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Archive for the ‘Life of sknitster’ Category

It’s an old story, as old as blogging itself.

OK, old in tech terms. It’s been two months, what the heck happened?

Rather than hashing details, I will simply say thank you to all of you who kindly continue to visit despite increasingly frequent breaks.

As always, there’s a cardigan afoot. I’m working on a Vonica for my sister L, and I just finished the body. Only sleeves to go!

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The second picture shows the texture and color much more accurately than the first. I’m using Classic Elite Classic Silk in the color Wave Break, and it’s lovely. For a non-wool blend, it’s surprisingly easy on the hands and the tweediness lends great texture.

While knitting on Vonica on the back patio, Topaz gave me a helping hand…

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Of course as soon as I got up he stretched his way onto my half of the loveseat. I couldn’t find it in me to move him.

I sewed up one front/neck on my New York/Los Angeles Cardigan, but then it sat while working on Vonica. I steamed it before seaming, and it grew in length even more than anticipated.

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Whoopsie. I think this will get a toss in the dryer during wet blocking, so that I get a long, but not gargantuan, sweater. Knitting with the Manos Serena is a dream!

I also have a couple small projects in the works, but they are secrets. Shhhh.

I have a little more time to knit just of late because my company did some downsizing. I was not laid off (though some were) but I was among those with reduced hours. I had been thinking of reducing my hours further anyway for health reasons, so it’s all to the good. N and I can manage fine, and I am trying to see the opportunity in it. Still scary though. I must admit this was a time I am glad of my stash. This news was also tempered by the fact that my office just moved locations, and not only is it only 3 miles from home, I was given my own office. The suite was already built out, and the offices are spacious. I have huge east-facing windows and a great view. As with most corporate-type spaces, it always seems a tad cold. It’s not arctic thank goodness, but my cardigan collection is still needed year-round πŸ™‚

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That’s what I should rename this site. The Cardigan Blog. More on this later.

First, thank you for all the well wishes! I was fully recovered soon after my last post, and have been enjoying Spring and other life goodness. Some weeks back, we got a new chair and table to match our adirondack settee, making a cozy patio even better:

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A great place to lounge, yogurt yumminess, HP and the Deathly Hallows on its release day (thanks Amazon!), and New England Knits. Very happy making! I also got an iPad a few weeks back, and have, unsurprisingly, been ensconced. Fishdom was my master for about a week.

In the month since my last post (egads!), I have worked on a new cardigan. Shock and awe, I know. I am nearing the finish line on a Goodale in Elsebeth Lavold Silky Wool:

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I made it a bit longer, and knitted a garter hem instead of ribbing. How long the sleeves are depends on how much yarn I have left. I’d like to be 3/4 length, but it will be a close thing.

I worked here and there on the Aryn Cardi, and now it has…pockets!

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I heart the pockets. I really want this as a FO, but the stitch pattern, while easily memorized, still requires a certain amount of attention. I was crazing stockinette. Hence, Goodale. I will probably finish this cardi about mid-September when it’s a 100F.

I’ve also worked up another sooper secret sample knit. And that’s about that. I hope you are all enjoying the Spring weather and finding time to knit!

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Just when I had committed to myself to blog more often, to maintain these wonderful online knitterly connections, Murphy’s Law had other ideas. Isn’t that always the way? A bit of flu, thought I was mostly better, then a bit of mild pneumonia, by all indications. It does seem to be hanging on, and I am headed back to the doc later this morning.

With all this time off, I certainly did a spot of knitting. But mostly it was napping, lazing and reading. You know you are under when you read instead of knit because it takes less energy. I did finish a couple of smallish items and started yet another cardigan.

I firmly believe one can never have enough cardigans. Or bags.

So, the big catch up. Let’s get to it, shall we?

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My favorite little FO of late, a pair of Knotted Slippers by Cocoknits, for a friend who is celebrating both a birthday and a start to maternity leave at the same time! Capistrano Fiber Arts Studio Superwash Merino, colorway Spring, about 225 yards for size 8-9, US5 needles (Raveled). Another winner from Cocoknits – a quick and clever, well-written pattern and a stupendous use of sock yarn! The Capistrano yarn was a delight to work with. Also, double stranding a handpaint resulted in a lovely painterly effect.

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These are a tad to large for me, but even like this they were supremely comfortable. I have worn my Pleated Ballet Flats, also from Cocoknits, all the time and can see a pair of these for moi in the future.

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Continuing a preference for bright, Spring-y colors, a pair of DK Delights socks, from Amy Swenson, for my neice’s birthday. Scout’s Swag Superwash Merino Worsted, colorway Extinct, amazingly also about 225 yards, US4 needles (Raveled). This was also a great pattern, every other row is knit and the lace pattern is easily to remember.

And finally, more cardigans.

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I got a start on an Aryn Tunic Cardigan by Melissa Werhle, for me, in Classic Elite Lush. I love how this pattern is nearly seamless, and, oh, the texture. Yummy nummy texture. I lose a certain amount of time as I periodically stop and fondle the fabric. The Lush is luscious.

In February I worked on a sample knit for Mind of Winter, the Chalice Cowl, which has now been released! This will be the only early release from Julia’s planned fall collection, and other sample knits will be secret (shhhh). But I can tell you there are some gorgeous patterns in the works.

There are a gazillion new magazines and patterns zooming about these days, even more than usual it seems. I honestly don’t have the energy to list all my recent favorites right now – but, if you haven’t already, do check out Twist, Knitscene, and Petite Purls. ETA – and Knitty! A really good Knitty!

 

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I don’t know Emily. I heard about Emily’s plight through Wry Punster, who in turn was re-blogging for her friend Ann.

This is Emily. Emily has liver cancer, and after chemotherapy will need a transplant to survive.

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If that weren’t bad enough, Emily is experiencing a one-two punch of absurd insurance costs and discrimination. Emily’s insurance does not cover prescription costs, which are running about $1,000 a month. Worse, Emily cannot be covered by her wife’s better insurance because Kansas does not recognize same sex marriage or domestic partnerships.

Her sister Erin has organized a fundraiser and raffle to help cover Emily’s medical costs. The details of Emily’s situation and the fundraiser are here. It’s pretty amazing. The raffle I mean.

I am supporting this cause because it angers me. This is why so many in the US have to declare bankruptcy after a major medical battle. Also, the narrow and hateful views on homosexuality in general and same sex marriage in specific madden me to no end. Emily’s situation is an injustice on so many levels. And is surely far from an isolated case.

As well said by Ann, there is alot of tragedy in the world right now. What is going on in Japan alone is almost beyond comprehension. There are many opportunities to give, and Emily’s fundraiser is not intended to detract from other worthwhile causes.

On a positive note, as of this morning, Emily has raised almost $12,000, from family, friends, and strangers too! People can be awesome.

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First I want to say Happy New Year!! to all of you – I hope you rung in the new year doing exactly what you wanted, whatever it was. N and I alternate years going out and staying in. This was a staying in year, which is just as well because it was darn chilly outside. We made hot chocolate with Bailey’s and didn’t manage to stay up until midnight. C’est la vie.

I, for one, am happy to see 2010 pass. It was a bumpy year as I spent much of it plagued with panic attacks, chronic anxiety, and mild depression. In the midst of this, I spent about two months having one of the worst fibromyalgia flares since my diagnosis in 2005. However, except for this load of crap, it was a pretty good year! These kinds of problems make one appreciate the basic, but important, things in life. I have been so fortunate with my job throughout the recession, something I am continually thankful for, N and I have a cozy home in a wonderful neighborhood, we always have enough to eat, and our family and pets (which are like family in my family) are all with us. Perhaps the most important thing to happen to me this year was beginning treatment for the mood issues in July, which has been quite successful. Compared to this time last year, I am remarkably improved. But there is still improvement to be made, and I feel optimistic about it looking towards the new year.

In terms of knitting, I had 23 FOs. This is far less than in previous years, and I am not surprised. I was apathetic about many former interests. Depression will do that to you. I was also reading much more, and was visiting the library on a near-weekly basis. I found that reading worked well for managing anxiety, by giving my mind an escape. Since the Fall, though, knitting has picked up and I am again excited about the whole shebang. Eyeballing new patterns, getting new projects on the needles, and of course, making FOs. I have spent much of my end-of-year break knitting madly, as a matter of fact. I continued in 2010 to focus on knitting from the stash, and do find myself with a net stash reduction! I started 2010 with 722 skeins, and ended with 673. Yay!

So that’s the year in review for me. If you are still with me, as promised, I have a few last FOs from 2010 to share.

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den Arend by Mary Joy Gumayagay, ~140 yds Cascade 220 and s smidge of charcoal Araucania Nature Wool on US7 needles. Raveled here. My nephew has a very large noggin, and as this pattern was written for a size up to 23”, I subbed a worsted yarn to make it larger. I worked through row 22, instead of 30, of the straight portion and otherwise followed the pattern as written.

Loved this pattern, and the left lifted increases are very clean and easy to do. I think lifted increases are my new favorites. It was even more ginormous than I needed, and so I threw it in the dryer on high for about 30 minutes after wet blocking. It should fit a bit rasta style (not tight), just like M likes his hats.

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Wool Leaves by Jared Flood, 10 skeins (810 yds) Valley Yarns Sugarloaf on US13 needles. Raveled here. I made no mods, except for the yarn sub. I ended up using about 160 yards more yarn than called for in the pattern. I think this is because my subbed yarn is heavier by weight than the pattern yarn, and I could easily have knit this on 15s, but I liked the fabric with 13s and so stayed with that.

I love the way this turned out. It’s super quick, beautiful and would make a wonderful lap blanket for an adult as much a a baby blanket.

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Baby Sheet Hat by Melissa Burt, small amounts of Berroco Vintage in Mochi, Tide Pool and Fennel and a bit of Louisa Harding Kashmir Aran in black on US8 needles. Raveled here. I upsized this from 12” to about 16” by subbing a worsted yarn at a gauge of about 4sts/inch. Love the sheepies! I’m also working on a matching cardigan based on this pattern, but with several modifications. I am taking copious notes, and it will be a post unto itself!

I have a couple other new items on the needles, but this is more than enough for one day, I think. I will blog these and a list of links next time, to help fluff out your queue for 2011!

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Hello, stranger

It’s Christmas Eve? Really?

I’m sure I can remember Christmas Eve being about six months ago. Although not yet New Year’s, I am ruminating greatly on the year gone by. So fast. Thank you for sticking by and reading my wee blog, leaving wonderful and supportive comments, and generally being awesome!

I am happy and fortunate to be off work from now until January 2nd! I have knitting projects galore lined up and a new stack of books from the library. In the absence of blogging this last month, I have accumulated a few FOs (with one still secret) and quite a list a project linky-dinks too! Now that I have time at home and the holidays preparations are complete, all will be revealed soon.

I hope that you and your loved ones are enjoying joyous holidays! Merry Christmas to all celebrating tomorrow!

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What blog?

No, really. Actually, I have finished Metro (and I love it), but I am sans photographer for a spell. Add to that, the other couple things on (or to be on) my needles currently are seekret. Not so good for blogging.

Then, yesterday the Winter 2010 Twist Collective came out!

And it’s a beaut. I’m hard pressed to say there’s a single pattern I don’t like. They are not all things I would knit myself, per se, because of personal style, but I think it’s an exceptionally well curated collection. And of course it’s an extra slice of fun when I see friends getting published, especially in a great magazine.

My favorite sweaters that I could truly see myself making and wearing include: Greenaway, Parcel, Samsara, and Wingspan. All the hats and mitts are gorgeous – I really can’t pick a favorite, and the Inkberry shawl is lovely too. What are your favorites?

Speaking of online magazines, have you heard about Gifted? OMGincredible. It’s so packed with information, ideas, and inspiration I literally couldn’t take it all in at once. I had to take bite size pieces, lest I become overwhelmed.

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Additional goodness came my way yesterday via Turtlegirl Cristi. Cristi walked in the Step Out: Walk to Fight Diabetes, and had a raffle on her blog as part of her fundraising. And, I won! I had actually forgotten about the raffle, and when Cristi emailed me asking to confirm my identity, at first I thought it was spam from a raided e-mail account. Boy am I glad I responded, because I was the lucky recipient of two luscious skeins of dark chocolate-y Koigu!

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Yummy πŸ™‚ Thanks Cristi!

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