Final Count Down

I love it when a plan comes together. ~ The A Team

Que the theme music. My goal this month was to liberate nine Orphan wips. I had a plan. It changed as the month progressed. This morning I was still unsure how much knitting time I was going to have through out the day (turns out it was very little). I went back to storage bins. MM Palouse was started in 2013! The first mitt has about 2.5 inches. I love this pattern, but I’m not going to finish it any time soon. It’s liberating to reclaim yarn.

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It gives me great pleasure to present the nine liberated Orphan wips of August! Five finished projects and four frogged.

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As a bonus, I also finished eight Patchwork Towels this month. My gift bin is starting to fill up.

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This month was so close, I could hardly stand the anticipation!

September is only a few hours away. Can I liberate another nine Orphan wips? We’ll see what the month brings.

 

 

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Short Row Hats

Occasionally, the British hubby will proof read a post for me. Last week, I quoted the Jamaican Proverb, “You can’t have two faces under one hat. ” He promptly responded, “The Roman God, Janus, could have two faces under one hat.” He’s right of course. Janus is represented by a double faced head and is the god of all beginnings. It is thought that January is named for him. You may have also seen Janus depicted with four faces over a four-way arch. Naturally, this made me wonder what type of hat would Janus wear? I think it would be more of an ear warmer with short rows. Or maybe, it would be an Aviatrix type of hat. Aviatrix is knit flat with a serious of short row sections creating a curved shape.

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You can also use short rows in a hat while still knitting in the round. Malabrigo Wolfie uses this technique. The color change on one side uses intarsia to avoid holes. The other side uses short rows. When I come to the short row stitch, I lift the wrap onto the needles and either knit two together or purl two together depending on if it’s a right side or wrong side round. It sounds much more complicated than it really is. Here’s a close up of how it looks. The intarsia side looks much cleaner.

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You may have also noticed a finished Aviatrix hat. This is hat three in the Aviatrix Hats of 2016 series. That means I have liberated project seven and eight for August. Yesterday, I woven the ends for 2016 Christmas Hat the I.

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Even kitties love a good cave!

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One day left. Can I finish one more project?

Love it or Leave it!

Distance sometimes lets you know who’s worth keeping and who’s worth letting go. ~ Anonymous. 

Some how, it’s the last weekend in August. It’s my last big push to liberate at least eight Orphan wips. Earlier in the month, I received the 20th Anniversary Edition of Interweave Knits. It was full of amazing patterns I wanted to cast on immediately. One of my favorites being Bear Lake Pullover for the British Hubby. As I mentally went through yarn bins in my craft room, I had this nagging thought, “You’re supposed to be finishing projects not creating new ones.” This thought has been gnawing on me more as September looms closer, my crafting time seems to be dwindling and my goal of liberating nine Orphan wips was slipping out of my grasp. I’m sure I loved all my projects when I cast on, but with a little distance comes some perspective. If I didn’t love it, it was time to let it go. I didn’t have to look far to find three wips that hadn’t been worked on in over a year.

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There was nothing wrong with the yarn or the patterns. I just lost interest in them. I think sometimes I just forget about projects since I have so many wips. These were a Lettuce Cowl, Purple Waves and Malabrigo Champagne. I now have liberated Orphans three, four and five, but wait there’s a bonus number six! This week I wove in ends and gave the Charity Malt a soak.

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Update on other wips:

  • Earth & Sky: Five inches completed from the fourth skein join.
  • Portland Bias Scarf: Skein two has 14.11  grams left.
  • Frank in Pairs & Dewberry Dancer: I’m pretty sure these projects are mocking me every time I enter the lounge and glance at the project bags. Must try harder not to make eye contact upon entering the room.

Cats have the funniest poses. I’m not exactly sure what Burt’s up to here. I think he was trying to cool off earlier in the week when it was still very hot.

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Six Orphans liberated! I have three days left in August. Can I finish three more projects?

Kick up Your Heels

“The truth about socks is that they’re humble and beautiful and noble, and in their lowness they’re the highest form of art.” ~ Stephanie Pearl-McPhee from Knitting Rules! 

I love the idea of wearing art on my feet. Each sock is a little master piece. I prefer to knit my master pieces cuff down which means that for several thousand stitches one is just knitting a tube. Until, that magical moment when you get to the heel. Now you have some action. This tube has become a sock! I always feel so smart when I turn a heel. It’s never lost it’s magic. Eye of partridge is one of my favorite heels. My Stage four Tour de Sock uses this heel. I especially love how tonal or kettle dyed sock yarns look with this type of heel. This look is achieved with slip stitches. Here’s a close up.

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Shark Bait has a gusset and short rows. The charted leg was knit flat. Once done, I joined in the round and started increasing every other round on the sole. This is my first time making a heel this way. Normally, I feel plain stockinette heels are not hard wearing, but these socks aren’t going to be in my normal sock rotation. These are my July 4th Jaws viewing socks. I think they’ll be okay.

Update on other wips:

I don’t really have much to update since last time. The day job is really starting to interfere with my crafting time.

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Gracie is just a big cute fluff ball when she sleeps. Here’s a good shot of her toe fluff. I think you can just make it out on each paw.

 

 

The Jogless Join

You can’t have two faces under one hat. ~ Jamaican Proverb

It’s Tuesday again. That means hats. Today, I’m going to chat a bit about making hats with stripes. When knitting stripes in the round, you may notice your stripes don’t line up when changing colors. How frustrating! Knitting a jogless stripe in the round, is one technique to avoid this. It’s a simple solution that can make a big impact on your striped hats. Knitty has a fantastic tutorial found here. I also found a YouTube video that uses a slightly different approach. I’m using the Knitty version on my 2016 Christmas Hat the I. You can see the elongated stitch and how nice the stripes line up.

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Below is a group photo of the hats currently in progress. The Malabrigo Wolfie and 2016 Christmas Hat the I are progressing nicely. Portland Rainchaser and the newest Aviatrix Hat are in a holding pattern. I had enough yarn to finish the newest Aviatrix hat. Now, I don’t like any buttons I have on hand. Okay, I did have one nice button that was too big for the button hole (always the way).

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Update on other wips:

  • Earth & Sky: Two inches completed from the fourth skein join.
  • Portland Bias Scarf: Skein two has 16.98  grams left.
  • Frank in Pairs: Nothing new on this one.
  • Dewberry Dancer:Sadly, I’m still on row 24 of 36 in section one.

Occasionally, the pet food store will give out sample treats. This week it was freeze dried minnows. These were so interesting, I had to take a quick photo before being devoured.

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Gracie loved it. Burt just licked his. Ernie only sniffed it (the eyeballs probably got to Ernie). Much to Gracie’s delight, she ate all three.

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Break in the Heat Wave

Last week, I talked about the Dog Days of Summer. Typically, this ends around August 11. This past week, the Dog Days of Summer were in full force in the PNW with highs in the upper 80’s to mid 90’s. Any type of crafting becomes rather challenging. It’s hard to get excited about creating warm winter knits when I’m trying to not over heat. Today, we had a break in the heat with a high of 77 and a cold breezy.

Yesterday, the British Hubby was kind enough to lug the ironing board and fan down to the lowest level so I could keep working on my Holiday Patchwork tea towels. These are coming along nicely. I should have several finished this week.

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I also had an exciting package this week. The long awaited fourth skein of Malabrigo in Cielo y Tierra arrived! I might have been able to finish the scarf without it, but I didn’t want to chance it. I’m also alternating skeins since I have different dye lots on each skein.

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Finally, I have another finished project. August is more than half way finished. I really should have four or five liberated Orphans by now. I might need a Hail Mary Comeback this month. Presenting Mystery Mitts, Liberated Orphan number two for August. This project didn’t have a project page until today so I have no clue what yarn or needles I used. This was another project that was 98% finished. When I pulled it out of the bin, it was missing one thumb. Just one!

Update on other wips:

  • Earth & Sky: Skein four is wound and in the mix.
  • Charity Malt: Okay, last time I measured this I didn’t go by the cast on edge. I measured starting after the border. I’m well over the 30 inches now.
  • Portland Bias Scarf: Skein two has 17.82  grams left.
  • Frank in Pairs: No progress on this one this week.
  • Dewberry Dancer: I’m still on row 24 of 36 in section one.

Burt was in his “winding yarn” chair waiting in anticipation. He loves the winder.

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Two projects liberated and seven more to go!

The Dog Days of Summer

The Dog Days of Summer was named for the most sultry period of summer. In early times, this was observed in countries bordering the Mediterranean. This period ranged from 20 days before to 20 days after the alignment of Sirius (dog star) and the sun. Traditionally, this is July 3rd from August 11th. It seems like the Dog Days are just getting started here in the Pacific Northwest. This has made spending any quality time in my craft room rather difficult. I have managed to start a few Christmas gifts.

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These are the patchwork strips for my Patchwork Dish Towels. This pattern is great for using mini charm packs and flour sack dishcloths. I love having seasonal dishcloths in my kitchen. These also make great gifts. I’m attempting to stockpile gifts for all occasions.

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The first stripe appears! Can you feel the exciting?

Update on other wips:

  • Earth & Sky: Word on the street is the new skein is on it’s way. I’m not holding my breath.
  • Charity Malt: I’m on row 82 of the stockinette section. Somehow this was still short of 30 inches.
  • Portland Bias Scarf: Skein two has 21.57 grams left.
  • Frank in Pairs: One stripe done. Woot Woot!
  • Dewberry Dancer: I’m on row 24 of 36 in section one. Soon I’ll be ready for the third pearl row.
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It maybe the Dog Days of Summer, but it’s not too hot for the Ernie cave.

Here’s a bonus kitty photo. This past week, I was cat sitting for Halo.

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It’s toasty out, but I’m getting close to a few more projects finished.