Knitting Knews

It’s been a busy work week, with an edit that keeps finding new ways to befuddle me and other assorted projects, but I’ve been finding time to knit. I’ve also been binge watching Eureka. It’s been long enough since I first saw it that it is like new, and I totally love it.

I’m finally nearing completion on the never-ending rainbow scarf, thank goodness! It’s my third official knitting project, and it’s gonna need a home soon. As you can see, it’s super long, but I had to use one full cake of the Lion Brand Mandala yarn to get the full colorway. I’m pondering which friend would appreciate it. Maybe someone who would wear it for Pride events?

Then there’s the “travel project” I took to Supply with me on Monday. I haven’t worked on it again this week so I can finish the rainbow scarf, but can’t wait to get back to it. So pretty!

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I’m already thinking ahead to my next project, though I’m not sure what it will be yet. I splurged on a full set of ChiaGoo circular needles, so I want to use them, and I also want to expand my skills. I’m thinking a shawl, though I don’t even wear shawls, because I want to make something that’s not square or rectangular. I also want to learn to cable, though. I want to know everything, right now, and that’s frustrating for an overachiever like me.

And let’s not forget sweaters! I want to make a sleeveless summer top, and am browsing patterns for that as well. Sleeveless, scoop neck, hip length, probably in a soft cotton-bamboo blend. Knitting is so much slower than crochet, so it’s hard to guess how long all this will take. If only work didn’t keep getting in the way of craft time…

Paying For Saturday

I did a whole lot of nothing yesterday, other than wash our bedding and knit. Today has been much busier. Morning house chores, got a batch of dog treats in the dehydrator (Super easy two-ingredient “recipe” HERE), wrangled work email, figured out how to use my new scanner and scanned and emailed some photos, and I have a huge pot of pasta sauce simmering so I can assemble a couple of pans of lasagna to take to a family gathering out of town tomorrow.

Now, while the sauce simmers, I can finally knit! I am still working on my super-long rainbow scarf, but started a new one yesterday that is still small enough to take with me tomorrow. So far…

It’s a feather and fan scarf (pattern HERE), using Premiere Serenity yarn by Deborah Norville, in the “sea” colorway. I love this yarn. I made a window treatment with it several years ago, found a ball of it in my stash over the winter, and ordered a bunch more. I’m also using my brand new Knit Picks Caspian wood straight needles, and I love them. The surface has just the right texture for a 2 weight yarn, not as slippery as metal, but more grip than regular bamboo.

There’s a marathon of Season 8 of The Walking Dead, and I’ll alternate between that and a re-watch of an old favorite, Eureka, while I knit. Tonight is the season finale of TWD, as well as the premiere of the new season of Fear the Walking Dead. I can’t wait! I host a live chat on Facebook, and it’s sure to be a ton of fun tonight.

It’s raining off and on, with storms expected later, so it’s a good day for cooking, knitting, and TV. Even rainy, though, it’s a huge step up from our old home in Minnesota, which we fled 4 1/2 years ago. They got over a foot of snow yesterday! Nope, I don’t miss that even a little.

Quiet, Crafty Saturday

Today sort of feels like a “me” day. Work email tends to be light on weekends, and I don’t have a new edit until Tuesday. The only productive thing I’m doing today is washing bedding, because these happy puppy-faces have paws full of yard-sand, which tends to transfer to the sheets, and while it might seem like a great idea to do full-body exfoliation while you sleep, it’s not as pleasant as one might think.

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“Morning, Mama! Does your skin feel smooth and revitalized? Good. Now, go make breakfast.”

Tomorrow will be busier, with making dog treats, scanning some photos, and preparing a couple of lasagnas to take to a family event on Monday. But today, I’m going to chill.

Surely the sign of age and a small sphere of existence (by choice), I’m disproportionately excited about new knitting needles. I ordered a full set of ChiaGoo circulars which should have arrived Thursday since I have Amazon Prime, but tracking showed they won’t arrive until Monday. In compensation, Amazon is extending our Prime membership by a month. So,  yesterday I ordered a full set of Knit Picks Caspian Wood straight needles and paid the extra for next day delivery. See if this boggles your mind as much as it did mine.

  • Ordered 11:33 a.m. yesterday.
  • 6:29 p.m. the package left Chattanooga.
  • 9:48 p.m. it arrived in Knoxville.
  • 11:46 p.m. it left Knoxville.
  • 12:33 a.m. it arrived in Louisville.
  • 4:42 a.m. it left Louisville.
  • 5:54 a.m. it was in Raleigh.
  • 7:13 a.m. it left Raleigh.
  • 7:15 it was in Havelock and out for delivery, which means it must have missed a scan somewhere, because Havelock is more than 2 minutes from Raleigh.
  • Delivered to me in New Bern at 10:30 a.m.

23 hours to get what I want from Tennessee to my doorstep. Pretty cool.

This is what I’m planning today. As you can see, the rainbow scarf is now more-than-couch-length, but I’m in the home stretch. I’m on the blue, which will go back to green then a bit of yellow, and done. I need to find someone who’s into the whole rainbow thing and long scarves to give it a home.

I wanted these straight needles so quickly because we’ll be traveling about 2.5 hours away on Monday for a day trip family event thing. The scarf is too long and cumbersome for travel-knitting, so I want to start something else small to keep me busy and help me deal with the anxiety of socializing. I’m going to do a new fan and feather scarf, though I swore I was done with scarves for now, but I need the ChiaGoo circulars to arrive before I start anything bigger, like a baby blanket or small afghan.

How beautiful are these? Seriously! And I like the feel of them. Smoother than the typical bamboo needles, but a bit more texture than aluminum or steel.

I have quite a bit of this favorite yarn, Premier Serenity by Deborah Norville, colorway “Sea.” It’s a 2 weight and calls for a size 6 needle, and my aluminum 6 needles are currently full of rainbow scarf.

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I might end up using a different size, depending on how my test swatch looks, because I want a lacy look…

But at least whatever I decide, I know I now have the right size needle for my project!

A Mixed Bag

My job, and consequently my life, is a constant juggling act. As Managing Editor for circus-160165_960_720Limitless Publishing, I wear a lot of hats and have to balance the needs of authors, editors, proofreaders, our marketing team, formatters, cover designers, anthology projects…and just thinking about this makes me want a drink.

Factor in household responsibilities, the husband, personal care, and the Direwolves, and it’s even more chaotic. Mozzie just started a new hole in the yard (sorry, Tom) and rolled in it for a while, and we’re expecting my in-laws this evening for a visit. Oh, well.

Still, I try to focus primarily on one category each day. It might be an admin day, in which I manage things like schedules and planning, or an editing day if I have a looming deadline. It might be house stuff, or on the very rare days I don’t have an edit in progress, I can actually kick back and play with yarn.

For most of my life, this meant crochet, but I taught myself to knit a couple of months ago, and am working on my third scarf. I don’t even wear scarves, but it’s a good starter project. I’m using one cake of Lion Brand Mandala yarn, and you have to use the whole thing to get the full colorway, so it’s a long one. It’s currently, um…couch-length.

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See? Couch-length.

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Close-up of the working end, complete with lifelines. I still have lots of green and some blues to get through to reach yellow again, which is where I can finish off.

I want to learn cabling next, or maybe make a shawl or some slightly larger, more challenging project. Yesterday, I ordered a full set of interchangeable stainless steel circular needles from ChiaGoo, and can’t wait to play with them. Expensive, but cheaper than buying each individual size and cable length as I need them. That’s my justification.

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It’s still early, but today’s agenda is crowded and not conducive to focusing on one thing. I have to get things ready for the arrival of our house guests, finish an edit, continue the management-juggling, and get myself presentable enough to go to dinner this evening. Email is caught up for the moment, laundry running, so next up is some editing interspersed with house-tidying…and eventually a shower. I hope.

Or probably everyone else hopes, because I sincerely do not care.

Brain Vacation

I’ve had a stressful, busy week, so other than some light editing, I’m giving my brain the day off. There will be knitting, TV, time with the Direwolves, and Tom has suggested pizza and movie night. When he gets home, he’s bringing pizza from a place with wood-burning ovens we’ve been meaning to try. Right now, I think the movie will be Three Billboards.

In the meantime, enjoy these photos of my day, as always, featuring Mozzie and Oliver.

Edit, Knit, Repeat

My next edit was delayed, so I did a lot of knitting yesterday. It was probably a good thing, though. After being out both Saturday night and Sunday, way more social interaction than I’m used to, I was having the usual introvert reaction, not wanting to talk or think or engage much while I re-charged. I knitted and watched Torchwood most of the day.

This scarf is in some ways both easier and more challenging than the other two I’ve done. You absolutely have to count stitches correctly due to the vertical lines of the loops and double decreases. But it’s also clear within several stitches if you’ve miscounted, because the pattern doesn’t line up. I’ve only had to use a lifeline once so far on this scarf.

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It’s going to be a long scarf! It’s already about 18 inches, and I’m only into the third color, not counting that tiny bit of yellow at the beginning, and I still have purples, greens, and blues left. It felt like the orange was never going to end, which sucked because I really hate orange. Too perky.

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Here, you can see the transition from the orange, to the dark pinkish-orange, to the magenta. I can’t wait to get into the “cool” colors, which are my favorite.

Part of my edit arrived a while ago, though, so I have to work a bit before I can knit today. But I have some weird nervous energy going, like I’m forgetting something important. I might need to putter around the house a bit and see if that helps, or if I remember whatever it is.

I could’ve crocheted about four scarves in the amount of time this knit one is taking so far, but old dog, new tricks…important if you want to keep your brain from turning to lumpy oatmeal.

Two In A Row

We did go out last night, and I didn’t die. I did talk to a bunch of people whose names I don’t remember, despite having asked them several times, and I met a nice dog named Zoe, because I always remember dog names. I also snuck a couple pictures of some random guy because he had the prettiest long blond hair I’ve ever seen, but Tom convinced me I should definitely not give him my card and tell him he should seriously consider being a cover model because it’s almost impossible to find good stock photos of guys with long blond hair.

Now, brace yourself. I went out today too. Two days in a row, shower, bra, public. Me. It was a beautiful, warm, sunny day, so we took the Direwolves to the beach for a few hours. We usually go to Fort Macon State Park because it has plenty of parking, and a nice walkway over the dunes.

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Mozzie and Oliver are maniacs going to and from the car, but once we get to the beach,  they’re both so good I can’t even believe it. They walk nicely, splashing in the surf, not reacting to people or dogs we pass, and lie calmly on the blanket when we get back to our spot.

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Standard poodles definitely attract attention. Two people asked if Oliver was a standard, and one of them even noticed he has his full, natural tail.

I am absolutely exhausted. I’ve walked more in the past two days than in the previous two months, so I’m going to sit here watching TV and knitting until it’s time to watch The Walking Dead tonight. I’m finally almost past the orange part of the yarn, thank goodness. I hate orange, but you can’t have “rainbow” anything without it, although if I were in charge of the color spectrum, I’d definitely change that.

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The Direwolves have just reminded me I absolutely can’t sit here the rest of the day, because it’s supper time, and they’re hungry. They have me very well trained.

Lazy Video Day

I have an edit I need to finish today, which doesn’t leave me much time to work on a blog post, but I hate missing days. So you get a couple of short videos of the Direwolves and a quick knit update.

First, here’s where I am on the scarf I started. I wasn’t going to do another scarf, wanting to do something more substantial, but the Mandala yarn I wanted to use is a light 3 weight and would take me forever to make even a small throw.

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I can’t wait until I get out of the yellow and orange, my two least favorite colors. Next is pink, purple, green, then blue.

And now, on to the Direwolves. Mozzie likes to play “boop,” rolling the tennis ball to me so I’ll roll it back. Also, this is how every game ends, when Oliver gets involved.

This is a bit of what my every day is like, fending off the puppies while trying to work or relax. Not a bad life, if you ask me.

Time to get back to work. Good thing I love my job!

Flying Solo

The Husband is visiting his parents, leaving me to my own devices until tomorrow night. While this does have the potential for disaster, I don’t socialize, and motivating myself to mastermind any shenanigans, since I’d have to be both the instigator and the willing accomplice, is simply too much effort.

Really, my day won’t be much different than usual, other than not breaking from whatever I’m doing to prepare dinner and greet the Husband when he gets home from work. It’s noon, and I’ve been working all morning, around doing household things like laundry.

I did just take a short break, though, to block Scarf #2, which I did finally finish yesterday!

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Last night, I started on a new project. I had planned to do something bigger, a smallish throw, maybe. But I have it in my head that I want to use the rainbow Mandala yarn next, and it’s a 3 weight, so small stitches that would take centuries for me to make any sort of throw. So, I’m doing one more scarf. (Pattern HERE)

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That’s the photo  from the pattern above. Below is the very-baby-beginning of my scarf and the yarn I’m using.

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For this pattern, I am using a lighter yarn than I have so far, and a smaller size needle (a 6). I had to learn a double decrease (slip 2 knitwise together, knit one, pass the two slipped stitches over), and purl 2 together through back loop.

I actually had about 15 rows done last night, then made a mistake. I wasn’t very far, and had not yet placed a lifeline, but I saw the error while I was still on the same row. I was picking back to the error…and I dropped it. Stitches dropped and slipped down several rows. Since I wasn’t far along, I just frogged the whole thing and started over.

Now, time to take the Direwolves out for a few minutes, then back to work. I need to edit at least 20 more pages today so I can finish the round tomorrow. Once I hit today’s page goal, I can work on Scarf #3 while watching the new episode of The Magicians and then continue my binge watch of Jessica Jones.

Slow and Steady Setbacks

I thought I was going to finish the zig-zag scarf, my second-ever knitting project, yesterday…but nope. I’ll explain why in a minute, but first, I did officially block my first-ever scarf yesterday.

I’m pretty pleased with it. There are definitely mistakes, but I’m not too worried. However, it’s spring in eastern NC, and I don’t usually wear scarves anyway, but we’re going downtown Saturday night, and it might be cool enough to wear this as an accessory with a garnet-colored top I have.

Scarf 2 is long enough, but I’m trying to end on a part of the colorway I like. I was sure I’d finish yesterday, worked on it a bit in the afternoon, then when I started again in the evening, disaster struck.

The pattern isn’t that hard, and I’ve been working on it so long it’s rather mindless, as long as I take a second as I start each row to remember where I am. But if I become too mindless, I sometimes lapse into knit stitches on the purl row, and I did it again. I noticed the ridge a couple of rows later, and was glad I had a lifeline.

Turned out it was good I had two lifelines, kind of like a back-up parachute. When leaping out of a perfectly good airplane, it’s fairly certain you’re going to need that first parachute, unless your goal is to see how deep a crater you’ll make when you hit the ground. It’s nearly as certain I’ll need at least one lifeline upon occasion, since I’m still so new to knitting.

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Lovely, lovely lifeline

But when I got to the first lifeline, something was wrong. It didn’t look…right. Sigh. Back-up parachute time. By then, I was sweating, because if the backup chute failed, I was just going to have to start flapping my arms and hope for the best.

I was very, very meticulous as I reached the lifeline and began putting each loop back on the needle. Then I figured out where I was in the pattern–I always put the lines in rows 10 and 20 of the 20-row repeat–and deduced I had the needle in from the wrong direction, and had to feed it (so carefully) onto another needle going the right way.

Heart attack averted, but the 15 or so rows I had to frog amounted to at least an hour and a half of work. Not a huge deal, as while working on a crochet lace tablecloth, in which each round took several hours once I reached a large diameter, I once took out multiple rounds, or about two days’ worth of work.

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But I really wanted to finish the scarf yesterday, block it today, and start something new.

I have a new circular needle, smaller size, arriving today, which I think I’ll use on a small blanket, but I really want to order THIS, a full set of ChiaoGoo stainless steel needles with interchangeable cords. Spendy, but I figure I’ll come out ahead in the end, rather than ordering each needle size and cable length individually as I need them. Yes, I can justify nearly anything once I decide I want it.

Do you have a favorite full set of knitting needles? If so, tell me fast, before I one-click the ChiaoGoo set!