Just Enough

Whew. I had just enough yarn.  I can tell now that the sweater is blocking and looking might fine.  This yarn has incredible stitch definition.

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See how pretty the center cables look?

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Part of the way I stretched the yarn was to use the taupe colorway for the knitted hems.  And I totally love the TECHknitter’s instructions on doing the sewn version:

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The last bit is to put a button on – I found a lovely one at Bluebird Yarn that I’ll pick up this week.  Right now, the weather is quite warm, so I’m not stressing about Mom wanting to wear it soon.

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If I hold my breath…

The Mondo Cable cardi is progressing well, but I am very worried about how much yarn I have:

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See, Izzie is looking at me with an encouraging eye, but I think she sees what I see – it’s gonna be close.  I knew when I bought the yasrn that the amount was under the indicated amount for a cardigan, but I’ve been hoping that like most designers, there’s an extra allowance for what’s needed.  The yarn was a closeout at my lovely Bluebird, a great yarn – cotton, wool and cashmere — perfect for the SF Bay Area and a lovely color for my mom.  I bought two skeins each of other colors (including the taupe skein in the photo).  It was a great buy for a luxury yarn.

So, here’s the plan.  I will take the sweater to Mom and try it on her  to see how we are doing in length with the body and sleeves.  I already measured another sweater of hers to make this one, so it should be close. If all is well, I’ll knit more on the body ’til I can do a “turning row”, then switch to the taupe for a knitting hem, and then tack that down, and do the same knitted hem for the sleeves.  If there’s no way this will fit, then I guess I’ll have to incorporate the taupe at the edge of the sleeves and the bottom of the sweater.  But I’m still hoping that won’t be necessary.

In other news, I’ve swatched for the Twist Cardigan, and the yarn is great (Dream in Color Classy – Blue Lagoon Colorway).  Once I’ve got the intended recipient’s measurements, I can start knitting.  My gauge is close, and I can fudge what’s needed.

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A Nontouplet of Socks

I was getting tired of socks when I knit this sock.  Totally lost my sock-knitting-mojo, even though I like how it turned out.
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A lovely sock, mostly using the yarn I’ve hand-dyed myself.  Then I wondered, how many socks have I knit in about the last month for Afghans for Afghans.  Maybe 6 or 7?  It was hard to remember, so I went looking.  First, I found another about the same size:

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2 A completely different feel with it’s bright colors, but also another older youth/adult size one.
I kept on looking. Digging into the bag, I found three more, smaller, but very cute ones:

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5 Two of these use some patterning from Charlene Schurch’s Sensational Socks. It’s now coming back to me…

Then, at the bottom, I found four more – for the little people:
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9! NINE! A Nontouplet!!! (yes, I had to look the word up).Still the same bright colors, with more ribbing to accomodate little feet trying to get them on and off. I guess I know why I’ve lost my sock mojo.  Time to send these in and find some other projects to knit!

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Sweater Season

Yep, despite a cool summer (there are not many local tomatoes this year because of how cool it’s been), I’m now in sweater season.  I’ve started my Mom’s sweater, the Mondo Cable Cardigan from Chic Knits.  I’m a little less than half-way through:

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I’m using the technique of Jasmin of the Knitmore Girls for top-down sweaters. You knit til you split off the arms, then knit the body using the rest of the skein. Stop the body there, then go back and put the sleeves on either two circulars (my preference) or magic loop them, and knit them down. Then return to the body of the sweater. The reason for this? It reduces having to move around a whole body of a sweater while knitting the sleeves. So far, it’s been working pretty well for me.

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I’m also talking with my cousin Marie about her sweater, which will be a Christmas gift, and am going to buy yarn so that I can knit my Something Blue for real as a pattern. And I want another cozy sweater for me, so you can see that the queue for sweaters is rapidly mounting.

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Getting out of the rut

I’ve been knitting a lot of socks – Afghans for Afghans is doing a sock campaign, and there are a few reasons why this is good for me:

  1. Summer knitting – I love to knit socks in the summer
  2. Free yarn – how great can that be?
  3. Dye experiments – I’ve been playing with dyeing the free yarn.

Still, I’m getting a little tired of the socks.  Here are the latest projects:

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I like them, but I need to get out of the sock rut.

I had bought some lovely sale yarn — Come (discontinued), which is extrafine merino, cotton and cashmere – and finally decided to knit my Mom a Mondo Cable Cardigan.  The yarn is perfect for the SF Bay Area, and Mom is a bit short on sweaters, so this will be a good addition for her. I’m adding some short rows on the upper back due to Mom’s osteoporosis, but other than that, it’s a lovely simple knit.

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Not a Vacation

This week I went back to my home town.   I even went with my cousin Marie.  Sounds like fun, right?

Well, except that the task was to clear out my Mom’s home after all most 60 years of living in it.  I admit that I was feeling pretty overwhelmed at the prospect.  Two years ago I had tackled my  brother’s one-bedroom apartment, and  that was pretty tough too, though probably because I was also dealing with getting his body from the county morgue, and other associated details.  We were also in a place where we knew no one, so there were no family and friends to support us.  Lucky Marie, she gets all the fun trips!

So, while it was a ton of work, and I don’t want to have to look at another old greeting card ever again (my cousin and I agree that this is apparently an inherited family trait), it wasn’t as bad as I thought.  We took one room at a time, and all through the week, neighbors and friends popped by to help out – Ernie, whose children I grew up with, looked through the garage for me and figured out what of my Dad’s tools were worth saving, other folks helped with names of folks to clean, cart away TVs (we had three non-working ones in the house and garage), and my old car (don’t ask), others to provide additional trash cans, another to go to Goodwill for us, and take the precious stuff to our realtor friends who are helping us sell the house, and our friends who fed us a couple of times during the week (and would have more, if we’d let them). Soon, more boxes beyond what we brought back with us will fill my apartment, and I will have to figure out what needs to be kept and what can be let go.

On the house sale front, the good news is that the house is in a prime location in the LA area.  Despite what you read generally about California real estate, my Mom’s neighborhood is still holding value quite nicely, with a major renovation across the street, an over $1 million house being built a few doors away, and the house next door sold for a pretty penny.  It’s also in the middle of the elementary, middle and high schools on a quiet street with a great school district.  Even the appraiser thought it was all good news.  Given how difficult real estate is these days, I am incredibly grateful.

Since I was able to physically go to my childhood home this week, here’s the link to the amazing Arcade Fire interactive music video.

There was a bit of knitting along the way – basic socks. I finished one of the stranded ones down there, and then went to one color at a time because I was basically brain dead.  These are intended for Afghans for Afghans, which will be accepting socks for the rest of the month.  Feline inspection was doubled because they were knit at a distance.

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