Doing Battle

Over the past two months, I have been engaged in what I now refer to as an epic battle. It started with some lovely Miss Babs Yarn that I picked up earlier this year. It is what I hope to be a sweater quantity of heavy fingering weight yarn, perfect for the lightweight cardigan that a Floridian needs to have on hand (seriously, you would not believe the intensity in which they blast the A/C in restaurants). I made some cable swatches which I am still rather pleased with.

I may have shared these on an earlier post, but my memory is questionable, and I’m feeling too lazy to check.

I crunched some numbers, and I cast on. Technically, I cast on three times. In the first attempt, I bungled the cast on edge, and thought I could live with it until I had completed 2 1/2 inches of ribbing. Apparently, I don’t know me because it finally bothered me enough to rip it out and cast on again. I finished the ribbing the second time, and decided to double-check my number crunching. This was when I realized I made a huge error. The ribbing is denser than the cables, and I based my stitch count on the ribbing (that is a rookie move on my part). Rather than attempt to hide decreasing away over 30 stitches in one row, I ripped it out and started again.

I finished the ribbing. Yes, I know the color looks different, but it’s not. My what a difference the lighting, and the background can make. The grey is the accurate color.

I started the cables.

The stitch counts were correct, and everything seemed to be working swimmingly, but something was nagging at me. I crunched numbers again, and again, and again, and it finally dawned on me what the error was. When the decreases start happening for the neck, too much of the wrong cable would be consumed by the decreases leaving me with something I wouldn’t be happy with.

Yes, I ripped the whole skein out. I know that looks like two skeins, but there was a knot in the skein, so I broke the yarn & rejoined at one of the ends.

It may seem that this cardigan has defeated me, but the cardigan has clearly not met me before.

That’s a fresh skein. The original has been washed to get all the kinks out & will be rejoined at an appropriate time.

Posted in Knitting, sweater Tagged with:

Nesting

It’s been a while since I’ve written a blog post. I’ve had a few people send questions with contact form & a some others have sent messages on ravelry. There are a few common threads in these notes, so I thought I’d share a little Q & A.

Why aren’t you blogging as much as you used to?

I’ve been busy doing what a friend of mine calls nesting. I’ve moved, but I haven’t quite settled. There’s been new furniture to purchase, and things like painting and ceiling fans don’t happen by themselves. This has occupied way more time than I’d like it to.

When will you make more videos?

I don’t really know. Even if I weren’t nesting, making a 5 minute video is very time-consuming. I really enjoyed making them and the interaction that they generated, but devoting 8 hours to a 5 minute clip isn’t something I have the time to do right now.

Are you still knitting now that you’re in Florida?

Yes, I am. I’m just not blogging about it much. Here are some swatches that will hopefully become a cardigan one day.

When will you release new designs?

Nomia was just released last month. There are some other things in the works, but I’m not committing to a time-table.

Where can I get a copy of the pattern for Eggses?

Right now, you can’t. Eggses was a mystery sock design that I did for the Sock Knitters Anonymous group last year. Now that the mystery period is over, I’ve disabled the pattern because I want to consolidate the clues and add some decent pictures. In order to take decent pictures, I need to find the socks. They are buried in a box located in what is currently referred to as the box room.

How is your cat/how are your cats?

Everyone is fine, I think. Stripes had a broken canine last month which resulted in the need for some dental surgery to remove the root. He was in pain for a few days, but he’s back to being his lovable/obnoxious self. He managed to break the canine by running full speed into the side of my leg (one could make the argument that this is my fault for having been in his way).

Sonya appears to be fine as of this writing. She had a week of tummy troubles which were excessive (let’s just say that it’s a good thing that I plan on replacing the carpet with tile). Things seem to have settled down. Her blood work is normal, and the vet is recommending a diet change.

Have you retired?

No, I have not retired. I’m still working the same day job that I had before I moved. This is the primary reason why nesting is taking so long. I know some people who took 6 weeks off when they moved to get settled. I, unfortunately, do not have such a generous amount of leave.

Will you retire soon now that you’re in Florida?

Probably not. Truth be told, I was hoping that once the money from my last house settled, I might find myself in a position to be free of the day job. While I am in a fortunate financial position, my ability to retire is currently in the hands of the United States Senate. At the risk of spurring an uncivil political debate, if insurance companies are granted the ability to discriminate against people with preexisting conditions, then I won’t be able to retire until I’m eligible for medicare (assuming medicare is still available 16 years from now).

Are you going to open a yarn store?

This question was only asked once by a friend of mine in VA, but I thought I’d include it just because. While it sounds like a perfectly charming idea, there is a lot I don’t know about running a brick and mortar business. Given my previous remarks about health insurance, I’m not sure I’d be able to generate enough profit initially to be willing to take the risk.

Posted in Knitting, random, swatch Tagged with:

Don’t Mess with Nomia

Nomia was a nymph. In Greek mythology, nymphs are minor deities usually associated with a location or landform. Nymphs were believed to help travelers avoid getting lost. Nomia fell in love with Daphnis. Daphnis was a shepherd, but he was no mere shepherd. He was also the son of Hermes, so he had some divine blood, which arguably made them a good match. Nomia was devoted to Daphnis. Unfortunately, one day, Daphnis got drunk and had an affair.

Nomia wasn’t going to stand for that. She didn’t waste her time appealing to the gods. She took matters into her own hands. She blinded Daphnis, and then turned him into stone.

Don’t mess with Nomia.

What does Nomia have to do with socks? Probably not much, but a little lace & some twisted stitches make me think of mythological creatures. These socks are the secret project I mentioned a few weeks ago. Somewhere in the middle of moving & strep throat, I actually managed to make these socks. I grafted the toe the night before the pattern deadline for Knitty.

You can find the pattern here. It’s a cuff down pattern with a heel flap. There’s a bit of lace & tiny cables. The only tricky part is working out when to start Chart C on the front. You’ll either start it when working the gusset or on the foot. It really depends on how long your foot is.

Despite all the chaos of moving, I’m really pleased with how these socks turned out. I really didn’t have much of a plan when I started. I knew I wanted some lacy bits and some cabled bits. Thankfully, charting software prevented me from getting too carried away. At one point the leg had over 80 rounds, which is a bit extreme.

For me, the most challenging part of the project was taking photos. Since I’m new to the area, I haven’t formed a good enough relationship with anyone to ask to photograph their feet. I managed to both model and photograph. It wasn’t until much later that I realized that lacy socks may look a little odd on my hairy legs. There are worse problems to face.

Posted in Knitting, sock pattern Tagged with: , , ,

Moving is Hard

Greetings from sunny Florida. On Valentines Day, I started the process to move my household down here. I’m happy to say that the kitties and I are all safe and sound. The kitties have all adjusted to their new home; although, the adjustment time varied by each cat. Much to my surprise, Rooney was the first to settle in. He’s the most timid of all of the cats, and yet, he was ready to explore the new house as soon as he came through the front door. He also took advantage of getting lots of extra snuggles while the other cats were hiding.

I ended up using a pet transportation service to get them down here. It meant that they didn’t howl or get sick in my car, and I will say it was worth every penny.

I won’t go so far to say that I’m settled in. The kitchen and the bedroom have been unpacked. The rest of the boxes are sitting in what I now refer to as the Box Room. It will be a guest bedroom, but for now, it’s where the boxes live. The main reason the boxes are shoved out-of-the-way is because I only moved a small amount of my existing furniture. Basically, my bedroom and dining room furniture came down with me along with an end table or two. I’ve purchased some new living room furniture, but until it arrives, I have boxes of things that used to live on mantles and shelves that have no place to go. I’ll share pictures of the new place once the living room doesn’t look quite so spartan.

As smoothly as the move went, I did hit one minor hitch. About 1 week after going back to work, I came down with strep throat. I have two things to say about this. First, adults should not be able to contract childhood illnesses, and second, whoever thought night sweats were a good idea needs a firm talking to. Thankfully, a course of antibiotics seems to have cleared everything up. Now I’m just eating lots of yogurt because, well that would fall under the category of too much information.

I have been knitting. Most of my knitting time was spent on something I can’t show you. There are moments when I wonder what possessed me to agree to that deadline, but it all worked out in the end. When the big reveal happens, I’m certain you will all be pleased.

This week, I did finish some socks that I started months ago. In fact, I just finished weaving in the ends about 2 hours ago.

The yarn is sweet fiber that I had in my stash for who knows how long. The pattern is something I came up with after taking one of Franklin Habit’s classes. I believe I posted an earlier version of these socks, but I didn’t like the original gusset. I made an alteration to the gusset, and thankfully had enough yarn to make two new socks. I’m not sure when I’ll get around to actually publishing the pattern for this. There is so much left to do in terms of getting settled in.

I’m delighted to say that I found a lovely yarn shop in Sarasota this weekend. I follow Miss Babs on Instagram, and she posted that she was having a trunk show at A Good Yarn this weekend. Sarasota isn’t that far from where I am, so I thought it would be worth the trip. It’s a lovely store, and I may have done a little damage.

That’s what I hope is enough Yummy 3-ply to make a cardigan, 3 skeins of Caroline, and one skein of Hot Shot. Yes, I did say cardigan in that last sentence. There have been some chilly nights when a light weight cardigan was warranted.

I’m not sure what I’ll made next. I clearly have some new stash to contemplate, and some of my old stash has been discovered. I found during packing that yarn cushions fragile items well, so I had yarn crammed into several boxes. I’m sure something will come to me.

Posted in cat, Knitting, sock, yarn Tagged with:

Northmaven

Just over a year ago, I danced (rather poorly) around my living room to celebrate the completion of this sweater. I’m happy to announce that the pattern for this sweater is now available on ravelry & over at knitspot.

Here are a few fun facts about the pattern:

  • It’s written for 10 sizes
  • The sweater is worked flat, bottom-up and seamed together
  • The sweater is a set-in sleeve design
  • The cables are charted

This is my very first sweater pattern, and I’m very excited to see it released into the wild. Anne & her team were wonderful to work with on this project. This sweater is one of several pieces that are included in the Bare Naked Wools Ensemble: Winter 2017 collection. I encourage you to check them all out.

In other news, I have 9 days to go before moving. I think I’m ready. I’m certain the cats are not.

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Posted in Knitting, sweater Tagged with: ,