200….

3 patterns out of my Ravelry queue

I don’t know what your number is but I delude myself into thinking that if my Raverly queue is below 200 that I have sold control and am managing the patterns I want to knit reasonably well. Last September when I was at the Glamping with Plucky event several of my friends had a conversation about how big everyone’s rarely queue  cold be and how we manage our wants and needs. I purposely put a lot of the patterns I want to knit in to the “favorites” to keep my “queue” number about 200. I have friends in the 15 range, 400, 2000, and 4000+ so it was clear to me that everyone has a different take on queue management.

With my Mad Hatter March challenge I am so close to hitting or getting below 200. It has me pretty excited. The nice things about knitting up a hat is how fast you can check them off your list. I think their is a nice pile of sweaters in my queue.. I’ll have to get creative how to knock those off my list, because the majority of them are adult sweaters.

My cup runneth over….

 

Origami Top hat by Lori V. in Koneko Handspun

Stash seems to be a common knitter’s dilemma, and I know I have mentioned once or twice a couple of other areas that get neglected but add to the clutter (i.e the partial left over skeins that accumulate and the finished items that stack or hang neatly in your front closet). I am not sure I am being proactive on the front of trying to avoid more knitwear but it dawned on me this year that I could give a lot of my Mad Hatter March hats away to knit worth friends. There are a lot of you out there, but  I can’t knit fast enough to give everyone a hat (If I could I totally would). I need to get better at more regularly  culling through the finished objects and partial skeins to let go.

It is really hard to let things go…. I like many look at the amount of dollars and time that was spent knitting an item. and while you want to give thing away you have no idea if a person even a “knit worthy” person will cherish and use the gift that you knitted up, but I need to try because it is not going to get better if I don’t put some effort towards that front.

So in the meantime I have 3 of the 8-9 hats I am knitting slated for friends. I hope that a couple will be teacher’s gifts  in about 7 months time and I plan on taking one of the hats to me with Shetland and Edinburgh in September.

In a few years time I am hoping that I can get courageous enough to let go and gift a crochet blanket, but I am so not there yet.

Oh, and I will finish this post with a R A V E about a new yarn I tried. I knit the Escher hat with  BC Garn Semilla Organic( I know it is available at Fibre Space and LOOP London). I first hear about this on Michele Wang’s podcast and have had some in my stash for a while. OMG people I love this yarn. It is the perfect balance between “wooly” and “refined” I.bought the dk wight but hope to use more in the future.

Escher hat with a TOFT pompom from ButtonsButton in Vancouver, Canada

Little Boxy


I was really excited when I saw the Joji was going to be publishing a kids version of her Boxy pattern. My daughter has been growing like a weed lately and I needed to make her a new sweater, and getting to test knit Little Boxy was a perfect win-win. I have been wanting to see how a drop sleeve would work and have yarn on hand( your shocked aren’t you?) for an adult version of the pattern. I really think knitting a kid’s sweater pattern is a great way to learn new techniques or understand the pattern.


I used the Plucky Knitter’s Primo Fingering in “Some Pig” and played a little game of yarn chicken. I opted to use a contrast color in a Canon Hand Dye’s merino cashmere nylon blend in her ” Silver” colorway and stripe the sleeves to ensure I had enough yarn the knit the sleeves. I really like the end result and while I did have to buy another skein of yarn I was able to used up 2 skeins in the stash so I can say I still made a dent in the stash:)

This is the 2nd test knit I have done for Joji and I really like the way she writes her patterns. They are clear and easy to read. I think this would be a great pattern for a newer knitter the pattern is straight forward and you have some options on how to knit this sweater there are two options that allow the knitter to choose if you want to knit the body flat or knit it in the round.  Other things that a newer knitter can learn is  short row shaping at the shoulders, a three needle bind off and learning how or getting more comfortable with picking up and knitting stitches.

 

I won’t lie the body is a lot of  knitting (but perfect for mindless knitting, especially if you opt for the “in the round” aka “seamless” version) but it is such a beautiful sweater and may daughter loves it. the oversized drape makes for a really lovely casual sweater, and when I was at the pharmacy the other day I was asked if I had bought it in a store.

Mad Hatter March Day-1

Casting on!

Yup.. It is actually happening. I cast on last night for the Origami Hat by Lori Versci. I remember when the pattern was released earlier this year and for me it was one of those moments where you bypass even questioning if it should be queued and just assume it is going to be made. I think it is the perfect pattern to use handspun yarn and I have decided to cast on in Koneko Handspun’s 2 ply. I have wanted to use Caterina’s yarn for a long time and I have to say it feels so nice on the hands. Her yard is less dense than mine and I am already getting some ideas about how to experiment with my spinning. I need to correct that last statement, to add when I actually have time to spin, because Think I will be quite busy with knitting hats:)

MAD HATTER March

Last year I gave myself a challenge to knit as many hats from my Ravelry queue as I could during the month of March. this year. I have to say it was the fastest I have ever burned thorough items in my queue and my stash. I have hopes of doing it again this year, but have picked 8 patterns that I want to knit.  I think that this goal is definitely doable, but  think that it might be a stretch because there are a bunch of hats that must be knit using a fingering weight yarn.

I really subscribe to the school of “under promise and over deliver” so for me to say that this is possible to knit is really increasing the amount of pressure for me because it is a bit out of my comfort zone.  I have a my “Shabby Chic” granny stripe blanket which I can’t stop working on because it is so much fun (to be honest I find myself  winding up skeins of fingering yarn just to add a single stripe).

I need to get back the topic at hand.. the hats…. I am hoping that I can make a dent in some of my handspun stash and work down some of the partial skeins I have on hand for the colorwork hats. I also will be happy to make a  Crofthouse hat as that is one of my goals for the knits I want to take to Scotland with me this fall.

 

Fern

Lowbrow hat

Delta

Crofthoose hat

Origami top hat

Escher 

Bough

Star Anise

Madrona

A view from Hotel Murano

For the last three years I migrate down to the Hotel Murano in Tacoma Washington to attend Madrona Fiber Arts Festival. It was the 1st year I signed up for a class and I was really excited. It was a total fluke I got in but I had put my name on the waitlist and was able to get in to Catherine Lowe’s “The WOW Factor class”  I was really excited because the level of detail she has in her sample garments is amazing.

Catherine is extremely detail oriented, and while that level of detail may not be for everyone, I was excited to better learn things that contribute increasing the quality and look of a hand knitted garment. I learned a lot. It was pretty jam packed and it was a day long class and kept my mind engaged, which made for a long day.

The marketplace was nice as always and I picked up a fair amount of spinning fiber. This event features a lot more spinning fiber, weaving and other fiber arts. It was really great toes people bring their beautiful wheels to the hotel and spin in public…… Not sure when my new fiber will get spun up but is sure was pretty.

My favorite thing about the festival has to be the people and getting together with friends…. While I had thought I would bring my knitting I ended up working on my granny stripe blanket… I had a moment to measure it and the width of each row is 92 inches (WOAH!). I think it will be really nice when it done, right now it is the width of a belt.

Oh and cool things in the marketplace? These were a few of my favorites:

  • Carolina Handspun’s booth had the spinner’s version of a mini yarn sampler. With a sample of 4 colors of fiber.
  • Tuft Woolen’s lotion bars/body balm… This has to be the best one on the market that I have seen. It absorbs quickly and there is no  lotion residue left on your hands when you apply it to your hands… The other thing I like is that it is small.. The small size  makes it easy to add to your project bag and not take up a lot of space or add weight.
  • Abundant Earth’s booth was really nice and while they don’t sell retail, the owner did mention that their place of business on Whidbey Island is available for tours and you can buy yarn if you stop by.
  • CORMO! CORMO! CORMO! I tried to empty and grab every 2 ounce package of the roving that was available ion Sincere Sheep’s booth.

 

 

In for the long haul

Just looking at Instagram gets me into trouble. I see lots of project people make and “oooh” and “ahhh” throughout the day. I actually have pretty good restraint on casting on new projects I usually just put them in my “Favorites” in Ravelry or add it to my “Queue” so when I noticed people starting to post pictures of granny square stripe blankets I got a little worried…. they were really cute, but how many lap blankets does one person really need…

Fast forward to last week when I saw this beautiful Shabby Chic themed version and all sense of  self control literally went out the window…. I decided to make mine bigger because well I want something bigger to snuggle in. I chained 452 and have gone through a couple of false starts.  While I understood the structure of the granny square I need to reacclimatize myself to how I would do a the stripped granny blanket. The first row is long… If you are doing it and actually creating a foundation row, you will essentially be working all of the crochet stitches 3 times ( chain them, single crochet and3 time double crochet into each row).

I have no illusions that this is going to bw a quick project, in fact I am giving myself  permission for this to take at least 3 years…. I mean these rows are really long.

In the meantime if you have any interest I am sharing a link for a good tutorial. While I did look at Attic24’s link for the pattern, it just didn’t sink in for me.\ http://easycrochetpattern.blogspot.com/2012/10/crochet-granny-stripe-afghan-tutorial.html

 

Winter was here and left..

 

My neighborhood looked like a postcard for a few hours

Earlier this week a snowstorm hit Seattle. It was kind of the perfect snow day because it was the monday following the Super Bowl and an excellent reason to stay all day in a pair of flannel pajamas. While I was working from home I managed to snap a few pictures.

Spring is just around the corner…

I probably should take down my outdoor holiday decorations but I just love them so much…

Ummm… I guess I have to be accountable

Ummm…yeah it is bigger than 2 kind sized pillows

While I have been  dodging an “news” or “current events” I have had a noticeable uptick in the amount of energy, which has been really nice and I was able to crank up some music the other day during my commute to work and sing along to Coldplay. I can’t lie while have been blissfully unaware everything going on outside of my house and work environment… I had a good re-entry in to reality when I got a delivery of fiber (cough… cough.. 2 packages)…

In between Netflix and knitting I had the sudden realization that this would be the first of many packages coming to the house (Ooops!) The parade of packages will be beginning next week when my Eileen Fisher sweaters arrive… I think I am relatively good for a while… the rest were custom were orders… I should be able to knit or sing down fiber before more arrives… Here is what coming…

 

  1. 5 skeins from Gregoria Fibers
  2. 8 skeins of Woolenboon
  3. 20 skeins of the Plucky Knitter
  4. 4 skeins from La Bien Aimee

I think that is about it…. umm. I am being honest.. I don’t think there is anything out there other than my fiber club subscription nest month. LOL

Things I have decided…..

There is a lot of things going on in the world and my personal live things have just been busy….. I have been doing a lot of retail therapy……. sounds like fun but I recognize what it is and I need to put and end to the “crazy” so I have decided to:

  1. Stop watching the news( my fingers seem to have an “add to cart” reflex everytime I do)
  2. Focus on my test knit…. I have miles of stockinette that needs to get done.
  3. Do my homework for Madrona ( I am a slacker)
  4. STOP BUYING CRAP….
  5. Try to blog more….. I feel that I should be more expressive..