Knitting

This may not be the year of the monkey, but instead the year of the distracted. It’s already March and I don’t have a single FO. NOT ONE. Compared to last year where I had at least three knitted objects blocked, dried, and neatly folded away….sigh…

Now I wouldn’t go so far as to blame it on my new spinning hobby, but you could say it has snagged a lot of my dedicated crafting time since the beginning of the year. At this point though I absolutely must get my UFO’s done and out of the way.  I need my needles!

Upcoming projects with hard deadlines:

March 12th: Baby Giraffe hat and diaper cover

April 9th: Robyn’s shawl

May 23rd: Jonathan’s Sweater

June 21st: Ghery Wrap

Currently on the needles:

  1. Bamboo Split Tank Top
  2. Pepper Berry shawl
  3. Hipstamatic
  4. Lady Olivia Mitts
  5. Beeswax Hat – I’ve spun my own yarn for this. Super excited!

Frogged:

  1. 2016 RCYC MKAL
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Here’s a sneak peak at some stuff I’ve been working on. =3

The Pepperberry I got for Christmas from Noriko is working out really awesomely! The shawl is a basic elongated 6 increase triangle. I’m having to get creative with my color striping though at the end. It’s so wide! I already know it’s going to be light and cozy for spring!

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img_2313.jpgI’ve really gotten into my next spinning project as well. The second half of the masham wool is spinning up really well in a heavy lace weight ply. Hopefully I can figure out navajo plying on my drop spindle to be able to make this into a 3 ply dense enough for the Mega KAL project in March. The Honeycomb Hat.

One of the perks of living in Portland are the plethora of unique yarn shops. Yarnia is one of those rare specialty shops you’d never expect! This is mix and match heaven. They recently celebrated their 8th birthday and with that a special cone blend (blue).

There are only a limited number of them so I went early and snagged mine. It is an aran weight bamboo blend. I’m not sure what I’ll make with it, but I’m pretty sure this guy may end up as a shopping tote or a makeup pouch.  Just need to get my hands on a decent large toothed zipper.

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I also picked up some additional fingering weight cones in a nice peachy pink color. This is also a bamboo blend that I plan on turning into a summer tunic or skirt. The only downside to these stranded cones are grabbing all the strands in each stitch. I tried to make a swatch on Sunday that ended in misery. Oh bamboo, why you gotta be so…bamboo-y…lol

Thankfully bamboo doesn’t grow so I’ll probably fudge the numbers here soon and make something nice and light for myself.

 

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My favorite lunch spot gifted me this hibiscus scented decorative soap from Thailand. I mean really c’mon, how freakin’ awesome is that?!

It’s smells heavenly and sits on my desk at work. It’s nice to be appreciated as a customer, and to have this beautiful flower within gentle sniffing distance. If you have been following my blog, you know my abysmal track record with indoor plants. Thankfully this one is made out of soap.

 

 

 

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In the bag. This is the last work day of the month!

I guess it flew by, but this week has definitely dragged on. So lets talk about happy things, like ME and my projects! =)

First off I have to mention that my hair is finally long again. Long enough to pull back into a little pony tail. I forget how this makes my face look much narrower, how much I look like my mom, and how Korean it makes me appear as well. Heh. I am what I am, and I no longer have poof going on at the shoulders. Mid-April I believe will be the 1 year mark since I cut it really short before our Costa Rica adventure and I do feel like my hair growth has slowed somewhat. It may just be due to the perm though. By this coming May I’m sure it’ll be a nice mid shoulder length with plenty of styleability.

Ok now for projects:

  1. I’ve started plying my master project. I grossly miscalculated how much yardage each ply was going to be. I may end up in the 300 yard range by the time I’m done. I haven’t even gotten half way through and my spindle is almost at capacity!

  2. Christmas spinning results are in and it looks like my Mountain Sapphires will be a little neck warmer. Nice and thick! I’m doing a basic garter stitch scarf, but to spice things up a bit I’m going to drop sections and reloop them using a crochet hook to make big stitches. I’m pretty stoked for this even though the scarf isn’t going to be that long. Will be making a button border at the end.
  3. Rose City Yarn Crawl Mystery Knit Along: That’s a mouthful. It’s started! Clue 1 came out this week Wednesday, and the next three clues will be coming out once a week for the next three weeks. I’m pretty excited and thankful I had the foresight to ask Cindy for help picking colors! I did keep to the plan and I’m excited how the cowl is going to turn out!
  4. Master Plan Spinning Project 2 is manifesting itself. Noriko released a bulky weight hat last year that I want to spin yarn to make. Yeah bulky, yeah spinning for an actual project, yeah yeah!!

 

 

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2016 has already started and I’m already behind…with blogging. hehe

I’m not going to bore you with a bunch of hoo-haa-hmming about the past year because honestly I’ve already tucked it behind my ear and am ready for a new start.

So taking a cue from my friend Noriko’s blog post about project goals for this year here’s a quick rundown of my yarn related aspirations for 2016:

 

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The Kundert spindle I recently purchased has had a lot of use already. I’ve forayed into the world of drop spindles and I love it! Right now I’m working on a 4oz art batt from Crosspatch Creations in Mountain Sapphires. It is soo pretty! The first 2oz went by really fast. I have been working on it since I opened the package Christmas Eve. Since I have only one spindle, and I didn’t want to put my pretty single ply on a toilet paper roll I went in search for an easy alternative. Scrap is a local non-profit that provides cheap recycled arts and supplies materials. I found some awesome threaded cones for $0.25 each! The ridges help keep the yarn from slipping. The shoebox and size 17 metal straights help complete my homemade lazy-kate. I’m excited to not ever do a hand wrap for Andean plying ever again.

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Buy less yarn

My stash as it is isn’t very large. It never has been with my budget. With the new found addition to spinning my own yarn, the realization that fiber is much cheaper than prespun is very appealing to me. Granted I will still need to buy sweater quantities, but I feel that smaller accessories are still attainable at the handspun cost. I’m pretty excited this year to make some hats, shawls, and cowls out of my own handspun.

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Finish at least 6 of the Mega KAL projects

Last year I managed to do 3 of the suggested list that I made myself…that’s pretty lame actually. So this year the new list is smaller accessory type things which I hope to complete in a more constructive manner. I gave a way a few things I made this year to very happy recipients, so it’s not like I wasn’t able to knit at all. Goal for this year is all of them! Yet more realistically, 6.

 

Knit Jonathan’s sweater before May

This I absolutely must do and will start probably in March. Two months is enough right? I keep asking him what color he wants and all I get is “Tweed”. Tweed is not a color, my dearest. I’m still debating on the yarn. It has to be one that will hold up to use and that I will enjoy knitting up. As far as pattern goes, I’m also still debating. Le sigh. It’s all up in the air, but must be done!

 

Knit myself at least three sweaters, Kyra included.

This is totally attainable. I have some sweater patterns already picked out. Since Kyra is short sleeved I am going to force myself to knit the other two long sleeved. Guh, sleeves. To keep things interesting I’ll be making a really interesting cardigan by Thea Coleman called Shaken or Stirred. A little bit of color work I think is just what I need. The second one will be the Campside Cardigan by Alicia Plummer. If I have time I may cast on for the Hoodie Shawl Cardigan too… I got this nifty yarn bowl for Christmas from my in-laws. Many a sweater will be made with this holding the yarn. Hopefully this is also going to reduce the amount of Lucy that gets included in my projects.

 

Design 4 free patterns.

This year I want to start designing. I’m in no way qualified, so I’m pre-declaring that they will be free patterns. And more than likely hats, and if not hats, cowls. I’ve always been a little lackadaisical with keeping good notes. I hope to change that this year by self-publishing and getting myself out there in the designer world. My user handle on ravelry is purrcolatorknits, coffee and cats. Awesome.

 

And that’s all I have planned so far. I don’t even want to think about Christmas present knitting yet!

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Officially starting on another sweater. Now I know for sure that I have some weird hangup in which I get really antsy if I’m not working on a sweater.

The pattern I’ve chosen is called Kyra Boatneck Pullover. It’s a basic lace and cable pattern from the bottom up, drop sleeves, and minimal shaping/finishing. Unfortunately the pattern is written flat and with 6′ of positive ease. I’ll have to do some calculations once I get my gauge swatch done.

In all likelihood I’m thinking of doing it with reduced ease, possibly 4″ instead of 6″, and making it in the round and then splitting at the top for arm holes and finishing. I’ve done this before with the PurlBee Lattice Top, so I’m fairly confident it will be alright. The difference here is that I will be doing sleeves or some type of sleeve, which will negate the need to decrease stitches for roundness at the shoulder.

Another major concern of the pattern is that it does not have charts. The lace/cable is written and there is a basic measurement schematic for the body and sleeves. Alas, no chart. Based on the completed projects this doesn’t seem to be a problem and many people are able to get through it without a problem.

The yarn I’ve chosen is Shepard’s Wool Worsted Super Wash in the Lilac colorway. My LYS only had three skeins in stock, but I should have enough for a decent length in the body with shortened sleeves, as I had planned on doing anyways.

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Also since I’m reducing 2 inches on the body width that will give me more yarn for length. Each skein is 250 yards, so the master plan here is to do two skeins on the body in the round, third skein will be neckline finishing. Leftovers will be allocated to the sleeves.

I’m also concerned about where the hem of the sweater will cut off at my waist and will probably do maybe 4″ of ribbing instead of what appears to only be about 2″. This modification is still up in the air though.

Besides these adjustments, I’m pretty excited to have another layer I can have over my dresses this coming winter…three days away…haha

So far my anti-pants mission has been going well. =)

Also I need to start planning for items to knit to wear in Ireland! Yep, we are definitely going next year! XD

 

 

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One down, two to go!

Christmas is just around the corner and I couldn’t be happier. It’s been a long time since I was truely excited to give gifts. Mostly because this year I feel like I can afford to give some well thought and meaningful items.

But anyways, onto some selfish stuff:

I did manage to get wrangled into going to Jonathan’s company holiday party. Partly due to the purchase of this little beauty:

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Aww yeah, gigantic teddy sweater! It was remarkably soft and cozy despite obviously being used. May have found the best vintage store in Portland too.  A little secret spot in Hollywood called Babylon Vintage. Products are good and the prices are even better! I’m not super sure about the contents as the tag was gone, but I’m guessing there’s a bit of wool in addition to acrylic. I’m hoping to figure out a way to tailor it though. It’s a XL with odd wing shaping on the sleeves. But otherwise, super awesome teddy sweater!!

Around the block we happen upon a bazaar at the local church. At one of the booths was hand made, hard wood, Christmas ornaments!

 

IMG_1934 The maker, Vincent and his partner, don’t have a facebook page or etsy shop set up yet, so I’ve linked his facebook profile in-which he accepts messages for orders. He’s been busy shipping out and making new items. Check him out!

 

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I’ve also come to the point of obsession over this app: Neko Atsume

Cats

Play things

Fish currency

It’s basically a super easy, non-sadface version of a Tamogatchi =)

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Christmas for myself came a smidge early. A long the lines of learning new things I’ve picked up a drop spindle from KundertSpindles. These are also hand made and super light! I’ve already broken into my merino/bamboo from Thoroughly Thwacked. And picked up some undyed BFL at my LYS and Masham dyed by DragynKnits. Excited! Need to get the almost 1.5oz I’ve already spun up safely off my spindle though so I can try these other fibers.

Not bad for a newbie

Not bad for a newbie

Seems to be working so far. Only dropped it twice...hehe

Seems to be working so far. Only dropped it twice…hehe

For a little while there I was really confused about the importance of the weight of the spindle. Heavier spindle = thicker yarns? Yup. The weight of the spindle gives the whorl more mass in which to stay in motion. More force is needed to keep the spindle twisting the fibers. If there are more fibers, you need more force and so more weight. So anyways. I apparently bought a super duper light spindle, despite it’s size. Hopefully as I get better this means I can do both thick and thin threads!

But do you see those colors?!!!?!?!?!?!!

le sigh…

 

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IMG_1881 This holiday season started off with a bang! We went to the Multnomah Whiskey Library for Jonathan’s birthday. Granted it was the day after, but it was still awesome. About 2/3 of the menu was ordered on top of our tasty drinks. Jonathan was a little disappointed because he wanted more, but the servers were noticeably unavailable after everyone’s second drink…

IMG_1888 Thanksgiving Day itself was much cheerier. Split up again between his and mine. We started off the festivities at his Aunt Tammy and Uncle Dan’s. Here’s a photo of my mother-in-law Cindy snuggly with Sam, the old blue ribbon champion. Creamsicle twins for the win!

After dinner we headed to my parent’s, but my brother had arrived early so they had eaten already. That didn’t stop me from raiding the fridge and getting in some salmon sashimi, while eating home made pumpkin pie, rice, mashed potatoes with gravy, and roasted brussle sprouts.

 

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Also, it’s not really a family party until Aunt Tammy’s feral cats make an appearance!

My sleepy Luce-Juice was thoroughly unimpressed by Thanksgiving abandonment.

Sleepy Lucy

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Friday I came into the office to hold down the fort. Afterwards I headed off to Pearl Fiber Arts where Thoroughy Thwacked was having a pop-up shop trunk show. I couldn’t resist! Even though I don’t spin I ended up with a braid of fiber in addition to some super awesome yarnses!!

The Abyss below I’m saving for the MKAL at the end of January. Excited! I hear tell that it’s not strictly going to be a shawl this year. I’m curious and a little apprehensive at the same time. Either way it’s going to look fantastic and be super warm and soft thanks to this yarn!

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Mom has been cooing over my Paulette shawl the last two times I visited and she finally asked me for one. She wanted yellow, but as you can see that yellow is NEON yellow. Not a bad color, but the Paulette shawl is a two tonned project and mom insisted on a single color. I sent her the best true to color photo I could take and she decided on the orange. Just as bright as the yellow, but much less of a neon burn. hehe…

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 But look at those colors! It would be super awesome in the orange and the yellow together…le sigh…


Here’s my holiday knitting to do list:

Cindy: Hat (completed)

Mom: Leg warmers (started)

Dad: Blanket (started)…ya really I’m making him a lap blanket. I’m already more than 1/3 of the way through. Not stopping now!

aaand surprisingly that’s it for holiday knitting that I need to get done before Christmas. =)

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Yep today I managed to leave the house wearing four handknits!

What I got going on:

I’m not going to post a selfie…because I don’t do those things. But dang do I feel super cute today!

Portland had a fall, but I think we just fell into our normal wet season routine. We’ve had two major rain storms in the past month counting the crazy that happened on Halloween. Here are some shots from around my neighborhood from Tuesday night.

NE 60th & Glisan

NE 60th & Glisan

Ned Flanders & 60th

Ned Flanders & 60th


Thankfully no one pulled a jerk move and splashed me, but some people were flying down the street further up before realizing the deep pools closer to Glisan.

The train ride home was a little precarious at the Convention Center stop. It is at an upward angle and there was a decent sized stream of water flowing down the tracks. >.<

 

The rain doesn’t seem to bother Lucy at all.

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