I’m not even a stuffed animal kind of person …

But when I saw this bunny test knit thread on Ravelry, it was so adorable I had to share it.

the designer’s picture from Ravelry

This is the Daisy Delightful Bunny – Rav link: https://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/daisy-delightful-bunny

People have made variations that are just as cute, too!

What I’m working on:

My friend Kim and I have been knitting on the Celtic Fantasy Scarf once a week and I am almost done with the first chart.

Yesterday was the first time I’d picked up my knitting since I caught covid last week. It felt all right, despite it taking me most of an hour figuring out how I had messed up the back side, and getting it and my chart to the same place.

I could only manage a couple of rows last night. I started getting a litle confused. So I put it down until today.

I am trying to finish watching the tv miniseries with Kaley Cuoco called The Flight Attendant. I had watched a few episodes from TBS for free, but took so long to get back to it, they stopped showing the free episodes on cable. I was afraid the only way to see the rest would be on HBO plus, and I want to refuse to give them money after that stupid Game of Thrones ending. That pissed me off so much!!!

Anyway, I found them on Amazon last night and ponied up the $12 to buy the whole thing. I have been watching them all day and knitting on the Celtic chart. It has been going pretty well, but the weather is horrible, so I had to shut down and unplug everything due to lightning strike potential.

Re covid: I couldn’t imagine having it worse than it is. The coughing jags are horrendous, and once they started slowing down I started feeling better. It’s hard catching your breath after one of those.

I feel a little tired sometimes and a little nauseated occasionally, but I am much better than I was. A friend told me the cough would last a month. I hate the idea, but I am glad I am not in the hospital and worse.

Finished Alan Dart Jultomtar gnome, sorta

It’s cute, but I did a bad build. It is turned to the left a little. Not feeling like taking some of it apart to fix it, because I used some sewing thread and some yarn to secure everything. Maybe I can move the nose over a little to fix it without removing the hat, since the nose has fewer stitches in it.

Link to the info on ravelry: https://www.ravelry.com/projects/madonnaearth/jultomtar–teeny-tomte

Alan Dart gnome…I love that I added the little pompom and a loop to the hat!
It came in this cute little clear zippered bag with a little clear plastic handle sewn on top. I want to use it for more smallish projects.

Not sure what I’m going to start next. I am tempted by all sorts of projects. My friend Kim and I are continuously working on a double knit scarf every Sunday. We have made lots of errors and started over several times. But I am itching to get to the expanded part of the project.

Speaking of friends, my friend Jenn has a project that she loves the finished part, but not the making part. She is stalled on row 4. I am tempted to give it a try as well. What better way to get your mind off a troublesome project than to work on someone else’s troublesome project? That’s what I tell myself anyway. She is offering me all kinds of goodies to take it over and finish it. LOL. I said I would try to knit the first part of it for her and see how far I get.

She said her sister is even having trouble with it. Michelle is like a knitting master genius compared to the both of us, so either the pattern is hard to follow, hard to pin down, or something. I read some finished item reviews, and the first one mentioned needing smudging, pattern burning and holy water to compensate. I cracked up. That is my new favorite description of a knitting project ever. I am going to paste that description and email it to myself to keep for a while.

Forgot to add:

I have wound the yarn for my cousin’s hat. It is gorgeous yarn. I hope I won’t need the second skein to finish off the hat, because I will use them to make something for myself. I am thinking the Meisi gloves I have been putting off since forever.

Planning to make a hat and cowl set for my second cousin

I owe one of my cousins a hat for keeping me up on the Stephanie Plum series of books. I am going to make her a cowl also, if I have enough Yowza left. The hat will be the Honey Loft hat by Lena Mathisson (Ravelry link), which has a brioche top.

I think the cowl will be the Beremeal Cowl by Laura Aylor (Ravelry link). I love most of her patterns, but I have only made one so far, the Northwinds cowl. I started some others, but have had to frog.

I finished and blocked the Northwinds one last weekend. I like this yarn and knitting with it, but I will probably give it away to my sister-in-law. I prefer darker colors, and she tends to wear all colors, so she may be okay with it. I’ll make myself a darker one. I think I will make it a little bit longer as well.

I finished my first sweater and I love it

The Saga turned out pretty well. Once blocked, it was a little longer and bigger than I expected after blocking, being made of superwash yarn. It goes down to my knees and it is so warm. I may put it in the dryer for a few minutes when I need to wash it again.

I sewed on these snaps, and I will probably never do that again. I like the snaps, but I will go with buttonholes and buttons with shanks instead. Lining up and sewing them in weren’t fun, either. Even with the note taking and reading that I did in advance, I still wound up having to wing it. It was probably overkill, but I am happy enough with how it turned out that I am quickly forgetting all the effort and aggravation with myself and my attitude that went into it.

It is a beautiful sweater. I loved knitting the cables and textured parts. I crocheted the sleeves in instead of trying to figure out mattress stitching and watching the Cheryl Brunette knitting a sweater series on Youtube. I didn’t like having to be connected to the Internet to figure out the side seams.

Notes on what I do remember:

I knitted the back from the bottom up, according to the instructions. Then I started knitting the two fronts two at a time from the bottom up. Got them mostly finished. They looked too small, and I was worried about that, so I crocheted the back sides to the front sides to sort of try them on.

That was how I found out the fronts were simultaneously too small horizontally and vertically. I frogged them and restarted them. (I also forgot to add the bottom edging when I started them over because I wanted to get going before I lost my nerve and interest in the project.)

Surprisingly, I didn’t mind starting them over at all. They didn’t really get complicated til I got to the decreases around the neck and armholes.

As I knitted on the fronts, I through I was going to have a hard time blending any new yarn I’d have to order to finish the sleeves. I’d read a lot about how Malabrigo doesn’t have dye lots, and if you have to order extra yarn, it might not match any of the yarn you started with.

I had to order additional yarn 3 times. The sweater is way more expensive than I planned on, so future sweaters are going to be made of somewhat cheaper yarn and notions. Even though I freed up some money when I bought it, it is still more than I am comfortable paying for project. I am never going to be the girl with that expensive yarn made from buffalo fibers. I am also pretty sure that while I will eventually lose weight, it is never going to be enough to make a thigh-length sweater’s worth of yarn an economical value. I think with shipping and everything, it came to about $200. I am going to aim for $100 or less. Like $60 at most, with buttons and all.

The first 6 balls of yarn got me through the back, and half the fronts, I think. The next batch of yarn got me through the rest of fronts, the saddle shoulder pieces, and the sleeves from the shoulders to the elbows. The next batch was slightly and obviously darker than the rest of the yarn. I split it mostly down the middle,

to be finished later…

Best $6 a month I ever spent

I started knitting in 2007, and shortly after that, I came across the Yarn Harlot’s blog – http://www.yarnharlot.ca.

I assumed someday I would get to go to one of her book signings or talks or whatever, but it’s something you have to plan for and take action on, which is not one of my strong suits. Even when she was touring the US pre-pandemic, I wouldn’t have been able to attend one without some serious money saving on my part.

Last year, she took the plunge and started a Patreon page under her name, Stephanie Pearl-McPhee. I signed up and I am enjoying watching her Patreon videos every now and then. The subscription costs $6 a month, and she posts every few months, it seems like.

Some of the information in there is really great, even for people who are already accomplished knitters.

She has shown subscribers such things as how to keep track of their knitting, how to count rows. Yes I know, I’m an adult and should be able to count rows without breaking into a cold sweat and considering giving up knitting patterns all together. But the way she explains it makes it all very clear. If I could retain what she said and how she said it when I was actually knitting, I might stress just a tiny bit less.

I plan to eventually start a colour stacking cowl (pattern is patreon only) she gave instructions for on there. It has proven very popular and a few subscribers have finished their cowls with varying success on the Ravelry group.

I think that will be one of my first projects this coming year. I have had a couple of stash yarns in mind for it, and I bought some sport yarn as well that I’m going to use as a sort of sampler until I am ready to try fingering weight.

Patreon site: https://www.patreon.com/StephaniePearlMcPhee/posts

Her blog post where she posts a pic of the cowl: https://www.yarnharlot.ca/2021/09/i-think-theres-still-room/

The Ravelry project page: https://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/colour-stacking-cowl

No idea where I am on this

Lately, I have been kind of all over the place with my knitting plans. I used to be able to just make a list and pick something and start working on it. Right now, I think about knitting while I’m at work (like I usually do), don’t knit when I’m not working, same as usual, but I can’t pick a project or several projects and start doing one. I blame it on pandemic brain. I am just aimless about it. I don’t like it. It’s weird.

Going back to Blogger, probably

I am not liking the block writing program wordpress has switched everybody to. You can’t go away from the post you’re working on to check/verify links to post, your cursor will disappear if you so much as stop to think about what you want to write next, and God help you if you click on a previous paragraph real quick to make a correction or rephrase something. 18 clicks later, you still won’t be able to get to the end of the last paragraph and pick up where you left off writing.

It’s annoying and counterproductive. It makes writing anything unnecessarily harder than it has to be and take 3 or 4 times longer than it should. I hate it. The only thing that’s working is the WordPress autocorrect.

New site in progress

I have started trying to import everything to Blogspot/Blogger.

If the move works, my new website and these Stringing Me Along posts will be at https://reneesyarnadventures.blogspot.com. (Stringingmealong.blogspot.com was already taken.) If not, I will be sad panda-ing here at WordPress until I find a better alternative.

UPDATE

There’s no straightforward, easy way to move Stringing Me Along back to Blogger. I think I’m going to have to move everything one website post at a time. Yayyy. But on the other hand, if I do copy it over, I won’t have to come back to WordPress to be able to look at it.

Also, I’m going to have to change the Blogger template I’m using because the one I chose is not great, to say the least. I was like, “That’s how it’s going to look? Aughh!” The icon for how it would look was cute, but looking at the preview of the test post, the text would be white text on a dark gray block background, which was on top of a light background. Back to the drawing board.

Went with basic blue instead. Says a lot about me and color I guess. Cranberry’s my favorite color, but I tend to go with “vanilla” on blogs.

So close to done with the sweater

I made the pockets, knitting them two at a time like socks. I made so many mistakes I had to fix on such a small part of the project that I almost gave them up all together. The few things that kept me going on them was knowing how much I would hate that I didn’t persevere through the simplest part of the project. And I wouldn’t be willing to do a make it work kind of job to put them in later.

I hate buying pants and finding out later they don’t have pockets, because I have a habit of putting my keys in them instead of my purse.

Then I attached them to the sweater sides by crocheting them into place. It worked out better than I expected. It didn’t take forever either.

I wove in some ends. I crocheted most of one side together and wove in some more of the ends. I will finish the sides sometime this week, will weave in some more ends, and crochet the collar to the sweater.

I love that it is coming together and glad I’m this close to the end. I don’t have any more knitting to do on it unless I decide I don’t care for the darker yarn collar and have to reknit it with the lighter dyed version of the colorway. There is a pretty big contrast between the two dye lots. “Mommy loves you anyway, baby!”

I went back and read an old blog post when I came in here, and it has stuff in it I don’t even remember happening. Good thing this blog is here, I guess! Maybe I should make a real life blog too, so I can go to family reunions and be like, “You remember at the last family reunion when you did blah blah blah?” lol

The state of the stash, and the art of crochet

I have acquired enough yarn that I am going to give some away, and I will still have plenty left. No worries about that at all any more.

I now have a stash pile, a giant UFO pile, and a future projects pile. I almost said I have enough yarn to make whatever I want, but then I remembered that a lot of it is skinny fingering that feels like a chore after the cast on and actual knitting begins.

I am a little more careful about what kind of yarn I get myself into these days. I started buying heavier weight yarns in smaller quantity, but it’s going to take a while to get to the point I love almost everything in my stash.

Crochet

I have been wanting to crochet all the things over the past few weeks. I do not understand this urge. I put it down for a long time and was intending not to go back unless it was to learn a new technique or make something unusually gorgeous.

Yes, I’ve been coming across pretty patterns. I always do, but I literally bought some vintage ones and a crochet tank pattern (Sweet Clara, by designer Kristin Omdahl) in the past couple of months.

I have a black stretch t-shirt that I want to either make a collar or a vest for. I need to pick one to cast on and get on with it.

Sweater update

I went to a friends house and hung out with her while I picked up the stitches for the bottom front edging of the Saga sweater I’m knitting. I finished the collar about two weeks ago.

What’s left to do:

1. Finishing the edging. There’s about 4 rows left.

2. Make the pockets and sew (or crochet) them into the garment.

3. Seam the sides together.

4. Sew or crochet the collar onto the jacket.

5. Even up the front edges where the snaps will go. Sew in snap tape.

6. Trim the front edges of the snap area with the darker Malabrigo dye lot so it will blend with the darker collar and bottom front edges.

7. Block for once and for all! :-)

Yarn without complaint

There’s a pleasure in winding yarn with tools that work the way they’re supposed to, when they’re supposed to.

I think the most fun I have is buying the yarn, followed by winding it into a ball. When it goes smoothly, it is a joy.

I love the process of putting the yarn on a swift and setting it just so, picking up that ball winder and going to town. l love the way multicolors blend into a whole as they whirl by.

A mottle of pinks, reds, greens and purple and black became a dusky purple I automatically wished was available all by itself, and a navy with metallic bits had me mesmerized. I am officially excited to be knitting with them soon.  I hope I love the finished projects as much.

Of course, the navy doesn’t show up as a navy in this photo, but you can see that there are subtle color changes in there.

I intend to make a Tinbridge scarf by Laura Aylor in the navy, called Nightshade, and a sample if not a full copy of the same scarf in the other yarn.

UPDATE: Knitting the Tinbridge didn’t go as planned. I got about 9 rows in before I got a little off track. Then I got which side was which confused after putting it down for about half an hour. I cannot cook and knit at the same time apparently.

I need to go in with some stitch markers to be able to keep better track. I really liked the thickness of the yarn on the left. It was a surprise. I almost scrapped the navy version (I was knitting them on the same needle like I was making a pair of socks) to work on the left one all by itself.

I think knitting both scarves on the same needle was a genius idea, but if I’m doing it, the yarns need to match each other in size. Doing it in one skinny yarn and one slightly fatter yarn at the same time just made the thinner gauge navy scarf feel like a sad “also ran” instead of a game changer to me.

Yeah, no…the things that didn’t happen

I started out pretty good with the knitting. Unfortunately, I had a bout with pneumonia and it won. To the tune of a few hours in the ER and a week in the hospital, a side of lethargy and dose of couldn’t care less.

I’d pick up my sweater and knit a row or two. Put it down faster than the speed of light. Look at patterns, look at yarns. Think about doing something huge. Think about doing something small. Do nothing. Sleep a lot.

It has eased somewhat. I ordered a yarn for a chameleon kit. It uses two skeins of yarn and is full of i-cord stitches going every which way. It is interesting to look at, and Earthfaire had the same yarn used in the example pattern. The multicolor yarn doesn’t seem to be as pinkish as it looks on the pattern, but it’s kinda darker, so I guess I will like it anyway. Hard to say at this point.

I got a little cranky about not really feeling like doing anything, so Monday night I started finishing the second ply of a Falkland fiber I bought from Juliespins.etsy.com sometime last year. I had spun most of it Saturday, and last night I had the goal of giving it at least 15 minutes if it didn’t go well. And if it did go well, I would just spin til I felt less cranky and then go to bed. It got a little irritating the last couple of minutes, but it went fairly quickly.

Now I just have to ply them together and maybe block the yarn a little. I think it’s going to be pretty. (Falkland top in Fairgrounds colorway).

I still couldn’t tell you the difference between Falkland and merino. There’s rarely anything I get from Julie that I don’t like. I just don’t pay attention to fiber that way. I only know the difference between rambouillet and merino because ram is so fluffy…it is obvious there’s a difference.

Since the spinning’s so easy, I think I’m going to maybe pull out that sweater’s quantity of JS I bought to make myself a sweater from scratch. A while back I asked Julie to make me some braids similar to the one I navajo-plied this heavyweight yarn from a few years ago. I want to spin them up and work them into a sweater that fades from natural to black yarn.

Yes, it is stupidly ambitious for me, but go big or go home. Or something.