Giving it away

Am I the only one who noticed how, and I’m speaking of this purely from a first world knitting as a luxury standpoint, some of us as knitters love the craft so much that we actually are almost required to give away our art? I love knitting, but if I only knit for myself I’d have a few drawers way too full of socks, more hats and mittens than I could manage, and more scarves than I could wear in a lifetime. I knit so much that it only makes sense to give it to those around me that I love, as a sign of my affection.

Of course, I do my due diligence with each and every ball of yarn. I have a nice sit down and say, “now, you know that I’ll still love you either way, but would you like to stay here with me, or would you like to go warm someone else who needs it far more than I?” And of course some balls can’t stand to be parted with me, but others make the noble decision to go to my loved ones. “Dear, dear knitter, you will always hold a special place in my stitches, but I have to go fulfill my higher wooly calling.” I don’t begrudge those balls, because I know they are going out and reaching their fullest potential.

On another note (sorry about the random musings), I may be influencing the next generation. Before I finished the infinity scarf yesterday I was walking and one of the girls in my class group had brought her daughter with her. The little girl saw me knitting, looked up at my group mate and said “Mommy, what is she doing?”

Her mother explained that I was knitting and I told her that I was turning all of this string into a scarf. Her eyes lit up and she looked back at her mom and said (quite enthusiastically), “Mommy, can I do that too?” It warms my heart. (She’ll be a knitter yet).

And speaking of the scarf

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This is all that I had left of the second skein after I was done knitting it up. Cutting it a little close, right? I opted to do the crochet cast off, which has a lovely tutorial here.

And without further ado, the infinity scarf (aka the easiest Christmas gift ever)

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It’s so soft and fluffy, like a marshmallow or something. Once I switch from the Clover needles to the metal ones, the whole thing just flew by. I love big yarn and I cannot lie.

Anyways, I’m off to go solve underwater crime.

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Foot Mittens

That’s apparently what my boyfriend says I have been making…

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Well they’re good foot mittens to say the least. As I write this, I have started to cast on the second foot mitten.

Also, I have realized that non-knitters in an attempt to make small talk will ask you what you’re knitting, even if it is quite obvious. I was working only on the decreases for the first sock and had someone ask me “Are you making a scarf?”…..No, a really elaborate hat.

I’m knitting in the rain

Well, I’m trying to at least. It’s getting my knitting rather damp in the process. But I shall prevail.

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I’ve been sock-spired, so to speak. I’m at least halfway done with the foot by now. But this is still the first sock, so only time will tell if I actually get a finished pair. But I’m hopeful.

Also I have a mystery bag!

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What could possibly be in the mystery bag praytell?

Why these of course!

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10″ dpns! YAY! Now I can knit hats on double points with wild abandon. I even have them in US 9’s [5.5mm] so I can knit this one hat I’ve been dreaming of making. I have addi turbos for switching to magic loop if need be for the upper size. I also have them in US 4 [3.5mm] so I can make a hat in the same gauge as the gloves for my boyfriend’s mom’s Christmas present. The possibilities are endless! Oh, and there are a pair of US 15 [10mm] straight needles in the pile too. Which is good since the Clovers were killing me on knitting the infinity scarf. (I kept accidentally getting the stitch I was supposed to slip caught underneath the two I was supposed to brioche knit together. Yay mistakes in brioche!)

I have my professor to thank for her generous contribution to my addiction.  She is a god send to the broke college knitter.

Speaking of which, I appear to have made a new friend (and possibly inspired her to knit socks) today while I was walking back after class. She saw me knitting, asked what I was working on, and we proceeded to have a lengthy discussion (even involving my boyfriend) about the charms of knitting. She.gets.it. I talked about having to frog the MFS and she understood exactly. We got on about the horrors of acrylic and the wonders of fine fibers. I enlightened her on some sock tomes she should check out and she told me about her mitten adventures. And we both wondered why there wasn’t a better knitting club on campus.

Socks before beauty

In my infinite wisdom I neglected to carry the other skein of Wool Ease with me to work on the infinity scarf (see what I did there?). So sock progress! I’ve been walking about with it all day and it’s grown on me again. At least there’s some progress somewhere, right?

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I’m officially at the heel flap. The pattern is calling for heel stitch, but I’m like nah, bruh. Eye of partridge is where it’s at. Luckily, the heel flap extends for 32 rows, which is perfect since the EOP heel flap is based on multiples of four rows. Excellent, it’s all coming together. Plus, I’m really digging on the self striping. We’ll see how it goes over the gusset.

Also, I finished the gauge swatch

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Please disregard the inanimate objects I used to keep the gauge swatch from curling in on itself.

I’m getting by my count (and I’ve done several, just to be sure), 6.25 stitches and 8 rows to the inch [2.5 cm] on US3 [3.125mm] needles. Taking that into account I drew up a little schematic based on my hand measurements.

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Is it just me or am I on an alpaca kick. An alpakick? Either way, alpaca for days. It’s so soft.

I’ve also started the chart for the front of the mitten

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If anyone is wondering, I’m taking the basic idea for the glittens from this pattern by Kathy Cochran. I’ve modified it from the color work that she has going on because I’m a huge fan of cables. I love cabled mittens. I also like being able to use my fingers. This is the best of both worlds. I just sort of studied some aran pullover pictures and picked some cables that seemed to go together. Hopefully they turn out. I’m excited for the results. Just need to finish that darned scarf.

A bit of a snag

That’s what I’ve hit. Just a teeny weeny snag, really, in the grand scheme of things. I left campus for the weekend to come home and forgot to pack the next skein for this

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So, it’s languishing on the needles until I get back home tonight. I told you all it knits up quick. I do finish projects, though, I promise.

In other news, upon arriving home I decided to get my stash out of hiding and take it back to school with me

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Yeah, not super impressive  (yet), but it’ll do. Don’t be fooled, much of this is acrylic. I do have more, but this is what I deemed worthy to bring with me. I’m sure I can find a use for some of this yarn eventually. I spent about three hours Friday night untangling myself from that big tote. I found some WIP’s that I hated (and wondered what the hell I had been thinking), and either frogged and saved them or cut them out of my life completely if they chose to be difficult.

I visited a lovely yarn shop while I was home as well. I was among my people. I went in, and no sooner had I asked if she had a 40 inch Size 5, she asked if I wanted that in Chia Goo or Addi Turbo. (I also may have found the clearance section)

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Pictured here are the Turbo Rockets (keep your fingers crossed that these will do the trick, since I’m short on both money and patience. I really want to get a move on MFS), with three balls of Dale Evans Berrocco Suede that I inherited from my grandmother’s stash when she passed, and two balls of Suede that I found in the clearance section for 30% off ($10 for both). Since I couldn’t find two more balls in the colorway I wanted, I have decided to make stripes. For what you ask? Well this bag, of course.I figure I’ll do the bottom in the off white, the top middle in the navy, and finish the bag (and wrap it around the purse handles) with the pink. I really thought I had more of the white to do the bag in a solid, but I can improvise. Not sure when I’ll get that on the needles. I’m trying to get my WIP’s down a bit.

I also spent about two hours winding this into a center pull ball.

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30 minutes of actual winding, with about an hour and a half of fending off cats, untangling from said cats, and picking out vegetable matter. Yup, 250 yards of handspun alpaca. This comes from a lovely alpaca ranch in Tustin, MI. I loved it was a giant pain in my ass the authenticity of picking out the VM from the 2-ply sport weight while I wound it. I was covered in grass and straw bits when all was said and done, but isn’t it pretty? It’s destined to become a pair of convertible glittens. I’m thinking cables. Making a gauge swatch currently, and using it as incentive to finish the infinity scarf.

Also for comic relief in this giant mess of a post

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Yes, this is an excessive amount of fun fur. No, I’m not taking it with me to school. Yes, I did use my pom pom maker to fashion a giant, shedding, tribble-resembling monstrosity. It was awful, and hilarious, but I don’t recommend it unless you like cleaning. This box is some more of my grandma’s stash. I don’t know what her obsession with fun fur was, and at this point I’ll never find out. All I can do is wonder what she was plotting.

Boom, Christmas.

While I’m agonizingly waiting for my new needles to come in the mail taking a break from MFS, I’ve decided to knock out some Christmas knitting. Might as well, since I’ll probably get this one done by the time my needles get here.

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I present to you, the Easiest Christmas Gift

If you have any teen girls or stylish women in your Christmas queue, this is it. A knit gift that they’ll love to wear while they sip their Pumpkin Spice Latte, or Chai Latte (or whatever they’re drinking in December)

Step 1: get big yarn (bulky [5] or super bulky [6]). It’s kind of like big hair, only better. And get some big needles. Size really does matter. I knit that first one from bulky weight on US13 [9mm] needles, and this new one is super bulky weight on US15’s [10mm].

Step 2: Cast on an even number of stitches, you don’t want a huge number unless you plan to make this a sleeping bag. Shoot for 20-28 depending on the size of your yarn and needles.

Step 3: Brioche stitch until you start to feel that aneurism develop on your brain. I used this tutorial, and I knit it for about 60 inches [152cm].

Step 4: Cast off, sew ends together (helpful if you left a long tail from the cast on edge). You can sew together straight or you can twist the ends. Doesn’t matter. Just make that sucker a big loop.

Step 5: Celebrate.

That’s my game plan for the next couple of days. I’ll probably take another project with me for when I get this one done. I don’t imagine it’ll take me the whole weekend. It’ll be enough to take the edge off my failure as a knitter.

To Frog or Not to Frog (That’s the question)

Since my last dalliance with the blog, I’ve actually received feedback on MFS from Bruce Weinstein himself. Turns out, this sweater is going to need a little bit of drape for a guy like my boyfriend (who has a little more for the lovin’). And the sweater I’m currently making is not going to have that kind of drape or ease. It should be at least 4 inches of positive ease and I’m getting 2 currently (barely, I might add). So with heart heavy, I’m ordering a new pair of circs this time in US 5 since apparently I have a really tight gauge. I just don’t want to keep dropping a bunch of money on circular needles (It’s an investment, I know) when I just want a sweater already. What’s a knitter to do? Let’s keep our fingers crossed that these will get me the gauge I want.

To distract from my abject failure, I’ll put up a little something for #TBT

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Yes, that is in fact an intarsia D-20. Not as structured as I wanted, but it is pretty much on point other than that. Combining knitting and table top RPG’s you say? Madness! I knit this for his 22nd birthday last year and we found it when we visited his house yesterday. We also pulled out his lovely winter scarf (pictures to come). I think any Whovians on the blog will be a little geeked when they see it.

I’m making progress on the socks, and they’re helping me lick my knitting wounds so to speak. I think I’m going to cast on another brioche infinity scarf, like the one I’m wearing from sweetest day. It’ll be a Christmas present for my friend, and should hopefully tide me over on big knitting until the new needles come in the mail. Plus the yarn was cheap. I got 2 skeins of Wool Ease Thick and Quick from Jo-Ann Fabrics for like $12 (just don’t let my friend know the acrylic content). Going to knit it up on some lovely US13 Takumi circs I actually had laying around.

Wish me luck in reconstructing MFS with the new needles.