I live and work in Topeka, KS and luckily enough have access to see shows at the Topeka Performing Arts Center. I saw that Bill Engvall, the comedian, was coming to town in January. So I managed to snag some balcony level seats for my dad, the husband and I. He’s a down to earth comic with a mostly clean act and puts on an enjoyable show.
I got all dressed up with full makeup, non kid mess smeared clothes AND jewelry. It was a stormy weekend but we managed to make it there as did Bill. I also packed the start of my second Bullseye Vanilla Sock. I will admit that I had a couple of beers throughout the two hour show. And every once in awhile I could feel some mistakes with my fingers.
I considered just putting it away but then I would have nothing to do with my hands during the show! After careful consideration, I figured I could always ladder down to fix the booboos and just kept going. You guys….it was bad.
I had some how slipped and carried stitches up? Note: This is a plain stockinette vanilla sock. There should be zero slipping.
I had created inadvertent eyelets and holes and my split SO MANY STITCHES. Now the yarn can be to blame for some of this. It doesn’t have a tight twist and the plies have a tendency to separate as I work especially with my needles being very pointy.
Its honestly bad enough that I’m just going to grab extra needles and rip back the two hours of comedy show knitting and start from clean stitches. I don’t mind, just more knitting for me! And proof that Bill Engvall is funny enough to make you laugh so hard you mess up your knitting!
I have been seeing Helen Stewart’s Habitation Throw show up everywhere this holiday season on all the social medias and podcasts. Everyone was making them with their advent mini skeins. That didn’t really feel like what I wanted to do. But I couldn’t get this pattern out of my mind even though I have a ton of WIPs to be working on.
Finally I had a light bulb, I could hold my fingering weight scraps together with the giant cone of Valley Yarns Franklin Natural that I have. It a sock weight yarn on a cone with 6,000+ yards I had intended for my Northeasterly blanket. The Northeasterly blanket has not gone anywhere but I liked the idea of an easier marled blanket reinvigorated my blanket mojo.
Essentially this is a marled DK weight blanket. I had a little trouble getting the I-cord cast one set up but I managed and now zooming. And I’m ADDICTED, I can’t put this down and it’s all I want to knit. It’s corner to corner construction so I am just knitting until I feel it’s wide enough and then decreasing then. So I’m hacking the pattern a bit.
I’m just pulling scraps from bin and knitting until they are gone. I am also spit splicing the yarns together so I won’t have any ends to weave in. There has been some effort on my part to manage the colors. I don’t have a plan but I am trying for “planned randomness” and that the adjacent colors don’t look hideous next to one another.
Another Winter Woolfest in Wamego, KS is in the books. I kind of dig all the alliteration that happens when you say that, lol. It was a lovely day but it wasn’t without it’s hiccups and bumps.
I ended up offering a ride to my Grandmother’s cousin who lives near me. All of her friends had backed out on her last minute and she wasn’t going to go alone. I did this because it was the right thing to do and she is a lovely women to spend time with. But I was a little bummed as I was looking forward to having some “alone” time in the car after a busy week with kids and work.
But we made it there and met up with my Mom and her quilt shop friends. There were record crowds at the event and the vendors were stocked and ready to go. I took a lap around the show to see what caught my eye. I brought my budget in cash so I could be held accountable. And I think I did pretty well!
Above is the spoils of the day. Working clockwise from the bottom left, I picked up two 1 oz bundles of merino fiber from a vendor that had a lot of miscellenous spinning and needle felting items. I didn’t catch her name. But I digress, I now have a spinning wheel (another post for another day) and will be taking a drop spindle class in April so I thought I would like to have some fiber to play with. Then from Apothefaery Luxury Fibers I picked up a skein of Brushed Suri Alpaca laveweight and coordinating sock yarn set. I didn’t really need the coordinating mini as I want to hold the Suri alpaca double and make some sort of hat or cowl but she wasn’t carrying any sock yarn without coordinating mini. I’ll just add it to one of my blankets!
Next up are two alpaca or llama stuffed toys for Jellybean and PB. One of the alpaca vendors was going out of business so I picked up those toys for 30% off and they were a BIG hit! Not to mention that both are washable. Then I got sucked into the Wichita Woolery booth and fell down and picked up a sweaters quantity of their DK weight. This is a dark grey base with rainbow speckles aka their Graffiti colorway. They dyer was awesome and helped me open up the skeins to find the four that best fit together.
Lastly I picked up a T-Shirt from the Treasure Goddessbecause who doesn’t need more yarn T-Shirts. And on top of that shirt is some tiny wooden stitch markers from Th’Red Head booth. There are four tiny round sheep markers and one tiny 1 inch ruler marker. I just loved how light they felt in my hand and would be great for my shawl and lighter weight yarn projects where I don’t want a ton of weight on my hands.
After the market rush, our whole group at lunch at a local bakery/restaurant. It was delicious and I came home with two cinnamon rolls. Then we tried to go to a quilt shop but it was closed so we settled for some antique and thrift shops. The cousin and I then peeled off from my mom’s group and headed home. I was feeling tired and ready to be done. Turns out I was coming down with PB’s upper respiratory virus….again.
But I’ll take solace in all of my goodies while I take tylenol and drink my lemon and ginger tea. Happy Knitting!!
I fell down a bit on Boxing Day. Now I live in the United States and it’s really not a thing here. But you know where it is a thing? The UK where the wonder dyer from the The Corner of Craft podcast Chromatic Yarns lives. And she had an unprecedented 20% off sale. And I was flush with Christmas money burning a hole in my pocket..
All of her yarns are Dungeons and Dragons themed. I have never played and know next to nothing about it. But what I do know is that I LOVE this purple speckle madness. I picked up three skeins of her Sturdy DK in the Eldritch Blast color.
And Hannah tucked in a small package of tea from Bird and Blend Tea Co. It was Dozy Girl, a chamomile bedtime blend and it was AMAZING.
As for the yarn it is going into my stash. I’m feeling like I want to track down a solid contrast color in DK and make striped sweater or shawl/blanket thing. For now I’m content to admire and pet the pretty skeins while feeling glad I supported an independent dyer who busts her butt to make a quality product.
Just curious, did anyone else score any kind of Boxing Day deals?
I have been on the local library waiting list for like two months. But my book finally came in! I have followed this series since book one. I know they aren’t for everyone and it’s pretty easy to solve the crime. But you guys….it’s my guilty pleasure. I love a nice easy read with characters I have bonded with. With all the hurt and drama in the world I like to escape in easy to digest murder mystery novels with quirky female detectives. It’s my happy place.
I’m about halfway through the book and paired it last night with a glass of Rose after putting the kids to bed. I may or may not have stayed WAAAY to late reading and regret it this morning.
I got the “new project itch” and cast on a single fingering weight hat. My theory is that this is good meeting and movie knitting that is not a sock. I mean I have like 10 WIPs going but none of them are a hat. Seems sound logic, right?
This is a skein of fingering weight sock yarn from the Wichita Woolery I snagged last year at Winter Woolfest. My mom and I just went to Woolfest 2020 here this past weekend. So it also felt right to start using last year’s haul, lol. This color is called Prism Break. It is a grey semi-solid solid yarn with a rainbow that micro stripes throughout.
I have established the ribbing portion and I’m satisfied with how the rainbow is looking. It is somewhere between planned pooling and regular striping. I was prepared to rip back to add or subtract stitches to make the rainbow look pleasing. It’s kind of nice that karma worked out for once. This project now lives in my desk at work for self-care and conference call needs.
I have a half finished object! I zoomed through the ribbing of my Bullseye Vanilla Socks and promptly inserted the afterthought heel.
I think despite any planning on my part, the heel fell perfectly in the stripe pattern. And the micro stripe worked out nicely inside the heel itself. And the icing on the cake? It fits nicely on my foot.
It is halfway between my shortie sock and my normal calf length sock. I’ll have to give these a few wearing to see how I like them in my boots and shoes. I’m hoping they stay on my heels well and don’t sag throughout the day.
I’m using my new Chia Goo Twist Shortie needles as an incentive to cast on the second sock. I think I’m going to use the shortest cord and smallest needles to test making the second sock!
As promised, here is the second color section of my Arya Shawl. I have found this to be my “reward” knitting of late. It is busy season for this accountant at work so I come home pretty much wiped out. And so in the quiet of the evening I have been reaching for this project to work on. I may only have time for a few rows before I fall asleep but with DK weight yarn it shows the progress quickly. The shawl looks less thong like now.
I’m super late the party with the grellow color combination. But I’m really loving the grey and yellow contrast. But with this Chubbs and Squeak yarn also being a tweed yarn there is a consistent element flowing throughout. I’m still not 100% proficient on my CCD or centered double decreases and I have to fudge them sometimes to keep my stitch counts correct. But hey, this is garter stitch so it’s very forgiving!
My favorite of favorite parts so far? The mosaic slipped stitch color work portion that transitions between the two colors. it just makes my heart happy!
I haven’t made a tremendous amount of progress on my Bullseye Vanilla Socks. The bronchitis really kind of put a dent in my energy level. But I decided to pull them out and get a feel for where my heel is going to be. I am just finishing a micro stripe on the cuff. I need to understand how much more cuff to add, if any at all.
For my foot shape and length I usually insert my heel at seven inches from the toe. My afterthought heels usually add two to two and a half inches of sock length. Following that formula my heel would fall in the middle of a speckle stripe. Which I think will be just right.
Looking at the sock as a whole, I think I will add just a smidge more ribbing. I think maybe three to four more rounds and then bind off in the speckle yarn. That should give me a nice finished look. Of course then I have to knit an entire second sock, but that’s a task for another day.
I’m a planner. I’m a color coding fool. I like to keep my thoughts and plans on paper. I get a thrill from making a list and crossing things off the list as they get done. In past years for my work life I have kept a planner that helped me from going insane or forgetting things. I think it has made me a better employee and project manager.
So this year I decided to add one for my personal life. So why wouldn’t it be knitting themed?? I did a lot of research on the internet and settled on The Knitters Planner after I saw how much Megan of the Stockinette Zombies used hers.
It was an investment for sure. There were many other options that would have been more inexpensive. But this one has space for personal tracking, knitting features and a few adds on to help my day to day crazy.
I’m only a few weeks in but I have been tracking my meal planning, downloading all of my to-dos onto paper so my brain has more space and just getting inspired for my 2020 knitting plans. I’m definitely not a full blown bullet journaler, with a full time job and two tiny humans I just don’t have the minutes in the day. And I may not get to all my goals and have to give myself some grace. But for right now I feel energized and more in control of my chaos.