Studio Sunday

Bob and I had a lovely hike yesterday, and I got lucky with this photo, which I plan to make into a felt painting.

Today’s essay from Knitting Season Club is about losing yourself in the creative process. I don’t need any help with that as I am a daydreamer by nature, but she did share two songs from Alice Coltrane. How refreshing to be introduced to a female jazz great, and I now have a new favorite song which I am currently listening to on repeat as I swatch in the studio.

I have two design ideas for the Warm Hands competition. I am swatching for both today. One design is for Milarrochy Tweed, the other is for Ard Thir. These arm warmers were knit for me by my friend Marjorie (holla!) and they, along with this alpaca poncho from Bolivia, are my inspiration for one design.

The other is a spin off of a design I was already working on. I’m being careful not to put too much out there, because designs aren’t considered if they’ve already been made public.

And I got some new yarn this week!

This is Cabecou Lace in Sel Gris. I will knit Anne Hanson’s Dust Devils with it. This yarn smells really good, by the way. I had a hankering (get it?) to knit something lace this summer.

I’d better stop yapping and get swatching.

Saturyay

February is that month when you’re supposed to finish it, frog it, or forget about it. I don’t normally follow prompts, but I realized I was avoiding knitting on my sock, probably because it was boring. So I frogged it.

I tried to get JoJo to wear it like a turtleneck, hoping she would run around and help me pull the yarn out, but no such luck. I kept saying, “C’mere! C’mon! It’ll be fun!” And Bob said, “Are you hearing yourself?” So I gave up.

I love this yarn and I have a couple of cabled clog sock patterns, so I’ll cast on one of those at some point probably. Although I’m more than a little smitten with the Purl Soho toe up sock pattern. The only pair of socks I knit that I actually wear were toe up, which makes me want to get the pattern even more.

I spent some time perusing glove and mitten patterns to see if I could get inspired. I wanted to knit myself some gloves this year from Milarrochy Tweed. I thought, “Perfect! I’ll design myself some gloves and submit the design to the contest!” But I’m completely uninspired.

I was hoping I would be able to get a sense of what my design aesthetic is by what I like, but my likes are all over the place! I like bright colorwork, subdued cables, comfy cozies, clever textures, funny graphics, and over the top cosplay.

I told myself, “Make a pair of gloves that you would enjoy knitting and wearing.” But I don’t know what that is. I currently wear knit alpaca gloves and mittens from Bolivia, and I would say they are very warm and on the plain side. I would get bored knitting them by hand. (Sock lesson learned!)

I would also like to make some thrummed mittens one day, and the Ard Thir yarn might be a good fit for that.

Today is date day/night and we are going hiking and then to dinner. I look forward to posting hiking in the naturehood photos tomorrow! Have a great weekend!

Friyay -All the Things

I received my first installment of the School of Wool Club from Knitspot.

It’s a skein of sport weight Targhee! How did they know I love the squishy sponginess of Targhee?

Look at this beautiful yarn inspired by the coloring of the female cardinal:

(📷 copyright cornbreadandhoney)

And check out this Harry Potter inspired knitting themed enamel pin!

Did you hear Kate Davies is having another design contest? I want to enter but I have zero ideas at this point.

I’m so glad it’s Friday.

Sunday Studio Time

I was good and completed my swatch for The Oa on the smaller sized needle. I haven’t steamed it yet. I also threw in a row of the green for color C to see how it would show up and I’m really glad I did, because it doesn’t! Show up that is. I also tried some knit 2 of A and C before binding off, just to be sure. Someone who has more experience with colorwork probably would have seen this coming. It’s ok, though. I ordered two balls of black and I’m sure that will work.

This week’s Knitting Season assignment was to write every day with the prompt, “Remember when I…” So I wrote about the time I dyed this silk top blue, spun it into yarn, and knit it into this tam. It’s a little beat up now. I wore it and so did some of the kids, which made me happy. It inspires me. I think I might like to save up and get a spinning wheel again.

I also spent some time working on this design for a colorwork Ohio Star Cowl and beanie.

And the original Ohio Star Bandandit is almost done, but I ran out of yarn! I ordered another 2 ounce hank and am looking forward to blocking it and wearing it. I want to knit another one with more texture work in The Fibre Co Arranmore Light in St. Claire, the bobbly tam yarn.

So it has been a productive week. I guess I am slowly but surely getting closer to reaching my goals.

People ask me how I do all of this on top of a full time job and my very part time work with Haven Herbs, and I can say with certainty it’s because Bob does all of the shopping, cooking, and cleaning. And he does it because he likes it. I do my own laundry and dishes, and clean the bathroom sometimes, but that’s really it. So shout out to Bob! ❤️ Also, I only have one kid still in school and he is super low key. ❤️

And I’m a much happier person when I am knitting. ❤️

ETA: I cut a steeeeeeek!

Nailed it!

Hit the gauge smack on for The Oa and I love these colors! Now I’m supposed to knit it again in a smaller needle size, and I suppose I should do as I’m told, but you know I want to cast on the sweater now.

I am still making good progress on Celtic Myths. It won’t be long before it’s cabled knotwork time!

It’s Saturday and I don’t have to work and I might knit on the couch in my pjs all day.

ETA: My first version of this post was a little snarky. I felt bad about it so I deleted all that nonsense, but if you subscribe to my posts via email you get the original, unfiltered for snark version. Bob calls this “the real Alissa” and saves these posts for posterity.

It was just me grumbling about Instagram fatigue and how I should have artfully strewn flower petals in my knitting photos.

Practice

Today I backtracked a little on my Knitting Season Club assignments. I used the provided chart and tried experimenting with the colors and patterns. My main goal was actually to see if I could get gauge for The Oa with the Scout DK yarn, and as you can see, I did.

This is on size 3 needles and 7 stitches per inch! So I suppose I could have gotten 6 stitches per inch on a size 4 needle. But the fabric was stiff with no drape so I’m glad I didn’t try that.

The Buachaille yarn the pattern was written for yielded a much nicer fabric. I was somewhat surprised by this exercise. I expected the red and orange to run into each other, but the orange actually popped up a bit. I quite like it against the red and blue.

So I practiced. I think I botched the chart some, but since it was just an exercise I left it.

I thought I might try to design my own sweater with all over stranded colorwork for the Scout yarn, but now I’m not even sure I like the green and gray with the purple well enough. Although I just saw the Tensho Pullover and thought these colors might work well with a pattern like that.

My Ohio Star Cowl is coming along, but I am afraid I will run out of yarn.

Maybe “practice” wasn’t a great choice for my word of the year, as it seems 2019 wants to hold me to it.

I did order some Cascade 220 Sport for knitting The Oa, in silver, dark plum, and granny smith green. I hope I like the colors together!

Cogs are Turning Again!

My new year got derailed by the stomach flu. But I am feeling myself again, and am back at my Knitting Season journal.

I set myself a number of goals for 2019. They include knits to make by other designers, knits to design myself, and a list of challenges.

Look at these cute and tidy pages.

Number one on the challenges list is to salvage yarn from a garment and reknit it into something new. I had imagined finding something at the thrift store, but talking about my magenta Le Smoking made the cogs start turning in the old noggin.

I really like the new Weel Riggit design that we received as part of the Knitting Season Club, but I’m not in a place to purchase a large amount of yarn right now, and I already have two sweaters ready to cast on waiting in the wings.

Then I realized the magenta Le Smoking is knit from aran weight yarn, some old Fingerlakes Soft Wool 3Ply.

Then I started looking around for something I could knit with it in the lice pattern. I don’t have to follow the pattern explicitly. (She uses four colors.) I can just be inspired and make my own pattern with two colors.

Then I realized I was looking at a multi yarn with magenta in it.

Then I realized I have an old wool sweater Bob’s Mom gave to me that has a little magenta in it!

What do you think? There is definitely some mohair in this yarn, but I think that might give the lice stitches a nice halo.

There might also be some acrylic in this, but I gave it the burn test, and it all burned and smelled like hair. So if there is any acrylic, it isn’t much. I guess that glisten could be the mohair.

I took the depiller to it to make it easier to pull out. Does anyone remember/still have one of these? Mine is from when I was still living with my Mom, so it’s from the 1980s!

Also, I might have gotten over treating my journal like it is precious. This is my Ohio Star Cowl design in progress. (Write, knit, rewrite, rip out, reknit.)

Wow, I blogged twice today!

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?