Taking Stock

Today, I decided to get out all the knitting projects that I am actively working on and update them in my list of projects on Ravelry. There are a couple of things here that I have not even had the time to make a project page for, much less share them with you. I find that doing this every once in awhile helps me to prioritize them. For example, here are the two sweaters I promised to show you last week.

1. Rolling Rock

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2. Tea Leaves

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You’ll notice that both sweaters are sleeveless. This is quite a plight with top-down sweaters. Often, with a bottom up sweater, I will knit the sleeves first because, for some reason, I always get stuck on the sleeves if I save them for last. With a top-down style, though, I have no choice but leave the sleeves for last. Well, I guess that is not strictly true. I could put the body on hold after I divide for the sleeves and knit those first, but somehow, I never think to do that when en route.

Anyhow, while I had both of these projects out, I decided to finish the purple one first. Why? Well, first of all, the gauge is bigger, so the knitting will go faster and also because it is 20 some degrees outside today and this one will be warmer. The blue one has a lacey, cabley design on the back that is very interesting, but I suspect it will let in a little draft, so will not be as immediately practical. See?

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Ok, good. Now that the sweaters were sorted, I went on to shawls.

1. Hediye

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2. Autumn Oborine

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What is that orange one, you ask? Well, this is one of those that I never made a project page for or even shared here. I began it way back in September when I was out of town. In fact, I got the yarn while I was away. It started as one of Susanna IC’s mystery shawl knit alongs, which I love to do. I have yet to be disappointed with her patterns and the mystery ones are great fun. However, I lost my momentum with this one once I got home and got back in touch with all my other works in progress. Now, here I am, just 4 rows away from being done. Trouble is, these are the longest rows and they involve beading, so I have to have a good hour of uninterrupted time per beading row (of which there are 2 more) in order to get this one finished. I don’t seem to have that kind of time these days.

On the other shawl front, I have finished the finicky border and have moved on to the garter panel in the center. This promises to be easy and fast. Which shawl will get finished first? Who knows. It will probably all depend on what kind of time I have.

Socks are next.

1. Deflect

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2. Slipper Socks for the boys

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There’s really no mystery here as to which of these will get done first. The slipper socks are intended for the boys as Christmas presents and are fairly quick and easy. I did almost half of a sock while sitting in a three hour meeting last week. They are easy and good knitting for all those bits of time one has when one is out and about. The only tricky part at the end will be sewing on the leather soles. One pair is done and now I have to knit the other pair. Here’s the yarn for that one.

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At home, I am quite enjoying the deflect socks when I feel like working on them. The primo fingering has a bit of cashmere and the yarn is nicely spun, both of which make for a pleasant sock knitting experience. The pattern also has a nice balance of ease and interest. I did change the cuff from the original pattern a little; basically, I just did an inch or so of ribbing before I started cabling instead of cabling right away. It was just something I did on the spur of the moment because I thought it would be too fiddly to do a cable just after a cast on row.

Well, that’s it for now. It would be a little scary to look at all the projects I have started and not finished. My goal is to just concentrate on a few of these until a couple of them are done. It’s kinda hard. I really want to cast on a hat and some colorwork stuff, but there is too much going on right now. Can you believe next week is Thanksgiving? And we are just beginning to wrap up our cookie project! I think I have enough on my plate; piling on more would just be disastrous!

So, what are you working on lately?

A Little Knitting Faith

Last week, I was able to finally block a project that had been finished for a little while. This is one of those projects that I started a long time ago, thinking it would be a quick knit, but it was not. The pattern chart was not one that I was able to see or memorize quickly, so I kept making silly mistakes. Because of this, it took more concentration than I have most of the time, so it languished. At the end, though, I seemed to finally get the hang of the chart (after the fourth repeat!) and it went more quickly.

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I only got a couple of quick photos of it before I carried it off to its final destination as a gift to dear friend. Believe it or not, before it was blocked, this project looked like a pile teal stringy knots. I blocked it out as much as possible and am really happy with how things opened up.

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Once you can see it like this, the chart all makes sense. Some projects are like this. You knit and knit and follow the directions on faith that it will all turn out ok. And once it is blocked, it nearly always is. It’s a very satisfying feeling.

The pattern is In Snowy Pinewoods by Knitspot. I used Shalimar Homage, which is a lovely blend of merino, cashmere, and silk. The silk gives it a lovely drapiness. The pattern is really well written; all the difficulties were all in my mind. It’s one of those bottom up shawls and the nice edges are knit on as you go along. All in all, I am very happy with it and I think my friend likes it as well.

In other knitty progress, I have finished the bodies of two sweaters and now I have four sleeves to knit. I’ll show you those next time.

No No November

This fall has been whizzing by us at a breakneck speed. As our kids get older, they are becoming more independent, but they are also becoming more and more busy. Gone are the days when everyone used to take an afternoon nap (not that that always happened, but we planned for it, haha). We have a mandated rest time every afternoon when we are home, but more often than not, the boys and I are using it to catch up on reading or homework or (for me) cooking.

Halloween almost went by unnoticed by us this year. On Friday afternoon, we found ourselves costumeless, bereft of candy, and no plans to carve pumpkins. Friends, this is the first time this has happened in the last ten years or so that we have been in this house. Luckily, we had been invited to a halloween party and our friends there had extra costumes, which thrilled the boys because it was either that or go home without any candy.

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The next day, I kept exclaiming how I could not believe it was November already. I am just not ready for all the the inevitable thoughts about Thanksgiving and that major holiday that comes next month. What’s a girl to do? Why, make some cookies, of course! Yes, it is time for our annual cookie fund raiser for Samaritan’s Purse. We are a few weeks later than usual and a little more pressed for time, so things have to be condensed this year. It was tempting to take a break from all of this, but there really is such a little amount that we do to help others that it seemed stingy for us to not do it.

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So, we will be making some Awesome Trail Mix Cookies

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and Nibby Toffee Butter Cookies, and many more to help us all remember to be thankful for all our blessings. What are you doing to help yourself get into the spirit of the month?

Whirlwind

What a whirlwind of a the last ten days has been! So much has happened that I am afraid this post will have to consist of photos with captions because if I told you everything it would take longer than you want to be here for. I will start with Rhinebeck, also known as the New York Sheep and Wool Festival. This year was more fun than ever for me. The fall leaves were beautiful.

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We had a Knitspot swap this year in which everyone knit a scarf or shawl for someone in the group. Erica knit me this wonderfully warm and soft caravan scarf in just the right color for me.

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I knit almost the same color Longshadows scarf for Judi.

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It was really fun to see everyone’s gifts and the thought that went into them. Here we are all modeling our wonderful gifts.

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Then, I had a super fun meetup with Thea Colman, also known as Baby Cocktails. We had a great time talking knitting and sweaters and yarn.

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This year, I really enjoyed seeing my knitting friends more than the shopping. Although, I did manage to find a few goodies to bring back home with me.

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When Rhinebeck was over, the fun went on at Knitspot’s Rhinebeck After Party. I was so busy and had so much fun there that I have no pictures. What I can show you is the yarn I brought home with me. There’s enough here for a sweater and several other things.

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And the fun didn’t stop there! The husband surprised us by taking the entire week off and whisking us away for a grand few days in New York City!

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We ate a lot.

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Saw some cool things.

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And I even bought a little more yarn.

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We were spoiled for sure and had enough fun to last us quite awhile. Now that we are back, we are getting ourselves re-organized. The first thing was to re-open the etsy shop with stitch markers with a post Rhinebeck sale. Everything in the shop is 20% off with coupon code RB2014SALE until November 4. We will be adding some new sets later today and tomorrow. Today’s sets have a bonus owl.

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Happy Fall!

Ready to Go

Today is the first day in over a month that feels normal to me. It’s not necessarily a good day or a bad day. I am not getting any more or less done than usual, but there is a slight shift in my brain that feels better somehow. It’s a nice feeling to be here and feel like I have some coherent thoughts to share with you. I guess my mind has been feeling overwhelmed and scattered the past few months, which has made blogging difficult. This new clarity of mind may not last long, but I will take advantage of it while I can!

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I can show you some things I have finished in the last few weeks. First up is this cashmere shawl from the Bare Naked Knitspot Club. This shawl is so soft and light, it is like wearing a cloud of warmth. I made a sort of medium size and now wish I had made the biggest size because I just want more of that soft warmness around my neck.

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Next, I have been quite taken with a new series of patterns by Ysolda Teague called KnitWorthy. For just a few dollars, this is a collection of 8 patterns to make as gifts for yourself or for those whom you think are worth of knits. A new pattern comes out every other Monday. It started back in September, and there will be new patterns until the first week of December. Anyway, the first one is this hat, which was fun to make and quick, too.

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And the second one is a shawl that starts out like this. There are cables and short rows and later I will have to pick up stitches to knit the body. I do love a project with lots of variety and different techniques.

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As of today, there are four patterns and I have to say, I love each one so far, which is really rare for me. The fact that I am interested and engaged in these more complicated projects is also a good sign to me that my foggy brain is clearing. It’s just in time, too, because the New York Sheep and Wool festival, aka Rhinebeck, is this weekend and I will need all my mental faculties present to enjoy that!

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