One Off The Needles, New One On

I’ve been a terrible blogger, not posting in so long. In my defense, I had what was (for me) a very hectic, draining week, but I’ll try to do better.

For now, the news is I finally finished the On The Wings of a Prayer shawl, using Knit Picks Chroma superwash in “drawing room.”

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done

The colors are actually softer than in the photo. I needed a flash in the dim room where it’s blocking.

Next up is a lighter shawl, the Holden shawl by Mindy Wilkes, a paid pattern on Ravelry. I am using Dream In Color Smooshy With Cashmere, in “mermaid shoes,” which is so soft and beautiful I can hardly stand it. I’ll be making it in the medium size.

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Barely started, but every project starts somewhere. I had to learn to pick up and knit on vertical and cast-on edges for this one, but the rest will be similar to the stockingette sections of the last shawl, and the fan and feather edging will be like scarves I’ve done.

WIP Wednesday

This is weird. As an author and editor, “WIP” means a manuscript in publishing.

Yesterday was a soaker. It rained all morning and into the afternoon like Mother Nature had pulled the flusher on a giant atmospheric toilet tank. The Direwolves, sadly, still have to go outside when we get up, regardless. When they come in, Mozzie always thinks I’m going to dry him (I rarely bother) and runs to his safe place, which happens to be my bed. Funzies. They spent much of the day first watching the rain…

And later watching “Squirrel TV.”

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I got through my work-related tasks as fast as I could, because I’d ended Monday night with a knitting clusterfluff. I should have stopped before I did, but I wanted to do the row of eyelet in my WIP shawl. Doing the knit row after to secure the eyelets, I moved wrong and dropped several stitches from the left needle.

Rackenfrazzle.

I picked up what I could see the best I could, but I knew I had lost stitches. The question was where. So yesterday I knitted across and then counted to see how many stitches I’d lost. Looked like two, one on either side of the center markets. I added an increase on each side of that row to compensate, and moved ahead.

After a few rows, I examined the piece and saw three dropped stitches. I grabbed a hook and looped them back into secure positions, brought the last up to the current row, clipped it with a marker, and worked it into the next row. I was pretty proud of myself.

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I didn’t have a lifeline, despite my new ChiaGoo circulars having the handy eye in the base to allow you to knit a line right in, because it ends up through my center markers and gets pulled along to each new row somehow. And I’m around 150 stitches per row right now, and too lazy to do one manually with a tapestry needle. But I probably should.

The good news is the mistake is the stitches adjacent to the center eyelets, and so very hard to detect. The bad news is I’ve never used stitch markers before, so the eyelets themselves are not very even because I find it awkward to work around the markers. I hope I can fix that somewhat during blocking. If you have tips for working around markers, or the best kind of marker to use, I’m all ears.

My other WIP is the travel scarf, but I haven’t done more on it since sitting on–and breaking–my wood needle a few nights ago. I ordered a replacement.

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I’m already plotting another project, but not sure what. Another shawl? Start to learn cables? If you have a good starter cable pattern, let me know!

Now, a bit more work and a few chores, and I’ll see what adventures await in my knitting education today. 🙂

 

Adventures in Knitting

I finished my edit on Friday, so I had a nice weekend of knitting and sort-of gardening. I used to do a pair of three-tiered beds along the fence, but the Direwolves think that’s a jungle gym, and I’m really too lazy to drag the hose over there, especially when it’s hot and humid. So this year I put some tomatoes, zucchini, cucumber, eggplant, and red and green peppers in containers on the deck.

The rainbow scarf came out to nine feet long, and is now blocked. It needs a home, though. Hoping one of my friends will speak up and offer to adopt it.

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I did some work on my “travel” feather and fan scarf…

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And then this happened…

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That’s the result of getting up to make a snack then returning and plopping your rump on the couch without looking first. It was my size 6 from my brand new Knit Picks Caspian Wood set. I ordered a replacement. I do have a pair of size 6 metal needles, but I kind of wanted to do something else, anyway, so I started my first shawl.

I like this pattern because it does a number of rows in garter, then some in stockingette, a couple in eyelet, and there are some lace sections I haven’t gotten to yet. I have some concerns, though. Tell me what you think.

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The blue tail at the bottom should be the back point and the part on the needles is working up to the wide top edge. This is my first time using circular needles, but this isn’t what I thought it would look like. My stitch count is correct, but it arches at the top. If I try to pull the top edge into a straight line, the bottom cups up. Is this something that just happens while it’s on the needles, and it will flatten into a triangle either as it grows or when I cast off? Fingers crossed!

I had a cancellation I wasn’t able to fill in time, so I have no edit this week. As long as I stay on top of my managerial tasks, I should have lots of time to knit this week!

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…

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.

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.