Where did the Summer Go?!

I can’t believe it is September already and we are in the last weeks of summer, but at the same time… KNITTING SEASON IS UPON US! Knit fast and die warm! I was just reminded of this saying the other day when I saw a tote bag with a skull and cross bones and this quote. It was really fantastic.

What Happend to the Summer-3607

What have I been up to in knitting? Lots and lots of things apparently. I have cast on a few new socks, but this one I haven’t started knitting yet; there is something of a story to it. I saw this colour-way at Nerd Girl Yarns in Vogue Knitting Live Chicago 2013. There are ALL sorts of really fantastic colours corresponding to my favourite fandoms, but when we were in Chicago Paul and I really liked watching the show Supernatual. We had eventually grown apart from this TV show, as we tend to binge watch things once the season has ended. Preferably when the next season has started… I have this problem with patience. The colour-way ‘Gank Demons’ was A) an awesome quote from the show and B) in my favourite colours. I had it squirrelled away in my stash for a long time and came across it unexpectedly.

What Happend to the Summer-3606

 

I actually have two stashes, one is upstairs and classified as a ‘perhaps someday I will knit this’ and the other is much smaller and stays on the main floor next to the couch. This is a more immediate stash for things that have projects waiting and just need to be started. It IS a stash of it’s own because it is much larger than a small box next to the couch; trust me, it’s a small shelving unit from Ikea. I had moved all my random sock yarn into the ‘immediate stash’ area and randomly decided to cast this one on the other day. I ended up balling it and casting on, but no knitting. Come think of it, I might take it out and ball it into two separate balls for the sake of matching socks.

What Happend to the Summer-3863

If you receive the Stitch Please Newsletter, you will have seen the newest self-striping colour-way! I am calling it ‘A Study in Blue… and Black’. This colour-way always reminded me of the scarf Sherlock wears in the BBC TV version of Sherlock. The scarf it self isn’t striped, but it is blue… actually come think of it, these socks look nothing like that scarf. No idea why it makes me think of Sherlock, but I do love the books AND the TV show. I should really start doing more fandom colours, I always like to knit fandom colours with a fandom pattern while watching said show. It really instils the geekieness.

What Happend to the Summer-3830Yes that would be preparations for the Kitchener/Waterloo Knitters Fair!

That is all I’ve got for you today! I am going to need to start another bigger project, I am getting way too many socks on the needles at present. I am hoping to do a few rows on my grandmother’s sweater as well, but with show season coming up… who knows?! I would also encourage anyone on twitter to randomly tweet me to guilt me into working on my grandmother’s sweater. I think I just need a good kick in the butt to get moving on it!

Chicago Vacation

For the past five days I’ve been in Chicago with my friend Marainne! I’ve been to Chicago a couple times before, but this was a first time for my partner in crime. We had a long list of sights to see and only three real days of sight seeing.

First of all we decided to drive because the flights were quite expensive. It was only supposed to be around 8 hours, but with the stops and traffic right at the end it ended up being 9-10 hours. We still managed to walk 7K to a restaurant; my favourite place, Vapiano.

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Day two was intense we got to the cloud gate (the bean) and the Shedd Aquarium. We spent a lot of time in the aquarium so by the time we got out we just headed back to the hostel. After relaxing for a little bit, we looked around the neighbourhood. The other times I have gone to Chicago I stayed right downtown, this time we stayed in Wicker Park. It is a nice place with a lot of little shops and a few restaurants. We milled around a bit then stopped at a place, I cannot remember the name, but it had ‘Brewery’ in the title. I can’t seem to find it on a map either. I got a pulled pork quesadilla, which was fantastic! The rest of that night was kind of easy going.

The next day we took the car around to a couple places that weren’t easily reached by car. We stopped at REI to take a look for outdoors things and triathlon gear. There was a great deal of outdoors-y things, but not much of the triathlon gear that was online, but I did find one suit that I got to try on. It was in the clearance section but it turns out it is actually full price. Then we went by St Mary of the Angels church. It’s in a few of the books I read and the last time I was there it was raining, so I got some nice sunny pictures!

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Then onto Downers Grove to Knitche, where a yarn crawl had just started! I bought a yarn crawl t-shirt, even though I wouldn’t be going to the other stores. It was good to be there again! I also had the BEST potato soup I’ve ever had at the Irish Pub down the street.

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From there we went onto Navy Pier, and had dinner at Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. The last stop was at Willis Tower, were we watched a lightning storm move in. We got back to the hostel just in time to avoid the storm.

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Last day we walked down by the river, along Wacker, to do the Magnificent Mile. There were a lot of stores to go through and we stopped for some deep-dish pizza along the way, of course. I brought home the second half of the pizza for Paul. There were two whole slices left and I didn’t want to carry around a pizza box, so I asked the waitress to put it in the smallest container she could. When she looked at me with confusion, I said “just take it as a challenge.” She came back with a container the size of a Bath and Body Works three-wick candle. I would say it was about 600ml? I didn’t manage to get a photo, as the pizza was consumed as soon as I got home.

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After shopping, we went over to Buckingham Fountain. It was previously blocked off because of a huge music festival, lollapalooza. It was open on Monday though and we were able to walk through to see it in all it’s glory.

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The drive back on Tuesday was quite long and the best thing about it (or perhaps the most terrifying) was seeing a truck that was supposedly filled with ‘Molten Sulpher.’ I immediately pointed out that of all the ways to go; that would make the top of many lists. I think it was praying on Marianne’s mind too because slightly later in the trip she pointed out a refrigerator truck and theorized that if the two were to crash, they might cancel one another out.
Maybe it was all the driving and the tired-ness that happens with that kind of long trek, but we found this absolutely hysterical. Overall I say it was a good trip, there was a lot of walking, but all worth it!

Work and Whimsy

I know I promised to start an exciting new sweater last week, but I totally haven’t. I’ve been slogging through some technical knitting I need to get done. I’ve also updated a few things on Ravelry. I was looking at my Ravelry project page with all my finished projects on it and thought that it really didn’t do me justice. I felt like I’ve been knitting the whole year round, just not produced any finished objects. At that point I realized I haven’t been recording all the things I’ve knit for KNITmuch. They still count as knitting and need to be recognized! I updated my Ravelry projects page and the 2015 Finished Objects link here on the blog.

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I will admit that this took me much longer than expected so the photos on the blog aren’t linked yet, but I will be getting to that when I am back home from vacation! That’s right, I’m leaving!
Only temporarily, never fear. A friend of mine and I are going to take a road trip to Chicago! It’s one of my favourite places to go! I really REALLY like food, and trust me, Chicago is a food city.
One thing different, this time we’re driving; so when I am not taking my turn at the wheel, I will have a good deal of time to knit. I’ll definitely bring easy things that aren’t easily messed up. If I manage to start a sweater before we leave I could get some great progress on the body. Although that would mean dropping everything immediately and swatching to within an inch of my life. I’ve had one too many a sweater turn out wrong to avoid swatching.

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I was thinking about stopping into some LYS’s while I’m there. It isn’t often I get the opportunity to just go gallivanting around a city like Chicago. I have been to Knitche, in Downers Grove, and loved it! This was the store I bought all my Shibui Silk Cloud from. They were so so SO helpful and balled it all for me into three separate balls per skein. This was before I had a scale and I was totally confounded as to how we were supposed to achieve this. When I expressed my doubts to the ladies at this store they offered to ball it all for me if I picked it up the next day.

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I would like to pop back if given an opportunity. There are a lot of yarn stores in Chicago though and I wouldn’t mind seeing at least one other. We’re staying near Wicker Park so perhaps there might be one in that area!

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I just realized I am leaving on Friday and haven’t been OBESSING over which knitting to pack and take with me. I have a couple simple things on the go, but really, where is the fun if you can’t take a whole suitcase full of yarn?

Holy Moly, there is Progress

I got so much done this week! It was a long weekend here so I caught up on a lot of things I had been letting fall behind; such as cleaning, meal prep…. Etc. I also got quite a bit of knitting done. I managed to finish a sleeve from my grandmother’s sweater, finished a hat and may or may not have started something new.

Seed Stitch Sleeve

First thing is first! I decided the body was going really slowly and I felt kind of discouraged about the sheer amount of work I had left to do, so I started on the sleeves. I am not going to lie to you. I changed them. The sleeves were also meant to be covered in cables, but most of that work is hidden under the arms and I think it makes the whole sweater look very very busy. I looked at just making a stockinet sleeve, but I thought that would be too plain. A row of seed stitch up the arm fits with the rest of the pattern and is very easy to do.

Seed Stitch Sleeve Two

When I started this sleeve, I was modifying the pattern as I went and I figured that the pattern would have needed me to do a double increase on seven rows. That is an increase of 14 stitches over 47cm of knitting. Kids play right? Actually, because the sweater is an older style, the sleeves are very baggy, so there was actually an increase of 44 stitches over 47cm. When I realized this, I was almost at 47 cm and there was no way to gracefully fit 30 extra stitches into 10cm. I had to rip it back and start again. The second time went much better though! I managed to not mess things up and got the sleeve done this weekend!

Purple Pleasures Hat 1

The hat I started and finished this weekend was from a kit I bought at Vogue Knitting Live Chicago 2013. I remember grabbing it very last and I’ve been saving it for some strange and unknowable reason. I meant to start it a while ago, but never managed to get it caked up in time. I finally started it Friday night and finished it by Saturday. It is the Simple Pleasures Hat pattern from Purl Soho, a free pattern on Ravelry and the handout that came with this kit. It’s a good thing the pattern is free on Ravelry because I completely lost the pattern that came with the hat itself. I had to look up the yarn on Ravelry and check the patterns that other people had done.

Purple Pleasures Hat 2

The main yarn is 100% Mongolian cashmere. I don’t use cashmere a whole lot so I am not totally sure if this is normal, but the ribbing on the hat is made with the cashmere held double and when I wear it the ribbing grows. It was okay in the beginning but now the hat is slipping down my forehead. It’s not totally unwearable or anything, but I wish I had gone down one more needle size when I was working on the ribbing.
The project I started is something that had been kicking around in my head for a while. I was reading the blog My Sister’s Knitter when Andi said she was working on a mitered square project from left over sock yarn. I had been thinking about doing a blanket with my leftover sock yarns, for a while, but never really got a pattern that suited me. The plain garder stitch ones made me think they would be like knitting a BILLION TINY SWATCHES FOREVER. Which really didn’t appeal to me… Anything that had more of a pattern seemed like something that would require brain power and that is something I am sorely short of these days.

Sock Blanket

When Andi linked to this pattern I had to check it out and it is perfect. Thanks enabler Andi!! I tried out one square of this already and it looks pretty awesome!!
I feel as though I had really productive weekend! I am going to go continue knitting all the things, because, apparently, I am just on a roll.