Tuesday, June 30, 2020

More Yarn: Fiber Optic Edition; Cat Tales

As teased yesterday, another yarn order came in, this one from Fiber Optic Yarns. Such prettiness! I've encountered their Foot Notes and Siren Song bases before, very nice, and was pretty confident that Kashmir, with its cashmere content, could only be better. Which it is!

I first saw this yarn on their Facebook page in this photo:
And the top three colors just grabbed me. The thing with Fiber Optic is that she has so many colors, I can find it difficult to choose. But here were three that I loved together, which made it easy (or easier, anyway; I still spent some time on the website saying but what about this, or that?).

I added the fourth skein thinking that it might go with them, but in person I'm not sure they're a great match: it has more green and other colors than I had thought it would. Not complaining! Just saying that it might have a separate fate from the other three.

I mean, look at them.
Isn't that going to be something lovely?

And this one? Well, who knows. Only time will tell.
Time will also tell when my last currently outstanding yarn order will arrive. It's coming from the UK, and according to the tracking (which is a little non-standard since the USPS got it from the Royal Mail), it went from England to Chicago, arriving last Friday, then is "in transit," no further details. (USPS, in its infinitely wisdom, continues to assure me that it's expected to be delivered today, but also that it's going to be later than expected, which is only their usual level of silliness.) I'm sure it will be worth the wait, but I'm excited for it to get here!

Miss Maggie had herself quite a morning today. It's not at all unusual for her to announce that she's at a loose end, and that we need to figure out what she wants and give it to her. Food? Bed? Play? But this morning she scorned it all, while continuing to complain that we weren't giving her what she wanted, why wouldn't we give her what she wanted? Meow! Meow!

Finally, figuring that she was probably hungry even though she had refused to approach the bowl in its usual spot, I brought it out to where she was sulking in the living room, and put it in front of her. She humphed very briefly, then put her nose down and ate and ate.

After she finished, and washed her face, she complained again briefly, and I basically put her in bed and pulled the blanket over her, then spoke soothingly to the lump. Which reluctantly settled down, and stayed there for, oh, five hours, until my mother came home and our voices woke her. Baby needed that nap.

Good thing she's cute.

Sunday, June 28, 2020

More Yarn! Yankee Dyer Edition

I've been ordering more yarn lately--I know, you're so surprised, right? That I, of all people, would be ordering yarn? Well, it's true, and I got some in the mail on Friday.

This order was from The Yankee Dyer; my local knitting group mentioned that she was having a sale, and I plunged in. At 25% off, I felt like it was a good time to try out a few of her yarn bases. And look, they came individually wrapped! How cute is that? Little yarn burritos. 
Yes, five in the first picture and four in the next; one of the skeins is a gift. I suppose, as she doesn't know I have a blog, it's safe to show it here. She loves bright colors, and when I saw this, I had to get it for her.
You could even say it glows! The colorway is called Hot Pants, in the base Yankee Sole II (80/20 merino/nylon).
On to the ones for me-me-me. Yankee Crush, which has a touch of cashmere (mmmm), in Admiral:
And in Spring Green:
Yankee Breeze, which is half merino, half cotton, in Sunshine:
And Yankee Sole, which is all merino, in Freesia.
When I was putting the skeins away, I noticed this one in the neighborhood of the Freesia, Dirty Water Dyeworks' Lillian in Desert Rose, and looking at them together, I think they go really well. 
They should make something really pretty together, eh?
I'm considering the shawl pattern Mrs. Watson (which calls for sport-weight, but a bunch of people have made it in fingering), but if you think of any patterns that call for 2 skeins of fingering, that might work well for these, let me know!

Thursday, June 25, 2020

Quick Plug, and Maggie

To follow up on yesterday's barely-a-post, The Angel of the Crows was really good! If you like fantastical/supernatural stuff, very well written, give it a try. I'll try to get around to a longer review, but in the meantime, hit me up if you have questions. 

Such as: Do you have to be really into Sherlock Holmes, or Jack the Ripper, to read it? No, you do not, I say with confidence as someone who is nowhere near an expert on either. It may help deepen your enjoyment (I did watch Sherlock for a bit*, until it got too much for me, and I was definitely picturing himself sometimes), but I enjoyed it plenty with no more than that and general cultural awareness.
*This book started out as Sherlock fanfic.

Meanwhile, I have a beautiful cat. Or she has me. Call it what you will.

Wednesday, June 24, 2020

Tuesday, June 23, 2020

Not Just Done, But Dry

The Tweed Boomerang shawl was dry before bedtime last night; I picked it up, but didn't put the mats away, leading to this situation this morning.
"Finders, keepers. Is mine now."

(Yes, I put them away today.)

Here are some photos of the finished shawl, including a few awkward headless selfies. As one does.

So there we are! A satisfying knit. Stay tuned to learn if I get back to the trianglegram shawl, and the feather-and-fan scarf, or end up casting on yet another new thing.

Monday, June 22, 2020

Tweed Boomerang: Knit, Blocked, Details

The shawl is blocking! 
But I can certainly lay out the details here, before it's dry and ready to pose with.

I started with these three yarns:
On the right, a skein of Socks That Rock Heavyweight, to be the main color. The other two, acting together as 'contrasting color' (since the pattern calls for MC and CC, though of course you can use whatever you want to, whether that's one yarn or five), are rather mysterious yarns that I got 10 years ago at Coveted Yarn, that purport to be camel. Are they really? Where did they come from? After all this time, even Robert from Coveted may not remember.

The pattern is called Tweed Boomerang by Lauren Parker, and as it calls for 350-460 yards of DK weight, and I did use DK (or roughly so, anyway; the Ravelry page for the STR calls it a light worsted weight, and who knows exactly with the camel) and I used 560 yards, I may have made it larger than most. Which is a feature, not a bug! I wanted it big and cozy.

I used size US 7 needles, starting with a short one, then moving to a longer one, then two longer ones that didn't get along very well, so I finally got off my duff and borrowed the right size interchangeable tips from another project (remember this?), and a really long cord, which at more than long enough was a nice change from almost long enough.

I started with the solid yellow (colorway Saffron Surprise, bought at Rhinebeck in 2012--this is the shawl of long-time stash, isn't it?), and knit until I liked the length. Then I started alternating the lighter camel with it, and went on until I ran out of STR, all but a few grams. From there, I alternated the two skeins of camel until I finished the lighter skein, and did the lace/mesh/open bottom to the end of the red yarn. Bound off with Jeny's surprisingly stretchy bind off, and there we are!

For the blocking, I pinned all along the red edge, to open up the mesh there, and I stuck a pin in the very tip of the yellow, which wanted to curve up a bit (more so when dry, but I wanted it to dry flat if possible)(there was some puckering along the top edge as well, which seems to have come out in the wetting and blocking; final results on that to come). Otherwise, I just laid it/pulled it into place, and it stayed pretty well.

A few notes:
  • It took me three weeks to knit, with more knitting time than I often manage: I kept wanting to see how it would look as it went, and managed to stay dedicated to it the whole time, other than sock-in-meetings knitting.
  • The camel yarn was a little harsh on the fingers to knit with, but feels nice once knit up. Perhaps the washing will soften it more? Who knows.
  • The red yarn bled a bit in the soak, and while I changed the water a few times, the yellow picked up some reddishness, like very faint tie-dye. Which I'm okay with, at least while wet: we'll see how it looks when it's dry. It's not super-noticeable right now.
  • I've seen people modeling shawls and using a cuff/bracelet to hold the two ends together, and feel like that might work here. Have you done that? Any suggestions?
A few more pre-blocking photos. For example, right side:
And "wrong" side (which I like just as much):
I love how the slipped stitches up the sides look so neat and chain-like.

Dry-on-the-mat last night:
And wet, pinned, this morning:
It grew a bit! I look forward to trying it on, once it's dry.

The inspector checked my work this morning:
And was unimpressed. (Yes, she also walked on it.)

She decided that it would do for a wash spot.

"I don't know, Mom, these pins seem kind of hazardous, just here where someone could bump into them..."

Now, any questions?