Monday, January 31, 2022

Prepped for Sweaters

​I got bored knitting on Jo’s sweater yesterday so I decided to take a couple breaks to print out my sweater patterns for Joji Locatelli’s All The Love and Worsted Boxy on sticker paper, cut them down and stuck them in my Hobonichi Weeks.  It will serve as an easy place to have the pattern at my side as I work and a memory of the accomplishment in my planner.  

Yesterday was a pj day where I sat in bed and worked a couple rows on my afghan and as much as I could on Jo’s sweater. I’m dreading the sleeves, both because it will require more stitches in each row and because it will be in that annoying ridged pattern I can’t seem to keep track of in my head. Today we are spending the day at Turningstone Casino playing Bingo. I will be bringing my knitting to work on during the down time. I was thinking about casting on a sock to work today but I’m gonna keep plugging away at Jo’s sweater. I am about to run out of the first cake in a couple inches on one piece, so I’m gonna try to work until I run out of yarn I guess. I estimated it would take up to 4 cakes so I have plenty of yarn to use to finish it up.  

Friday, January 28, 2022

Leaps & Bounds!

​Well, I’m feeling quite accomplished after I figured out how to do C2C crochet on the afghan kit I got from WeCrochet.  I had to watch a YouTube video to get a handle on the color changes, but then I rocked & rolled! I’m on row 21 of 95 but I feel like this is going to be a fairly quick project because the color changes every few blocks keeps me engaged.  I spend a lot of time counting to make sure I’m getting the pattern right, like I do with lace knitting.  It was refreshing to learn something new after 20+ years of knowing how to crochet.  I still haven’t broken out my new Tunisian crochet hook set to try that. I think I will save that for when this crochet afghan is finished, considering I have a sweater for Jo, the Temperature afghan for Courtney, and still a good amount of Blue-Faced Leicester wool top left to spin before I can ply my first (in 10 years anyway) yarn. 

I tried to find local yarn shops near me to visit this week but it looks like they didn’t survive the pandemic or are strictly online now. I think for my birthday in a couple weeks I will ask for some silk blend yarn for Joji’s All The Love sweater.  I have some that I started the pattern with years ago in a different size and I’m not sure I have enough to make the smaller size.  Plus I found a bright pink shade of the yarn she used for the pattern that I fell in love with.  But since I’m supposed to be on a fiber diet I stopped short of cashing out.  Gifts are permissible so I’m hoping someone asks me what I want, because I’m prepared for a change. 

Thursday, January 27, 2022

Slow Progress

​It’s painfully slow going on Jo’s sweater, but I’m making some progress every day.  It’s not going to be done this week like I had hoped, but my new project is going to be the C2C Throw kit that I got from We Crochet instead of another sweater like I was originally thinking.  And I also want to work a bunch on Courtney’s Temperature Afghan. I don’t think I’ve touched it since Christmas when I started spinning again. My 10 day vacation has officially started and I’m psyched to have time at home to work on my projects uninterrupted if I want to.  We have some staycation ideas for things to do, but Rochester NY is no Walt Disney World.  Especially in Jan/Feb.  One of the things I like to do while knitting is listen to books or videos but I’ve been in a rut lately. Maybe this week I will be able to find something interesting to watch or listen to amount the pile of apps and streaming services my family requires me to subscribe to.  

Wednesday, January 26, 2022

Pi Complete

 ​I finished binding off my Pi Shawl after work on Monday night.  I was so thrilled to have it done and the ends woven in all at once. I need to block it this week when I can pin it to the mattress and leave it to dry completely.  

So, tonight I’m up at 2:30am desperately surfing yarn sites and my pattern library for my next new project. I started my C2C throw kit I got from before Christmas, but I’m really looking to work on another garment like one of Joji Locatelli’s sweaters.  I priced out yarn and had to put on the brakes. I will need to shop my stash for the next project, which shouldn’t be too difficult.  In the meantime I have Jo’s sweater to work on. I got the second piece moved over to my new size 8 Prym needle so hopefully it will work up quicker than it was on that dreadful Susan Bates Crystal torture device. ;) 

Later today I’m planning to give a couple of my supposedly machine washable sweaters a bath. The jury is still out on one that I’m not sure what type of yarn I used and one that I’ve confirmed is hand wash only.  Might save those for another day.  I’ve been knitting for over 20 years and have never washed a wool anything except to felt it. Now I’m scared.  But there are these 2 I’m fairly confident can be washed on Gentle so I’m willing to give it a chance. 

Monday, January 24, 2022

Missed my target

​Well, it’s 12:16am and I still have 100 stitches left of my Pi Shawl to border & bind-off.  I will be able to finish that later this morning after I get some sleep I hope.  I came home from work and worked on it while watching the Bills game.  What a letdown at the last second. Then I put on When Harry Met Sally and kept knitting my 8 stitch border. When that was done I turned on Pride & Prejudice. Now I have calmed down enough from the anxiety of the game and can hopefully fall asleep.  I still haven’t contemplated what my new project will be after Jo’s sweater. After work tomorrow I will try to shop my stash and come up with something. 

Saturday, January 22, 2022

Edging Progress

​Today I managed to get about 126 stitches bound off with the knitted-on border. I came home from work at 9:30 and put on When Harry Met Sally and knit away.  I decided after getting a good section bound off that I really wanted to be able to track progress. I went back and placed stitch markers every 50 stitches so I would know how much was left to work.  

We are predicted to have temps in the single digits this weekend so I plan to spend Saturday and when I’m not at work on Sunday on this project so I can hopefully have this shawl off the needles by the end of the weekend. Then I will be able to get back to Jo’s Big Comfy Sweater now that I have 2 of the good Prym needles.  That’s mindless knitting. Just miles of stockinette to the armpits then a ridge pattern for a long bit. I wish I had the patience to redesign the pattern to be worked in the round. But I don’t have the patience for that. Plus it would work against the easy design of 2 T shaped pieces sewn together into a sweater without a front or back. 

I want to be done with that project this coming week if possible so I can do something completely new & different while I’m on my staycation starting on Friday.  

I’m not sure what I will choose.  Something easy and portable or something complex that requires concentration? I have the C2C crochet afghan kit, I have multiple Caron Cakes in different materials that might be another afghan or another sweater.  Or a new pair of socks with the yarn I picked up at Hobby Lobby. I will have to ponder my options this week while I’m busy knitting another few miles of 8 stitch wide border on the Pi Shawl. 

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.