Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Zombie Knitting

I have needed something easy to keep my mind distracted and help me breathe and relax.  It couldn't be one of the sweaters I have on the needles, so I started a new shawl from stash.  It's Gather by Andrea Mowry.  It's the perfect kind of project for tv, stress, or zombie knitting.

I'm finally using those oddball Dandelion skeins from Jimmy Beans' Outlet in Optic.  They were discounted for not quite being up to Madelinetosh standards, but I see no difference between them and the regular skein I already have.

They're parked with some Knit Picks Hawthorne Kettle Dye in Blackbird.  Good old Knit Picks.  Between the outlet price and using Knit Picks for the contrast color, this is a very affordable distraction.  My normal skein of Dandelion Optic is below.

I would normally be walking, a lot at times like this.  But with the rain, I'm watching season 1 of Veep (turned down really low).   I'm robotically plowing through this thing, waiting to feel somewhat normal again.  I have ginger tea, a project, and dogs with cabin fever to keep me company.


My best friends are together now.  I am happy for them, but I'm still sad for me.  I don't feel up to composing a post that is worthy of her right now, but I will say that she was a beautiful example of a loving, Christian grandmother, a mother figure to me after my mom died, and a lifelong friend.  I had some of my best times with her and am so very grateful that my children can say the same.

The amount of people that showed up to celebrate her life is a testament to how well she loved people, and was loved.  The fact that their ages ranged from youths to friends in their 90s spoke to me too.

I'm not even going to pretend I know how I will process this.  But I will, and I will let her live through my hands and voice as much as I can.  I am comforted by the thought of her and my Papaw together with my mother.  John 14:2 and 3 says Christ went to prepare a place for me there too.  After walking beside them, as they approached death, life doesn't seem all that long to me and death not as frightening.  I firmly believe I will see them again.

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

While Waiting for a Ball

I finally tried a Wool and the Gang pattern!  I love the Tommy Top, but I needed a little more yarn to finish.  I think I knit it at a tighter gauge than instructed, maybe that's why I ran low.  I could've ripped back and blah, blah, blah, but nah.  Besides I want it to be kind of long in back.

Don't you love marled cotton?  This could've been a weekend knitting project, had I not run short.  But I did, so while waiting on that one ball, I finished a shawl project and vegged out in front of a couple of seasons of Homeland, while it rained for a week.  Basically, I watched enough to be really, really sad at the end of season 3.

The one bright spot was finishing up my Orri Shawl, by Lee Meredith.  This is a great project for variegated wool.  I loved every second of the knitting.  I didn't weave in the ends because... vegging, remember?  Pictures will come later.

Next, I picked up my Gingerbread Sweater, by Libby Jonson.  I did have to give it some focus to finish knitting the neckline, but once I joined beneath the armholes, it was/is smooth, stockinette sailing for 12 inches.

This yarn is only about 10% cashmere, but it's super fuzzy and warm.  I like the fit I'm getting, but I'm still not confident about whether this yarn will bloom and grow.  Now, I've done it.  I can't say that phrase I hear "Edelweiss" in my head... for the rest of the day.  Sigh.

I have to get the fit right on this one.  I can't abandon it to a project bag for years the way I did with my Pomme De Pin.  It is the exact classic, wide-neck sweater style I want in a comfy yarn.  So, if it's too big I'll either stuff my bra or re-knit it.  One is preferable to the other.

Thursday, June 1, 2017


Let me start by saying these photos are kind of the pits.  Ocean spray, as in the ferry- not the juice, got on my lens and it wouldn't cooperate the rest of the day.

Waterrock, by Jennifer Kelley of Appalachian Knits, is the perfect summer project.  It's quick to knit, has a hi/low hem, and has a ribbed textured that reminds me of pinstriped menswear-inspired clothes.  Think Annie Hall.

I made the mistake of playing yarn chicken with a discontinued Rowan Denim to make mine.  So I wasn't able to make the armholes as big as I would've liked.  I followed the pattern exactly and got the more fitted look.  This means I won't be wearing any short sleeved menswear-style shirts underneath it, unless I lose weight, and I don't want to knit for that.  It is quite comfortable with only a tank underneath, though.  The ribbing in this denim looks more fitted than it feels.  It had plenty of room to stretch, width-wise.

Jennifer's second Waterrock was knit in Cotlin and has a nice drape to it.  I'd like to make another out of that yarn.  Besides being a bit lighter, with the linen, it probably won't bleed like I'm sure this denim will.

Along with the Kinton tee, I worked this project for three- yes, three- concurrent knit-alongs.

1) Appalachian Knits' Spring KAL (also on instagram) -  where you can find lots of beautiful sweaters and shawl inspiration.

2) Very Shannon's Tops, Tanks, and Tees, KAL (on instagram) -  You know the one.  It has so many finished tops each year.  And this year, there are two Waterrock.  (I just have to say here that my autocorrect is having a field day with that pattern name.  Keep that in mind if you read something offensive. Geez.)

3) Handmade and Woolen's Natural Wardrobe Make-along (on instagram) - which has inspired me to try sewing next and has been a wealth of information on sourcing natural fibers and material.

Details:  I used size US 3 needles and the older version of Rowan denim to knit a size 35" (the second size).  It was an easy pattern to follow and went really quickly.  The whole thing was knit in under two weeks.

I liked the Rowan denim, but I wish I'd used the newer version of this yarn.  The darker denim is nicer, to me.

One thing to note on this pattern is that the arm and neckline edging does bring things in quite a bit.  For me the arms went from fitting surprisingly loose to being fitted.  They're not uncomfortable, just not the loose fit I'm used to.  So, keep that in mind.

Wait, one more thing: thanks to my sweet photographer, who didn't even need her arm twisted, for giving me a fun mother/daughter day.

(more on ravelry, instagram, and flickr)