Look at that!

So, when you follow a pattern, and I mean actually and truly FOLLOW THE PATTERN, things generally work out.

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Flat. No bunching. Same size needles. I know it’s not much but I left this project in time out all weekend, just where it needed to be.

Lizzie is getting better after her latest exuberance injury.  Seriously, that’s what this is. She just won’t calm down, and then hurts herself. But, after a few days, we can see she’s putting quite a bit more weight on that leg and I’d say the limping is just about over now. In fact, I think she’ll even get a short walk tonight, something which will thrill her to pieces and make me much happier too, as she will not settle down in the house and lay down/be still unless she’s expelled energy.

We are running errands tonight,  Miss Butterfly and I, in preparation for the upcoming trip. (Yesterday there were pictures of a blooming clematis from where we are going, can you believe it?!?! Makes one almost want to move south!) In light of the weather forecast, I am also hoping to have time to pull out a pair of capris from the storage bins. We’ve played at packing but haven’t really done much of that either, so I am hoping that we’ll get a chance to work on that too. I have to investigate what Miss Butterfly is bringing so that I can tell if she’s going overboard or not. I really should learn to leave myself a bit of downtime on either end of a trip. Going away for 4 business days? How about make it 6, and have a down day on either end? I bet I’d be FAR less stressed if I’d just get in that habit.

Mr. Ink tells me that he and Lizzie are going to get up to all sorts of adventures while we are gone. I told him that he needs to take photos and send them so I can see what they are up to. He’s not so good at that, but he also knows I’ll miss the dog so maybe he’ll come around.

That’s all from me for now! I’ll be sure to take lots of pictures on our trip so there’s tons to post upon our return. Have a great week and weekend!

Big Oops

Sometimes I am startled at just how wrong one can go even if one has been knitting for more than 10 years and considers herself fairly skilled. I haven’t had a particularly large fail in awhile, so now I am going to own up to one. Remember the Easy shawl?

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And how it’s bunching right here and how I changed needle size to help? Well, spoiler alert, it’s not bunching because of needle size. So, I switched needle size, and knit and knit and knit until I was almost done. And the entire time, I am like “The yarn amounts on this pattern really don’t reflect what is necessary, OR, I really miscounted my yardage on this half of the handspun! I can’t believe I have THIS MUCH left over, that’s ridiculous!” Meanwhile, I noticed that while the middle seam was bunching less due to needle size, it was still bunching. I went back to reread the pattern, and said “Ok, I am doing this correctly, let’s just keep going.” Despite the fact that it felt wrong. So wrong.

I wasn’t reading the pattern correctly. Not at all. I should have been using double the amount of yarn per row, decreasing fewer seam stitches per row than I had been. THAT is why I had so much yarn left over and THAT is why it was bunching and THAT is why it felt like I flew through the second half in a day rather than many.

Ugh.

I ripped the entire thing out again, picked up my stitches AGAIN, went back down to the original needle size, and put it aside because I just can’t right now. This can have a time out. I don’t need that irritation in my life.

Instead, I cast on something new.

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This is the beginning of the Quaker Lines shawl in a gradient handspun I created out of two braids of The Dyeing Arts Sugar Skull colorway. I picked it because it looks like easter, which is coming right up. And I picked it because it’s easy, which could make for good travel knitting. And it has been in my queue for awhile, since I really wanted to see what Sugar Skull was going to look like when I knit it.

However, I can’t guarantee that this will be the only thing cast on this weekend. I’ve got other things up my sleeve as well, and I’ve got a serious case of castonitis.

Want to know what else is happening around here?

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Hope is happening around here. These pretty things haven’t quite officially bloomed yet, but we are getting awfully close. Of course, it’s cold again today, it rained quite hard last night, and when I looked at them this morning, the blooms were all shut back up tightly. Nevertheless, close.

Lizzie Update:

I took this photo crowing over the fact that I am the only one in the family who can put bare skin so close to this dog without getting attacked by licking. Because I am the boss and she does exactly what I tell her to do. But while I was taking the photo I was really surprised she was so snuggly! She’s not really a snuggle dog. Then after, I realized it was an hour past her dinner time and I hadn’t fed her yet, and the snuggles were really just hopes that I’d remember that she needed to eat. Never mind, not that sweet of a moment after all.

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While she doesn’t love dog beds, she’s taken to finding a stray throw on the floor when my family doesn’t clean up after themselves, and she definitely likes those:

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Here she is all cuddled up and waiting for bedtime to happen.

In other Lizzie news, she sprained her paw yesterday (again) this time worse than before. It’s pretty sad really, she’s limping, and doesn’t want to play. However, she does still want to jump, which is her favorite. So, she just holds the injured paw in the air and jumps with 3 legs. It’s super pathetic, and clearly takes concentration, but that’s how she wants to operate. I am hoping it resolves pretty soon. The rescue where we got her has an alumni page, and it does seem like most folks with active dogs do deal with this from time to time so I am not too worried yet. But I hope it resolves itself soon since she seems so irritated by it.

That’s about it from here, it is bound to be a busy weekend, but I am so happy to HAVE the weekend I can barely contain myself.

Heading it off at the pass

A problem, that is. I got to the second side of my easy shawlette, and ran into a bit of a snag. You may remember that I am using handspun, the first side a single with cocoons, and the second side would be the same colorway in a 2 ply. Well, I began the second side, but as I was knitting it looked like this:

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See how that section is seriously pulling in and bunching? I wasn’t positive it would block out, so I quit and ripped it back. Then I spent a day thinking about it, and realized that if I just went up a needle size, perhaps I could get this to quit acting dumb. I began that process last night and it seems to be working, what a relief! So, this time rather than assuming it’ll block out, I’ve actually stopped, evaluated, and course corrected.

I am kind of in a place with my knitting where I both want to start ALL the projects and not really knit at all, which is an odd place to be. I also don’t seem to want to spin either, the spinning wheels have been sitting in my craft room and I haven’t had any desire to drag them out. Let’s call it spring fever, because I feel like I don’t know what to do with myself but it’s not actually warm enough consistently to be outdoors playing and having fun in the garden.

I also seem to be struck by a little bit of allergies. Now, when I was a child I had terrible allergies. Thankfully between growing out of some of them as I got older and moving to the midwest where somehow there are just fewer allergens that bother me, I’ve been fortunate to feel healthier overall most of my adult life. So, what this means is that when I do end up with allergies, I don’t recognize them very quickly. Their impact is different, more subtle. But, after suffering from a headache and strange feeling sinuses, and a stiff neck for 3 days, culminating in a very moody and tired Shells last evening, I finally took a benadryl last night and I feel amazing today! To be honest, I still hadn’t quite figured out what was going on, but Miss Butterfly was thinking maybe she was coming down with a cold, except she felt fine, and then I realized we were probably both suffering from some seasonal allergies.

Allergies aside though, I am going to assume this means we are headed in the right direction after what seems like an abnormally long winter around here. I have crocuses about to bloom, and hyacinths are popping up all over too. I am so eager to see spring arrive! As an added bonus, we are traveling next week, to Alabama and I’ve seen photos, it’s MUCH greener there than here. I can’t WAIT to see trees budding and green. Just…green! It’ll be wonderful (despite the fact that at the moment it also looks like it may rain the entire time.)

 

A Tiny Preview

So, I did manage to finish my Jaina cardigan yesterday evening and even got it soaked and blocked. I think I am absolutely going to love it, it’s warm and squishy and soft. And the colors are wonderful. And the preblocked fit was extremely promising for a sweater that I was hoping would be fairly large and casual. I am waiting for the thing to dry, and maybe we’ll get enough nice weather that I’ll get a few photos in this weekend, we shall see.

I don’t think that my Easy shawl is any more interesting than the last post, though it has grown a bunch. So, I didn’t grab a photo of that. But clearly I am a little bit on a Martina Behm kick, because I am still plugging away at my Magrathea shawl as well.

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It’s still at work, I am still knitting, and I am very close to doing the edging. I don’t have high hopes for not running out of yarn completely but we’ll see how it goes. Since I haven’t actually been hugely interested in knitting, or what knitting produces for me, it won’t hurt me too much to have a big rip session to redo it at a stopping point a bit before what I am currently going for. I’ll be ok with that.

What have I really been into lately? This will totally surprise anyone who knows me, in fact, it already has. Make-up! Well, to be fair, it started with Miss Butterfly. She’s 13 now, and supremely interested in make-up. She’s also always been a fairly artistic kid. She’s not allowed to wear it out of the house at the moment, but she’s still super interested, watching tons of youtube videos, and experimenting with all she’s got right now, namely super cheap palettes she’s received as gifts in the past number of months. She wants to do my make-up, she wants me to do my make-up, she wants me to watch the videos with her, she wants me to wear her make-up to work, and in the end her excitement has been pretty contagious. At this point we both get super excited about researching the best drugstore products available, and then hunting for them on the weekends. It’s been a very fun quality time activity for us, and now amazingly enough I am wearing daily make-up. So, if you’ve ever wondered what I’ve been up to in my spare moments while I am not blogging or crafting, that’s what I’ve been up to. There’s really nothing to show for it beyond saying that’s what we are up to. But, that’s what we are up to. It’s an activity that has stuck around for months now, so it seems to be here to stay.

That’s about it from me!

Early Sunday

The dog has a bad habit of getting up really early. I guess it’s ok, because I have that habit too. But every once in awhile you just want to sleep in past 6:30, right? Mr. Ink tries to sneak her out and feed her at 5:30 in order that I can sleep in, but inevitably she’ll need to go out again after she eats and that’s my cue. Once I am upright, I am up, so going back to bed is not an option.

So anyhow, it’s early and I am sitting, groggy, with my first coffee. And ready to show you a start of a shawl!

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So, this is the half with the singles, where there are little pops of cocoons hanging around. I’d say there’s about as many on the other side as there is on this side. It’s kind of goofy looking, but also interesting.

I took this photo yesterday morning, but then rushed off to hang with Miss Marja and didn’t get an opportunity to post later. I DID get a bunch more knitting on this done while hanging with Miss Marja, so it’s moving right along.

Meanwhile, I am still slowly plugging away at that inner collar on my jaina sweater. I hope to have it done this weekend, it would be lovely to finish it up. And then I think maybe a break from sweater knitting is in order for a bit. Mostly because I’ve no sweater amounts left in stash. Perhaps I’ll get bit by a spring spinning bug again, that would be nice!

That’s about it from here, I am looking forward to what I hope is another nice quiet day to top off my weekend.

Friday

It’s been QUITE a week folks. Large event went well but had enough hitches to make me an anxious mess. I am glad it’s over. So yesterday I was thinking about how I get to leave work early today, and will get my hair done, and then get some photos of knitting to show off. But….we’ve got copious amounts of rain that is supposed to stick around all day. By copious I mean a true spring storm, it’s so windy that the pouring rain is hitting our windows sideways here at work and making a deafening racket. Upon arrival to work this morning I had to roll my jeans up to my knees, and my umbrella just turned inside out so it was useless. Perhaps spring has arrived? I won’t hold my breath, I think we will still get snow in the upcoming weeks.

I can talk knitting though. My handspun jaina sweater is coming right along. I finished the first collar this week. It was right during the event time and I was struggling to pick up stitches for the second collar layer, because my brain was shot. So I put it down. No, that’s not true, I put it on. Unblocked, with ends hanging off it all over, I put it on for the rest of the evening because it was so soft and warm and scrumptious. And I started something else.

Way back when I had the mental energy for interesting spinning, I made these. One is a handspun single with those cocoons on it, and the other is a 2 ply. I decided to knit these up into an “easy” shawlette. I started with the singles, so I’ve got this fun garter stitch with pops of weird thick cocoons. I am loving it so far. Can’t wait to show it to you!

With the second section being a plain 2 ply I think it’ll make a very interesting scarf!

And with that, I am off to enjoy a lovely half day out of the office. In beautiful weather. Not. But, a half day is a half day and I’ll take it!

Weekending

It was an extremely busy week, in prep for a large event downtown I am putting on this week. I expected a busy week, but it was busier than even I anticipated. I think things are in good shape now though, and it’ll all be over Wednesday evening. I can then concentrate on the next big event which isn’t until July. I should also get a nice little extra long weekend, since I’ll have worked too many hours Tuesday and Wednesday and will need to dump a few. Oh, and did I mention I have a grant due this week too? Hah. I am not too concerned about the grant though, I think that’ll go smoothly.

Last week, on the worst of the busy days, I got home and I was grumpy for very good reasons. I admit I had a nice vent with my family, but remained quite grumpy. I also found that I couldn’t do anything. I was just really off center. I couldn’t even knit! I was at the portion of the sleeve on my sweater where I do a tiny bit of pattern. I knit and messed up and ripped and reknit 4 times. And then I put it down and decided some nights you just don’t even knit. Mr. Ink told Miss Butterfly he thinks I might be cracking. Close Mr. Ink. Very close.

I did get that sleeve done the next evening though, and started on the second sleeve. Here’s where I am now.

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I also sewed down one of the pockets, which is seriously not my favorite thing. So I didn’t do them both. I’ll do the second one when I get inspired again.

During the actual event next week, I’ll probably have knitting time available to me. I am having trouble deciding if I’ll just take a sock already on the needles, or if I will try to take a newer easy project. I am leaning toward sock at the moment just because it isn’t bulky and would be nice and simple. But I could still change my mind. But between now and then? Looks like it’s all sweater knitting all the time. It’s still pretty cool outside, I could get use out of this one this season still!