then I figured I didn’t have enough matching sets of winter accessories (by which I mean I have exactly one matching set of winter accessories), so some more of the handspun and a skein of worsted weight KP Bare went into a matching hat.
As the handspun is still hanging in there, I have moved on to mittens.
Hat Pattern: 2*2 rib over 84 sts until I didn’t feel like it anymore, then stockinette until it was a few inches past the crown of my head, then some rapid decreases to give it a bit of flop.
Yarn: KP Bare Peruvian Highland Wool Worsted Weight, about 2/3 of a skein, maybe? And handspun Mad Color Fiber Arts Superwash BFL Top, just a squeensie bit.
Needles: 4 mm/US 6 for the ribbing, 5 mm/US 8 for the stockinette
Started: November 5, 2012
Finished: November 7, 2012
Worked on: In line to vote! It was way busier than I expected and I got at least an inch done.
Scarf Details: Here.
Election day was fairly chilly in my neck of the woods, so it was good that I’d recently finished yet another unplanned-for project.
I had a nice, warm head that morning, thanks to my slouchy pointy-ears hat. And I got a sticker!
Pattern: None. I just sort of cast on and went for it. A few garter ridges, a few increase rounds, knit for as long as I felt like it, and then a 3-needle bind off.
Yarn: Mystery yarn that I got second-hand last year. I think it’s wool, but I haven’t done any experiments to confirm that. Certainly is warm and a bit scratchy.
Needles: I don’t honestly remember now. 5.5 mm?
Started: Late October
Finished: November 4, 2012
This also looks dead sexy with the ears squunched down in the back, FYI, and that is usually how I wear it. I will admit the sticky-uppy look adds a certain something, though.
So, OK, I’m not working through my yarn-pattern backlog quite like I would wish these days. But winter’s coming, so new hats can’t be a bad thing. And I really do need some matching items in the accessory pile, so all this unplanned knitting will achieve a goal. The pointy-ears hat will coordinate nicely with another scarf I have in progress, I think, and I’m hoping there’s enough left of both yarns for some gloves to complete the set. There’s just some really cool stuff in the Drawers with Plans, though, you guys. One of these days, I need to get my ass into those drawers.
Here’s a project from the deep past, some early-days knitting that’s been hanging around for, oh, maybe 4 years or so. Aside from an “I just finished it take my picture now!” modelling session, it had not been worn. Even though I looked damn good in it.
Looking at this now, I think the reason I never wore it was that the color was too natural looking. I thought it would be fun to make this out of a color that hair actually comes in, but now I think if it had been neon green or something I probably would have wanted to wear it more. Maybe I’ll make another one in a different color.
Anyway, we had company last weekend and a series of events let to me pulling out the wig hat. It got quite an enthusiastic response, more enthusiasm than I had for it, in fact. So, it was clear that it had found a good home (and it finally got its ends woven in!).
Pattern: Hallowig by Megan Reardon
Yarn: Vanna’s Choice in…Rust, maybe?…119 yds
Needles: Who remembers at this point? Probably what was called for in the pattern, since I didn’t know too much about my personal gauge tendencies back then and so would not have fiddled around too much.
Started: A long time ago.
Finished: Not long after that.
Mods: Don’t think so.
One blue sock is almost (re)done! I just need to finish the toe tonight, then decide if I cast on the second one of these or the second Kristi.
After finishing Apocalypta I went into Want All the Sweaters mode. I’ve made some good progress on the body of Plain n Simple. I think I’m maybe 2/3 through but it’s tough to measure all squished up on the needles. I’m really hoping to wear this before next spring.
I started a hat in some mystery yarn. I’m aiming for slouchy but I was too lazy to look up a pattern when I started this, so we’ll see how it goes.
Finally, a scarf. My first completed project with my own handspun. I think it needs an applied cord edge but I’m not sure I have a suitable yarn, so we’ll see about that.
Pattern: 1*1 rib over 20 sts
Yarn: Berroco Peruvia Quick in color 9100/Blanco, all but about a yard of one skein, and handspun Mad Color Fiber Arts Superwash BFL Top, about 60 out of 75 grams. Not sure about the yardage or weight on the handspun. At first it was just about even with the Peruvia but after the first few stripe repeats it thinned out quite a bit. I might block this out a little to play up the difference between the dense white stripes and the lacier-looking teal stripes. But, then, I also might block it out longer and skinnier as right now it only goes around my neck once. Life is a serious of heart-rending decisions.
Needles: 6.5 mm/US 10.5
Started: October 20, 2012
Finished: October 21, 2012
Last weekend we rearranged some bookshelves to try to get the apartment into a configuration that makes more sense. We have book storage needs in just about every room and, while in theory we have enough shelf space for all our books, we haven’t always managed to get everything in a place that allows us to take advantage of that. I did a similar rearrangement last year with tables and I’ve been most pleased with the results; bookshelves were the next part of the plan. I didn’t see how we could do it without buying something new, but Dan came up with the perfect solution:
So, that was last Sunday. I was mostly happy with how everything looked when we set it all up but I wasn’t totally sure about the new-to-the-living room shelf. It’s one of those $25 Wal-Mart deals with the segmented cardboard backing. I’ve owned a lot of these in my time. This one was a holdover from an old life where if I got bored with a thing I painted it. The cardboard back had a still-life on it. A copy from someone famous, can’t remember who, not badly done considering, but just not doin’ it for me anymore. I haven’t been thrilled with it while it’s been in the spare room, but it was easy to ignore in there. After having been face to face with it for the last week, though, by yesterday I was certain it would no longer suffice. Something had to be done. Something involving lots of steps and the iron and the glue gun and one of those segmented razor blade clicky knife thingies. A project. A proper project, one that could be counted in episodes of Farscape, which is my preferred measurement of time.
I decided to cover the back in fabric. Dan was pulled in to assist. The supplies were gathered. The Wii remote was kept close at hand. And it began.
First we made the living room look like this:
(And one of us narrowly avoided some broken toes; if you’re tipping one of these contraptions forward, folks, please remember that 3 of the shelves slide right out without you even having to ask.)
Then I pulled out all 11 million tacks that were holding the back on. Most of them were happy enough to come out of the particle board but damn stubborn about coming out of the cardboard. For what reason, I have no idea; particle board is stronger than cardboard, yes?
I took my fabric (one of the few pieces I hung onto when I got rid of all my sewing supplies a few years ago; I knew I might want it for something some day and plus it’s purple), laid the backing on top, and cut the fabric closer to size, giving myself a pretty generous allowance.
I ironed the fabric as well as I could, then me and a bottle of Elmer’s had us a time.
While I wasn’t worrying too much about the private side of things here, I’m still pretty impressed with how neat I kept the edges.
Since this shelf is so much bigger than the one we had here before, I wanted to plan for it to hold more than the old one. It would need to hold the stereo, which we already knew it did perfectly from previous apartments with fewer bookshelf options, and it would need to hold all my yoga and knitting books. I also wanted it to hold yoga and knitting accessories. Finally, I had a sneaking suspicion that the very top would be a nice place to store Dan’s laminated Heroclix maps if only I could manage a way to keep them from rolling off.
Well, when pulling it apart we had rediscovered that this particular shelf had 2 cardboard backings on it because between the 2 of us Dan and I moved 9 times in the 2.5 or so years before we moved in together and that leads to a lot of excess and duplication. The standard-issue backing was the one getting upholstered, which left the still-life for hacking away at. And the factory-scored fold lines made what I had in mind so, so easy.
I cut a section of the spare backing down to a rectangle 4 inches deep on either side of the fold line and just wide enough to sit across the top of the shelf. I covered this in fabric just as I had the backing, then cut some right triangles out of the rest of the backing for support.
I folded the long piece to a 90° angle, Elmer’sed the triangles into place, tied some kitchen cotton around the whole thing to keep it sturdy, then reinforced the hell outta my triangles with the glue gun. (FYI, I set it to the “super hot and constantly dripping molten glue on everything nearby dear god help us aaaaaaaggggghhhhh” setting because I’m fearless like that. Also because apparently I like going around the house all afternoon picking dried glue stalagmites off of everything and certainly ruining whatever article of clothing I decide to iron next.)
Then Dan was called in again to display his exceptional reaching skills and he secured the little fence I’d made to the top of the shelf. Moving so quickly I barely managed to capture it, I might add.
He weighted down the fencey bit, set up the stereo, and then it was time for a little break. We’d made some progress but there was still a long way to go as far as living room tidiness was concerned.
I managed to get most of that taken care of last night, but I had to make 1 more push (and watch 1 more episode of Farscape - the finale, in fact) this morning before I could really call the whole thing done.
(As you may notice, by this time I had moved on to The Commander and, if you haven’t seen it, let me take this opportunity to say, “SKIIIIIIIIIIP IIIIIIIIIIIIT.” For serious. Maybe if they fit the same amount of plot into 2/3 the amount of time and/or if any of the actors had any chemistry whatsoever among any combination of them it would be worth a watch.)
And there you have it: 3 pieces of furniture ready to fulfill their purposes more fully than before, $0 spent, 6 episodes of Farscape and 1 exceptionally tidy living room.
Next stop: the spare room. ‘Cause you don’t even wanna see what still needs to be done in there.
I swatched. I got gauge. I read the pattern a few times before I started. I understood the concept. I checked and rechecked all the measurements as I knit. Eventually I had the body of Apocalypta all complete and just the way the pattern said it should be. There was just one thing I didn’t count on.
The way the pattern said it should be had very little relationship to how my upper body actually is.
Now, I don’t understand the rules of a set-in sleeve, having never made a seamed sweater before, so I had no idea how to fix this. I knew two things: that the length from the bottom edge to the point where the armhole shaping started was just about right for me, so if I ripped out the whole top piece I’d be ready to approach the shoulders again, and that I owned a copy of Elizabeth Zimmermann’s Knitting Workshop. Thus was the seamless set-in sleeve Apocalypta born.
And it was good.
Aside from the sleeves, not much else needed to change. The only other mod I made was to accommodate my waist. I cast on for the 36″ size, worked waist shaping down to the 38″ numbers, then increased back to the 36″ bust. (I am not so hourglassy as all that.)
If I were to knit this again, I would add probably 2″ to the body as well, but because of the sleeve mods it was tough to accurately judge the length until I had the whole thing done. I’m happy enough with the length.
I’m pretty happy with the details, too.
Basically, just everything about this sweater makes me happy, happy, happy.
Pattern: None in particular. Top down with short-row heel.
Yarn: Knit Picks Chroma in Prism, about 67 grams.
Needles: 2mm/US 0 dpns
Started: August 29, 2012
Finished: September 10, 2012
A note about the heel: Short rows were not wrapped and turned but just plain turned according to directions here (link found via The Knit Cycle, a lovely blog about yarn and bikes to which I am quite grateful for introducing me to this concept; my short-row heels don’t have a sloppy side anymore!).
A note about yarn usage: I had plenty of yarn left and could have done taller socks if I’d done it the proper way and worked toe-up to eke out every last inch. Lately I feel like life is too short for toe-up socks. I can slog through a long leg if I know once I reach the heel there is nothing but excitement for the rest of the knitting – the flap! the turn! the gusset! the toe! or at least 2 of those things depending on the type of heel! – but getting past all the fun stuff and facing the loooooooong leg is likely to lead to ankle socks in my experience.
A note about the rainbows: You guys, I’m not typically into rainbow colored stuff. Or bright stuff. Or, like, I own a lot of black and gray and denim blue, OK? But these socks are best. I got the yarn in a trade and it was so not a difficult trade offer to accept. And now I get to put the yarn in my blanket so my blanket will be best. And I am super excited about these rainbows is what I am saying.
Also? They match my new (oh, yes, that’s a) LeCreuset grill pan (that I got at 40% off for serious)!
(P.S. I am having a yard sale here because I don’t really have a yard. Maybe you need some stuff? I have some stuff. Check it out if you like stuff.)
Because who wants to set up a table and put price stickers on things and stand outside getting fresh air all day? Not I! Go check it out: http://bigmonkeypie.wordpress.com/internet-yard-sale/
I’ve got some knitting supplies, some yarn, some yoga stuff, even some jewelry in need of a good home. Some old things need to be cleared out to make way (and cash) for some new things.
Last week was a total holy shit week. 1 box of large tomatoes, 1 box of cherry tomatoes, 1 box of potatoes, 4 squash, 2 cucumbers, 6-ish tomatillos, 4 hot peppers, 4 sweet peppers, 4 onions, 1 watermelon, 2 eggplant, 1 dozen eggs.
This week was pretty decent as well. 4 onions, 1 box of potatoes, 1 box of cherry tomatoes, 2 bell peppers, 1 head of garlic, 1 bunch of scallions, 4 squash, 3 cucumbers, 1 dozen eggs, 1 goddamn bush of edamame which will go to a friend to save me from soy-induced migraines.
The last few weeks have been much the same eating-wise. Lots of pizza. Zucchini fritters and breakfast for dinner at every opportunity. The last of the cucumbers and cantaloupe that were still hanging out last week became some awfully delicious infused vodkas. I’m tempted to do the same with the remainder of last week’s watermelon. Half the tomatillos and hot peppers went into curry and the other half into chilli.
It might be because we’ve been at this for so long now (we’re more than two-thirds of the way through the season) or it might be because we’ve settled into lots of the sort of stuff I gravitate towards when I’m choosing my own produce, but lately I’m doing less coming up with fun new stuff to eat and more of making my stand-bys. We’re getting less stuff that has to be refrigerated, too, so it’s been easy to skip the photo step since I don’t need to sort everything out on the counter first. But I’m still in love with all my wonderful food and still think Thursday is the most exciting day of the week.
Hey, you know what’s not Kristi or the blue sock do-over?
Yes, so I am on vacation and have decided to just cast on all the new things that I want because life is too short to sit around trying to finish things just because you’ve started them. Seriously, that is no kind of way to live your life at all.
The proper way to live your life is rainbow socks. RAINBOW SOCKS!