Mitering

I had a desire to do some mitered squares. So, I looked up a pattern for a mitered blanket, barely read the pattern, figured I’d change it to a scarf, grabbed some handspun, and cast on.

There’s something not great that happens to me when I think I understand a pattern but don’t actually read it. I do things wrong. Then I redo them because I think I am smarter after the first failed attempt. And I stop, look at my work, and realize I am wrong again. So I rip back, and assume that in the third attempt I am again smarter for my practice, and so I rip back, start again, and fail for a fourth time.

So basically, this pattern has been kicking my butt for no reason other than the fact that I apparently have refused to READ THE PATTERN!

Once I began to read the pattern properly, I had all these tiny balls of yarn that were squares and I had to incorporate them back into my scarf. In doing so, often my gauge wouldn’t match the first attempt, so I’d get to the last few stitches and be out of yarn. So, then I’d rip back again, tighten up my tension, and start over. Some squares I did twice.

When I got that all “squared” away (see what I did there?) I had decided that 4 squares across would be a good width for a scarf. But, after building out a few blocks, I felt that this would be too wide and probably not long enough. So I ripped out the 4th row of squares. Then I had a bunch of tiny balls of yarn, again, and adding them back in would mess with the color placement. Either I didn’t add them in at all, or I rip another row or two out to fix the color placement. So I ripped, and I added back in.

And, then sometimes my gauge was off and I ran out of yarn.

What I am trying to say is the beginning of the scarf below is the knitting equivalent of an entire scarf.

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But I’m not bitter. And I am still knitting. Thank goodness I wasn’t weaving in ends as I went, right?

More Finished Objects

The knitting continues on in my life, and while I tend to feel it is going slow, when the blog is full of makeup talk it goes a bit faster than I expect.

I posted this project in progress and now it is done.

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It is almost as wide as it is long. That means it is not very long. I definitely could have eliminated about half the stitches in width and gotten a very nice scarf. And I may do that in the future with this pattern because it was a lot of fun. But with this one, I think I may just fold it in a triangle to use, it’s a serviceable shawlette that way and that ends up adding a lot of interesting color directions.

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Perfectly lovely!

So, that’s 56% of my yearly goal and another yarn knocked out of my stash. Not too shabby! My yarn, at the moment, sits at 109 stash entries though I am not positive how accurate that is right now. It is definitely close if not accurate. So, despite doing quite a bit of spinning there for a hot minute, the stash hasn’t grown out of proportion to what I am knitting.

26th Stocking

If you’ve been following along on my blog for any amount of time, you will already know that I knit these huge christmas stockings for family members, particularly new additions to the family. But, I will also knit them as requested when a family with a newer member who already has a stocking wants to match their own stockings to the child. I’ve knit so many of these over the years. In fact, the stocking I finished today is my 26th. It was requested that I create two more this year, and then I decided to create one for our home as well. I had one that I didn’t love, and I donated that to our dog rescue for a charity auction.

So, quite frankly, we are going to see at least 3 stockings this year and this is the first of those.

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It is the first, and it is also the first in which I made an egregious error! On the 26th stocking, I switched up the pattern. The band closest to the heel is supposed to be the second section, not the third. But it looks fine, so I continued on as I was many rows in before I figured out I’d made such a mistake.

I’ve already begun the next one, in navy. With this one, I am at 55% of my yearly project goals. While I find these stockings fairly tedious these days, they are also pretty fast overall. I am working on these during work lunch breaks so that I am getting to them consistently and they don’t wander into hibernation, but also are worked on in small chunks so I don’t get burned out either. It seems to be going well so far!

A Little Knitting

When we headed to Louisiana, I started a new project. I wanted something that would take a nice long time, and I wanted something with an easy to memorize pattern. I ended up choosing the Holey Square Shawl pattern. Mostly stockinette interspersed with rows of deliberately created holes. I chose a handspun laceweight singles yarn to work with as I suspected that the rows of stockinette would be more pleasant with a little bit of color variety.

Upon our return, the obsession did not leave. I should have left this project for our next vacation as well, but I did not! I will have to find something else that is equally perfect vacation knitting. Because I am getting closer and closer to being done with this one.

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This is a very very wide shawl, and I suspect that it won’t be very long once it is done. Or rather, once I run out of yarn. It would have been wise to remove some of the width stitches. Maybe I will for a next one. But for this one, I think that the shawl will be easily worn doubled over into a triangle, and that should mix up the various colors as well.

I’ve enjoyed this rather boring knit quite a lot and it has served its purpose very well in my life. I plan to just keep plugging away at it until it is complete.

Vacation Adventures and Such

So, we headed to Louisiana. The plan was, fly into New Orleans, rent a car, head to Baton Rouge for the weekend. We got in later than was expected, all our flights had been delayed. We found where we needed to go to rent a car. It was hot. I wondered “How do people work around here without sweating all day?” Turns out, they just accept that sweating when working outside is part of the deal. Both rental car people we worked with outdoors were just soaked, looked like they’d stepped out of the shower.

We’d ordered a perfectly normal and small car, assuming that wandering around with limited parking would be easier that way. But, what actually happened? They upgraded us to a Dodge Challenger.

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Look at Mr. Ink’s face! He did have some hesitation because of the size of the car, but in the end decided to do it. I am not sure it was the best decision. Here’s what happened. When we agreed to the upgrade, the car was in the dark garage, it’s black, and was covered in water as it had just been washed. Mr. Ink checked it over for cosmetic issues and noted a few. We then headed out to Baton Rouge. When we got to our hotel, the car was dry and in the sun. I noticed sizeable dents on it. And immediately I worried we’d been scammed and there was nothing we could do about it. I took photos right then and there. And then I tried not to worry too much about it. We parked the car in Baton Rouge and didn’t use it again until we left. Everything was in walking distance.

Baton Rouge was the first indication that food in Louisiana is out of this world. Everywhere we ate, despite doing no research on restaurants whatsoever, was so delicious! Mr. Ink said he’d never eaten in an area where there was so much spice, but that’s right up my alley. I love spicy and flavorful food.

On the last day, I was so enchanted with the food that I ended up just taking photos of Mr. Ink and Food.

That’s Mr. Ink with a “gutter punk” burrito at a place called Juan’s Flying Burritos. The food there-out of this world! Like usual. Then we stopped into Brocato’s, a long established and much loved italian pastry and gelato shop. Had to try their cannolis of course, as they are said to be “the best.” They were, indeed, extremely delicious. Mr. Ink had some gelato too, and that was wonderful.

We didn’t plan a ton of our trip. We planned some key things and then just decided to wander. In Baton Rouge, I saw this huge mural, I originally thought it was painted on the side of a building. But, when I looked closely, it seemed to be swaying in the breeze. So, I told Mr. Ink we’d need to get a closer look. It was crocheted! The entire thing. A very large Finished Object!

I’ve got more photos and stories I’ll save for another day. But, as a follow up to the car issue, which we had spent a great deal of time worrying over, when we turned in the car we told the guy checking us in immediately what had happened. I told him I’d taken photos as soon as we got parked. He asked to see them. He checked the date on our paperwork and he checked the date and time on my photo. He called it good and moved us on. So….if you ever run into a situation such as this, do that. Take the photo immediately as soon as you notice and offer it up when you turn your car in. And, in the future, we’ll be looking over the car much more carefully. It turned out it wasn’t a scam, but we worried the entire time.

 

Back

So, Mr. Ink and I took a surprise trip. A surprise honeymoon you might even call it. Even we didn’t know we were taking it. You see, due to a family emergency last year, we had to cancel plane tickets to visit Boston. I thought I had a full year to use them up, I wasn’t paying attention. Turns out, when I called them to rebook for our July vacation, I needed to use them up by July 4. So, we quickly came up with a plan to take a little time off this month and see where it was we could go at the drop of a hat for under the amount of ticket we had to spend. The answer was New Orleans.

Now, I went to New Orleans once in my early 20s. Mr. Ink went there once, for his previous honeymoon. We decided we would indeed like to explore the city more. Then, we decided to see if any of our favorite bands were nearby during that time frame. Mr. Ink saw that The Bottle Rockets were playing there. Then, we looked more closely at their schedule and realized that they were playing at an outdoor free food and music festival in Baton Rouge the day before. With other bands we’d enjoy. So, instead of staying in New Orleans for the weekend, we rented a car and headed to Baton Rouge for the Bandito Festival. It was particularly interesting that The Bottle Rockets were the band we saw on our first date 6 years ago at the beginning of July.

While we are not typically t-shirt purchasers, we did think that this festival needed to be commemorated via t-shirt. We both got one.

The trip was delightful though very hot, which we expected. It was really nice to be together, by ourselves, doing all the things we wanted to be doing in the time frame we were comfortable with. We planned a few things, but mostly did the trip off the cuff. And it worked extremely well for us.

I’ll have more photos from the trip in upcoming blog posts. But, we did return home quite late Tuesday evening, and picked up our dogs on Wednesday. Lizzie went to her regular sitter’s home, and Rose went to her foster family home. They were both very well cared for, and I didn’t worry about them a bit. But I did miss them and I was very happy to have them home again!

And, one more dog photo, here’s one of Rose playing with one of her foster brothers.

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She was so so tired when she got home after a few days of hanging with her foster pack. It was very sweet how sleepy she was. I am wondering how long that’ll last! We shall see.

The night before we left for our vacation, I finished up and soaked my 10-stitch throw. The day we left, I was able to use our bed to block it. So, I finally get to feature it here!

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It turned out rather pretty! I am glad that it is done and now lives on the yellow recliner I made it to accent.

And, with this project, I am at 53% of my goal of 40 projects this year. That’s over half in the first half of the year, and with more started as well! I am feeling fairly confident that I’ll be able to meet this goal this year, even if I slack off and spin regularly. (As if that’s really slacking off!)

My goal of under 100 stashed yarns is looking a bit less achievable at the moment, and that is in part due to the slacking off and spinning. I currently have 110 yarns listed but that’s been a relatively static situation lately due to incoming yarns being created. And I have a suspicion a few may be hiding in my stash that aren’t listed on Ravelry, ones which I picked up from Miss Marja’s handspun stash. But, I am still working at it!

The remainder of the week and next week I’ll try to highlight a few photos and activities from our trip interspersed with my regular posting as well. It’s the end of the month this weekend which has a tendency to clog up quite a few days worth of posting, but I am sure that spacing out our trip posts won’t be a huge problem.

Finishing and Garden

I have a finished object! And another one really close to being done, though I don’t anticipate actually finishing that one until next week.

The scarf out of Miss Marja’s handspun is complete.

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The colors here are a little more saturated in the photo than they are in real life. In reality, there’s a muted nature to the colors. This is because I took the photo early this morning and the world was still quite rainy, since it rained all yesterday afternoon.

Speaking of rain, I had taken the dogs out and noticed that the first lily of the season was blooming! So, I took the dogs back in and then headed back out with my phone to grab a photo.

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Isn’t she a stunner?!?! I don’t even remember planting this one. That happens to me often, I forget what lilies I actually planted and every year they are a beautiful surprise. I do want to add to my collection though, I need to find something unusual this year for the lily garden.

That’s it from me! Hope everyone is having a great week!