Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Happy New Year!

I totally vegged out yesterday and didn't think twice about doing anything productive, let alone a blog post, so here you get a special New Year's eve edition. :)

My weekend was really great. Just what I needed! I hope you relaxed and enjoyed yours as well. Here are some pictures of our adventures, which were mainly geo-caching in the snow (not the greatest season for it, but still fun!) and watching movies cozied up on the couch in front of a warm fire.

I'll keep this one short and sweet. I wish you all the happiest and safest of New Years. Thank you for yet another fabulous year here at Bunnies and Bettas. I don't thank you enough for reading, commenting, and sharing your own thoughts. It all means so much to us to converse with you all! Thank you, thank you, thank you!

We'll see you in 2014!

Friday, December 27, 2013

A Getaway

I hope you had a lovely, relaxing holiday! I did. :) Now it's time for New Year's! We're heading up to Island Park for the weekend. It used to be a bit of a tradition for us to go up to the mountains for the new year. I've missed not doing it the last few years. New Year's has been a difficult holiday for most of my life. It helps to lose myself in the beauty of the snow-capped Rockies and the silent forest. I can't wait to get back up there and snowshoe around, maybe try my hand at cross-country skiing, or just sit and knit beside a blazing fire, gazing out the window.

You might ask, "Knitting what?" Oh! Why, this, of course! I had the choice of two rather tedious, yet mindless knits to bring with me. The travelling, conversations, and tv-watching dictated that I choose something a little more simple than I normally do this time of year and suggested to me they might be finished with little tedium and less time. One was Boxy and the other was a Henry scarf for John, who insists his fingering scarf is too heavy for fall or spring (I've got some lace-weight Habu to make him happy). I couldn't find the needles for the scarf or it would have won (missing needles is becoming a problem...my WIP demolition kind of busted before it properly began, but will be back in earnest come January), but the miles of stockinette on this sweater will fit the bill nicely. I usually prefer to knit things i

n pieces, but the prospect of purling half of this oversized garment on tiny needles scared the life out of me, so I dug out my underused 47" needle cables and I'm hoping for the best. How many times do you think I'll twist my 68" cast on before I get it right? :P Will that much length fit on 47" cables? Gosh, I hope so....

I've got the yarn, needles, and patterns for a pair of socks if I start to lose my mind. I just can't decide between Narcissa or Herbology socks. What do you think?

Have a lovely weekend! I'd love to hear what you are up to this weekend and what fantastic plans you have for New Year's (we seldom do anything, so really any plans will sound fantastic to me)! I'll have some mountainy pics for you Monday.

Monday, December 23, 2013

Happy Holidays!

Long time no post! School ran on without end this semester. I can't believe how busy I was even without any exams to take or papers to write myself. Friday was the last day of finals week and of course the final I had to grade wasn't until Thursday. :P So, finally, today I have made a mad dash home before Christmas and I'm settling in for a nice, relaxing visit with my family and hopefully my friends, too, some of whom I haven't seen for years!

Plane rides, of course, mean plenty of time for my last-minute Christmas knitting. The second I saw these kits I knew I had to make them for my aunt and uncle, who have a cozy cabin in the mountains (rumor has it I'll get to share some pictures of it with you next week, hopefully complete with hot water bottle cozies). I'm sure the fire keeps them plenty warm, but these will be cute decorations or great for cuddling after a long day in the snow. I can't believe how quickly they came from Scotland and how quickly this one has taken shape, but they are rather small. The second could be done by Christmas!

I'm going to skip Wednesday's post for Christmas, of course, but I'll try to be back with something Friday. I'm on break and there's no excuse for me not to get back into the blogging groove while I've got the chance!

We wish you and yours a very Merry Christmas or a very lovely few days off if you don't celebrate. Snuggle in with some cocoa (spiked, if you like!), a furry friend, and your knitting and I'll catch up with you Friday!

Tuesday, December 10, 2013


I spent yesterday finishing my art project in a mad rush. For as little time as I had to do it and as long as it's been since I've drawn a damn thing, I'm pretty pleased with it. I'll probably tinker with it throughout the week, but it might get the job done as it is. Here's a study I worked on as I drew.

Colored pencils and I aren't friends, so I had to make extra sure I had finally figured them out before I put them in the final sketch. YouTube has taught me everything I didn't know about colored pencils (and desperately wish I had learned years ago!), so I think I'll try them again for a project to liven up our front bathroom. I'm kind of excited about it!

John's the hero of the whole thing, really. He alerted me to the call for submissions and dug my art supplies out of the closet (that was a chore and a half, I tell you!), and encouraged me every step of the way. I'm not even sure he's seen much of my art over the three and a half years we've been together, but he still believed in me. :)

Did you embark on any strange and new adventures over the weekend? Did you get snowed in? That's a hobby-helper. ;)

Friday, December 6, 2013

Something a Bit Different

I'm partaking in a different artistic medium today. As an undergraduate, I minored in studio art. As a kid who grew up drawing her favorite musical artists and anime characters, then doodling during lectures in the margins of my notes, I was incredibly happy and blessed to be able to learn to do what I had been doing all my life with skill and a mastery I had never imagined I could accomplish. It's an incredible moment to realize the limits of your talent are endless with a little bit of training.

These days, I don't have the time to spend hours sketching (and I'm a slow one...always have been), so I knit instead and try to learn more and more about my camera so that I can express my creativity in a quicker medium. Or, in the case of knitting, one that is well-suited to multitasking or a few minutes where I can find them.

An opportunity has arisen for me to drag the sketchbook out again, so I'm brainstorming some variations on a theme. I'm a super-realist normally, but I hope I can extend myself a bit and produce something different than I have before. A conference needs a face and I need an excuse to flex my artistic muscles. The trick will be getting it done in days without knowing where any of my art supplies are, but...necessity is the mother of invention? At the very least, I need to find my eraser!

I painted my nails, too! Probably the best job I've ever done (though I've done a cleaner right hand). I scrubbed the counters after I painted them and only two tiny smudges! I went a little crazy and bought four bottles of polish at Walmart Monday. :S I need to remember to get a buffer next time. My nails are crazy shapes.

What creative talents do you have besides knitting or crocheting? Do you have time to pursue those interests? I hope so. It makes me sad to look back at my drawings and know I don't have the time or space for that sort of work anymore. :/

Also, you'll notice (if you aren't on a reader) that the blog format is a little different. I'm hoping it will accommodate larger photos, since I'm making some headway learning how to take and edit them. The rest of the blog will get a face-lift little by little, too, probably when I have my brother within easy reach so he can help. :)

Have a fantastic weekend! If I get anything great drawn up, I'll show you next week. I'm preeeeeetty rusty.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

2nd Annual WIP Demolition

About this time last year I got a bug in my bonnet about finishing my very many unfinished objects. I've got the same bug this year, so I will once again be demolishing that pile one project at a time!

I've decided to work on at least a project a week until I've finished a few. I have about ten. I'm hoping only working on it for a week will keep me from getting bored or going mad. I obviously put most of these down because I don't like to work on them for very long. :P

This week's lucky winner is my year-old Double Leaf Saroyan. It was a knit-along last fall and I'm not sure I even made it halfway through the scarf before the KAL was over. Now it gets it's big return. I doubt I'll finish it this week, but I should hit the 3/4 mark. I don't know why it's such slow going.

Actually, I have to finish some baby things for a shower this weekend, so the Saroyan won't be the only project getting attention this week, but it will get the most. A few buttons here and there and that will be one well-dressed baby!

Are you casting on lots of things or do you have an itch to finish everything hogging up your needles, too? If you would like to demolish the WIP pile with me, we can make it a party! Work on one WIP a week until that pile is small enough that you aren't crazy anymore. It's that simple. :) Then, we can parade our accomplishments proudly instead of shoving them in a dark corner.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Better Late...

I was doing so well updating last week! I'll try again. Wednesday and Friday will be great. :) Here's a late post in the meantime! The promised sweater. I didn't get photos on Thanksgiving day in the beautiful country scenery like I'd wanted. :P

No Cars Go

Pattern: Hayward by Julie Hoover
Yarn: Rowan Felted Tweed in Cocoa (discontinued)
Needles: US 5, 4
Project Page

This is my second Julie Hoover sweater in as many finished object posts (holy cow, a month ago!), but third in all. All three are in my top five favorite sweaters. I dare you to scroll through her designs and not find one or two that you can't live without! They are simple, stylish, and so classic. They might not be impressively complicated, but they are incredibly practical. These are garments so well designed and timeless that your granddaughters will be wearing them ages from now.

Two of my favorite Gap tops have these bat-wing sleeves. The ones on this sweater are much more exaggerated, but I'm totally hooked. There's just something so cozy and chic about bat wings. These sleeves are more like penguin wings and I wasn't quite sure I'd dig them in the long-run, but they are surprisingly functional. And the sweater doesn't ride up much at all when I raise my arms. Win! Oh, and that's not a demonstration of me raising my arms. I can go over my head without showing my gut.

I used some Rowan Felted Tweed I found cheap on eBay. It was a perfect choice. It's soft and drapes beautifully. I had to go down two needle sizes because the Felted Tweed is dk and the pattern calls for fingering. I hit the working and blocked gauges perfectly. Oh yes! Julie Hoover gives you a working gauge! So practical!

In short: love this sweater. I've had it done less than a week and I think I've worn it three days (and a whole night only half-seamed, even!). Now go find a Julie Hoover pattern you love and start making it! I've got my fourth waiting in the wings for a few WIPs to fall off the needles. Oh, and John's is number five.

Which designers do you really appreciate? What is it about them that you love so much? The pattern writing, the photos, the designs, the style, the colors...?

I almost forgot! It's named for The Arcade Fire song. It's kind of edgy and chill, like the song, I think.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving!

We are counting all of our blessings today and consider you--readers, friends--among them. I wish you the happiest of holidays and a great day in general!

Thank you for everything!

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Jumped Ahead

I got a bit ahead of myself Monday, dreaming of what to cast-on next when I've got a few too many things on my needles as it is. They are jumping off surprisingly quickly, though, so maybe I'm not too eager after all.

A dog sweater! I've never been more nervous about fit before in my life, but I think it will work out. If it doesn't, I have another skein. I need to make one more dog sweater pretty quickly. This one is in Cascade Pacific, which acts like it's going to pill up any moment. I'm not sure what I'll do the bigger sweater in. The bigger dog will actually see snow, so it needs to be warm and non-pilling. Suggestions?

I've restarted my boot socks from last month. I haven't worked on them much, so they aren't very far along yet, but now that I've gotten a sweater out of the way, they should go quickly.

I'm going to jam a couple hats and some old WIPs into this vacation week, too, then pull out all the stops next week. :) Have any Thanksgiving week knits? Something to keep you awake between the turkey and the pie?

I wish you all the best of Thanksgivings (if you celebrate this week)! I'll post an incredibly cozy sweater Friday, barring any unforeseen circumstances.

For more WIP Wednesday posts, go to Tami's Amis.

Monday, November 25, 2013

A Discovery

In my year-long quest to lessen the stash a touch (I won't say I've succeeded, but it's still on-going), I have discovered a nifty trick. Match that stashed yarn up with a pattern in the queue, move that pattern to the top of the queue, and get freshly excited to use up that dusty yarn (and diminish the queue while you're at it)! This fall, I have had an irresistible itch to get rid of that yarn and those long-queued patterns that accompany them. Here are a few that I'll get on as soon as possible.

I bought this yarn a year ago and matched it up to one of my long-term queued patterns, Damask. I had wanted to knit it up during the spring, but little time and a lot of warm weather made me put it off. Now that it is below freezing (already!), I think it's time to cast it on! The yarn is SweetGeorgia CashLuxe Fine. A little bit of cashmere. :) It'll be a toasty wrap this winter.

This yarn has the same sort of plan. It'll become a Blackcurrant Shawl. The yarn is String Theory Caper Sock. I actually had to scour outside my queue for the perfect pattern that wouldn't get lost in this lovely hand-dyed yarn and that I could wear close to my skin. It, too, has a bit of cashmere. It's possible you might see me bundled up in both shawls at the same time this winter. ;)

The last project is more of a re-purposing effort. I tried to use three skeins of Swan's Island Natural Colors Merino Worsted to make Levenwick, but was pretty sure I would come up short. I attempted to order another skein, but the dye lot is so far off that I can't use it. I'll have to find another yarn for Levenwick, but I am pretty sure I can get Jules out of the original three skeins. Happy day! It was just the color I wanted a Levenwick in, but I think a woolier wool will help the structure of the garment a bit better.

I also just acquired yarn for Meridien, a pattern I received a year ago. Again, I could only get three skeins and it didn't look like I'd have enough, but some project searching tells me I have plenty, despite what the pattern page says, so I'll give it a try! I have a back-up pattern just in case. You'll see the project and lovely yarn soon, but I'm not sure I'll jump on it quite like these three.

Once I destash sufficiently, I'll go back to only buying yarn for planned projects. That should make my life much easier. I have a lot of yarn to get through before then, though....

How about you? What is the state of your stash? Are you trying to cut down, or just living it up?

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

A Complaint You'll Hear a Thousand Times

I got off the bus near my house tonight at 5:30 and it was fully dark. I'm talking moon and stars, nighttime, dark. Ugh. Whose idea was it to move Daylight Savings back so late? Don't you remember the days of gradually shortening evenings? This might be the year I finally cave and get a sunlamp.

Knitting isn't even much solace for the daylight we've lost. But, I have been knitting away. My hope is to get this sweater finished over the weekend. I have a few smaller projects I'm dying to get to and this is the only thing standing in my way. Unfortunately, it's also the only mindless project I've got, so once it's done, I won't have anything to preoccupy me at colloquium discussions or tv night with my fellow grad students. It's not like I can't conjure up something equally comprised of stockinette, I suppose...but, what? That's a silly question. I have a queue a mile long and heaps of yarn. I will find something!

I've been thinking about knitting a few Christmas gifts here and there (the above is possibly one). I always say, "No! Not this year!" until about this time. I'm having thoughts such as, "I need to get rid of that yarn. Who will wear mittens that blue?" or "This doesn't fit me quite right. Who has a small enough head?" (the answer: no one in my family!). Fortunately, the only gifts I'm obligated to are a couple dog sweaters, so if I don't get around to making a few small things, no one will be the wiser. :)

Are you knitting gifts? What sorts of things? Were they requested or thoughtfully chosen by you? Here's something I've been thinking a lot about: what are you going to get your knitting friends for Christmas? Yarn? Notions? Accessories (are they the same as notions? I should know these things....)? I'm curious, so let me know in the comments!

For more WIP Wednesday posts, visit the ever-busy Tami.

Monday, November 11, 2013


Sorry for the silence! It's that time in the semester. You know, this one....

That's everything I have to grade this week. Preferably, in a couple of days, but I suppose I should sleep a little bit, yeah? Well, the good news is that I have zero homework for the class I sit in on (or not that much before Friday, anyway), so grading is pretty much my only stress this week.

Anyway, because of the time issue, I could use some help. John and I eat the same five or six dinners every week. We cycle some in and out, but we usually stick to about the same five or six general ideas. I've been trying to branch out, so I've made some pretty awesome dinners in the last month, but we're pressed for time and it's just so easy to make and eat the same things all the time. What quick and easy dinners do you make? Doesn't have to be anything fancy to impress me. One person's boring, rut dinner might be another's exciting new addition! :)

Italian sausage soup with tortellini
We eat spaghetti and variations on chicken (quesadillas, fajitas, and chicken alfredo penne) with steak for variation most weeks. We don't own a crock-pot. Let me emend that statement: we own two crock-pots, each 1.5 quarts. You can't heat up a whole can of little smokies in one of those! Maybe you can. I've never tried, honestly. :) I suppose having a biggish one would make life much easier. Convince me to make room for a big one!

I wish you many yummy meals this week and much free time to relax and breathe! I'll try to be back Wednesday with some knitting updates.

Friday, November 1, 2013

Happy Hallows Day!

I hope your All Hallows Day is going well and that your Hallowe'en was great! Ours was lazy and held only one trick-or-treater (probably only because I was outside situating the jack-o-lanterns and he thought he'd give it a try). I was highly disappointed by the meager selection of Halloween movies on tv last night. What is Halloween for if not watching scary movies?!

Anyway, I didn't wear a costume out, but I did have a new sweater.

Danse Macabre

Pattern: Fontenac by Julie Hoover
Yarn: The Fibre Company Canopy Worsted in Orchid and Obsidian
Needles: US 9 and 8
Project Page

I must say, I felt a little witchy in this tunic. I'm not sure why, apart from the colors. I'm planning on it being my Christmas dress, which can also be worn casually like this. In any case, it is warm and it is fabulous! The yarn is so luxurious! I got it for a steal a few months ago. Aside from the trace of white fuzz it left on my totally awesome new pants, I can find absolutely nothing to complain about in this yarn.

The pattern, like all Julie Hoover patterns I've knit (that may only be 2 1/2 now), is brilliantly written and clear as a phantom bell (I can only assume that's pretty clear, having never heard one myself...yet ;]). The only modifications I made were to knit the ribbed bits on a size smaller needle (to preserve yarn, mostly), and to knit two fewer rows on the pockets (to preserve yarn, period). I seriously have a teeny, tiny ball of yarn leftover. I thought I might not make it! I ran out of black two rows too soon, but no one will ever notice. I made up the difference with an extra row or two of the white.

I kind of haphazardly chose the name Wednesday night as I finished it. The piece is always stuck in my head this time of year. It is easily one of my favorite orchestral pieces of those I've played. It's just fun! It's based on a poem:

Zig, zig, zig, Death in cadence,
Striking a tomb with his heel,
Death at midnight plays a dance-tune,
Zig, zig, zag, on his violin.
The winter wind blows, and the night is dark;
Moans are heard in the linden trees.
White skeletons pass through the gloom,
Running and leaping in their shrouds.
Zig, zig, zig, each one is frisking,
You can hear the cracking of the bones of the dancers.
A lustful couple sits on the moss
So as to taste long lost delights.
Zig zig, zig, Death continues
The unending scraping on his instrument.
A veil has fallen! The dancer is naked.
Her partner grasps her amorously.
The lady, it's said, is a marchioness or baroness
And her green gallant, a poor cartwright.
Horror! Look how she gives herself to him,
Like the rustic was a baron.
Zig, zig, zig. What a saraband!
They all hold hands and dance in circles.
Zig, zig, zag. You can see in the crowd
The king dancing among the peasants.
But hist! All of a sudden, they leave the dance,
They push forward, they fly; the cock has crowed.
Oh what a beautiful night for the poor world!
Long live death and equality! (Henri Cazalis, "Danse Macabre"; trans. from the French)

I thought the roles of darkness (Death, night) and light (skeletons, daybreak) were very appropriate to the tunic and the fact that I finished it on Halloween basically made the decision for me. :)

What is your favorite Halloween song (it's not too late to ask! We have all weekend to keep the spook going!)? We (some HPKCHC Slytherins) started a playlist here of some good ones (Danse Macabre included), but I want more! I love Halloween. :) How was yours?

For more FO Friday posts, visit Tami's Amis!

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Glad to Have a Garage

Here's what I have been working on today:

Her name is Polly and she needed a shine.

So I gave it to her! One headlight was burned out. I replaced both of them with brighter bulbs because Iowans don't believe in streetlights. ;) I also Rain-Xed all the windows because, well...it's raining out and I haven't done it for a couple years. Fun fact: after you've used Rain-X on your windows and the water repellent wears off (it takes a loooong time), water smears worse than if you hadn't ever used Rain-X on your windows! Actually, maybe that's not true...it's been so long since I put on the first coat of Rain-X that I probably just don't remember what a plain, wet windshield looks like....

Sorry, I went infomercial on you there! Rain-X really is great if you live in a wetish climate, though.

I'm knitting and seaming(!), too. I just haven't done any today (yet)! I'll have some knitting for you Friday.

What are you working on (knitting or non-knitting related :D)? Are you excited for Halloween?! I am! Tell me what you or your loved ones are dressing up as!

Friday, October 25, 2013

Just in Time for Halloween

At the Cauldron's Edge

Pattern: By the Seine River by Dona Knits
Yarn: Candy Skein Yummy Fingering Superwash Sock in Witch's Brew
Needles: US 1
Project page

These socks took me far too long to knit! They were a between-projects/traveling project and just kept getting shoved aside for things I really wanted to work on. I love all of Tami's monthly colorways, but this one screamed at me to buy it! I really had jump on it because I was also a bit sore about not buying September 2012's (the previous month's) monthly color, Honey Crisp Apple (bottom of this page), which was also stunning.

I knew I didn't want a heavy pattern to obscure the color or so light a pattern that the color would obscure it, so when I saw all the lovely versions of this pattern in subtly variegated yarns, I knew it would match the yarn perfectly. I literally started knitting them in the dark one night in Idaho, so I didn't have a clue what they looked like until the next morning. Needless to say, I was very pleasantly surprised!

Another reason they took so long was because the feather and fan and twisted ribbing (ick...) on such small needles was not fun for my hands. I don't think I changed the pattern much except to lengthen the cuffs (didn't want to waste any of this beautiful yarn!), change the heel flap to eye of partridge, and change the toe decreases. I basically stopped looking at the pattern after I had the feather and fan part down, so I made it up as I went along. :) I think I detailed my modifications on the Ravelry page, however.

I had envisioned these as spring socks, actually, so I could wear them tall with bare legs and boots. It's too cold to do that now, but they will be fun to bum around the house in until spring rolls 'round again.

I really had fun pairing the perfect sock pattern with yarn I couldn't live without. I have done the process again with another gorgeous skein that I hope to "sockify" in November. I'm the sort that usually finds yarn for the pattern, so the opposite approach is new and fun for me. Which way do you pair yarn and pattern? Do you find it easier or harder to do it one way over the other?

For more FO Friday posts (and great yarn!) visit Tami's Amis!

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

A Slump

I've been knitting like crazy on Frontenac. It looks more like a scarf right now than anything else, so I'll just save you the progress shot until it's done next week. It better be done next week!

I had to cut so many roots off this guy!
Today, I worked on my repotting and watering my orchids and now that I'm thoroughly worn out, I'm debating whether to restart my boot sock or move on to a dog sweater. The dog sweater sounds pretty good because I haven't started it, and so, haven't messed it up yet!

A red dog sweater! So cute! Should I start?
Last week was just an epic knitting failure week for me. To begin, I had the gauge trouble with Hayward. I still haven't restarted it. Then, I ran out of yarn halfway through the foot of my boot sock. I had to frog the whole sock so I can modify it to be shorter and fit my foot a little more snugly. Then, I ran out of black yarn on my Frontenac three rows too soon (if I hadn't done the long-tail cast-on, I would have had just enough! Curse you, long-tail cast-on!) and now I'm worrying whether I have enough of the white to finish the sweater. I'm trucking on. One of my LYSes should have a white skein if I need it.

But there is good knitting news, too! I finished two projects this week: a months-old pair of socks and the test knit I've been slogging away on for a month and a half. I'll show you the socks Friday. They are probably my favorite!

How do you get through knitting nightmares? Just keep going or give it a rest for a bit? Do you have a no-fail pattern that helps you through when nothing else seems to be working? I'm totally at a loss and would love some advice!

Monday, October 21, 2013

Winter Prep

It's supposed to snow tomorrow. That means it's time to organize my highly unorganized winter accessories bin. Right now it works on a messy system of shove in, dig out. I can't find pairs of anything unless I keep them in my coat pocket.

With a cold week ahead, I had better bring some sort of order to this mess. It's actually fun to lay out the piles of accessories and think about knitting them.

Most are leftovers from sweaters. Some are from friends. Others, I knit so quickly that I haven't thought about them. How can you dig for something you forgot exists? Above is my meager pile of mitts. I may grow it a bit this season.

These are the cowls. I typically wear one a season. I have a spring one, a fall one, and a holy-crap-it-is-freezing-outside one. There are a few more in there. They see action at my whim.

My hats pile is the biggest. Here's a prime example of things I forgot I had knit! I have a running hat and a red hat I just didn't remember. I love hats! Winter hats make me sort of like winter. But only sort of. Fall and spring are also acceptable hat seasons. Who needs winter, really?

There! That's more like it! Now if I have to go anywhere in the snow (aaagh!) tomorrow, I'll be ready to grab a hat, mitts, cowl, or scarf (they weren't interesting enough to photograph, trust me. I'm a cowl convert) and brave the chill.

Which are your favorite seasonal (not just winter!) accessories? Do you have a bin by the door too? I borrowed the idea from Thea Colman, who has a basket by her front door. I don't know where I kept all this stuff before then!

I'm going to cozy up under my coziest work-in-progress and stare at the Weather Channel now. See you soon!

Friday, October 18, 2013

Set Backs

I'm not usually bothered by having to rip out hours of work, but this one is going to sting a bit. It's not that I didn't check my gauge (I did that obsessively as I knitted), but that I didn't account for the obvious: I'm using dk to knit a pattern written for fingering weight yarn. My gauge matches the written finished gauge. I figured, if it grew at all, no biggy, it's a baggy sweater anyway. My mistake was not paying attention to the row gauge earlier, which is a full stitch off.

I bet you don't usually pay much mind to row gauge either (and if you do, you rock!). Usually, you don't need to. There are times when you should, though. Making raglan sweaters is one of those times because your armholes will be too long or too short if you don't have the row gauge just right. My armhole will be two inches too long if I continue. It might not make a difference due to the nature of this sweater's odd shape, but I don't want to mess with a good thing!

So, sometime this weekend, I'm going to tear out this lovely lump of fabric and try again. Good thing I have a million other projects in the works. :)

I wish you lots of happy knitting and a great weekend!

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

The Small Things

I've had a crick in my neck since Friday that finally went away today, but was replaced by a back pain I've never felt before. It feels like one achy vertebrae in the center of my back. It hurts to breathe and move. I've also managed to misplace something I've always been exceedingly careful to keep track of. It took me four hours to grade one assignment stack and I have two more to grade by Friday. It was also really cold today and I don't like the cold. All in all, not a great day (not necessarily a bad one either), but one fun thing did happen: knitting!

I was elated to pass a few minutes here and there with this gem. It will become Frontenac eventually. It has only taken me a few days to get it this far. My gauge is perfect and the yarn is an absolute dream.

It's the color I really love, but it's also incredibly soft. It is the Fibre Company Canopy Worsted and it gleams like a precious stone. I got it at a substantial discount from WEBS a few months ago by pure luck. It's going to be so cozy this fall! Tomorrow is going to be a crazy long day, so I'll get loads of knitting (and grading :P) done. I can't wait to spend the day with this thing!

In other news, the frost touched John this morning and inspired him to dig out our winter clothes from the back of the storage closet. I pulled a few things out for donation and the trash as I moved them between the tub and the closet or vice versa. I expected I'd be able to part with a few more things than I have. :/ Things fit much more easily in the tub now, but I think that's because a lot of my spring/summer clothes transfer to fall/winter with an added layer or two, not because I got rid of any substantial amount of clothing. I have so many pajamas! Where did they all come from?! Fuzzy socks, too. I never wear fuzzy socks! Mysteries of the universe....

Have you pulled out your winter wardrobe? What are you looking forward to wearing this season? Is it spring where you are? I still want to know what you're looking forward to wearing. :)

For more WIP Wednesday posts, visit Tami's Amis!

Monday, October 14, 2013

A Relaxing Weekend

Nope. Still couldn't get my FO together for you Friday. :) I'll get to it eventually. My excuse:

John and I took a quick (too quick, maybe) trip to Tampa over the weekend for a wedding. It was a lot of fun with a lot of family! I did some knitting, too, of course (despite the heat!). I can't wait to show it to you Wednesday.

It was refreshing to get off the plane in 60 degree weather after suffering heat in the 90s down there. I love fall. A jaunt to the warmer climes (and the beach, of course!) was a nice break, but the crispness of fall felt like home.

I wish I had carried my camera around with me more. I think beach pics are about all we took! That was only a few hours of one day. :P

I hope you all had a great weekend, too, whether at home or off in some exotic locale.

Happy Monday! See you soon!

Wednesday, October 9, 2013


I did a naughty and cast-on two projects this week when I should have been finishing a test knit and works-in-progress. My bad.

This alone is worth documentation: a long-tail cast-on I did perfectly on the first try! I don't do the long-tail as a rule. I can never guess how much yarn I'll need to do it. The knit cast-on or cable cast-on are much more sturdy and reliable. The pattern called for it, so I thought I'd give it a shot. Just one, though. I lucked out! Which cast-on do you usually use? I'm always looking to expand my cast-on and bind-off knowledge.

Also, do you know if Rowan Felted Tweed is prone to rolling in stockinette or does it block out? I'm not sure if I should do a purl row first or just start with the stockinette....

I also started this boot sock in cashmere(!). The weather has been screaming at me for the last couple of weeks: "Autumn is coming! You are not knit-ready!" Socks for my boots and a new sweater on the needles = getting there, Autumn. I'll have to start knitting faster, though because I'm certain my fall and winter clothes are irretrievably buried in the storage closet. Yarn is my only hope for surviving this winter.

I would also cast on a second sweater tonight, but since I'm not sure which project my 9s are in or how close that project is to being finished, I'll just have to wait until I have done a thorough investigation. I have big plans for the weekend (that involve as much knitting as possible, if you couldn't tell ;]), do you?

For more WIP Wednesday posts, hop on over to Tami's Amis! I'll see you soon!