Knitting

firstanniversaryThere’s nothing so good as being able to see with your own eyes. Nothing as good as being able to view the world crisp and clean and bright. Yesterday was that day for me. I finally retired my old glasses. They’d been my constant companion for about 5 years.

They came with me on some of my greatest adventures: Getting married, going to Costa Rica, Weird Al concert, excessive window/online shopping, etc. The trip to Costa Rica really did them in though. When I got back the lenses were truely done with life and the color on the frame was flaking off.

 

Out with the old and in with the new!

New Specks:

Brand – OGI     Model – 5506 in Brown/Mauve

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Eyelashes do not touch the lenses…soooo happy happy happy!!!

After getting my glasses fitted by the awesome staff at Eyedentity, (Dr. Clouse also knits, whut whut!! =D) I wandered outside to snap a quick picture of this little beauty hanging out. Portland could use more Daleks.

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At that point I decided it was a good idea to walk home (Better to walk than to get motion sickness on the bus). Since my prescription did change quite a bit everything was both stereoscopic and incredibly clear. Trees and shrubbery were coming at me from all sides and the sidewalk was coming up at me. About five blocks in my brain started to adjust.

I passed behind the Hawthorne Safeway to stay out of the sun. Good or bad, this guy was staring at me and followed me about 10 feet. It’s amazing all the extra stuff I notice now that I can see more. The glasses are at least 1 cm wider and the lenses are much taller as well. Not only was I noting this little fellow keeping an eye on me, but other people (Dudes, I’m taken. And yay peripheral vision!) passing by on the street.

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So obviously…or maybe not so obviously, I went to get a boba.
MMm numnum! Honey Milktea with Strawberry jellies! One of my ultimate favorites!

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Tl;dr – Walked 5 miles, got glasses, got a boba, saw a Dalek, creeped out by a crow and some dudes looking at me.


October also happens to be Noriko’s birthday month! YAY BIRTHDAYS!

She’s hosting a KAL on ravelry that will extend through October to November. Prizes include free patterns and a (yet to be decided) skein of yarn from Dragyn Knyts! Any pattern published on ravelry by NorichanKnits is 30% off with the code bdaykal and each completed project are eligible for 1 entry in the raffle. Better get crackin’ I’ve already started on my first entry! (Read more about it here).

The Bohemian Cowl (Knitted). Size: Large

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Now I know what you’re going to say,

“Marilyn! Those waves! It’s feather and fan??? But you hate feather and fan!!!”

NOPE.

It’s not feather and fan, thank the yarn gods. It’s a k2tog and kfb stitch pattern. YAY! No YO’s that get lost and cause mayhem.

Yarns I’m using are coming from a few different places with a few different weights:

  • Quince &. Co. Finch (fingering)
  • Madeline Tosh (dk)
  • Knitted Wit (dk)…I think…

I have one more in my stash that is a heathery colored purple/blue, but I haven’t decided if I want to add it in just yet. Three colors should be good, especially since the madtosh is such a vibrant red color. Depending on which buttons I decide to use, or pin perhaps, I can foresee this getting a lot of wear already! =D

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One of my favorite knitwear designers is Thea Coleman, aka babycocktails! As noted previously in my project post on Paloma, I’ve been wanted to knit sweaters all year and finally decided on a bulky weight fast knit. Funny enough, most of Thea’s designs are not in a bulky weight yarn, but rather the standard fingering/dk weights.

babycocktails A lot of her patterns, if not all, have a very feminine and unique detail in stitch work or yarn type that I really like without being overtly colorful or dramatic: subtle but not boring, cute, cozy, snugg, and stylish. And she is PROLIFIC. Her patterns page is split up into object categories with a well photographed image of the finished piece. Also if you notice, her patterns are all named after drinks! Her ravelry username is babycocktails after all.

These are the patterns I hope to make in the next year or two!

This weekend my husband and I went on a quick trip down to Canby, Oregon to the Oregon Flock and Fiber festival. I hadn’t planned on going so I wasn’t quite in the mindset to take photos of the animals: sheep, goat, rabbits, and alpaca were present in all their glorious fluffiness. (The angora were particularly in fluff mode, so cute!). Overall the festival seemed less clumped together like the last time I went a few years back. The exhibition hall was far more organized, but the knitted garments display with ribbons was not as impressive…although the items themselves were quite nice.

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I picked up just a single skein, for souvenir purposes of course, and two buttons made with vintage Czech glass molds. I just couldn’t resist the sparkles! The bigger purple one is going to be used on Paloma. Tulips and purple AND Czech glass holographic style? Heck yea!

Pretty excited to make something with the yarn. It is Bijou Bliss Lhasa Wilderness in Black Cherry set to be available on their website on the 1st of October, score! The husband and wife partnership hail from Denver, Co. and made the trip up for the festival!

I was given a sample of the Allure wool wash that they make as well. The skein smells amazing (I have to keep it far and away from Lucy and her sniffy nose) and I’m hoping the Allure wool wash is the same scent.

It is also super super soft like a really fine merino blend, but it’s 75% Yak down and 25% bamboo! I have a feeling that this is going to become a nice hat or a small cowl for the coming winter. Just need to decide on a pattern >.<

 

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I backwards inherited some open cardigans from my younger sister this past weekend. In addition to all the shawls I’ve knitted this year that are likely to become Christmas presents, I need a light and warm cowl that I can wear on a regular basis. For the lightness I’m going to use alpaca. And for the warmness…I’m going to use alpaca! Maybe if it comes out alright I’ll make more for Christmas presents and keep my shawls…?

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Inspiration is coming from cowls that are available for sale on Modcloth. I like how they are just a basic two stitch pattern, but I want mine to have more color and with a lace variety. Since this piece is going to be made with alpaca, I’m not worried about it being a solid piece of fabric. Both stitch patterns I am going to use will be incorporating open work, aka lace stitches. This will help give length to the project (each skein is only 100 yards of sport weight) as well as provide some interest for the eye. Hmm..maybe some beading too!

Once I have the child’s sweater completed I will be casting on for this one!

I’m likely going to release the pattern for free as well if anyone is interested in trying it out!

 

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My productivity scale for the last month has relatively strong. I’m almost max level with a character in Guild Wars 2. I finished knitting a hat. I’m almost done with a kids sweater. Jonathan’s scarf got another inch or two done, and my Paloma is sitting on the sidelines.

The easiest way for me to knit is with a movie I’ve seen many times playing in the background. So I decided to get my work done with the help of Miss. Elizabeth Bennet and Mr. Fitzwilliam Darcy.

Lucy approves and too was captivated by the handsome Mr. Darcy.

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The slug kitty is having a special moment as I usually don’t let her on the desk, but she really wanted to see what I was doing. My arms were free to knit and she had full view of the monitor. Oh yes, Mr. Darcy you are the best when putting Miss Caroline Bingly in her place. I always forget how much I dislike her character and then am reminded how infinitely shallow she is.

The old BBC version of Pride and Prejudice will always be my favorite. Just like the old The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe will always be my favorite versions of those books. There’s nothing like good ole’ turn of the 1990’s computer graphics and photography!

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If you know me then you know that my fashion sense is a bit on the subdued side. I like blocks of color, subtle prints, and little accents as opposed to loud and flashy, bold prints, and multi-colored or neon. I prefer subtle elegance that appeals to the eye as a restful place rather than an intricate brain teaser. With that in mind, I’d like to introduce you to one of my favorite blogs: PurlBee.

Most if not all the knitting patterns on the site are free and include detailed images and a tutorials section to help you through the new techniques. It’s a great place that both beginners and advanced knitters can glean useful information from.

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Content:

  • Knitting / Crochet
  • Sewing
  • Embroidery
  • Weaving
  • Crafts
  • eCommerce Shop (PurlSoho).

User Interface:

  • Mobile friendly
  • Clear photography
  • Organized content
  • Excellent typography

User Experience:

  • Content driven
  • Consistency between content types
  • Straight forward navigation
  • Quick page load time
  • Subtle javascript

So what is my inner knitting child squeeing over the most about this blog? Well today it is the Caliper Cable stitch. I’ve seen it before, but never thought to look it up until it popped up on the suggested posts from today’s newsletter from PurlBee. Their example project has the stitch repeated horizontally to create a really nice long scarf with the stitch repeats almost looking like herring bone, but better!  Sometimes I feel that cables are just to puffy and don’t create a dramatic enough effect in some yarns. This looks like the perfect stitch to show off on all types of yarns and colorways. The Dream In Color Smooshy I bought over Labor Day may become this scarf. Or maybe I’ll make it into a hat with a ribbon. Or maaaybe an accent on a pair of wrist warmers!

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Yup, that’s pretty much how the long weekend went.

Paper: First Wedding Anniversary! Can be believe it? A whole year has gone by already, and so fast!

Amethyst: I got Jonathan a US First Edition print of The Smith of Wootton Major and he of course broke the rules and bought me jewelry. But really, can a girl complain?

Nope! Sparklesparklesparklesparklesparkle…

Sparklesparklesparklesparkle So…much…sparkles…XD

After our little gift exchange and a hearty break fast at the Tannery…(wafflesssss!!)… we headed downtown to do a bit of window shopping and to take a peek at Pearl Fiber Arts‘ Labor Day Stash Sale. This is a community event where yarn and fiber lovers can destash quick by selling unused/unwanted craft supplies, mostly yarn, and pattern books and magazines, for store credit! The left overs get donated to local charities. I scored a few really nice things without having to break the bank.

 From left to right:

  1. Vintage Bakelite Yarn Holder.
  2. Dream in Color Smooshy in Bubble Haze colorway, which according to the sticker label was dyed exclusively for Yarns on Stage.
  3. Bonnie’s Bambo in the Desert Bloom colorway.
  4. Chamelion Colorworks Twinkle Toes in the Nellie’s Mirage colorway, which was a For Yarn’s Sake exclusive.
  5. A little Strawberry Shortcake tote.

And last, but not least! WEIRD AL YANKOVIC!!!!

Awww yis…the last Zoo Concert of the season and what a show!


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See Weird Al perform live:

Like a Surgeon? Check.
Dare to be Stupid? Check.
Amish Paradise? Check.
Gump? Check.
White and Nerdy? Check.
Word Crimes? Check.
Y.O.D.A.? CHECK CHECK CHECK!

Good luck trying to top this next year!! =D

<3

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I haven’t knitted a sweater all year and I’m feeling a serious itch. I’m in need of a nice, soft, squooshy covering that has enough going on that I won’t get bored knitting it, but not so much that it will take over my life. The majority of my knits so far this year have been cowls and shawls, so the pattern would also have to give enough lee-way for possibly wearing them in conjunction without turning me into a sweaty mess.

Pattern:

The result of my Ravelry search brought me to this little beauty: Paloma.

Bulky weight yarn: check.
Textured stitches: check.
Learn a new Technique: check.

Paloma is written by Thea Colman of Baby Cocktails. I’ve made another sweater by her called Baileys Irish Cream. Unfortunately, I wore it too much in the winter/spring of 2014 and it felted/pilled because I didn’t use a superwash yarn (totally my bad). The patterns she writes are very clear and technically accurate.

Yarn:

I’ve been wanting to try a bulky weight pattern for a while, so finding a bulky weight yarn seemed like it would be easy. Except not. I knew I wanted superwash and I knew I wanted something pretty. What I don’t ever want is expensive, heavy, or acrylic. Knitpicks Biggo ended up breaking the tie. This is a 50% superwash and 50% nylon fluffy mix. It has a little bit of a fuzzy halo, but nothing unreasonable, so far. At 100 grams a skein as well, it feels like a light and fluffy newborn kitten.

Biggo - Iris Heather

The color I’m going with the Iris Heather. And so far it’s living up to my expectations. The example Paloma is a solid pinky/peach color, which is fine, but with the texture I wanted something with a bit more depth and feel of luxury. I want a sweater that people really can’t find in the store, but still in style.

Comparing the item to the colors show on the knitpicks website, it is more on the grey side than the purple side. But the heather and nylon give it almost an iridescent glow which I absolutely love!

Swatch:

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Pattern gauge is 3 stitches and 5 rows per 1″ in double seed stitch pattern on size 10.5 (6.5mm) needles. I measured slightly smaller than gauge using 10 (6.0mm) needles before wet blocking.

The pattern notes that gauge is very important especially when working with bulky weight yarns. Even the slightest bit too big and you’re going to end up with an over-sized garment. Luckly, I came in slightly under! Good enough.

Size:

As usual I will be making the smallest size possible: 36.5″ @ approx 900 yards. I still haven’t quite figured out if the 4″ of positive ease is a part of the pattern or if the model is wearing it that large on purpose. Either way 36.5″ is big on me to begin with. Biggo comes in 110 yard skeins. In addition to the one I purchased for testing, I need to buy 8 more.

Modifications:

Arm length – shorter arms = using less yarn! I will be shortening the arm length and maybe adding a thumb hole.

Shaping – The common theme I see from completed projects, even the example photographs, is that the backside arm hole is fluppy, baggy, and folds in a weird way. In all likelihood I think I will decrease one or two more stitches than called for at the arm hole area to 1 + give my shoulders more space and 2 + keep the back of the sweater from looking frumpy. Based on Thea’s notes though this may not be necessary. The look in the examples is with 4″ of positive ease where the smallest size gives only about 2-3″.

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Date Completed: July 29th, 2015 RAV

Project: Toads Cap

Yarn: Tatanka and Elfin Tweed

Difficulty: Easy

Notes: I finished this guy at the end of last month. The Tatanka is from Thoroughly Thwacked that I bought at the trunk show when Norichaknits was in town. Pretty sure it’s Jonathan’s favorite hat now. =D

It is indeed another Candide hat with a few adjustments:

1. Ribbing is 3.5″
2. The Tatanka isn’t classified as a light DK, but worked out alright anyways. =)

 

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