Thursday, January 20, 2022

Winning on my day off…

​Well, Wednesday was a good day.  I spun some in the evening for the first time in a few days.  I may need to go back and spin more on my first bobbin after seeing how much I’ve got on the second bobbin and how much top I still have left to spin.  

I also got done with my last lace rounds of my Pi Shawl and am down to the last 4-5 rounds of plain knitting before adding the border.  So exciting!  

My replacement Prym circular arrived yesterday and Hooray it was a real size 8 5mm this time!  I was really afraid that I was going to get another size 11 8mm needle.  

Monday was my dad’s 72nd birthday and I got him a new Chromebook. He had one that couldn’t be kept up to date any longer because it was so old.  He uses the thing like crazy. And I got a good deal on it too. I was tempted to buy myself one but since I have a 1 year old MacBook Air what do I possibly need a Chromebook for? My hoarder tendency was luckily squashed. 

Tuesday, January 18, 2022

Plans for the day off

 Tomorrow I have the day off and I plan to do a good bit of knitting and spinning while I'm home.  The Pi Shawl is getting heavy in a good way.  I've finished row 37 on the 576 stitch section.  Only 11 or 12 more rounds to go.  Then I get to knit on the border, which I expect to be tedious and time consuming.  I just know it will be a relief to finish such a massive project.  Then onto Jo's Big Comfy Sweater.  My correct needle should arrive tomorrow, I hope.  Then I will be able to speed along on both the front and back of her sweater with my ergonomic needles.  

I also want to finish spinning up the BFL wool so that I can ply it this weekend when I have my next day off.  Then I will be able to start spinning some of the other fibers I bought.  If I feel like I've gotten enough of a hang of it, I might do one of the colored rovings or maybe even try one of the batts.  The goal is to get thru the bag of BFL first.  

This morning I ordered more lotion from Happy Hands Store on Etsy.  I love the Bohemian and Apricot & Honey scents.  Now I will have big enough bottles that I won't be afraid to use it all up in my little 1oz tottle bottles.  The smell stays on your skin, not on your knitting.  And my hands get dry from all the alcohol and gloves I have to wear at work doing covid testing.  I will be able to bring some to work to use during the day and have plenty at home to use when knitting or spinning and my hands get rough. 

Monday, January 17, 2022

Nearly Heart Failure

 ​So, tonight I had to work kind of late (8pm) and when I got home I immediately put on my PJs and got started knitting on my Pi Shawl.  We’re nearing the home stretch and I can’t wait for this project to be completed.  I knit one and a half rounds before ball 3 ran out and I struggled to find the bag with the rest of my Einband yarn.  It was located eventually under my bed. So I sat down to start the new ball and tugged the project and didn’t notice that an edge was under my jar of pretzels (gotta have snacks when knitting, right?)  off flew a whole repeat worth of stitches!  I wanted to cry. Or throw up.  Or both.  I grabbed my double pointed sock needles and attempted to catch the stitches but it seemed impossible. I ended up moving my right hand suddenly and off popped another half of a repeat.  I wanted to throw the whole project across the room.  I grabbed the stitches I could. I turned back the pattern to the previous row to see what the dropped stitches should look like. I somehow managed to tink back to the point where I yanked the second group of stitches off the needle and was able to successfully reknit and breathed a sigh or relief when I got to the end of the round. For the record, rounds 29 & 30 are now done. I still plan to go to round 48 or 49.

While I was searching for my yarn, I did finally locate my Jan-June planner that had gone missing in December.  Better late than never. I’m using 3 planners for different purposes.  The found one is an Erin Condren Daily Duo that I keep track of my work schedule and how my work day goes. On the days I have off I write down what I did on the hourly format so I feel better about what I managed to accomplish.  My Hobonichi Weeks Mega is my main planner that I write everything down in and use the back pages for bullet journal collections, patterns, project notes, etc.  And my Hobonichi Weeks Sneaker is used as a meal tracker and daily gratitude log.  My B6 Stalogy has been relegated to a journal this year although I do miss having that as my planner.  Daksina is such an inspiration.  I love to watch her transform a plain notebook into something beautiful and functional.  

We are expecting a substantial snow storm here in western New York.  I don’t get the luxury of a snow day unfortunately. But I am looking forward to my 10 day WecantgotoDisneyWorldButImnotgoingtowork vacation coming up on the 28th.  I really want to be done with this shawl before then and maybe even get Jo’s sweater done or nearly done so I can spin while I’m home that week. I have some beautiful wool fiber that I don’t dare take out of the package because I still need to finish up my Blue-Faced Leicester and ply it into yarn before I try spinning anything else. 

And lastly, I need to finish reading my favorite author’s latest book, Prodigal Son by Jay Crownover. Normally I devour her books in one session, but these characters have mental health issues that are hitting close to home and I have to take it slow so I don’t get overwhelmed. 

Sunday, January 16, 2022

Progressing nicely on Pi Shawl

​Today I finished the first of two repeats of diamonds on my Pi Shawl.  I also re-read the pattern and decided to end the shawl with 49 rounds before attaching the border.  I’m looking forward to finishing this project soon, hopefully this week for the shawl body and another week for the tedious border.  Of the 49 rounds in this final section, I am on round 29.  Then I will probably have to leave it until spring to block it somewhere outdoors since I don’t have a good 8’x8’ space to spread it out. I’m pretty sure it’s bigger than my king size bed top. 

My Amazon order came in this week and when I opened it today I discovered my #8 needle was in fact a size 11. So I reported it to Amazon and requested they send me another. Hopefully the second time I get the right thing but my expectations aren’t that high since I have a feeling that the pile probably all got mislabeled like when I ordered a $149 pen and got the wrong one twice.   I also ordered a Big Sully yarn caddy that isn’t nearly big enough for the yarns I use. 

I really want to do some writing or journaling with my new fountain pen but can’t really think of anything to say. At least nothing nice.  So far I bitched about the lack of thanks from the Christmas gifts I bought some people this year.  Next year I will not be generous to those people, that’s for sure. 

Tuesday, January 11, 2022

Pi Shawl Progress

 So far I’m about to complete my 2nd ball of laceweight Icelandic wool on my Pi Shawl from Elizabeth Zimmermann’s Knitter’s Almanac.  I’ve knit to the point that I’ve increased the final time to 576 stitches around and knit 9 rounds so far on that many stitches.  I’ve mapped out the shawl in my planner and seem to come up with 45 rounds instead of the 48 I would expect.  After that comes the knitted on border that will be slow and painful I’m sure, being that you have to knit a row for every stitch you bind off.  

Contemplating that I would need a longer needle once I doubled the stitches from 288 to 576, I bought a Kollage square soft needle from Paradise Fibers. It is a dud for this project because the yarn is firm and the needle cable is soft.  I might use it on the silk/mohair yarn but it’s no match for the Icelandic wool.  I put the project back on my Denise needles after a round or maybe 2. I was afraid that I would tug too hard to move the stitches and pull the needle right off the cable and end up with a $20 piece of trash.  

I haven’t been doing much spinning this weekend or week thus far. Maybe tomorrow and definitely when I have the day off on Wednesday I will try to finish spinning my 2nd bobbin of singles to attempt to ply.  My time on the School of SweetGeorgia is counting down and I am stuck at the homework right now. 

I had to rejoin Twitter because my favorite YouTuber for knitting gave up YouTube. My favorite YouTuber for writing/notebook hoarding is my age which I was shocked to discover. It’s been a random week already. 

Friday, December 31, 2021

Finishing out 2021

​Well, it’s New Years Eve and I’m done working and came home and immediately broke out my Pi Shawl I started this week in Einband Icelandic laceweight wool. It’s a brilliant pattern in the beginning, going quickly because you’re growing from 9 to 144 stitches at a good pace.  Then I got to the increase to 288 stitches and hit a wall it seems.  I’m on round 7 of the lace pattern with 288 stitches and have to get to round 48 before I can get the feeling of accomplishment and double the stitches again to 576!  I’m using the lace pattern Elizabeth Zimmermann provides with the Pi Shawl pattern in Knitters Almanac.  I’m thinking of knitting the same pattern for my mom using a mohair/silk blend laceweight but want to see how this one comes out before I work with that fiddly yarn.

Today I got some sad news.  Not only did the wonderful Betty White die, but my favorite YouTuber has put his channel on hold because of some trolls causing him trouble.  Now I’m gonna have to search out new people in the knitting world to follow.  This is the second great knitting podcast that’s been cancelled on me this year and it makes me feel as though I’ve lost a friend.  

Sunday, December 26, 2021

Big Comfy Sweater - Take 2

Well, now that I've finished my Big Comfy Sweater, I've cast on for Johanna's.  I decided after measuring her that I am going to make the 3X size from Blueberry Pudding Caron Big Cakes.  On Christmas Eve I cast on the front & back and on Christmas Day I managed to get both of the ribbings done, so now it's just miles of Stockinette until I have to add the sleeve stitches.  I have one piece on my Prym circular needle and the other piece on my new Denise Sharp Short Tips.  

My other project is doing the spinning homework for my School of SweetGeorgia spinning class.  I got my order of Blue Faced Leicester wool and am working on spinning my first bobbin full of singles, then I have to spin another bobbin with which to ply it into yarn.   I'm getting too much twist in the yarn, so I hope that Felicia addresses that in a future lesson I haven't gotten to yet.  

I put the needles I need for my Scandinavian shawl in my Amazon cart but haven't submitted it.  I'm not sure I really want to start that yet because it looks more complicated than I anticipated.  It's worked in 4 pieces, not one large piece, so I may do the Pi Shawl first, as that's better travel knitting.  

Today I start back at my original job, in the Pharmacy at my store, so I will have more time to knit after work, but no knitting during work like I had doing the school testing job with downtime at slower test sites and between schools.  I hope I made the right decision to come back to the store.  Everything seems to have changed while I was gone for 4 months. 

Wednesday, December 22, 2021

Finished my Big Comfy (Ugly) Sweater

​I finished knitting, seaming and weaving in ends on my sweater tonight. Then tried it on and was very disappointed in how it looks on me.  It’s done in bright rainbow stripes and isn’t the least bit flattering. Don’t get me wrong, I’m still gonna wear the hell out of it, because I made it myself, but if someone asks I’m gonna refer to it as my ugly sweater.  The sleeves are really what ruins it. They are made it an unflattering stitch pattern. I may need to rethink my plan to knit this sweater for my daughter since she was going to get a different color way of the same yarn with the same sweater pattern. We’ll see how I feel about it after I wear it in public the next few days. 

Tuesday, December 21, 2021

Christmas Week

​This week has been long and busy already and it’s only Tuesday!  I’m still plugging away at my Rainbow Jelly sweater… the back is up to almost the same spot where my back ran out of yarn in the cake, so I will soon have to decide what I’m going to do about it. I have 2 more cakes I could tap into but would have to wind off the yarn till it got to the color sequence my sweater is using. This is the only real issue with self striping cakes. I would really like to finish it tomorrow so I can wear it Thursday on my last day in the schools. It’s dress down all week in the store but easier to wear my scrubs. If I don’t manage to finish it by then I want to wear it on Christmas Eve. It seems like it would be cozy. 

The packages have been rolling in from all my online shopping. My basket of wool is full and more is still on the way. My mohair/silk lace weight and my wool/silk roving came in today. My knitting books came in over the weekend.  I have some BFL wool from The Woolery on the way, and some Merino roving and some carded batts are coming from Paradise Fibers.  I can’t wait to see all these beautiful fibers and be able to start spinning.  I am stuck in the School of SweetGeorgia lesson where she tells you to spin 2 bobbins full of BFL so she can teach how to ply it into yarn.  I’m so excited to give it a try. 

Monday, December 20, 2021

Last Chapter

​Today is the beginning of my last week on my current project at work.  I’m training my replacement Monday-Thursday.  So far, so good.  Mondays are our slowest day as far as number of patients per site that we handle, but we go to five schools so it’s a longer day. Since I’m supposedly training Tom I didn’t bring my knitting. I’m regretting my decision right now while we have an hour between schools. My pattern and Icelandic lace weight yarn arrived this weekend. I also got my Handknitting with Meg Swansen book.  My wool from Paradise Fibers was delivered this morning. I can’t wait to get home and see what it looks like. I’m not going to attempt to spin it until my spinning technique is on point.  I signed up for School of SweetGeorgia to get some help with my spinning techniques. I’m hoping I can get what I need out of the school in 3 months before I have to pay for another quarter.