Yarn Along:: Cracking the Wip

For this week’s Yarn Along:  I’m still reading and enjoying Coop, and I’m nearly finished with that secret knitting project I mentioned last week. Boring stuff, really. So let me tell you about what I’ve been watching and knitting: Downton Abbey and my Socktoberfest mystery socks.


I’ve pulled these socks out a couple of times this year, determined to finish them before I cast on a new pair. Trouble is, I’m not in love with the pattern anymore; it was very exciting back in October when the pattern was a mystery and I was knitting along with other people.  But then they got set aside for months, and I grew less interested. I powered through the foot of the first sock while away in February, only to discover that I didn’t really care for the finished sock. So rather than finish off the pair then and there, I put them away where they’ve consistently been passed over for new and exciting projects.

Then the other afternoon during PB’s nap time, I was sitting in the office and decided it was finally time to see what all the fuss was about over Downton Abbey. I loved Gosford Park, and always enjoy a good Jane Austen film adaptation (especially by the BBC), so it was a good guess I’d like this too. After sitting through the opening credits, hands idle in my lap, it was obvious some knitting was needed. I could swivel around in my office chair and grab something from my wip bin or get up and walk into the living room for a different project.

Sheer laziness drove me to pick up these socks again, and I will finish this them. The motivation this time is that a) they’ve been on the needles long enough and b) I have 2 installments of the Cookie A. sock club sitting around staring at me, and I’d like to cast one on already.  Keeping these socks on my desk seems to be working, as I’m already to the toe decreases!

And yes, I am really enjoying the series. It’s full of drama, fast-paced dialogue, unexpected tenderness, some romance and intrigue, and all the tension you’d expect from an upstairs-downstairs saga.  I’ve already managed to watch the first 3 episodes since Sunday!

What are you watching this week as you knit?

Foot in Hand

Hey, I thought this was a knitting blog!

Oh yeah, I have a knitting blog because I love to knit… And, my fellow knitters, I promise that there has indeed been some knittin’ going on.  It’s just been a bit slow and intermittent, with no FO’s to share.  Over the past 2 weeks it’s been a little knitting while visiting with family, some more while driving to our new place, and lots of little stints of it while watching PB entertain herself.  (sidenote: 8 months is an awesome age!)

I am progressing down the foot of a second sock, knitting at a near frantic pace since I decided I wanted to knit myself a new hat to wear to the Oregon Flock & Fiber Festival on Saturday.  And for some reason, I feel I need to finish the socks before I can start.  Could be I’m having a brief turn as a monogamous knitter, or that I am using the painful yet pleasant promise of a new project as motivation to get through the last of these socks.  Either way,  a little something I picked up at my new LYS, Fiber Nooks & Crannys, waiting for me.

Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Aran

Wish me speedy fingers and plentiful knitting time!

Good Cheer

It’s been a busy and challenging few days around here.  It looks and feels like a tornado blew through our house: boxes, boxes, everywhere!  And the change that has blown through is tremendous.  My mind feels nearly as cluttered with debris as the house as I sort through feelings of excitement, anxiety, enthusiasm and uncertainty.  So to combat the stress and ennui of moving, I decided to cast on something unabashedly cheerful.  Socks for Sweetie:

Crazy Zauberball, A Nice Ribbed Sock

In looking at my Ravelry projects page recently, I noticed that I have knit 4 pairs of socks this year.  The balance is clearly off as I knit 3 of those pairs for myself and just one for Sweetie.  She picked this yarn out on a recent trip to Seed Stitch in Salem, MA.  Incidentally, I have been dying to knit up my own CZ socks since the fall when I bought this:

Similar color scheme, but mine should have more of a rainbow hue to it, whereas Sweetie’s socks seem to have an orange hue throughout the skein.  So far, anyway.  Who knows what surprises lurk inside that charming ball of yarn!

Summer’s Last Knit

So far this week I’ve been able to stay on task and have been making a little progress on one of my wips.  I started Petrie at the beginning of June, thinking it would be a speedy and straightforward summer knit.  There was this whole daydream where I wore my stylish knit top to places like the farmer’s market, beach, and backyard bbq’s.  So far the only place this top has been is my house, the pool, and this week the movie theater.  All while still on the needles.

This top is entirely stockinette stitch, so I decided to knit it in the round to make it as quick to knit as possible.  The trouble with stockinette in the round, as you may well know is this: it is Boring.  Some days it’s soothing, or perfect for keeping hands busy while attentions are focused elsewhere.  But it is overwhelmingly boring, which explains why I have strayed from this project so often.

I spotted the first blushes of fall on a neighbor’s maple tree yesterday.

It’s time to finish my summer knitting so I can squarely face some luscious fall knits.

And then there’s this tempting me as well, a little going away gift from my good friend Striped Socks:

I’m in serious trouble!

Wandering Eye

I tried to be faithful, I really did.

After finishing my Lenore socks, I decided I needed to face my wips.  I only had 3, and I thought surely they would keep me entertained until after The Move.  I thought forcing myself to knit on these already started projects would do me some good and clear the decks for some inspired fall knitting.

It lasted 2 days.

I tried to focus on my Hamamelis shawl, I really did!  But the charts and lace don’t make for good relaxing in front of a movie knitting for me, and that’s really all I have room for right now.  The good news is, I did make some progress on it before going on a cast-on spree.  Another of my wips wasn’t so lucky…

Riiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiip!

I have been vacillating over what to do with my long-languishing Hemlock Ring blanket for months.  I was pretty sure it wasn’t going to get finished, yet something wouldn’t allow me to rip out all that lovely knitting.  Then one day I was casually browsing projects on Ravelry when Sweetie noticed what I was looking at.  Those are cool, she said, looking at some colorwork mittens.  Knowing she likes owls, I said: I bet there’s something similar with owls on them.  A few clicks later we had decided on a pair of cabled owl mittens, and a matching owlet sweater for Peaceful Baby.  Suddenly I knew what all that Malabrigo would be good for, and it was very easy to rip out!

I also cast on a little something for PB to protect her tender knees during all the crawling she’s been doing.  This project is knitting up super fast, and I should be finished after the weekend. Have a good one!

Early Bird Gets the Mojo

The Early Bird paid a visit to our house this morning, and as a result we had homemade zucchini bread in our bellies by 8:30 am.  I’ve been wanting to bake up a batch of this kind of goodness since Saturday when we visited a friend’s farm stand.  Because of all the rain we’ve had this summer, many of her veggies didn’t exactly thrive.  The squash, and specifically the zucchini, have loved this weather.

Here is where I would put a photo of the mammoth vegetable we purchased, but I forgot.  It was at least 2 feet long and weighed about 2 pounds.

So up early with my Betty Crocker cookbook, I made this simple and delicious quick bread.  The recipe makes 2 loaves, so I wrapped one up and threw it in the freezer for later.  Of course, Sweetie and I demolished half of the other loaf for breakfast…

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On to knitting news, I have two works in progress to show you.  I also noticed, as I was updating my Ravelry projects, that I have a few older and abandoned works in progress.  These are hibernating for now, and I have no plans to get to them any time soon.  This is very out of character for me, as I usually can only stand to have 2 things on the needles at a time.  Onward and upward is my current motto!

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This is my second Ishbel shawl in Malabrigo sock yarn, color Abril.  I have finished the stockinette center and am currently waiting for inspiration to strike before I get started on the lace charts.  It’s been about a week and a half since I’ve knit on it.

Instead, I got excited to start a a baby cardigan.  This is the Little Coffee Bean Cardi in a hand-painted yarn from Purlsoup Fibers.  I am really enjoying the pattern and the yarn together.  The yarn is more lavender than I had realized before I started knitting with it, but I love all the bright flecks of colors that pop up.  All I have left is a sleeve and the button bands.

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So that’s where my knitting is at today.  I am also making plans to start a cardigan for myself as well as more baby knits.  I don’t want to jinx things, but I think my knitting mojo may be creeping back!  Shhh…we don’t want to scare it away….

Mojo in Check

My knitting mojo has been nonexistent for approximately 2 weeks now.  It’s a strange feeling to lose something that has been such a part of my daily life.  I would watch tv without doing anything with my hands.  Or ride in the car and just look out the window.  Strange!  I really got a reminder of what my life was like before I was a knitter.

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Hemlock Ring blanket, stalled

I had been trying to force myself to work on this blanket, but my heart just wasn’t in it.  And I didn’t feel like starting any  new projects, so no knitting was happening at all.

This break did give me a chance to work on some other projects.  My little sewing machine has been humming as I work on alterations, hemming, refashion projects, and my first quilt.  All good fun, but not knitting.

Fortunately, just when things were beginning to feel irreparably bleak, I was rescued.  Knitting night with the Stitch ‘n Bitch gals (and one guy last night, hooray!) helped give me the kick in the wool that I needed.  That and the miracle of coincidence…

I was flipping through Knitting Socks with Handpainted Yarn before heading out last night, and I was struck by a certain pattern.  I wanted something simple, and Spot Check seemed to fit the bill.  It’s essentially a stockinette sock knit in two colors, one a solid and the other a wilder multi.  And as I looked closer at the photo of the pattern, I realized that I had the yarn called for in my stash.  Not just the yarn, but the exact 2 colorways pictured!  It was clear that I had to knit these socks.

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Spot Check in Shibui Knits Peacock and Spectrum

I got off to a good start last night, and have even knit a couple rows on them today.  I’m not going to be so bold as to say that my knitting mojo is officially back, but I will say that I feel like knitting a little bit.  Which is a great improvement!

Hope you have a great weekend, knitting or otherwise!

Must Keep Knitting…

Warning: Once you start knitting Ishbel, you may find it impossible to stop.

Other activities such as sleeping, eating, or self grooming may tempt you into putting down the needles, but you will not be able to be gone long.  Ishbel will lure you back with her sexy yarn overs and fast paced lace charts.

I cast on Sunday afternoon, and by Tuesday had finished the first lace repeat.  I took Wednesday off from compulsively knitting, and am now working on the last chart.  It could be done this weekend…

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May you be blessed with the same excitement over one of your projects this weekend!

Weekend Knitting Progress

It was a good weekend for starting and making good progress on new projects.  I love the feeling of excitement when I get interested in a new pattern.  I start dreaming about knitting it, stalking finished objects on Ravelry, imagining what yarns I could make it in…

Sometimes this process is satisfying enough that I already feel like I have knit the pattern.  More often than not, however, it only creates a need to knit it immediately, no matter what else I already have on the needles.

Such was the case for the past week with Ishbel, the lovely new shawl from Ysolda Teague.  I love much of her work, but have never actually knit one of her designs.  Yesterday, after days of dreaming and planning, I finally purchased the pattern (okay, I got the ebook and the hard copy…Easter present?).  I immediately wound up a skein of Madelinetosh sock yarn in Lettuce Leaf, a bright acidic green perfect for spring knitting.

I thought I could wait to cast on, but decided about to do so about 1/2 an hour before going to my Sunday afternoon knitting group.  And after a few hours of knitting, I have finished the stockinette section:

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Ishbel is my first shawl, so it’s fun to watch it grow from a tiny 3-stitch cast on to something resembling a shawl.  Now I’m gathering my wits to get started with the charted lace pattern.  I’m not exactly a novice in this department, but still green enough to have some reservations.  Thank goodness for the help of those who have gone before me!

On Saturday (pre-Ishbel frenzy) I sat down with my Hemlock Ring blanket.  I started this a week or two ago, but didn’t get very far.  It requires a bit of focus, and I just wasn’t in that sort of mood.  I knit a stockinette sock instead, much more my speed at the time.  But on Saturday the mood struck, and I made a few inches of progress.  It’s so fun!

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This should be an interesting project to watch change and grow. I have 4 balls of Malabrigo yarn to devote to it, and will cast off when I’m about out of yarn.  It’s only once the whole thing is off the needles that I will know exactly how big it has gotten.

So, that’s what I’ve got on the needles at this moment.  Something about the sunshine, blooming flowers, and feeling like a fresh start has me wanting to cast on about 87,000 new projects!

On The Road Again

Tomorrow Sweetie and I are heading out on a grand 2-week adventure that will take us to such luxurious locales as Ohio, Kentucky, and California.  Okay, so one of them is outwardly more exciting than the others, but we are sure to find fun wherever we go.  I am particularly excited to sample wine, feel the sun on my face, reconnect with old friends, and see if there are any good yarn shops in Ohio.

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Our trip will be one part road trip and one part air travel, so I will have more than enough time to knit in transit.  Since I currently have 5 projects on the go, I have decided to pack several and take them on the road with me.

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The larger project, my sweater, will be for road trip knitting, while the smaller ones (2 socks and a lace scarf) will be perfect for airplane knitting.  I’m hoping to finish off both socks and make good progress on the sleeves of my sweater.  Anything else will be a bonus (I’m looking at you, Lace Ribbon Scarf).

If time allows, I may do some on the road blogging, so check in from time to time.  See you in 2 weeks~happy knitting!