Archives for posts with tag: Rock Island

Last week during lunch, I found myself in a pet store staring into a cage with the most adorable kitten you ever did see.  I stuck my fingers through the cage and scratched her soft furry little head.  She responded with a soft purr and, people, believe me when I say that she actually sat up, looked me straight in the eyes and said, “Freshy, please take me home meow.”  What an intelligent kitten, I thought.  I began to imagine how wonderful it would be if I took this sweet little thing home with me.  Our future brightly flashed before me: curling up next to each other under a warm blanket, telling each other funny jokes, eating tuna, I would train her to use the toilet and I would knit her cat toys….

Suddenly, I saw that upon bringing her home I would find out that she does not dine on tuna, however, she has an unprecedented palate for fine merino wool and silk blends.  Unacceptable!  Besides, I’m already a crazy knitting blog lady.  Being a crazy cat lady with a knitting blog might be too much for me to live up to.  With all that craziness in mind, I left the kitty behind in the pet store and went to work googling this.

Today, as I was walking by the pet store, I noticed she was still there.  Fate, why do you tempt me with soft cuddly things I can’t have?!  I couldn’t help but have that same momentary lapse in judgment where Freshy’s knitting world would be so awesome with a cute little kitty in it!  Imagine all the fun kitty sweaters I could make!  What fun we would have!  I could change my blog name to Yarn Over Kitty, in which every post would feature a cute little kitten mischievously playing with yarn!  Wait, my yarn?  Damn, that’s right.  This will never work out between us, Kitteh.

It’s a good thing I have such wonderful judgment (haha, that’s funny…), because I definitely would not have been able to block this shawl out on my bed with a soft, playful little ball of mischief hanging around.

I also listened to my better judgment when I decided to reknit this using a size larger needle.  The shawl may not be as soft as a cute little kitten, but it’s big enough to wrap around your neck a couple of times to keep you cozy while it’s snowing outside.

Pattern: Rock Island by Jared Flood
Yarn: Madeline Tosh Prairie, Lace 2 ply, in Tart (~700 yards)
Needles: US 7, Knit Picks Harmony Wood
Modifications: Used US 7 needles instead of US 6
Recommendation: Yes. 
Notes: It’s a simple pattern to memorize and pretty fast to knit up.  I also love that it’s a reversible pattern.  This was also my first time knitting with Madeline Tosh, and I was really pleased with how strong this yarn was.  There was no splitting or snagging while knitting.  The color is such a deep red (pictures really don’t do it justice).  All in all, I loved the end result!

Konnichiwa!  I still have one more week in Japan, but today is finally the last day of work.  What have I been doing these last nine weeks (besides working in a shipyard with absolutely no female contact and wearing the same dirty smelly clothes every day), you ask?  Well, I’ll show you…

Experienced Oktoberfest in Hakata:

Went to fish markets:

Visited shrines, temples, and castles:

Celebrated Thanksgiving on the beaches of Okinawa:

Took in the sights of Naha:

Don’t worry.  I haven’t forgotten that this is a knitting blog, not a traveling one.  So here’s some knitterly things I did while in Japan:  I finished my shawl (still needs to be blocked…and ya, that’s my unmade hotel bed it’s posing on…whatevs), made a single mitten (still need to cast on for the pair), and taught a man to knit…in the round…on double pointed needles…and yes, he’s knitting his own mitten.

I can’t post any pictures of where I have been working, but let’s get together in a week over some hot tea and yarn and I’ll be glad to show you some awesome shipyard photos!

Seattle has seen it’s 3 weeks of summer and so now we enter into our overcast and slightly chilled days.  Most people would complain about this.  It’s mid-September already?  Why is it so cloudy today?  Where has the summer gone?  I haven’t been able to tan my rear yet.  So on and so forth.  Not I.  No, I welcome Fall with open arms and jubilation in my heart.

Fall means that knitting season is here, not that I ever stop knitting, but somehow it’s cozier to knit when it’s cold outside and the rain is pitter-pattering on the window.  The knitting high begins, where any particular knitter is keen on making anything and everything for everyone in time for the holidays.  Of course, whether or not we ever accomplish the things we set out to knit is an entirely different story.  Fall means I can close my windows and my neighbors can close their windows and therefore I no longer have to listen to moans and cries of pure ecstasy.  Ahh, apartment living.

Fall means knitting sweaters, like Aidez.

Fall means wearing shawls, like Rock Island.

Fall means butternut squash curry.

Fall means apple/pecan/pumpkin pie.

Fall means I can stop worrying about being bikini ready, because honestly my body is just meant to be under a cardigan.

Fall means finding cute boots to wear if only to knit cute legwarmers that will peep just so over the top.

Fall means back to school sales on crayons and other craftacular tools.

Fall means I can start showing off my handknits!

Basically, I love Fall.  I also love the way the shawl is looking with my new gauge.  I kept the edging from my first iteration so I could compare.  I know it’s subtle to the most casual observer (hint: it’s the bottom one), but the important thing is that I notice and I’m completely happy with the change.

I’ve also started on Aidez, although working overtime has forced me to prioritize sleep over everything else.  One should not knit when one is tired.  At least this is what I tell myself after I make a million mistakes over three rows.  I always think I can do it, but it turns out I’m just an idiot.

But fellow knitters, I have a dilemma…. the gauge for Aidez is 15 st across by 16 rows = 4″.  I get 4″ across, but I don’t get a 4″ height.  I feel like this will work out in the end because I’m short, so I won’t miss that little extra bit in height.  However, I’m worried how this will affect the armscye, which I heard is tight to begin with.  Anyone have any suggestions for this besides knitting one needle size up?  I tried swatching with a US11 and it came out pretty sloppy.

For now, I will continue to knit and keep my eyes open for big piles of leaves to jump in.  Who’s with me?

The trouble with mindless knitting is that while it seems completely plausible to knit in garter stitch for a million effin’ rows without the use of brain power, it is not entirely the best idea.  And for the most part should not be attempted.  Unless of course you don’t care if you looked down at your work and noticed that your stitch count was off by one and you slipped a stitch about 20 rows down.  siiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiigh.

That wasn’t exactly the expression I let out a week ago when I made this discovery.  There was an f and a lot of u’s and then I tucked my knitting under a load of laundry that needed folding.  You know…for safe keeping?  The thing is that I’m the type of knitter that will not let this go lightly.  I can’t.  I will forever be reminded of the failures of mindless knitting every time I would wear this shawl.  So, I began to talk myself into tinking back down to a place where I knew my stitch count was correct and where I didn’t have slipped stitches glaring at me with evil slipped stitchy eyes.

Then a thought occurred to me.  A bigger thought than I am brave enough to share with you.  But this is a safe place, so here it goes: I’m going to reknit the whole damn thing.  Ya.  I’m sorry if you’re scared about this.  I’m scared too.  No one likes to go back to square one.  No one wants to go back.  But I’m not happy with the size of the shawl.  I feel like it’s too small and even though I’m about 20 rows from finishing (yes, really I’m that fucking close and I’m talking about ripping it all out), I still have half my skein of yarn left.  So, I’m frogging this project, going up a needle size and this time I’ll try to remain conscious while endlessly knitting in garter stitch.

Freshy, you got some ‘splainin’ to do!  Waaaah!!

So I guess I should clarify that no, I did not make any of the things in the first group of photos from the last post.  Those are all pictures I took while in Argentina last February.  Yes, I have finally decided that it is time to sort through all 1254 pictures…. A woven hammock, a hand knit fair isle sweater made with alpaca fiber, and a crocheted chair cover.  Even though I wasn’t knitting while on vacation, I couldn’t help but be drawn to the fiber arts.  Knitting nerd much?

The next two groups of photos are of my latest FO modeled on the lovely Lisa.  If there are others out there looking to expand their modeling portfolio, drop me a line.  It’s hard to photograph yourself in knitwear…

Pattern: Braided Slouch by Holly Priestly aka Sillylittlelady
Yarn: SweetGeorgia Yarns Merino Silk DK, Goldmine (~300 yds)
Needles: Knit Picks US 2 for the ribbing and US 5 for the cable pattern
Modifications: None.  Test knit as written
Recommend to a Friend: Most Definitely

I really love this hat pattern for so many reasons.  I never really thought I would like slouch hats because I always thought they were kind of shapeless and baggy looking.  But I think this slouch hat works because the cables give it some structure and depth.  The pattern itself is simple and makes for a fast knit, and the end result is visually stunning.  I think this is a great pattern for beginners learning how to cable and for those that want to move past basic hat patterns.  Most importantly, I love this pattern because it got me out of my knitting funk!  I used up the remainder of my yarn from Haruni, which turned out to be the perfect pick for the pattern.  I think cables are a great way to show off variegation in yarn.

Anyways, you may be wondering about the socks.  Or maybe I distracted you enough with the last few posts that you forgot?  I can only hope, because the truth is, I still haven’t touched them.  This is where the socks are now…tucked away in a bag, sitting on the floor…

So, while I avoided making eye contact with half finished socks last weekend, I accidentally walked into a yarn store, then I accidentally meandered over to the laceweight section where my eyes accidentally fell upon this lovely skein of Madelinetosh in Tart, and then I accidentally picked up the skein and sniffed it and rubbed it all over my face while drooling ever so slightly.  I promptly walked out of the store after accidentally purchasing said skein and stuffing it into my bag whilst dreaming of all the fun we were going to have together.  Total.Accident.

I’ve started knitting another lace shawl.  I know, I know…I said I wouldn’t.  I damn near broke down the last time I did this, but hear me out before you roll your eyes at me and tell me I’m a bad Freshy. The pattern is Rock Island Shawl by Brooklyn Tweed.  Just look at it and tell me you wouldn’t want to knit that.  I double dog dare you.  So as you can see, I have to do this.  Besides, it’s knit on US 6 needles, so it’ll be easier to handle than the last shawl I did on US 1 and of course, less chance of needle breakage.  Also, I start with the edging, which means that the further along I progress, the less I have to knit per row.  So far the pattern is pretty simple to memorize and is making for some pretty fast knitting.  I refuse to have a breakdown with this shawl.  So just, you know, roll with it.

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