WIP Weekend

I know it’s Mother’s Day weekend here in the U.S., but that’s never been a “holiday” to me, despite Anna Jarvis, the founder of Mother’s Day, being an ancestral cousin. My mom passed away on May 14, 1984, the day after Mother’s Day…which happened to be my first. My son was only seven weeks old. We spent that day, her last Mother’s Day, apart, as she was in the hospital over an hour away awaiting surgery she did not survive.

Okay, enough of the sad memories. That’s why the “holiday” is low-key here. I don’t care if The Boy remembers it or not. Tom brought shrimp and scallops from the local seafood market, and that will be dinner tomorrow. Easy-peasy, and I adore fresh scallops.

This week, I finished and blocked my first knitted shawl, and I’m pretty happy with it. It’s the On The Wings of a Prayer shawl, using Knit Picks Chroma in Drawing Room. It’s a bit warm for my climate, but I have a home picked out for it.

I’ve been working on a new shawl in sock-weight yarn, Dream Smooshy With Cashmere in Mermaid Shoes. I love this yarn so much! It’s soft and works up beautifully. I’m making this Holden shawl with a slightly larger needle to improve the drape and to make the lacy parts–when I get to them–lacier. I’m still on the body of the shawl, but I’m loving the yarn and the gorgeous colorway.

20180512_111134

Five-inch ruler for scale.

20180512_111151

Though I have two more balls of Dream Smooshy With Cashmere in different colorway, Burr, I couldn’t resist another yarn I saw on Facebook. I saw it several days ago, almost bought it, somehow resisted (this is unusual behavior for sure), but after a few days, I was still thinking about it, so I ordered two hanks (to be rolled into cakes for me) from The Wicked Knittah.

31945808_1338049542962377_3599718554426933248_n

It’s an 80/10/10 superwash merino/cashmere/nylon sock weight, and I love the colors. It’s called Cottage Shed, and it reminds me of the verdigris on a copper pot, or weathering on a tin roof of a rustic garden shed. Can’t wait to get it!

I finished a first round edit on the upcoming Mafia Prince by Bella J. yesterday–and you should totally check out book 1 in her Royal Mafia series, Mafia Princess–so I have time to hang with the Direwolves, watch Stitchers on Amazon (only one season left to go, boooo!) and knit.

If you “do” Mother’s Day, hope you have a great one! Wishing a very happy, peaceful, love-filled day to my big sister, Linda, who stepped in when we lost our mom and served as a surrogate mother and grandmother to me and the little one when we needed her most. Love you, Sister!

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.”

done2

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.

mermaid

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.

Shopping Splurge

Conversation this morning…

Tom: So, do you want to do something today?

Me: (purses lips and gives side-eye) When would have been the right time to ask this question?

Because as a dedicated hermit, if I am venturing into the Out, I like to know in advance. Surprise excursions do not make me happy. A better approach is to suggest something to me at least the day before. “Hey, I was thinking we should (go over to check out Washington) (take the dogs to Flanner’s Beach) (go do lunch on the waterside deck at Persimmons) tomorrow.” This usually works better on me.

But today, I had an agenda.

Me: Well, I was thinking I wouldn’t mind going to Swansboro.

Tom: (registers slight surprise that I suggested anything at all, much less something he didn’t mind doing) Okay.

swansboro

We’re in New Bern, NC, and the town’s only LYS (Local Yarn Shop) closed last year, before I discovered knitting. We have a Michael’s and now a Hobby Lobby, and I’ve bought a crap-ton of “big box store” yarn over the years. As a lifelong crocheter, those projects work up so fast and use more yarn, leading to more big projects like blankets and afghans, meaning really nice yarn with exotic fibers or hand-dyed yarn are cost-prohibitive. Knitting is slower (for me), more intricate, smaller projects, and a nice ball of yarn can last me a couple of weeks instead of half a day.

So off we went, heading for, naturally, The Salty Sheep Yarn Shop. Sad that the nearest LYS is nearly an hour away, but it’s a nice little coastal town and lots of great shops and restaurants along the water, so a great day trip.

salty sheep

I really should’ve asked names, because the woman in the shop (I assume the owner) was super friendly and helpful. I looked at some of her WIPs, bought the stitch markers she recommended, and began looking at the displays of completed projects. I found a shawl I liked that appeared to be something I could do. She told me it’s the Holden Shawl on Ravelry. It’s a paid pattern, but I used my phone and bought it right away.

Which led to the yarn. So. Much. Beautiful. Yarn! I could literally spend a thousand dollars without breaking a sweat, but confined myself to two twists each of two colors of Dream Smooshy with Cashmere (70% superwash merino wool, 20% cashmere, 10% nylon). I got “Mermaid Shoes” and “Burr.” Mermaid Shoes is my always favorite purple/green/blue combo, and Burr is a more beachy blue/brown theme.

yummyyarn

Imagine my delight when I learned a good LYS will wind the twists into cakes for free. Love those special little touches that equal outstanding service. Takes some of the sting out of paying $32 for a 4-ounce twist of yarn.

yummyyarn2

We walked through the waterfront downtown, in and out of shops, then had a nice lunch at the Saltwater Grill, sitting on the screened deck overlooking the water. Conch fritters and a tangy potato salad hit the spot!

lunch

Not a bad lunchtime view.

Before we could leave, though, I had to return to Silver Line.

Silver-Line-Jewelry

It was the first shop I popped into on the way to The Salty Sheep, and the second I stepped in, I was drawn to a jewelry display at the back of the room. Sterling settings with bright sky blue stones swirled through with white. I’d never seen anything like it before, like the perfect summer sky at the beach with some high, wispy clouds.

Hmm. One has a nice Celtic band.

Hmm. It also happens to fit my right ring finger perfectly.

Inquired about the price. Cried a little inside.

It turns out the stone is called Larimar, which comes from Larissa (daughter of the guy who discovered it in the 1970s) and Mar, which is Spanish for sea. It’s found only in one very specific area in the Caribbean, and how much of it there actually is remains unknown. But I reallllllllly liked it.

Went about my shopping day, but couldn’t stop thinking about that ring.

Realized tomorrow is pay day, so screw it. MINE.

larimar.jpg

And now I’m home, and these two missed me. Apparently.

Checked in on work, so now I can get back to the shawl-in-progress using Knit Picks Chroma (in “drawing room”) that I’ve been working on. Because the sooner I finish it, the sooner I can play with my beeeeeeee-youuuuuu-teeeeee-ful new cashmere blend.

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.”

squirrel

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.

shawl2

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.

travel

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.

20180423_091013

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

travel

And then this happened…

20180421_221414

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.

20180423_091222

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!

scarf3

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.