It was on sale

I really, really don’t need to buy a skein of yarn for quite some time, given that I’ve got a three-month sock yarn subscription starting this month, and two military-socks-worth of yarn coming from Socks for Soldiers for some folks that will be deploying at the beginning of the year.

But there was a sale, and yesterday I heards on the WEBS podcast about this exact colorway.  It’s all Kathy Elkins’ fault!

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This is Madeline Tosh sock yarn, colorway is Fathom, and it glows.

In other news, the kitties find the steekable vest quite interesting.  The shape is pretty hilarious at the moment, but hopefully I’ll find some time tomorrow evening to sew and steek.  The fact that it will be All Saints Day is probably a good thing!

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Have a safe Halloween, everyone.  This morning in worship, I was a mover for Spiritual Moving and Storage (don’t you wish there was a company like this?) and this evening I’m going as a good witch to hang with my mom and cousins for the SF Giants 3rd win in the World Series (!).

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Out of Hibernaton

This year, for those of you who have read the blog, has been a wild one since just after Easter (and had nothing to do at all with Jesus rising from the grave).  Hence, there are a few UFOs wandering around, and now that my Mom’s house in Southern California has sold, it’s a perfect chance to finish them up as I complete about the 4th sweater since I started the summer (a Twist Cardigan for my cousin).

First, there is the steeked vest.  A few of my knitting buddies got the idea last year to knit a steeked sweater, this one called Autumn Rose by Eunny Jang (rav link), to be precise.  I thought, because I knit for Afghans for Afghans, that it would be nice to make a vest instead (easier) but extra-warm, and so I picked up some Cascade Pastaza on deep sale at Bluebird Yarn and Fiber.  And so I knit improvisationally, as I am prone to do.  At first, it went really fast:

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and then I kinda lost interest as the KAL also lost some steam (I’m not blaming anyone else, really!).  I even got the incredible Chiaki, (rav link) who teaches at Bluebird, to give me a 10-minute walk-through on the steek thing.  I also have a Lucy Neatby DVD that includes steeking.  Steeking need not be a dangerous thing.

Then the Ravelympics took over, and other projects, and before you know it, I was stalled at the fronts and backs above the armholes.  Life as I’ve known in the last few month intervened, and the bag got buried. And it was warmer, so chunky-weight stranded knitting was not a fun thing.  But now it is cool, and Afghans for Afghans needs things, so I just dug it out, and I’m pretty far along:

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So, because Afghans for Afghans is again accepting vests for youth, I will finish this off and send it along.

I also have blanket squares. About a year and a half ago, Sophie at Bluebird donated a bunch of yarn for Afghans for Afghans blankets – and, as I blogged last year, there were a bunch of beauties in the lot. There’s a set of flicker photos here of all the blankets too. We had leftover squares, enough for a baby blanket, and I had collected them in a bag, and I even put numbers on them to arrange them. Izzie helped me to take stock of the situation:

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But as you can see the blanket did not get finished – and it’s not much left to do – many of the squares already are edged.  But I will need to do four more squares, because the current minimum size is 40×45 inches, so I’ll add edging as well.

Fortunately, the kitties think this is a lovely project now that the weather has cooled off:

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If you think you’d like to knit some squares for Afghans for Afghans blankets, there are some folks on the Fans of Afghans for Afghans group organizing another effort that you can check out.

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Give me Shelter

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I have to admit that I went all fan-girly when blogger/designer/photographer Jared Flood (aka Brooklyn Tweed) announced his new yarn, Shelter. I bought some quickly, and created a simple textured triangle shawl on the fly.  Here are my observations:

  1. Color. First, I can’t tell you much about color, because I foolishly bought an oatmeal-ish color.  It was a rationale at the time – I’d make a prayer shawl in the yarn, and by picking a neutral color, it could go to anyone.  Unfortunately, I don’t really enjoy knitting this color at all.  I wish I’d bought one of the vivid colors I’ve seen on on-line.
  2. Knitting. The yarn itself is a woolen well-spun two-ply yarn, and there is no separation of the plies at all.  I didn’t really have to look when I was knitting at all.  The feel of the yarn is not a soft-soft like merino, but it isn’t an itchy kind of feel either.  It’s crisp, and there is definitely both small bits of veggie matter as well as some small strands of blue plastic (maybe the bale ties?).  It definitely has great stitch definition before blocking, I was curious more about afterwards.
  3. Blocking. The blocking changed the drape and feel of the yarn for the better.  The drape improved, and the stitches melded more without losing their pattern. The yarn is more “sheepy” after the blocking, as evidenced by my kitty Brandy’s approval:

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So, what would I make with Shelter?  I think I’d make a hats, wraps, and sweaters not next to the skin, and I have about a skein and a half left to make a hat or something like it.  But I would get one of the fantastic colors next time, not a neutral, because I am all about the color.  This is definitely not a yarn for those who live and die by merino super-wash.

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deja vu

I have been here before with this sock – I am hoping that this time the sock and bag do not go somewhere I cannot find them.  I present vanilla sock, 2nd attempt:

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the pattern is from Chrissy Gardiner’s Toe Up! book – the mix and match ribbed pattern, except that I forgot to the ribbing on the instep stitches, so I just went with doing it on the leg.  Sometimes, I’ll go back and fix something like this, even though it is for charity and the recipient will never know, but not this.  This is because I am spent, physically and emotionally, from closing up the family home and finishing up the sale (which is going very well, hopefully tomorrow the cash shows up on our side).  This is a good comfort knit, assuming that I don’t lose the socks before they get sent off to Afghans for Afghans.

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Multi-tasking

Despite the Knitting APB in the last blog post, the sock bag remains lost.  Fortunately, I dyed two skeins, so with the remaining skein and a sale on wood needles at Bluebird Yarn and Fiber last night, so the sock project is entering its Take 2 phase:

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I will need some mindless knitting this coming week, because if all goes well, I will be clearing out my Mom’s house, closing on it, and moving a few of the needed and treasured items (using movers, not me).  A vanilla sock sounds like just the ticket, especially Afghans for Afghans has announced another youth campaign with amazing partners on the ground in Afghanistan and to help ship the items. Click the link to see the wonderful things this organization is doing!

One of my friends in crisis deserves a comfort knit, so I’ve also started a Traveling Woman shawl in Malabrigo Sock yarn in the Rayon Vert colorway, which has some of my friend’s favorite colors:

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And my awesome cousin who spent a week of her life helping me to clean out my Mom’s house of all the household goods is getting a Twist Cardigan for Christmas – in Dream in Color Classy yarn:

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I did finish my project with the new Brooklyn Tweed yarn Shelter, and I promise I will write more when I’ve got the focus for it.

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Knitting APB: Lost socks (partial)

It’s been one of those weeks when you are crazy busy with all kind of new and unexpected things happening, then you manage to do a flip into the pool while teaching water aerobics, bruising your knee and requiring x-rays to check it out, then on Saturday as you finish a wedding your hip and lower back go crazy with pain and you limp to the car and crawl into your bed with heat on it, hoping that you’ll be functional for Sunday for worship and a wedding.  Then you find out the bride of the Sunday wedding changed the time by 1/2 hour and forgot to tell the coordinator, the organist, the pastor and the caterer.

Along the way you find out that friends are in crisis of the reallyseriousvariety, the kinds that require severance contracts and police, and you just want the world to GET A CLUE about behaving well to people with kindness and love.  This, not coincidentally, was the theme for last Sunday’s worship.

But on top of all this and planning to move the rest of my mom’s stuff out of the house next week because, thankfully, some real estate transactions are happening in this crazy time, there is a knitting crisis:

I lost a pair of socks.

To be completely honest, I lost 1 and 3/4 of a pair of socks.  I was teaching a couple of lovely students at Bluebird (waving at Magen and Mindy!) and threw everything into my bag at the end of class, and wearily walked to my car, drove home, and got into my apartment. I had the bag with the pair of socks (and one of my traveling notions kits) when I was in Bluebird, and I do not have it here at home.   I am putting out a knitting APB – because I couldn’t find it at Bluebird either – somewhere, the socks disappeared.

Let me admit, these are not fancy schmancy socks – it’s a pair for Afghans for Afghans, and some fingering Knitpicks yarn that I doubled for a basic sock.  The bag was made for me in a kitty toy swap – I like it, but I can live without it.  But it is the principle of the things – partial socks should not disappear into the vapors, unless there are sock vampires that I do not know about.

If you find the socks, please do return them to the knitter.  She would totally appreciate it.

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Jared Flood is a genius. But you knew that.



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It has turned into Brooklyntweed week at my house. The Shelter yarn under his own brand came yesterday, just as I finished knitting a Koolhaas hat.

The yarn is yummy in feel. Curiously, it doesn’t smell “sheepy” to me, and there some odor that Clara Parkes thinks might be wool wash. I’m knitting a textured triangular shawl of my own design and can’t wait to see what happens when I block it!

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One of those days

This is one of those days when things are off-kilter from the get-go.

I have a lovely tortoise-shell kitty named Brandy – see?
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And Brandy loves to cuddle.  This morning, before I even had an alarm go off, she came in and plopped on top of me to hang out and get warm.  Then, after the alarm went off, she came closer to nudge, and then got too close to my eye (!) and even clawed a bit at the eye-lid.  Major freakout.  The day had begun before I even got out of bed.

Fortunately, it appeared that she had not gotten to my eye, only the lid.  A little eye-watering, and all was basically ok.  Time to get ready for teaching water aerobics (my third morning of getting out the door before 9 am).  It was important for this class to go ok, because there was a problem on Friday with the pool overflowing with all my students there (it’s one of the larger classes) to the point that I had to stop teaching for about 15 minutes until things got corrected.  But by then most of the students had gone.

So, half-way into the class, I was trading out barbells for a student who had a pair that were too big, and in reaching for one of them, I reached too far, and flipped over into the pool, banging my knee and shin on the edge.  At first, I didn’t think I’d done anything, but when I got back up on the deck, the leg was hurting.  Chelsea, one of the lifeguards, came over and tried to get me to take a break, but I was in a stubborn mood, and told her I was fine, so she went to the aquatics director who told me that I had to put ice on the knee, and that I could teach sitting down.  Which I did — I wasn’t going to cut that class short after what happened on Friday.

Of course, because the aquatics director is properly concerned about safety, she referred me to the workers comp doctors, and since I already had a doctor’s appointment later in the morning, that was scheduled for the afternoon.  So, I got checked out for non-knee related items with my own doctor, had a quick lunch, then went off to the other doc for a check-out, a few knee X-rays (which turned out fine), and got my new meds.

Fibery news:  The Corriedale Tequila Sunrise is spun and ready for knitting something – I’m kinda eyeing the Wayfarer Scarf from Brooklyntweed (since I’ve already ordered some of his new Shelter yarn maybe it’s Jared Flood week in my house):

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And the Knitpicks bare dyed beautifully:
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but I would never ever use this as a single strand for a sock that I wanted to last any time at all.  I’m double stranding for a pair for Afghans for Afghans, and I think it’ll be acceptable, but please know that this is not sock yarn.

I got a lot of sock knitting done, and there’s a Koolhaas hat that I’m almost done with after waiting room time today.  Photos soon!

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Random Update

This has not been a knitting week.  Oh, I did do a couple of tiny projects, which I’ll discuss below, but it has been an in-between kind of week for the knitting.  That’s ok, because LIFE got in the way (I am working to sell my Mom’s house in SoCal, and then have 4 part-time jobs which all decided they need attention this week), and I think a lull is good for my hands, which have been doing a heck of a lot of knitting with socks and sweaters.

Housewarming Present: I was invited to a congregation’s members “housewarming dinner” which was offered to a small group that finished a project a while back.  This is Christin’s first owned home, a lovely condo about a block from the water in San Francisco, in an old building with all the lovely fittings and finishing from bye-gone eras.  I decided to knit a couple of dishcloths as a housewarming present.  This posed a couple of risks:  1. I didn’t know if she would appreciate hand-knitted items, although I figured it was a small amount of time to devote, and 2. I had no idea of the colors of her new place, and 3.  I usually do NOT knit for congregation members because this is a slippery slope – I can’t knit for everyone.  I knit a basketweave dishcloth in blue, and a traditional garter-stitch on the diagonal one in a heather recycled cotton. (Sorry, I forgot to take photos.)

On the way there in the carpool, I mentioned what I had done, and one of the group immediately waxed eloquently about the ultimate superiority of the handknit dishcloth, their very obvious advantages over store-bought ones, and how they hold up to “real cleaning” which I find hilarious given my slovenly cleaning habits.  We ate dinner for the lovely evening, which was amazing Chinese food from Chinatown in SF, and a most decadent chocolate dessert which was described as a no-flour chocolate cake and was simply a 9-inch round truffle.  Finally, the gal who’d been told of the wonders of the dishcloth couldn’t take it anymore and pleaded for Christin to open up the gift.  And by then I knew – the colors were perfect for her kitchen and apartment, she was short on potholders and scrubbers, and she was thrilled.  Here’s a bit of the thank you email that I got afterward:

Thank you so much for the pot holders!  It could not have given a more practical and appreciated gift, and will think of you and our committee every time I pull out a hot dish from the oven.”

Whew!  She got it.

Spinning I’m finally finishing up on the Corriedale pencil roving that I bought for Tour de Fleece back in July.  It’s been that kind of summer.   Based on weighing, etc., I think I’ll end up with about 600 yards of DK-ish yarn in the lovely pink Pina Colada colorway.  I’m hoping to finish plying the last bit this weekend, and then set the twist.  Pondering my choices – I’d like to do a shawl.

Dyeing I received word from Afghans for Afghans today that the sock adventure continues (with the addition of mittens too).  I happen to have some Knitpicks bare merino sock yarn in my stash, and did a bit of kettle-dyeing this afternoon.  I wish there was a magic way to dry it the yarn fast, because a mindless sock pattern would be just my speed right now.  Photos soon.

Random Bits

  • Have you heard the new podcast called The Knit Wits? This is a hilarious podcast by a wife (the knit) and husband (the wit) who have an amazing mix of spinning, knitting, humor and all kinds of craziness.  It is a hot new podcast that is really worth checking out.
  • I fell off the yarn wagon this week with Jared Flood’s announcement of his new yarn line called Shelter (great name), which is totally USA sourced and processed.  And it’s a woolen yarn, so very light and soft.  I might have bought a few skeins for a prayer shawl (isn’t it great when you can justify a purchase because it’ll eventually make someone else happy?)


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