Coasting on Friday Eve

Thursday always feels like going downhill. Like when Treebeard said in Lord of the Rings that going south feels like going downhill.

I am almost finished with Hans’ Tread. He wants an extra pattern repeat to make sure it covers his ears.

After that I will swatch for my Farmhouse Cardigan. I can’t wait to get my hands in the Black Welsh Mountain yarn. Maybe I will swatch for my Gryffindor Winter Ferns hat as well.

Then it’s Linen Stitch Cowl all the way to Kenya and back. Sounds like a trip to Naivasha is on the itinerary to meet the ladies with the wool!

Are you curious how I managed to afford the Black Welsh Mountain yarn? Basically I had $500 tied up in a savings account I didn’t have access to. I went to the bank and closed the account, moving the savings to our checking. And when I recalculated how much I needed for the cardi, it went from 1400 yards down to 1200, so that brought it down to $350. I still discussed it with Bob because that’s a lot to spend on yarn! But he agreed because it’s an investment in my happiness and cheaper than therapy if you divide it by hours spent knitting. I didn’t even have to use that last argument to persuade him.

It’s time to start thinking about the spring planting. Here’s a quiz from KathyB!

Have you gotten a seed catalog yet?

Yes, Seed Savers Exchange

Are you planning to plant by seed this year?

Probably, I usually do. Although last year we purchased some plants from a local urban farm.

Are you still giving away zucchini bread made from last fall’s harvest?

Nope, I didn’t grows Zukes last year.

When is the last time someone gave you flowers?

My Mother and Sister sent me a beautiful bouquet for my birthday last year.

Who taught you to garden?

My Grandmother

Are you months from these decisions, as I am, and just clinging to the rest of our blog pals photos of greenery and blossoms?

Since we may be moving, I’m holding off on gardening plans.

Did you know you can get gorgeous anemone in a flower bouquet?

I did not! What’s an anemonemonemeny? (Ok. Ok. Don’t hurt yourself.)

Have you ever knitted or crocheted a flower?

I don’t think so.

Thankful Thursday… on Friday

Well my week got away from me and I missed my Thankful Thursday post. I am thankful for so much in my life. I am truly lucky.

But today I’d like to express my gratitude for this online knitting community. It has really meant so much to me to get to know each of you via your blog. And there have been some days when it has kept me knitting and making, which brings me joy. So thank you.

I went to my LYS today for an hour or so of Open Stitch. It was well-attended by a lovely group of regulars. I am hoping I might become a regular, too.

Do you have a regular knitting group you attend? I would love to hear about it.

My First Vlog!

Inspired by Compassionknit, I vlogged today!

This is so fun. Maybe next time I’ll put on makeup and NOT hit the table making it vibrate. Sorry! (Not sorry.)

This would be a great format for The Just Craft, which I have been procrastinating on because I feel overwhelmed about how to get started. I keep thinking I need to get equipment but maybe I could start out vlogging?

I forgot to tell you I found the Marauder’s Map fabric at Crimson Tate when I was in Indianapolis last week.

ETA: Well, sadface, I don’t have enough Marauder’s Map fabric to make the Lily blouse. I’m on the hunt for a simpler top pattern or there’s always PJ pants.

Blue Ribbon Beanie

This went really fast and I love it. It’s the perfect beanie: a little tam, a little slouch, but not too much to be a beanie.

And I love the color!

Yarn: Malabrigo Arroyo DK Matisse Blue

Needles: 1 size US 4 16″ circular, 1 size US 6 16″ circular, Size US 6 double points, or size needed to obtain gauge

Gauge: 5 stitches per inch on larger needles

Begin Pattern:

Cast on 100 stitches on the smaller circular needle size. ( I use crochet cast on for elasticity.)

Place marker and join to knit in the round.

Begin K2 P2 and continue for 2 inches.

Change to larger circular needle and knit in stockinette stitch for 5 inches (total length 7 inches).

Begin decreasing on next round: K 18 K 2 together 5 times (until end of round).

K 1 round

K 17 K 2 together 5 times (until end of round)

Knit 1 round

Continue decreasing in this manner (decreasing 5 stitches every other round) until you are at K 12 K 2 together, or 65 stitches total.

Switch from circular needles to double points when stitches become too small for the circular needle.

Begin decreasing in the same manner EVERY round, starting with K 11 K 2 together, until you have 10 stitches total left on needles.

Break yarn, and use darning needle to run the tail through the remaining stitches. Tie off and weave in loose ends.

Voila! Blue Ribbon Beanie. Enjoy!

FibreShare and a Q&A

I signed up for FibreShare! I’m suuuuuper excited about it because I’ve wanted to participate for a while now!

Karen posted a Q&A, my favorite!

Q. What item did you make that was a complete win? You loved making it, using it and got compliments on it.

A. I’m just going to say hats. I seem to do really well with hats in general.

Q. How about a project that was a half win? You either loved making it and didn’t use it or hated making it but loved using it.

A. I loved making my Magenta Le Smoking, but I don’t wear it. There is no shaping in the shoulders, and it is too small to really wear comfortably. I love the color. I’m still thinking about frogging it.

Q. Have you ever resurrected a UFO, finished it and loved it?

A. Just the Birds of Blendon hat.

Q. Is there a technique that you’ve used in the past that you’ll never do again? How about one that you avoided and ended up liking? Do you use the items?

A. I tend to avoid intarsia. I don’t hate it, but I don’t love it either. I prefer knitting that has an intuitive rhythm to it. I haven’t knit intarsia in a long time. It was a sweater for my oldest son that had a star on the front. He really liked it. I guess I would knit intarsia again if there were a really good reason for it and I liked the finished product enough. But I think it’s clear that I’m more of a process knitter.

I need to get cracking on my Ohio Star Cowl. I skipped the last Knitting Season creative assignment, which consisted of knitting a stranded colorwork design in different colors, in favor of finishing up my Otter Ferry. I can see the point of the assignment, but my Knitting. Time. Is. So. Precious.

Do you prefer to spend your time knitting towards a finished object? Or are you happy to knit experimentally? Do you swatch a lot? Or just enough to get the gauge?

I’m in the latter category. What was it I said about being a process knitter? Maybe I am a product knitter, or a combination of both?

Scrummy Studio Time

I’m getting ready for a marathon work inventory progress, so I treated myself to some quality time in my studio today.

I made a colored pencil palette In my Knitting Season journal for Milarrochy Tweed yarn, as was suggested by Kate Davies and other club participants. Once I started coloring, I didn’t want to stop, so I recharted my Birds of Blendon hat.

I also finished the brim on my Otter Ferry hat from Milarrochy Heids. I’m not sure I’ve posted about this project yet, but I have the loveliest ceramic button from artist Megs Levesseur I am planning to use. I’ll include a pic of the button next time. Unfortunately, but not surprisingly, I’ve misplaced it. I’m sure it will turn up.

Christmas Knits

I finished all my Christmas knitting by the end of the day. That counts, right?

Harald’s sweater is massive, but he loves it and wore it all day. I suppose we could felt it a bit and shrink it a tad, but I think he really likes it as is. The stripes ended up looking okay as the entire back is like that.

I had to modify the Goats of Inversnaid hat pattern in order to use the Milarrochy Tweed yarn. I ended up knitting two more repeats of goats before starting the crown. (Look at me learning from my mistakes and listening to myself.) I really like how long and narrow the beanie is. It looks a little more trendy this way. And I’m pleased with how the crown came out.

We had a great day of Ethiopian food for dinner, presents, and Christmas movies. I’m surprised by how many we watched this year: Elf, Rare Exports, Krampus, A Christmas Horror Story, Christmas with the Kranks, A Charlie Brown Christmas, A Christmas Story, It’s a Wonderful Life, Black Adder’s Christmas Carol, SCTV Christmas Special, and Scrooged.

Merry Christmas! I hope your day was jolly!

Decisions, Decisions

I am making progress on Kate Davies’ Goats of Inversnaid hat for Hans. I won’t have any trouble finishing it by Christmas if I stay on task.

I wasn’t sure if the Milarrochy Tweed yarn would work for the crisp design, but I kind of love it. I think it gives a more grown-up look to it. I’m also thinking about changing the hearts at the crown to a star, because Hans is 15. I don’t need to say anymore than that, right?

There are two knitting clubs I want to participate in for 2019, and I can’t make up my mind.

Kate Davies has an upcoming club that looks to be more design oriented, and includes an awesome journal.

Knitspot is offering the School of Wool where you learn about American sheep breeds and fibers, and you get undyed yarn to play with.

I want to do both. I can do both, right? Can I afford to do both? (Can I afford not to do both?)