Wednesday, March 20, 2019

rainbows, chevrons, and a crochet distraction

March socks are coming along rather slowly. I just haven't felt as inspired to knit lately. The yarn is Must Stash Yarn Perfect Sock in the colorway Martian Rainbow. My skein was a slight variation of the original colorway as it's a bit more pastel, but I prefer this version. I'm knitting the Partying It UP and Getting DOWN Socks by Megan Williams, which btw I find an impossible name to remember. People keep asking me on Instagram what the pattern is and I have to look it up every time. anyway. For each of these socks I started out making rapid progress but as I get to about the halfway point, boredom sets in. I am doing a cut-in afterthought heel so I still need to add both heels. I'm not sure whether I want to keep these or give them to my niece, so I may actually wait to knit the heels until closer to the end of the year.

Since the socks weren't exciting me and I swear I knit and knit on Wool and Honey but it never gets any longer, I was looking for another project to work on over the weekend as a palette cleanser. I got out the granny hexagon blanket I started back in 2015. I believe I started this and a mitered square blanket around the same time. The mitered square blanket has been finished for awhile now but I quickly gave up on this one and set it aside.

There are more efficient ways to do this, but my method is to crochet motifs for one row then join as you go using knit picks stroll tweed. Then I crochet motifs for one column and attach with JAYGO. This keeps the blanket growing in both width and length at a similar rate. I believe if you joined an entire round at a time it would be a better use of the joining yarn but I find that I get bored of crocheting motifs and weaving in all those ends if I make more than a handful at a time. Picking up this project again reminded me of why I put it down in the first place. I don't know why but I just don't find it fun to work on. I do think it's very pretty though. I haven't touched it since the weekend but I'm hoping to add a row/column here or there. The problem with having started several scrap blankets a few years back is that I don't really need all these blankets but at least it uses up leftover yarns. Plus I suppose I can give them away if I ever finish one.

Friday, March 15, 2019

spinning in spurts

I mentioned in my February round-up that I had increased my spinning time to 20 minutes a day about halfway through the month. I did not think that 5 extra minutes would drag on me in the grand scheme of things but I was wrong. I've been very inconsistent this month with my spinning. I know it is psychological but for some reason, making myself sit down to spin for 20 minutes just "takes too much time" whereas with 15 it was easier to convince myself that it wasn't that big of a commitment and I should just do it. Or perhaps I would've experienced fatigue after 2+ months of consistent spinning regardless of what blocks of time I chose. At any rate, I've missed several days but I am still trying to make sure that I spin at least 3-4 days a week so that I don't give it up entirely for the remainder of the year.

Right now I'm working on some Moonrover Fiber that is truly gorgeous, so the fiber is not at fault for my slump. I decided to break the colors and spin 2ply miniskeins. When I'm done I want to do a stripey shawl of some kind, probably combining the minis with a solid skein. I do not need another striped shawl but the colors are just so pretty and I'm itching to knit with handspun again.

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

the neverending sweater

I'm still working on my Wool and Honey pullover. I'm 3 skeins in and it feels like it's taking forever. I finally finished the yoke and am on the simple garter section now. I decided to keep the body in garter stitch after all mostly due to laziness.

I think part of the reason it's taking me so long is that I'm currently experiencing some non-knitting-related shoulder pain and those purl rounds aggravate my injury after a short time. At most I can only knit about an inch a night. Luckily this is a cropped sweater so it won't be too long (hopefully) before I'm finished. I haven't decided on sleeve length yet. I'll figure it out once I finish the body.

It seems like every year I finish a sweater right around the time that the weather turns and I won't be able to wear it until the following Fall/Winter. But it's not such a bad thing. I'll just think of it as being really far ahead of the game.

Friday, March 08, 2019

Dirigible Plums

I finished a second skein of handspun in February. I'm calling it Dirigible Plums. The fiber was dyed by Hello Yarn and it's an 80% targhee, 10% bamboo rayon, and 10% tussah silk blend.

I divided the fiber into thirds vertically. Two of the singles were spun end to end in the same direction and the third was spun end to end in the opposite direction. This was accidental--I meant to spin them all the same to make a "faux chain-ply." But I actually do like the way it turned out and I think it will knit up in a really interesting way, with mostly 2 plies of one color and 1 ply of a contrasting color to give it that marled look.

I used my Majacraft Rose to spin the singles and my Hansen Minispinner to ply. Using the minispinner just reminded me again of how I don't really like using an e-spinner. I should really get my act together and sell it one of these days.

I often have a few yards of leftover singles after finishing a skein. Usually I ply them up and then throw them in my scrap pile, but this time I decided to include a bonus mini with the main skein. Dirigible Plums is available for purchase in the shop. I'm also slowly listing more handspun that I've made in the past but never got around to putting up for sale.

Wednesday, March 06, 2019

February 2019 wrap-up and goals

February seemed like it lasted forever and yet I didn't accomplish too much.

Stash Check

  • Yarn Used: 708 yds / 158 g
    Yarn Added: 0 yds / 0 g
    Difference: +708 yds / 158 g
  • Fiber Used: 8 oz
    Fiber Added: 0 oz
    Difference: +8 oz
  • Fabric Used: 0 yds
    Fabric Added: 0 yds
    Difference: -

FOs

WIPs

  • Superhero Cross Stitch Sampler
  • Sock Yarn Blanket
  • Moonrover Minis
  • Wool and Honey Sweater

Goals

2019 goals

  1. Keep yarn/fiber/fabric additions to a minimum: Still haven't bought any fibery stash.
  2. Knit from previously purchased pattern: I didn't manage to finish Wool and Honey so this one was a fail.
  3. Knit what I feel like: My knitting pace slowed to a crawl and I'm tired of the sweater but for the most part I don't feel burdened or anything.
  4. Spin 15 minutes a day: I actually increased my pace to 20 minutes a day about halfway through the month.
  5. Knit more handspun: not this month.
  6. Follow #sewmystyle: nope.
  7. Complete my Make Nine/Take my time with sewing: I did not sew a stitch in February.
  8. Finish Superhero Sampler: Still making progress
  9. Taking care of my health: I've been dealing with some minor pain issues but nothing unmanageable.
  10. Shop less: I tried to do a no-spend in February and that was a total fail. I've put myself on a stricter budget for March and am trying my best to follow it.

Friday, March 01, 2019

Hopping on the bandwagon

All along I've been resisting the idea of having more than 1 planner. I would prefer to keep everything in one book so that I don't have to duplicate information. But what finally pushed me over the edge was the weight of my classic Happy Planner. It's currently about 1.5 pounds and it would continue to get thicker with all of the printouts I keep inserting every week. I have chronic back issues and the HP is just too heavy to lug around in my purse everyday. So I broke down and bought a Hobonichi Mega Weeks from Jetpens.

I have to say I'm not thrilled about the way it arrived. It came very fast but I don't think it was packaged very well and the cover is a little bent plus the book doesn't lay flat on its own. I'm not sure if that's just the way the Mega Weeks is or if I got a defective one, but I can deal. I ordered a cover and pencil board but they haven't arrived yet.

Because of the weight issue I wanted to start using it right away, so I copied over my daily info to this week to get a feel for how to plan with the Mega Weeks. I definitely didn't get it quite right. I need to divide the space better to have enough room to write everything that I want to record. I kept decorating to a minimum and I'm pretty sure I always will because it's such a small planner. If I use too many stickers I won't have room to write anything. I tried using tiny bullet point stickers and even they took up too much space.

I bought the version with extra note pages because I need room to record my wellness data. I tried stamping the dates and it took an age to dry. I actually wasn't patient enough and I smudged the ink as you can see. The ink also bled through the paper so I don't think I'll be stamping much in this planner. The likelihood that I'll have the patience to wait for the ink to dry is pretty much nil.

Time will tell if I like using this planner. I think once I get a feel for how to divide the space for my needs that I'll enjoy using it. Certainly my purse was a lot lighter this morning, so that's a plus. I'll keep post-planning each week in the Happy Planner to scratch my decorative itch and keep all of my collections in there. This one will be strictly for practical use.

Wednesday, February 27, 2019

Personal Sock Club #2

I am making a concentrated effort to knit fewer socks this year than in the past. Typically I've averaged 2-3 pairs per month and in 2019 I'm only knitting 1 pair a month. It frees up my time to work on other things and keeps my exploding sock drawer from expanding. I'm also intending to knit more socks as gifts and only keep a few pairs this year for myself. February socks were knit out of Cakewalk Yarns in the Brooklyn colorway. I was lucky to obtain 2 skeins from destashes as I missed the boat on the dyer's yarn while it was popular. The base yarn has a wonderful tight twist and I love how the speckles knit up. I used a bit of Regia for the heels and toes. These socks are for my husband and using a tougher yarn for the high-wear areas is a necessity for him since he is very hard on socks. It also enabled me to knit the leg longer than normal.

I used DPNS for a change of pace and knit them cuff down, one at a time. I didn't try any new techniques for this vanilla pair so I think next month I will knit socks from a pattern just to mix it up.

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