I think I had my first yarn dream ever night before last. It was great! I dreamed I was running a knitters’ convention, and I and my two helpers were busy setting up mystery yarn baskets for participants who were waiting for the next stage of the event.

Everybody had a card with kind of hard written clues. If the clues were solved correctly, it would lead to 8 different mystery baskets of  great yarn with a project chosen specifically for that yarn. Whoever found the most won a prize, and whoever won the most competitions during the convention won a grand prize.

And there was an “Trade Your Unwanted Hat Here” basket that was doing a roaring business! Everybody and their mama had a hand knitted hat they didn’t like or wanted to trade and everybody was able to trade at least once. No hat went unclaimed and no fights broke out. It was amazing! (I’m pretty sure it would never happen in real life though. I can be way too picky about stuff like that.)

We let the knitters in, and a few of them found baskets hidden behind decals on the wall. Shortly after that I woke up, so who knows what the prizes and grand prizes were going to be. Nice dream, though.

 

I washed the bleeder about 8-10 different times, and I think it finally stopped when I put it in some cool water with a lot of Synthrapol. I let it sit a while to see how much bleeding it was still doing (about the same), then I put it back in a crockpot on low for a few hours. I let that sit overnight, then rinsed and soaked it. Less dye came out, so I put it through a rinse and spin cycle in the washing machine to get most of the water out.

Because I got really impatient that one time and cranked it up to high, the lightest-colored parts of the shawl felted. The Wollmeise lace must be superwash, because it looks almost exactly the same.

Before:

After:

Felting was mostly vertical, and there are one or two faded spots. After all the issues I have had, I don’t think I will be gifting this to my aunt after all. I’m not sure what I’m going to do with it, but I have changed my mind about overdyeing it to fix the faded spots. I doubt it would take the way I would expect it to.

I am just disappointed at the end result, all the way around. That was a lot of work for it to end up this way.

Crochet work

In other news, I am trying to finish up the oldest UFO. Things are going well, just not quite as fast as I would like them to.

I still haven’t found my crochet hooks. I intend to do some major cleaning this week, so hopefully they will turn up. (I have all the small ones for fine crochet work, but not the set of lettered hooks from A to H, or however high it went.

I borrowed a D hook from my friend Melissa to do the lace edging. On some of the items it looks great. I am hoping once it is all completed none of the things that bother me about the set will be issues. Some sections don’t lie as flat as I’d like.

Other knitting

I plan to frog the Phantom of the opera cowl I made, as it’s too small in some areas.

I plan to knit:

  • my cousin’s scarf
  • one shawl for me, one for my friend’s mom
  • a pair of gloves
  • two cowls for me
  • two pairs of socks

Contests and stuff:

I set a contest on the sweater group for members who finished knitting a sweater this year. Those who have done one will have their names cut up and one person’s name will be drawn. I’ll gift the winner a Ravelry pattern up to $10.

I am participating in the Christmas pattern swap for another group I’m in. It has a $15 limit.

I am also participating in The Cold Sheep group Finish-along for projects started before Nov. 10. It ends Nov. 30 or so. I’m hoping it will help me make a giant dent in UFOs. I’m not sure which other UFO’s I’ll be working on.

Somehow, I forgot that when I was going to block the second Gail shawl, it had a bleeding problem. So, I was ready to do it again, I put it in some soapy water to soak and when I came back a few minutes later, the water was heavily pink.

It was looking a little scary. I actually lost a few cool points over that. So I dumped the shawl, soapy water and all, into the crockpot I use for dying and poured maybe a quarter cup of vinegar. (It would have been a tablespoon, but like I said, I was losing cool points at the time, and the vinegar jug was almost empty. What’s the point in leaving two drops in there? Don’t judge me. )

Whatever vinegar was left in there, it’s in the pot. It’s cooking now on medium (whatever temperature that is – not using a thermometer there either), and hopefully the shawl will soak all the dye back up and it will MOVE IN AND TAKE UP LIVING THERE, LIKE IT WAS SUPPOSED TO DO IN THE FIRST PLACE. DAMN.

I suspect it’s the other yarn, not the OMG Wollmeise edging. I don’t think Claudia would do that to me, because OMG it’s Wollmeise. (I love the production that Lime and Violet made of out of the word Wollmeise when they had their podcast.)

Here’s a picture of the edging.

I hope whatever happens, the shawl doesn’t go all faded pink on me. If nothing else, I can say it will be clean as hell, because they used to boil clothes in lye soap and water in the old days  to clean them. My mom had to do that more than a few times when she was growing up. I am so glad I was born when I was, because having to do all that farm work, slaughtering your own animals and stuff like beating rugs by hand, would suck.

On the other hand…

I am starting to be able to visualize the end of some old UFOs. If this shawl goes okay and I only have to cook it once, I will work on putting the nails in some coffins on the project that shall not be named. Then I will block The Bleeder and package it up. I’m going to see if I can find a pin for it and give it to my aunt for Christmas. Goodbye, good luck and good riddance.

And then, and then, I have changed my mind again. I’m going to knit as much Harlequin shawl in purple as I can. It’s the gift shawl on my UFO list, and this way I don’t have to try to follow another pattern, and since the giftee’s all petite and shit, I won’t have to knit it for long. I am kind of worried about it being chunky yarn though and it being too chunky looking on her. What the hell. I don’t have to wear it. lol.

Or maybe I’ll just follow in the instructions for the Holden shawl, which has no patterning whatsoever, and put an edging on it from somewhere. Maybe the blue Barbara Walker book. That would make it way faster.

I’m getting a little excited for all the other stuff I can work on.

1. scarf for my cousin.

2. shawl for me.

3. Necklette for me out of my handspun yarn, made with fiber Cheryl gave me for my birthday.

4. Socks for me.

5. Sock  correction, SOCKS, for a friend of mine. Since she has two feet. (and I wasn’t going to proofread this because I’m perfect and I don’t make mistakes. HA!!!)

6. another shawl for me.

7. back to the East meets West colorwork bag. I hate I fell down on that one. I was going along pretty good for a few weeks on it.

And what really got me all hyped up before The Bleeder pissed me off, I was going through my yarn stash and noticed how some colors match up. I was all, “Ooh, I’m gonna take pictures and put them on the blog post!” But I couldn’t find my camera, which I had just seen yesterday. It was right here, I swear!

That’s what I get for not listening to my mom. “If you would put stuff up where it belongs, you would know where it is.” She said that a lot when I was coming up. I wonder why.

I made this dot com

and these

(never again, they were a PITA – damn, there is a lot of cursing on this blog today – took too long to make, and I feel not worth the few hours I put into them) They have also committed the crime (my fault, not theirs) of being not very good looking. But yayy for using remnants!

And the Harlequin Opal shawl as a yarn trade, which is freaking gorgeous. Even if it’s about 65 percent bigger than it should be, from the instructions. If she doesn’t want it, I’ll take it back. lol. I wouldn’t mind at all! I’d even send her one of the two skeins of Mad Tosh yarn I had ordered. Or something else from stash. She’s probably going to like it though. I hope so. Trades make me anxious until I know for sure the other person LOVED, and I mean L-O-V-E-D it. The same with Christmas presents. Even if all I give you is a starlight mint and a piece of lint, I hope it’s the most bodacious starlight mint and piece of lint you ever had in your whole life. At least until next year.

Trust me, I love this pattern so much this picture should be three times as big as the actual blog page. I’m going to do it again.

so now, hoping for the best, I’m going to go back downstairs and check the shawl and hope it’s sucking up some color. And maybe open a window, since I’m not actually making pickles, but it probably smells that way. My roommate will thank me, I’m sure. Especially since she’s the person who does the sniff test to see that I’ve rinsed all the vinegar smell out when I need her to. Good thing we’re friends.

…but all of a sudden, it’s like I don’t know how to knit anymore. I was making a shawl and it was coming out pretty good until I got to the 3rd part, and now it’s like every time I pick it up an alien has landed, stolen time, and screwed up 15 rows of knitting.

Yarnovers when I started are completely different from yarnovers on row 78. The ones at the start have the appropriate two-strand twist in them. The later ones look like one strand, no twist.

I’d post pictures but I frogged everything and started over, at least five times yesterday. The yarnovers are now completely jacked up, unless I work on another project instead. Then they’re freaking perfect. Bastards.*

I started over at least 5 times and I am so aggravated I am almost ready to set actual yarn on fire. (not the good yarn, but yarn!)

So now I have been having review sessions on Youtube. (I Love Youtube. Almost as much as Amazon, now.) As far as I can tell, how they’re knitting and how I’m knitting is the same. Purling too. Checked knittinghelp.com – same story.

I feel like a freaking moron. I’m going to go work on something else, and when I come back if it doesn’t shape up, I’m putting this particular project in time out. I’m not even going to talk about it outside of this post right here.

*(I used to have a cousin who called people, even little children, bastards just in general conversation. She cursed a lot for a tiny gray-haired lady over 60 years old. I was generally in shock every time she opened her mouth because I’d never heard an older person curse like that. While I eventually found it entertaining, there was no way I’d go somewhere public with her swearing like that about everything, from people to clothes to salad dressing. I find it absolutely appropriate in this situation, however.)

Housesitting today. Projects I bought with me.

  • bathroom set – bought extra yarn to finish it off finally.
  • skein of yarn for socks
  • etisoppo footies yarn
  • purple shawl project, may try Skuld pattern for that
  • birthday yarn for Harlequin Opal shawl
  • two skeins of Rocky Mountain Mohair
  • Henry VIII sweater
  • Phantom of the Opera handspun skein to knit into a cowl. Only a few patterns in the Barbara Walker book are speaking to me on this one. I think one with a strong diagonal will work well.

I think I am going to put in two hours on the bathroom set, then pick one of the other items that is already in progress. I’ll work on that while I start my breakfast. You’d think I’d still be sleep at 8:30 a.m., considering how l went to bed around midnight.

I also have Melissa’s yarn I could hank and rewash, yarn in my for sale list, and two books of patterns to go through to match yarns with possible projects.

I know that’s a lot of stuff for a weekend, but I would rather pack it all and not need it than do a half-ass pack and wish I’d bought such-and-such a thing with me for knit night and sitting around the house, then be kicking myself because I left it. This has happened way too often lately.

So, bathroom set, two pairs of socks, two shawls, a sweater, a cowl. Sweater work is not going to happen unless I make a lot of headway on other stuff today.

The cowl and the purple shawl are on the Stash Dash 2012 list of stuff I started that I’m trying to finish in August.

The Harlequin shawl is for me, from some gorgeous yarn my friends bought me for my birthday. That can go on hold until some of the other stuff is done.

Etisoppo footies are worsted weight socks for me, in Gryffindor colors. They’ve been on the to do list forever and should go pretty fast. Depending on how things go, I may swatch to figure out a good needle for them, and start them if that goes well.

Second pair of socks, fingering weight socks for me that won’t be as fast, but I love starting toeups.

So, bathroom set and purple shawl work to start. If the shawl goes badly, cowl.  If that goes badly, footies. If that goes badly, start toeups. If that goes badly,

Yesterday I was on Ravelry and came across a free pattern for Non-felted Slippers by Yuko Nakamura. Yay!!! Now I can make slippers I don’t have to felt and worry about them going wrong. And I can use up that yarn in my stash AND have some slippers I can wear!

The person who showed me that is a stashsaver. I was kind of disappointed with how the nightstand mat came out all ruffled and wavy looking instead of a nicely felted square. This pattern idea makes me happier. I only wish I still had some of that wine-colored yarn left. Basic black is fine too, though.

I wonder if this would be good for that Noro yarn in my stash as well.

I was going to do a giant breakdown of stuff in my Ravelry account so I could tighten it down to stuff I definitely want to work with and make. I’d gotten it started, and it was so big that I put it on hold until I can reorganize the whole thing.

Since I started that list though, I have sold a few yarns and fibers. It was fun watching it sell. I still have a few pieces left, but the best part about it is clearing some room in my stash storage. (Selling it goes way faster than knitting it up, that’s for sure!)

I sold the Palette that I had no immediate plans for, and I don’t see myself regretting that. I’d used a small part of it making felted fish, and now I don’t have to look at it any more. That took a lot of yarn out of there. I also sold some books and a Juliespins braid.

Last weekend I finished knitting the second Gail shawl, which I haven’t blocked yet. It’s nice to have that done. There are two more Stash Dash goals left for me to complete: a scarf for my cousin, and a cowl to make from some handspun.

One thing I’ve liked about the sale is it has clarified some things. I would like to condense yarn and fiber stash storage to two tote bags instead of 3, and the shoeboxes on the closet shelf. I’d like to reduce my stash even further to things I really want to knit with. I say that in italics, but imagine my surprise when I picked one of the “not so wanted yarns” and find it cool to knit with. Maybe I need to test some of them before I sell them or give them away.

I want to also condense my books a bit more. They’re taking up quite a bit of space.

I have some awesome knitting/crafting books, but there are a few that are just “to read,” not to knit from. Some are looky loo, coffee table types. Some are instructional for later, and some are just me being curious about how certain things are done. I may go through them all again to cull them out some more.

Of course, I intend to make some room for a few books on my list, the Alden Amos book of spinning for one.

——

Off topic:

Journey on the brain

Don’t Stop Believing. Suzanne. Steve Perry. Arnel Pineda. Without You. Open Arms. Lovin’ Touchin’ Squeezin’. Journey the Breakup. Journey the Resurrection. I have been Journey obsessed the past few days, and I would like to say I’m tired of it. I get tired of the same song circling round my brain all day, but it I can break it up with other beloved songs and interviews, it’s not so bad. I am loving being able to get videos and music and interviews on Youtube.

Found an early 2012 interview with Steve Perry by Denver Radio, and it is the coolest thing to listen to, because it is nice to hear his uninterrupted, not-chopped-up point of view, like they do in biography shows where the whole group’s not in the same room. It’s a long one and thank God he can look back with a sense of humor on it all now. It was great to listen to.

Other favorites are the clips where Neal Schon and Arnel Pineda talk about how Pineda was discovered and asked to join Journey.

I didn’t even realize a second guy had been picked as lead singer since Steve Augeri had been hired. (Apparently he had medical problems with his voice, which lead to a search for new singer after a Journey song was played in the last ep of “The Sopranos” and featured on Glee.)

How to count rows in knitting!

(Don’t even ask why I had to look this up. Horror show, let me tell you. Ok fine, I’ll tell you. I was working on a project and I had to frog back about 15 rows because stitches had slipped off the needle, then I wanted to make sure I wasn’t dropping yarnovers and stuff. Dang. It’s back to where I can pick it up and start knitting…just not sure what row I’m on. I had it in time out for a while.)

Jewelry making: How to Viking Knit

This is awesome!!! I don’t know if I have any jewelry wire, but I want to try this yesterday. And the running it through smaller and smaller holes (to harden it I guess) is the awesomesauce. I’d use a specially purchased knitting needle gauge for that though. So not using a drill and wooden board. I am not handy that way. Not at all!

The Beaded Viking Knit bracelet

Love this!

The Egyptian Coil bracelet

I really need to stay off Youtube.  I did find an old movie on there though, A Room With a View. It’s the Merchant Ivory version, one of my favorites with Maggie Smith as the chaperone, Julian Sands (George Emerson) and Helena Bonham-Carter (Lucy Honeychurch) as the young people in love. A little of Judi Dench as well. Nice to knit to, and I love Lucy’s hair!

Knitting status

Finished a total of 3 fish and working on a sea star for the shop windows. May make one more sea star in orange. It’s a fast little amigurumi project, only taking a few hours over a couple of days.

Worked on the bathroom lid some more. Maybe 1/3 of the way done with the tufts. Didn’t mind working on it much at knit night, since it’s not fighting me every step of the way.

Working on a stealth project, making fish for a yarn store, working on the UFO that shall not be named until it is crossed off the list forever.

Put down the E meets W bag (might just be a year after all), worked on the gail some more as well.

Photos of stuff:

Gail edging, Wollmeise in Merlot. Lighter color is Joslyn Fiber Farms something.

The project that shall not be named:

Fish yarn pics:

I made two more small ones I will put in here later, but these are the colors I’m currently working with. The orange is so bright it’s almost unphotographable. I love it enough that I am on the verge of asking the yarn store to order me a skein when they send for another batch. It is awesome! I don’t even like orange yarn usually.

I feel like I finished something else since I posted here last, but I have no idea what. Maybe it’s been so long I just feel like there was another one.

East Meets West Bag

I’m three rows into the strap insertion chart on the east meets west bag. I am wondering how everybody else knits so fast that their insert charts are done. lol. Maybe they’re better at paying attention than I am. This is an at home project for me right now. I really can’t pay attention to much else when I’m doing it.

Tree of Life socks

A backburner project of mine is the Tree of Life sock pattern by Janel Laidman. I chose two Juliespins yarns and got this far on them:

Here’s the yarns in a pic that really doesn’t do  them justice. The gold has a strand of glitter throughout it. The blackish one is a skein of Euro fingering. I think it’s called Scottish Nights.

I think between the fair isle purse kit and the fair isle sweater I kind of lost interest in working on this. I had issues with increasing too, where I was going to start the striping for the foot at the toes, but maybe I will just hold two strands of the dark yarn together until I finish the toe increases, then start the striping. It feels like a copout to me though.

Hat for me

Since I obviously have so few things to work on (and it has been real cold the past few days), I started a double-stranded hat for myself in the yarn Cheryl gave me from her SAFF trip. It’s nice to work with, but I might start it over. It’s not fun working ribbing increases.

Henry the Eighth

I don’t have any current pics of this project, but so far so good. I am on the 5th or 6th row from the edging. I knitted 5 or 6 rows of plain knittingto give the “in the round” knitting some stabilization before I began the chart, since I’m not knitting it exactly to pattern. I don’t think the 2×2 multicolor ribbing is the way I want my bottom edge to go, and I hate the issues I’ve had with provisional cast ons being maintained as you knit the first half of it.

 

 

 

It’s only been a couple of months, but a lot has been happening since Jan. 12 knitwise.

East Meets West

I started the Knitpicks East Meets West bag after mentioning it in the Stash and Burn group on Ravelry. Another Raveler named toe said when I got ready to knit mine she’d like to do a KAL, which kind of got me excited to do it.

Then I came across a post by bogiebogie (one of my knit heroes…I don’t keep up with her enough since I never knitted the Juliet sweaterI fell in love with) where she discussed how she changed colors in her East Meets West to colors she liked, with help from a friend of hers who knew color substitution in knitting.

The technique involves taking black and white pictures of the colors you want to use to figure out color values and how it would affect the pattern.

Here’s the pattern’s original set of colors:

After a fun couple of hours playing with yarn and taking photos and rearranging, I decided to swap out the strap insert colors for colors I like better. For instance, the bright pink is a cute background in the bag, but I am not a bright pink kind of girl. I decided to replace it with the fuschia Palette yarn…not as bright, but it should contrast with the majestic (purple) about as well in the strap insertion.

Fuschia versus the original pink, ladyslipper (far right). The medium colors are richer than they appear in the photo. The two strands across the top are to decide what color I’d use for the flowers that cut across the stripes of fuchsia, french lavender, and aster in the bottom strap. I decided to use the majestic (looks blurple in photo) instead of the darker clematis heather original to the pattern. It is such a gorgeous purple I couldn’t put it down. Here the same pic is in black and white to see how the colors would play against each other.

So in February, we started. We have both had failures and successes. We both had to frog everything at least once. Toe finally casted hers back on using a bigger (and less sharp) needle.

When I first cast on this project, way back in 2010, I did the first 2 rows on a size one, sharp lace needle that was a little too short to handle so many stitches. I loved the bright yellow, called custard, with the navy blue yarn (jay), but something about the large sections of yellow on that sad needle didn’t work for me. It sat in  timeout for a while, and then I finally figured it wasn’t going to work so I frogged it.

This time, I started with a size 2. This is one of the few times in history I thought a size 3 needle would make too loose a fabric. lol.

Two other knitters joined us, and then we have a few people who volunteered to cheerlead us, which I LOVE!!! They have been doing a fabulous job!

Every now and then I get to a point where I’m not sure how to proceed, so I put it down for a while.

Here’s the most recent picture of it, just before I started the insert strap. I will ahve to take an update pic of that later. It doesn’t look like much, but it is 18 repeats around!

 

I will keep updating the blog with bits and pieces of what else I’ve been working on over the next couple of days.

 

 

 

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Archives

Ravelry Projects in Progress

01. Ribbons and Bows Bath Set
Goal: Finish by Dec. 31, 2012
Started: 2008
Finished:
Current: 90%
90%
START
END



02. Henry VIII Sweater
Goal: Finished by June 2013
Started: Nov. 9, 2012
Finished:
Current: 3%
3%
START
END



03. Stash Dash 2012
Goal: Finish by March 2013
Started: June 3, 2012
Finished:
Current: 85%
85%
START
END



04. Gift Shawl
Goal: Finish by March 2013
Started: Sept. 2012
Finished:
Current: 0%
0%
START
END



05. Fred's Scarf
Goal: Finish by April 2013
Started: Aug. 26, 2011
Finished:
Current: 0%
0%
START
END



06. Butterbeer Socks
Goal: Finish by Dec. 2013
Started: June 7, 2013
Finished:
Current: 0%
0%
START
END



07. Super secret project
Goal: Finish by ASAP
Started: April 6
Finished:
Current: 0%
0%
START
END



08. Socks
Goal: Finish by ASAP
Started:
Finished:
Current: 0%
0%
START
END



09. East Meets West Bag
Goal: Finish by
Started:
Finished:
Current: 0%
0%
START
END



10. Hibernating hat
Goal: Finish by
Started:
Finished:
Current: 0%
0%
START
END



11. Hibernating purple socks
Goal: Finish by
Started:
Finished:
Current: 0%
0%
START
END



12. Hibernating Forest Path Stole
Goal: Finish by
Started:
Finished:
Current: 0%
0%
START
END



13. Hibernating Marcasite Mehndi Shawl
Goal: Finish by
Started:
Finished:
Current: 0%
0%
START
END



14. Hibernating Juliet Pullover
Goal: Finish by
Started:
Finished:
Current: 0%
0%
START
END



15. Hibernating Jultomtar (gnome)
Goal: Finish by
Started:
Finished:
Current: 0%
0%
START
END



16. Blank 1 to copy
Goal: Finish by
Started:
Finished:
Current: 0%
0%
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END



17. Blank 2 to copy
Goal: Finish by
Started:
Finished:
Current: 0%
0%
START
END



stashdash2012

stashdash logo

Project status

STASH DASH 2012

Stash Dash Project List:
DONE:

Knit a Gail in Joslyn Fiber Farms yarn.Finished July 21, 2013! Edged it with burgundy Wollmeise lace. Plenty left over.

Spun burgundy and blue Silver Sun Alpacas batts.

Finished the Luiza shawl.

Finished the knitted part of the felted nightstand mat.


REMAINING:

Pick a cowl for the Phantom of the Opera Handspun. Not liking the hat.

Knit a gift shawlette in purple Cascade 220.

To do list

As time permits

DONE - Sew up the UF pillow

DONE - Felted nightstand mat - couldn't fix ruffled edges, cut up and sent away.

STARTED - East Meets West bag Frederick's rainbow scarf

Cascade socks for me

Forest Path Stole

Finish shiny toeup socks for me

Juliet Pullover

Marcasite Mehndi Wrap

Jultomtar - gnome

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