Friday, June 24, 2016

fog rolling in

I spent a lot of time in Chicago last week working on this Tree of Life blanket, aka Forest Fog. I'm amazed at how quickly it eats up yarn! While there I finished working on most of this flower garden section and used up a full 200-yard skein in a few days. Oh worsted yarn, how wonderful you are. Fingering weight yarn might be nice for many things, but there's no substitute for the self-provided pat on the back that goes along with 'wow! finished another one!' I was a little over ambitious and packed TWO extra skeins of yarn, but still. If i wasn't trying to be responsible with taking care of my hands I may have made it to that back up skein. I think if I were working on a longer cable it would be less straining, but for some reason after a few rows (granted they are LONG rows, with a lot of purling) I start to get tired.

I'm probably about halfway through the main body. I have two more tree panels and another half a flower garden to do before picking up for the ruffled edging. It will be slower going in the next part. The flowers are pretty easy to knit without referencing the pattern once the first set up row is done. All those little cable branches for the trees take a bit more attention, though. At any rate, happy to be working on this project again and making some progress. I'll probably start one other thing just so I have two options to choose from when I want to knit something in the evenings. Spoiler: it's gonna be colorful! Totally different from all this lovely foggy gray. 

Thursday, June 23, 2016

sky blue sky

I have been challenging myself to work on a some smaller projects with leftovers from my stash and enjoying the process of perusing Ravelry for things to work on. The filters are so useful when I have a certain yarn in mind with a limited amount of yardage. It's easy to find a slew of potential patterns that I know will be appropriate based on weight or even the exact yarn.

I started this hat at the airport when we went on our weekend jaunt to Las Vegas last month. I didn't get very far on that trip, but made a lot of good progress after coming back and finished it up before the end of May. I wet blocked it over a dinner plate. Yes, seriously. It was the perfect size. That opened the lace up a lot making it look less like a lump of blue yarn and much more like a beret. Magic. The band isn't super tight, but I don't think that's what you'd want in a hat like this anyway.

It may seem strange to be working on a winter accessory with summer approaching, but again - working from leftovers. This yarn is a silk/wool blend leftover from a cowl I made for one of my friends a few years ago. In retrospect, it's kind of an odd color to use for a leafy/floral pattern since there isn't much that is naturally this color in the world of plants, but the yarn itself jives with the pattern very nicely.

The pattern was a freebie on Ravelry, and quite a nice one at that! I enjoyed making it and loved the fact that I had a big round of double pointed needles I was working from rather than a circular. The work in progress kind of looked like a porcupine. I didn't make it for anyone in particular, so it's going to go in an aspirational pile of grab-n-go gifts. I don't think that diminishes it's specialness in any way for the eventual recipient, because of course I'd only gift it to someone that I thought it was a good fit for (literally and figuratively).

I don't tend to think about making hats or gloves or, in fact, anything small when there are so many pretty shawls and wraps to work on, but I must say actually finishing in less than two weeks is a nice change of pace!

Pattern: Springtime in Philadelphia (my Ravelry page)
Yarn: Cascade Heritage Silk in 'cerulean'
Needles: US 2 and US 0 (tiny!!)

Sunday, June 5, 2016

Mother's Day

As Mother's Day rolled around last month I pondered and considered and decided that part of my gift this year would be handmade. Dave and I happened upon a neat street market in San Francisco one weekend while we visited friends and I picked up a pretty necklace from one of the vendors there. What better wrapping to give it than a fun zippered pouch? Having made one recently it only took me a couple hours one afternoon to fiddle around in the office and wind up with a colorful package to gift. 

The blue linen and navy polka dots are some of my favorite fabrics in the stash. They go with just about everything and are pretty classic. The flower print I've had from way back when, but haven't found a great quilt to use it in. The trouble with some prints is if you start making patchwork pieces with them each piece will have very different character depending on what colors and what pattern you capture with your cut. This kind of project is a great place to use something like this that I really like but can't imagine liking cut up much. 

The flowers are great, too, because I miss gardening with my mom. I remember springs and summers spent with my fingers in the dirt planting geraniums and petunias (which would then be subject to munching squirrels and bunnies). I have some pots on the patio here, but it isn't quite the same. 

I used another one of my flea market zippers, the last coral one. I'm getting pretty good at dealing with these! Time to purchase another grab bag full, methinks. I'm a little bit irritated that my sewing machine chose to start skipping stitches while I was sewing the super noticeable red top stitching. It might be time for an appointment with the tune up folks, if I can find some nearby.

Similar to last time, I followed the tutorial loosely, not including any "inner bits" and using steam-a-seam and some muslin on the panels instead of the interfacing called for. Macgyver sewing room, folks! I use what I've got. 

Since  we saw my folks in Las Vegas the week after Mother's Day, I waited until I could gift it in person. So much more fun than sending a box! Boxes are great too, but you miss the smiles :) 

Saturday, June 4, 2016

knitting anywhere

This is approximately how much knitting one can get done on a plane from San Francisco to Las Vegas. It's a short flight, and there was not nearly enough room between me and the seat in front of me to wrangle this many needles and that iPad!

There was plenty of room for me and Kepler (and eventually Newton) to hang out in bed one recent weekend to catch up on our zzzz's and knit some more. That pretty yarn bowl is courtesy of Dave's mom. 

Not only pretty, but also convenient bedside knitting storage.

Knitting goes anywhere with you, a few rows here a few rows there. Most projects end up feeling a bit like a travel journal, which is a unique way to be reminded of remember-whens.