Renee’s Excellent Adventure: P/$ R/C B/E T/U

As many of you know the past year has not been a lot of fun.  I’ve been trying to just go through the whole year as best as I could.  Sometimes it was ok, sometimes it was ugly.  Now I feel like I’m slowly coming out of the fog.

One sign:  my trip this weekend.  For those of you who have no idea what those letters and symbols mean, let me decode it for you:  Planet Money Recession Club Big Easy Tweet Up.  It’s a group of us who have been following the NPR Planet Money blog and podcast (what, you haven’t?), who got to twittering (yes, twitter can result in good things) about wanting to go to New Orleans for a weekend, and next thing you know, we have a trip on!  Seven of us will be going, with a few feeling sad that they won’t be part of the fun.

We met over economics, of all things, but we will mostly be having a good time together in a great city that most of us have not been to.  We have not met in person, but we know things about each other that most of our friends have no clue about.  How that translates to real life, we shall see.

My dilemma, of course, is what knitting to bring.  I’m not with knitters, it’s gonna be warm.  I’d like to do some lace, but no lace is speaking at the moment.  Maybe a shawlette for Mom?  Hmmm…

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FO: Mermaid Socks

I guess the photo I showed in last post didn’t really highlight the color issue. The problem with the yarn (very soft, love the colors) is that there was an inconsistency in the blue color between the two skeins. See?

Mermaid Socks IVd

I did the heels in the opposite skeins, which is when the color discrepancy became clear. Yes, the skeins are the same dyelot.
Mermaid Socks IVe
Fortunately for me, these are only socks, and I love them, despite this small issue. But I would not be a very happy camper if this were a sweater.

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Insight on After-thought Heels

I’ve continued knitting the cute socks with the fun yarn, and I decided to do an afterthought heel, which makes the sock on the left into the sock on the right.

MermaidsockIVc

It’s way cool to do an afterthought heel with striping yarn that created the bulls-eye heel, and no harder that putting provisional stitches on needles and knitting a toe. But there is one challenge of the afterthought heel – calculating how long to make the sock can be a bit troublesome because you can’t try it on if you leave the heel until after the toe is done.

So, my ideas was to make an after-thought-but-before-the-toe heel. For this sock, I put in the waste yarn as the placeholder for the hee (see that dark line in the middle of the sock on the left?l, then knit about an inch or so beyond the waste yarn, and using yarn from the second ball of yarn (which could be the outside of the ball if one had just one skein), I knit the after-thought heel, cut the yarn, then went back to knitting the foot of the sock.

So, you can see what I have now – one sock with a heel, and one without.

I figure that I don’t really have to work the second heel until I finish both socks – so I’m onto the toes (doing the cool spiral one that is in the Lucy Neatby book), then I’ll go back and finish the second heel. It’ll be the real after thought heel, but nobody will be able to tell.

And here’s a quiz- what is odd about the colors of the yarn? Tell me what you see in the comments.

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Happy Kitties

I participated in another kitty toy swap. This one included an “assmat” (say that three times quickly, I dare you), and a kitty toy.  But our Ravelry crowd is a generous lot, so we give and get more than that.  This time, the kitties and I all enjoyed our package from Jenny in Kent, WA:

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I love the mug and the tea. The cards have those sheep with the wiggly eyes.  Brandy really likes the mice:

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and Izzie has completely adopted the assmat – it’s double size, so all of her fits on it nicely:
Izzie on Assmat

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A Little Knitting Fun and Some Pondering

Sometimes you just want the yarn to do the work for you. So, I was tempted and bought a couple of skeins of this very cute colorway of Meilenweit Soja yarn. Matched with Lucy Neatby’s Mermaid Sock pattern, I’m getting a ridiculously good amount of fun from a simple six-stitch pattern, round after round:

Mermaid IVa

It’s just SO cute!

In other knitting news, I’ve finished Something Blue, and I love it. There was a bad moment when I feared that I had lost the schematic and notes I had taken, but they are found, and I am now happy again. Friends love it, the LYS employees like it, folks in my congregation admire it.  I learned how to do a different set-in sleeve.  Yay for the new learning!  I wanted to make my own version of a February Lady Sweater with all my favorite sweater features, and I did it.

So, the question is: will this become a real pattern? Honestly, I don’t know yet. Here’s my thinking:

  • The sweater is very wearable by a lot of folks.  The yarn I used is cheap, and easily subbed with others.
  • Stitch patterns are pretty easy.  The slightly tricky one is used only on the bottom edge, cuffs and collar.
  • It has a lovely subtle shaping feature that will please the knitter, but won’t scream “craft-aholic.”
  • It will take a bunch of work to make it in all the sizes that the knitting world likes.  And it should come in all those sizes because it is a wearable sweater in all those sizes.  It’ll mean major investment of time and probably buying some design software.
  • The return on this effort is uncertain.  While the sweater is very wearable, many knitters will not want to put all this work into a sweater.  I’ve checked some of the numbers on Ravelry for similar sweaters, and it’s hit or miss.
  • On the other hand, it’s the kind of sweater pattern I see in knitting magazines, only, in my mind, it’s better.

So, the pondering will continue…and now I have to find something else to knit besides the sock.

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New Pattern: Madame Matisse

An amusing story about finishing up my Madame Matisse Shawl — I met good knit-friend Judy at Bluebird today to take more photos of the shawl, and as we are talking about it, a woman comes up and admires it. The short of it was that she bought two skeins of the yarn, paid Sophie for the pattern, and gave me her email address for the pattern!

So, without further ado, I present the Madame Matisse Shawl:

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This shawl can be worn in a variety of ways, thanks to a couple of small buttons:

Matisse1g

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If you’re interesteed in more info, you can go to my Ravelry Store to see the pattern page or buy now. I’m still learning the ins and outs of the Ravelry Store, so hang in there with me if there are any difficulties!

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Blanket Mo-Jo Has Returned

I am happy to say that I am back at the blanket making for Afghans for Afghans.  I got the final square (or so I thought) completed, laid them out, and guess who showed up for inspection:

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Isadora wants to be sure that the squares are properly blocked, that’s it I’m sure. Of course, it could be that the square matches her eyes.

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There are a few things to work out on this blanket – it has some odd-shaped squares.  One of them I’m giving up on completely because it’s not even close to being a rectangle.  Two others are too large.  One will be steeked, the other I’ve figured out a cute folding thing that will make it a feature.  So, one more square to knit, four to edge with crochet, and then it’ll get put together.

Now that I’ve started back on the blanket, I’m even looking at the sale yarn that I got at Bluebird in their summer sale.  I realize that I need to work on a new technique to have enough interest in the blanket.  So, I’m pondering that – maybe some knit 1 below for the whole blanket? We shall see.

And I am working on the shawl pattern.  I need to get all picky about making sure that the stitch counts are working, and take some good photos tomorrow.

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FO: Madame Matisse Shawl

I’ve finished the Madame Matisse Shawl, and it’s definitely a keeper – one skein, with drape, color and texture.  The Prism Saki yarn is perfect – once blocked, the drape is just fabulous.

Matisse1a

Picot points add a bit of flair and it’s only the bind-off, so there’s nothing really hard in this shawl – it’s a restful knit.

Matisse1b

I’ll be writing this up as a pattern (maybe I’ll finish by the end of the weekend), and put it up on Ravelry for perusing and sale.

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Finishitis

Some knitters have startitis – they want to start a bazillion projects at the same time.  Well, i have the opposite yearning now – I want to finish things.  I’ve been continuing to work on Something Blue, and I have just a little bit more to do.  It may turn into a published pattern if I can figure out the last part (I’m a design as you go kind of gal).

I’m also not doing any charity knitting at the moment.  At the moment, I’m not feeling the blanket mojo for Afghans for Afghans.  I have 11 squares leftover from the spring campaign, and all I need to do is knit one more square.  Not happening.  I have the yarn and the needles in my knitting bag, and it doesn’t get out.

The project I’m very much enjoying is what I’m calling the Madame Matisse Shawl.  It’s almost done, and will probably become a free pattern for personal use.  I am so close to finishing that I can taste it.

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