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Mama, wife, knitter, blogger, spinner, wannabe something or other. That's enough, right?

Sunday, June 17, 2018

Year SEVEN: Self-Imposed Year of Projects - Update #24

Happy Sunday! Today's later than normal post is brought to you by a quick and dirty trip to Las Vegas. Translation: I was too tired to type last night. Sue me.


FOs (Finished Objects)
1. Adare: started 30 December 2017; finished 5 January 2018
2. Luck o' the Irish Cowl: started 31 December 2017; finished 14 January 2018
3. Rasta Scarf: started 19 January 2018; finished 10 February 2018
4. Rastarmulke (v2): started 10 February 2018; finished 10 February 2018
5. Gamer Bag: started 28 September 2017; frogged 16 February 2018
6. Oh, She Is a Bad Nut: started 11 August 2016; frogged 16 February 2018
7. Garter Stitch Baby Blanket: started 6 July 2017; finished 3 April 2018
8. Pattern submission: started 19 March 2018; finished 3 April 2018
9. Tiny Narwhal: started 5 April 2018; finished 6 April 2018
10. Tiny Narwhal: started 5 April 2018; finished 6 April 2018
11. Hat for Little Man: started 19 April 2018; finished 27 May 2018
12. River's Edge Fiber Arts Falkland Merino (wheel): started 19 May 2018; finished 2 June 2018
13. Smooth Operator Socks: started 13 October 2016; finished 12 June 2018

If you came for a visit on Wednesday, you would have seen a post about working on my Smooth Operator Socks and at the very end of the post, I mentioned that I did, in fact, finish them on Tuesday night before the WIP Wednesday post went live. Oops. So, they're finished and are currently on sock blockers, even though they're dry. They fit Little Man better than me and will probably become his socks. I'm okay with that. However, that may have changed after blocking. I'll need to try them on again, just to check. If I get around to an FO Friday post, I'll probably talk about this further but these socks just do not fit me well. The pattern is fine and well-explained but afterhtought heels on socks just don't seem to be my jam. I tried it, at least. But, they're done and off my needles.


WIPs (Works-in-Progress) These are carried over from the last Year of Projects....or longer.
1. Wink: started 5 January 2015
2. Stomping Grounds Collection: started 26 February 2017
3. Hat Design: started 20 March 2017
4. Unnamed Hat Design: started 14 August 2017
5. Shetland Neck Wool (support spindle): started 8 September 2017
6. Paradiddle Prototype: started 19 October 2017
7. Returning: started 14 January 2018
8. Frankensocks: started 1 March 2018
9. Faerie Mountain Fibers Crazy Batt (EEW Mini Spinner): started 13 April 2018
10. Granny Square Blanket (1): started 28 April 2018

With the completion of the Smooth Operator Socks, I'm down to a more manageable amount of WIPs. Aside from finishing up the SOS Socks, I really only worked on the Paradiddle Prototype Socks. They came to Las Vegas so they were my plane knitting. I'm just past the halfway point on the leg on the second sock. I've knit enough socks with very close gauges on the same needle sizes that I know about how may rounds I need for my preferred fit. I prefer about 25 rounds of cuff ribbing and another 72 rounds of leg before I start the heel flap. I've done the 25 rounds of ribbing and I've done maybe 40 rounds of leg. So, you know, just past the halfway point, which is lovely.

I honestly think that was all I worked on.



OMGLSGWTFBBQ Lists:

Children's Items
1. Stuffed toy for my Devil Niece (so-called because her initials are TAZ)
2. Undetermined hat for Stormageddon
3. Mittens for Stormageddon
4. Oliver for Stormageddon (worsted weight - Stunning String Studio from Stitches West 2018)
5. Lancelot for Little Man (worsted weight - green Plymouth Encore)
6. Dandy Sir Cephalopod (worsted weight - Red Creek blue, probably for #1 on this list)

Items for ME (selfish knitting FTW!)
1. Brickless (worsted - Miss Babs Yowza in "Celebration") *
2. Honey Badger (fingering - BMFA STR L - one of the ones from Carrie)
3. Park Slope (fingering - Mountain Fibers Crazyfoot)
4. Maya's Shawl (bulky - Plucky Silk Merino Aran)
5. Companion Mitts (fingering - BMFA STR orange from Carrie) *
6. Forest Cardi (worsted - Baah Shasta in "London Blue" and....something....)
7. Flax (worsted - Cascade 220 in "Royal Blue" or Misti Alpaca Harry Potter color)
8. Jag in Garter Stitch (fingering - KP Palette grey and Artfibers Carezza)
9. Reichenbach (fingering - AVFKW Slick or BMFA STR-M in "Vintage")
10. Sockhead (fingering - Madelinetosh Merino Light)
11. Moab (fingering - Wollmeise in "Lavender")
12. Pumpkin Pie (DK - Kangaroo Dyer orange)
13. Age of Brass & Steam (DK - Berroco Comfort DK)
14. Anne's Sweater (sport - Artfibers something)
15. Moyen Age (fingering - Vice special order either grey or green)
16. Clapotis (calls for Aran weight but I think I'm going to use this)

Random Things
1. Pop Blanket (worsted - may need to order some yarn for this)
2. University of Wisconsin Ski Hat kit
3. University of Wisconsin Christmas Stocking kit
4. University of Wisconsin Button Beanie kit
5. Xandu Snowflake Cowl (fingering - two contrasting colors)

Designs
1. Susan's Hat *started* - need new prototype & write pattern
2. Little Man's Baby Blanket *started* - write pattern
3. Paradiddle Socks  *started* - need prototype & write pattern
4. Pacific Waves Hat *started* - need another prototype & write pattern
5. Fall in San Francisco *started* - need another prototype & write pattern
6. Stormageddon's Baby Blanket - need prototype & write pattern
7. Cabled pullover (grey look-alike sweater - Old Navy hooded sweater with cable) - need sketch,
grading, swatch, prototype, & write pattern
8. Christmas stocking for Little Man - need charts, prototype, & write pattern (maybe)
9. Christmas stocking for Stormageddon - need charts, prototype, & write pattern (maybe)
10. Christmas stocking for Husband - need charts, prototype, & write pattern (maybe)
11. Stomping Grounds collection *started* - need everything: charts, prototypes, swatches, etc.

Spinning
1. AVFKW Merino Silk
2.  Abstract Fiber Merino Tencel
3. Allons-Y Fiber Arts 18.5 Micron Merino
4. Allons-Y Fiber Arts Merino, Trilobal Nylon, Silk
5. Alpaca (from Lambtown 2014)
6. Ambrosia & Bliss Rambouillet Top
7. Anne's Fiber Expressions
8. Ashland Bay Fiber Merino Top
9. BMFA Handpainted Roving
10. Bramble Wool Farm Shetland Wool

Dyeing
1. Malabrigo Nube (fiber)
2. Gaia (worsted)
3. Euro Sock 6-ply
4. Whatever else I find in the bag...I have a bag...or maybe a couple of bags....

Other Fibery Endeavors
1. Stitch markers
2. Vintage patterns into Rav database
3. Inventory of books & loose patterns (update)
4. Inventory of PDF patterns (update)
5. Update yarn inventory (make sure it's up-to-date)/destash
6. Inventory project bags (Erin Lane, I'm looking at you)



If you caught it last week, I'm apparently hosting a KAL over in the monthly thread in LSG (on Ravelry). I'd rather not link it directly because it's a 18+ group where pretty much any topic is considered normal, adult themes are commonplace, and swearing is expected. With that said, we've got a monthly thread (we start a new one every month) where we set goals and knit and do things that are awesome. Occasionally we get random ideas to host KALs, like when a bunch of us wanted to knit patterns by Lucy Hague, mostly Morvarch but some of her other ones as well. And because they can be labor-intensive patterns, the KAL is still going on. Mostly, it's a KAL in that a bunch of us want to knit it, regardless how long it takes. Mine was frogged, actually. 

So, the KAL that I'm apparently in charge of (back to that). One of the thread members mentioned that she was thinking of knitting a Clapotis by Kate Gilbert. That pattern is a 2004 Knitty pattern. Seemingly, everyone knit that sometime between 2004-2006. She missed the boat. I wasn't even knitting then so I, too,  missed the boat. Apparently others missed the boat as well. We had several others chime in that they thought they should make one (and one that was ready to make another one)...so, I started a list and apparently I'm hosting a Clapotis-AL. But because it's LSG, we're expanding it to any of the other Clapotis-type shawl/scarf thingies. I think two people are doing the Clapo-Ktus, which is a hybrid of the Clapotis and Baktus shawls (which was also added to my queue because my queue is out of hand and I have no shame). So, you know, it all works. 

Anyway, it's starting on 1 July, which means I should probably dig out my yarn and wind it soon. If you want to join in (regardless if you're in LSG or not), let me know and we'll go from there. Who knows, maybe we'll have fabulous prizes. Or not. I'm kind of lazy that way. Not gonna lie. 



Outside of knitting, we've had a busy week. I mentioned above that we were in Las Vegas, which is true. But prior to that, we had our usual week around here. 


Little Man found a black and orange/yellow spotted beetle of some sort on our walk home from school on Monday. It looks like a Twice-Stabbed Ladybird Beetle but they're not found west of the Sierra Nevada, so it doesn't make sense. It's most likely a Japanese Beetle of some sort. The orange ones pinch and smell bad when they're squished but this one just crawled around on us (very quickly, I should add). We put it back where we found it. 



We also saw one of our favorite neighborhood kitties. Her name is Sally and she used to try to follow us home. We think within the last couple of years someone has tried to snatch her because she's very skittish and won't come up to anyone anymore. But she's around. 

On Thursday, Little Man had his class field trip. I went along, which was lovely. We went to Elkus Ranch, which is run by UC Davis. I have been there one other time, for their Sheep to Shawl event. This was Little Man's fourth trip to Elkus Ranch. 



They planted sugar snap peas to take home. Ours is currently on our counter but we'll have to look into planting it outside, probably by our cucumbers. 





They have a bunch of chickens. The kids were allowed to hold them, if they were sitting on the bench. There was one that was so chill; she just sat between about four kids and just let the kids pet her and feed her food. This was not that one. 

In addition to chickens and the garden, they also have goats (several new babies, also). Most of the new babies we weren't allowed to pet and they were in a separate enclosure. 



These are some of the new babies. They were all very curious and jumping around. 







We also couldn't pet the sheep in their space. But the kids were allowed to feed them. There are plenty of new lambs. 

Before we had lunch, we were allowed into the other goat/donkey enclosure, which is right next to the llama. 



The llama is named Spice and he's never been sheared. He's......temperamental, at best. The man that does the shearing (who's name is Mr. Wool - no, I'm not joking) won't touch him unless he's sedated. For a llama, it's not a bad thing if they don't get sheared. It's kind of like just letting the hair on your head grow forever. One of the reasons sheep need shearing is because of the lanolin in their wool; it makes it really hot and really heavy. Llamas and alpacas don't have that issue. So, the kids weren't allowed near Spice. We went into the enclosure next door, which had donkeys, and some goats (including a grandma named Blossom, her daughter named Cherry, and the baby, which is grandma's granddaughter, named Apple). 

 

Little Man made friends with Cherry. She just kept coming up to him, nudging him for pets and she wanted to look at his face.



I made friends with Apple. She's such a little sweetheart. She climbed up so she could have more pets from the kids. She also likes having scritches on her back. Actually, they all did. 

Thursday night, Little Man had Cub Scouts and then he left to go to a friend's house from Cub Scouts because our flight for Las Vegas left at 8am, meaning we needed to be at the airport at 6am. Ew. 


He had no trouble falling asleep on Thursday night.



It's difficult to tell, but this is the four of us on the plane. Thom's short and he's behind Sibylle so we can only see the top of his head. 



When we got off the flight at McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas, we found slot machines. And yes, they're real and they pay out on occasion. There are plenty of people that miss their flights because they're too busy gambling in the airport. 

We headed to our hotel, Caesar's Palace. The place is.....well, huge just doesn't seem like the right word but, it's huge. 


We couldn't get into our room until 4pm so we had some lunch in the hotel (well, second breakfast, really) and then we headed across the street to the Linq, which is where my friend, Kellie, was staying with a friend of hers. We went into the pool there and I may or may not have consumed 44 oz of Strawberry Daiquiri. And stole the glass. And hotel pool towels. That was kind of an accident, though. 

We had dinner at a place called Oscar's Steakhouse



It's near the "old" Vegas that people often think of when they think of Vegas: The Pioneer Club (the one with the huge waving cowboy - named Vegas Vic), the Golden Nugget, which are all on Fremont Street. It's now got the Fremont Street Experience, which is when the Pioneer Club stopped being a casino. 



That photo is mostly for Stormageddon. He loves Paw Patrol and there were these two guys dressed as Chase & Marshall so we took photos with them.

We took a walk down Fremont Street after dinner because we had a little time to kill before heading over to Hard Rock for the Nine Inch Nails concert. That's the real reason we went to Las Vegas for a hot 34 hours: Nine Inch Nails at The Joint (which is the concert venue in the Hard Rock Hotel). 







Kellie and I counted: this was our fifth Nine Inch Nails concert together (and probably my 7th or 8th overall, and I think it was her 11th). The lost their main sound stream at one point, for about 10 minutes. The guys on stage didn't know anything was going on. The fire alarms went off (not that we could hear them - we could see the strobe lights). Husband didn't make it for most of the concert as he wound up having a back spasm. Thom & Sibylle didn't even get to the main act. The opening act was......well, I don't want to say they were "bad" because they caught the eye of Trent Reznor, but I wasn't all that impressed. The first time I saw Nine Inch Nails, their opening act was the Dresden Dolls. I was impressed with them (and adore Amanda Palmer - she was so gracious when I literally started to fall backwards on her at that show - I was in the merch line and her and Brian were setting up their autograph table right next to it, directly behind me and I stepped back and almost wound up in her lap). I've also seen Bauhaus open for them. Again, impressed (duh). I think one of the Wisconsin shows had a band called Boris opening for them. I don't remember being impressed with them, either. It's fine. I'm not necessarily there to see the opening act (if they're good, I'll remember - I had to look up Boris because I couldn't remember, which should tell you something). 

Many favorites were played, some of the newer stuff. Additionally, you can tell that the original fans are aging (as is Trent himself). When I first started listening to Nine Inch Nails, I was in middle school...so, circa 1992 or so. The album that came out that year was Broken, which was dubbed Halo #5, and was their debut extended play album. If it's any indication of how long Trent Reznor and Nine Inch Nails have been around, they're currently on Halo #32. The Halos include everything released from singles to LPs/EPs to DVDs (or, in the case of Closure, which was Halo #12, VHS tapes originally). I own everything through Halo #17 and spotty stuff beyond that (mostly not the singles). The thing is, when Nine Inch Nails first started, Industrial was somewhat new to the scene, but it did fit into the Grunge Era very well. Trent Reznor was a lanky, drug/alcohol-addicted Severus Snape look-a-like (before we even knew Severus Snape was going to be a thing). Regardless, common in both genres of music, in the live setting, were mosh pits. Even the last show I went to, which was a decade ago, had a mosh pit happening. The show in Vegas didn't have much of a mosh pit, if there was one at all. We're all too old for that, apparently, including Trent. He went through rehab in the early 2000s, after an overdose nearly killed him, and came out totally ripped. The sound was the same but the look was very different. Also, in addition to the original fans aging, we are also enlightening the next generation by bringing our children. I saw a little girl in the merch line who was no more than five years old, arms around her daddy, half asleep (it was 11:30pm by that time). I asked how she liked the show and I definitely got a thumbs up from her. 

After the show, Kellie, her friend, and I walked about a half-mile to a bar to meet a friend of ours from college. 


I had a shot of Ass Juice. It comes in it's own little porcelain toilet. And it looks like....well, you can imagine what it looks like. I got to keep the toilet.



And there is our college friend, who decided I needed this shot of Ass Juice. ::sigh:: It's a good thing we've been friends for so long. Otherwise I may have killed him. Actually, though, the shot wasn't that bad. And, I mean, I got to keep the toilet!



Apparently if I go tomorrow evening, I can get free Ass Juice (or, as Little Man will call it, "Butt Juice")...

Yesterday afternoon, we flew back home. But, you know, we needed to do a few things first. 


We watched the fountain show at the Bellagio and then went inside for gelato at the Café Bellagio.



We also had lunch at Mesa Grill (Bobby Flay's place inside Caesar's Palace), prior to heading across the street to the Bellagio. I don't know how I managed to eat most of that gelato after not being able to finish my lunch at Mesa but I did it. 

We arrived home 20 minutes early and had to sit on the tarmac for a bit, but it was about 5pm when we got to our gate. I drove all over to pick up our children and the rest of yesterday was spent just kind of getting adjusted to being home again. 

And now it's today :) 


I hope you've had a lovely week and weekend :) 

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

WIP Wednesday: Smooth Operator Socks

Happy Wednesday! It's been quite awhile since I've participated in a WIP Wednesday but yesterday, I took a photo of one of my favored knits over this last week and it seemed like a good time to participate in a WIP Wednesday post :)




So, what is this hot mess?

The pattern is Smooth Operator Socks by Susan B. Anderson. This is more of a recipe than a pattern, in that it's very general and you can tweak it as you want or need to but you can absolutely make a finished pair of socks using the information she provides in the pattern. The sock on the right is the finished first sock. The sock on the left is the second sock, in progress. I have the heel stitches on DPNs with the Kitchenering yarn wound around them to hold them together and I have about half the foot section done at this point.

Honestly, these have been on the needles for far too long. I started them on 16 October 2016. People, it's 13 June 2018 and they're still not finished. In fact, I didn't finish the first sock until 13 July 2017, which was 11 months ago. It took me 9 months to knit the first sock and it's taken me the last 11 to get to this point on the second sock. That's just all kinds of wrong. Then again, I did have a pair of socks that took me 2.5 years to knit from start to finish...so, maybe this isn't totally weird for me. I mean, I also have that Wink sweater that's been on the needles for about 3.5 years now......

To be fair, however, I've also knit plenty of other things during this time frame.

But, back to the socks....

The yarns I'm using are ONline Supersocke 100 in Colorway #1021, which is apparently called "Blues" in English (which means it was probably Blaues in German), and is obviously the self-stripe yarn. Fun side note: this was one of the first yarns I bought upon moving to California six years ago. And I'm finally getting around to using it. I wish I could say that this was among my oldest yarns. I'd be lying. The gray is Loops & Threads Woolike in Colorway #2 Cool Gray, which makes sense since it's a gray yarn. I'm still not 100% sold on this particular yarn for the contrast. The Woolike is a bit thinner than the Supersocke but it has a primarily acrylic content that will probably make it stronger and hold up better in the long-run. I might be wrong about that, though. They may just make my feet hot and itchy. We'll see.

I'm working on two Hiya Hiya Sharp 32" US #1 (2.25 mm) circulars but the heel of the second sock is sitting on two unknown metal DPNs, ready to be Kitchenered. I honestly don't know what these DPNs are other than metal 6" DPNs.

I picked the socks up last week on a whim because I had a moment to sit down with the directions for how to put in the waste yarn for the afterthought heel. It's not particularly difficult but I couldn't remember how Susan wrote it so I wanted to take a look before I went flying in. It was stupid easy to put the waste yarn in. I do not know why I let these sit so long. I also had a minor change on the heel. Most of my socks have the gusset decreases on the heel itself, because I do a heel flap and all that. I also tend to decrease an extra 4 or 6 stitches so that I'm working on less stitches for the bottom of the foot. It doesn't sound like much but it helps. My instep usually has 32 stitches but the foot will have 26 or 28 stitches. These don't have the heel flap but when I was working on the first sock, I decreased 4 an extra four stitches on the bottom so I was working on 28 stitches. I did the same on the second sock. It just means I'll need to shore up the toes when I get to the toe decreases.

Yesterday, after having worked about half the foot, I decided that maybe I should put the heel in. I was originally going to wait until I was ready to do to the toe decreases as well but I decided not to. Patience is not my speciality. So, I pulled out the directions and worked on the heel. I'm not entirely sure I did things correctly but holes are closed up and it looks mostly like the first one. I'm going to call that a win for right now.

Here's the thing, though: I am going to have a ton of yarn left. If I did my math correctly (because I was weighing the yarn throughout the first sock), by the time I finish the second sock, I will have used only 186 yds of the ONline (leaving me with about 279 yds) and just 81 yds of the Woolike (leaving me with about 597 yds). I will have enough of both yarns to make another pair of these socks, if I want. I could even make them a little longer. I'm not sure I want to go that route but I could.

What else, what else.....oh, other "changes" that I made. I don't know if you can call all these things actual true changes because the pattern is more of a recipe, in my opinion, but it does deviate...

So, my sock has some ribbing, not just for the cuffs but for the entire sock. The ribbing at the cuff was done as twisted knit stitches (aka k2tbl) instead of regular ones but that's just me being me. I don't necessarily prefer it in favor of regular knit stitches but I do it once in awhile. That's not a significant change because the original pattern calls for the same ribbing (but with regular knit stitches). Other changes include actual ribbing for the leg and instep of the sock. Susan's are just vanilla socks, which is fine and I love a good vanilla sock. What happened is that I was going to try to work out a new pattern and I found a herringbone stitch pattern that I really liked and when I inserted it into the middle section on the sock, it actually pulled the sock inward from all directions and made it almost impossible to get over my foot. There was absolutely no stretch to that stitch pattern. I probably would have known that if I had swatched the stitch pattern properly, like a responsible adult.  So, I wound up ripping back to the cuff and I just inserted a simple ribbing pattern. So, it's not quite vanilla but it's mostly mindless knitting. I also wound up knitting the leg of the sock shorter than I normally would (mostly because patience is not my strong suit, as I mentioned above). But that's not the pattern's fault. That's just me being an impatient monkey. I think the only other change I made was where I added extra decreases on the foot section, which I mentioned above.




And now that I've told you all about my WIP on this Wednesday, I also get to tell you that I finished the second sock last night, just a few scant hours after I sat to write this post.

Figures.

So, the socks are actually finished and no longer a WIP. I'll have to do a proper FO Friday post, however, because I have words about these socks (and they're not all happy and pleasant).


I hope you're having a lovely Wednesday, at any rate :) 

Sunday, June 10, 2018

Year SEVEN: Self-Imposed Year of Projects - Update #23

Happy Sunday!

Today's post is brought to you by my not-allergies. Sneezing, stuffy nose, itchy & watery eyes.....but no allergies. ::sigh::

FOs (Finished Objects)
1. Adare: started 30 December 2017; finished 5 January 2018
2. Luck o' the Irish Cowl: started 31 December 2017; finished 14 January 2018
3. Rasta Scarf: started 19 January 2018; finished 10 February 2018
4. Rastarmulke (v2): started 10 February 2018; finished 10 February 2018
5. Gamer Bag: started 28 September 2017; frogged 16 February 2018
6. Oh, She Is a Bad Nut: started 11 August 2016; frogged 16 February 2018
7. Garter Stitch Baby Blanket: started 6 July 2017; finished 3 April 2018
8. Pattern submission: started 19 March 2018; finished 3 April 2018
9. Tiny Narwhal: started 5 April 2018; finished 6 April 2018
10. Tiny Narwhal: started 5 April 2018; finished 6 April 2018
11. Hat for Little Man: started 19 April 2018; finished 27 May 2018
12. River's Edge Fiber Arts Falkland Merino (wheel): started 19 May 2018; finished 2 June 2018

As I mentioned last week, the Falkland Merino has been taken care of. I was kind of surprised by it, actually. With that mess of singles that I wound up just tossing in the garbage, I still wound up with about 190 yds of worsted weight yarn, using 83 g. So, if it was a 100 g braid, I only lost 17 g and based on the yds to g ratio, it means I only lost about 39 yds, which means it is a solid worsted weight.

In addition to that, I cleared off some other bobbins. I had four bobbins with little bits of spinning from last year's Tour de Fleece. I've been meaning to clean off the bobbins for awhile anyway and I wanted to test the Handy Andy with a smaller amount of singles.


I'm not counting these as FOs on my list because there's less than 100 yds total but I'll tell you about them, as they were taken care of this week. The top two are Sandy's Palette Merino & Silk from two different dyelots (this one on the top and this one below it). The light one at the top is about 10 yds of two-ply. The darker one below it is about 20 yds. The bottom two are Miss Babs BFL from two different bobbins. The barberpoleish one is about 43 yds and the less crazy one on the bottom is about 11 yds. These, plus the 190 yds of Falkland have been washed and dried and hanked and are just sitting out. I really should put them away...


WIPs (Works-in-Progress) These are carried over from the last Year of Projects....or longer.
1. Wink: started 5 January 2015
2. Smooth Operator Socks: started 13 October 2016
3. Stomping Grounds Collection: started 26 February 2017
4. Hat Design: started 20 March 2017
5. Unnamed Hat Design: started 14 August 2017
6. Shetland Neck Wool (support spindle): started 8 September 2017
7. Paradiddle Prototype: started 19 October 2017
8. Returning: started 14 January 2018
9. Frankensocks: started 1 March 2018
10. Faerie Mountain Fibers Crazy Batt (EEW Mini Spinner): started 13 April 2018
11. Granny Square Blanket (1): started 28 April 2018

With the completion of the handspun, I'm back down to 11 WIPs. And I've even worked on a few of them this week.

My Paradiddle Prototype socks can now qualify as "socks" in the plural because I finished the first sock and started the second. I'm still on the cuff but I'm trying to avoid the wretched Second Sock Syndrome. So, the second sock has been started. I also worked a few rounds on the FrankenSocks, which isn't overly exciting since I'm just working on the foot of the first sock but it's still progress.

And then there are the Granny Squares. I finished up the fourth one and started the fifth. In the meantime, I took a look at the very first one. I lamented that my tension was so vastly different that it was a good 1/2" smaller all around than the other ones. And then I counted the double crochet clusters along the edge.

Kids, it was my first one and it should have been the template for the rest of them....but it has nine double crochet clusters along each edge. The other ones have ten. Soooooo.....I might just add another round to the first one to make it the same, or I may just call it good since I see mistakes in the first one anyway. But it's smaller because it's smaller, not because my tension was wonky.

In addition to that, I worked a few rows on the Returning Shawl. I did, unfortunately, discover that I made a mistake in the "spine" section. It's supposed to have a [k1, s1, k1] section and for two (maybe three) right-side rows, I did [s1, k1, s1]. I managed to fix one of them but there's a mistake and I am not tinking back the four or five rows to fix is. I can't be assed enough. So, there's a mistake and I just don't care. It's not super noticeable and if someone does notice, they're probably too close to my body for my comfort and will probably get smacked.

So, there were some minor disasters this week. Oh well.

Beyond that, I have a not-yet-started WIP that will be started on July 1st (if I can get assed enough to wind the yarn, find appropriately sized needles, and take a look at the pattern, which I should be able to do). You'll notice it down below in the list of Items for ME, at the very end. In the monthly thread in LSG (a Ravelry group), I may have somehow organized a half-assed KAL for Clapotis. It's been available from Knitty since 2004. I wasn't knitting then and I somehow missed the Clapotis thing in that I never did knit one. Someone mentioned that she was thinking about it, and I have added it and removed it, and readded it and removed it again from my Ravelry queue I don't know how many times. So, it's time to finally knit one. So, it started out with just two of us but I think my "official" list is up to 7 or 8 people right now, and who knows who else may join in. So, that's probably happening. We'll see how things go.


OMGLSGWTFBBQ Lists:

Children's Items
1. Stuffed toy for my Devil Niece (so-called because her initials are TAZ)
2. Undetermined hat for Stormageddon
3. Mittens for Stormageddon
4. Oliver for Stormageddon (worsted weight - Stunning String Studio from Stitches West 2018)
5. Lancelot for Little Man (worsted weight - green Plymouth Encore)
6. Dandy Sir Cephalopod (worsted weight - Red Creek blue, probably for #1 on this list)

Items for ME (selfish knitting FTW!)
1. Brickless (worsted - Miss Babs Yowza in "Celebration") *
2. Honey Badger (fingering - BMFA STR L - one of the ones from Carrie)
3. Park Slope (fingering - Mountain Fibers Crazyfoot)
4. Maya's Shawl (bulky - Plucky Silk Merino Aran)
5. Companion Mitts (fingering - BMFA STR orange from Carrie) *
6. Forest Cardi (worsted - Baah Shasta in "London Blue" and....something....)
7. Flax (worsted - Cascade 220 in "Royal Blue" or Misti Alpaca Harry Potter color)
8. Jag in Garter Stitch (fingering - KP Palette grey and Artfibers Carezza)
9. Reichenbach (fingering - AVFKW Slick or BMFA STR-M in "Vintage")
10. Sockhead (fingering - Madelinetosh Merino Light)
11. Moab (fingering - Wollmeise in "Lavender")
12. Pumpkin Pie (DK - Kangaroo Dyer orange)
13. Age of Brass & Steam (DK - Berroco Comfort DK)
14. Anne's Sweater (sport - Artfibers something)
15. Moyen Age (fingering - Vice special order either grey or green)
16. Clapotis (calls for Aran weight but I think I'm going to use this)

Random Things
1. Pop Blanket (worsted - may need to order some yarn for this)
2. University of Wisconsin Ski Hat kit
3. University of Wisconsin Christmas Stocking kit
4. University of Wisconsin Button Beanie kit
5. Xandu Snowflake Cowl (fingering - two contrasting colors)

Designs
1. Susan's Hat *started* - need new prototype & write pattern
2. Little Man's Baby Blanket *started* - write pattern
3. Paradiddle Socks  *started* - need prototype & write pattern
4. Pacific Waves Hat *started* - need another prototype & write pattern
5. Fall in San Francisco *started* - need another prototype & write pattern
6. Stormageddon's Baby Blanket - need prototype & write pattern
7. Cabled pullover (grey look-alike sweater - Old Navy hooded sweater with cable) - need sketch,
grading, swatch, prototype, & write pattern
8. Christmas stocking for Little Man - need charts, prototype, & write pattern (maybe)
9. Christmas stocking for Stormageddon - need charts, prototype, & write pattern (maybe)
10. Christmas stocking for Husband - need charts, prototype, & write pattern (maybe)
11. Stomping Grounds collection *started* - need everything: charts, prototypes, swatches, etc.

Spinning
1. AVFKW Merino Silk
2.  Abstract Fiber Merino Tencel
3. Allons-Y Fiber Arts 18.5 Micron Merino
4. Allons-Y Fiber Arts Merino, Trilobal Nylon, Silk
5. Alpaca (from Lambtown 2014)
6. Ambrosia & Bliss Rambouillet Top
7. Anne's Fiber Expressions
8. Ashland Bay Fiber Merino Top
9. BMFA Handpainted Roving
10. Bramble Wool Farm Shetland Wool

Dyeing
1. Malabrigo Nube (fiber)
2. Gaia (worsted)
3. Euro Sock 6-ply
4. Whatever else I find in the bag...I have a bag...or maybe a couple of bags....

Other Fibery Endeavors
1. Stitch markers
2. Vintage patterns into Rav database
3. Inventory of books & loose patterns (update)
4. Inventory of PDF patterns (update)
5. Update yarn inventory (make sure it's up-to-date)/destash
6. Inventory project bags (Erin Lane, I'm looking at you)



Part of me feels like this week was less busy, which is probably true. I kind of felt like I had time to take care of a few things. I've been woefully behind on podcasts so I managed to get caught up on Fuck This Knit and I've got an episode and a half of the Knitmore Girls to get caught up with (before the next one drops on Thursday and then I'll be behind again - woe!). I'm still five episodes behind on the Yarn Hoarder Podcast. We probably shouldn't talk about that. The reality is that, for me, it's easier to listen to podcasts than to watch podcasts. So, both Fuck This Knit and the Knitmore Girls are audio-only; I can listen while I do things like fold laundry or knit or clean up the bedroom or whichever room. The Yarn Hoarder Podcast is a video podcast and yes, I could just listen and do those things but she shows off things (her WIPs and her FOs and her daughter's amazing paintings and so on) because it's a video podcast and I'd like to see that. So, if I want to see those things, I can't be folding my laundry or cleaning or whatever. Hence why I'm so woefully behind on that particular podcast.

Aside from attempting to get caught up on podcasts, I've also attempted to get ahead/caught up on some neglected housework. The basic laundry is usually done in a timely manner (putting it away properly is another matter) but this week, I stripped all the beds and washed all the sheets and blankets. This doesn't sound like a huge deal but both my boys have at least six blankets, apiece, on their beds. So it's not like I can just toss both their sheets into the washer at the same time. I have to wash Little Man's separate from Stormageddon's just because there are so many things to stuff in there.

I also took some time to go through my stash on Ravelry and I had a teeny "Come to Jeebus" talk with myself about my stash. I decided there were some things that just needed to be added to the destash. But adding them wasn't enough for me. I hauled out almost all the bins in my yarn closet and actually pulled the "new" destash items to the destash bins and I changed the "location" status on Ravelry to reflect the new place. I'm not going to lie, though, there were a couple that stayed in the not-destash bin because I was tired and the bin I needed was on the bottom and I just didn't want to by that point. I think it was maybe two skeins, however. I'm not that fussed about it. I might get a bug in my pants to move them eventually but for right now, I did some good work.

Outside of fibery endeavors, Little Man had a makeup swimming lesson this week in addition to his regular swimming lesson, we both had dentist appointments, and he had a birthday party yesterday. So, exciting things all around.


I'm not going to lie: we probably let the boys play on the iPads too much/often. But sometimes, we just need the downtime around our house.



Little Man and one of his classmates/friends found a baby ladybug. They were both fascinated. I wanted to get a photo of them by their school sign but they were more interested in bugs. As long as I get it before said friend moves in August. ::sigh::



As is common and normal around here, Little Man saved a snail again the other day from the possibility of being run over (probably by me as it was in our driveway). It was moved to our flowerbed.




I have no idea what's going on at Target but the balls out front are both dressed as Mickey and, of course, each boy had to have a chance to sit on it.



Yes, Stormageddon is still coming into our bedroom at night. I value my sleep too much to fight him........unless he wakes up in the middle of the night while he's in our bed and is otherwise inconsolable, which did happen this week. He came into our room one night around 10:45pm and around 2:45am, Husband rolled over onto him, which woke him and he was quite upset. He kept saying, "go nigh-nigh" and I said, "well, come snuggle with me," but he kept saying, "no, mama, no; go nigh-nigh" so I finally asked if he wanted to go to his bed and he practically fell off the bed because he was trying to get out so quickly. So, I got him to sleep in his own bed for the rest of the night. It was lovely.

We're also making a bigger attempt with potty training. He seems to have some interest in cool underwear and the notion that if he gets his cute little butt potty trained, he can go to swimming lessons like Brother......of course, he's going to have accidents and it's not going to be pretty but he seems to understand what's going on. We'll see how this all goes.

On Saturday, Little Man had a birthday party for one of the boys in his Cub Scout den. The had an animal experience with Jungle James, where someone (James) come in with animals, specifically some beetles, a scorpion, a bearded dragon, salamanders, a blue-tongued skink, and a couple of snakes. There may have been more than that.



This was an interesting scorpion. It fluoresces under black light and reflects a bright green. I still wouldn't want to meet one but it was neat to see.



I even touched some of the animals. The only one we weren't allowed to touch was the scorpion (the birthday boy got to hold him but otherwise, no) but all the other animals they could touch. I might even be okay with having a salamander as a pet. Maybe. Probably not.

While Little Man and I were at the birthday party, Husband and Thom took Stormageddon to a Porsche 70th anniversary thing. He came home with a t-shirt (Little Man got a 70th anniversary collector tin) but he also got to look cute in Porsches.




This last photo is hilarious. This is Thom's Porsche, which Stormageddon has ridden in several times. When he saw it on display, he walked up to it and started trying to open the door. Husband opened the door for him, he climbed into the backseat and buckled himself in. A gentleman came up to Husband and said something along the lines of, "Sir, you probably shouldn't let your son climb around in these as they're here for display." Husband looked at him and said, "Oh, you mean Thom's Porsche? He's the one responsible for the gummy worm residue behind the driver's seat." The guy looked at him and said, "Oh, you actually do know Thom" and walked away.

This kid is going to cause me so much trouble. ::sigh::

Other than that, just a normal week. We have almost two full weeks of school left, which seems asinine to me, especially since summer break is only 7 weeks. But, that's California for you.

I hope you've had a lovely weekend and week.

Sunday, June 3, 2018

Year SEVEN: Self-Imposed Year of Projects - Update #22

Hello, happy Sunday, happy June, happy happy :) Let's get started.



FOs (Finished Objects)
1. Adare: started 30 December 2017; finished 5 January 2018
2. Luck o' the Irish Cowl: started 31 December 2017; finished 14 January 2018
3. Rasta Scarf: started 19 January 2018; finished 10 February 2018
4. Rastarmulke (v2): started 10 February 2018; finished 10 February 2018
5. Gamer Bag: started 28 September 2017; frogged 16 February 2018
6. Oh, She Is a Bad Nut: started 11 August 2016; frogged 16 February 2018
7. Garter Stitch Baby Blanket: started 6 July 2017; finished 3 April 2018
8. Pattern submission: started 19 March 2018; finished 3 April 2018
9. Tiny Narwhal: started 5 April 2018; finished 6 April 2018
10. Tiny Narwhal: started 5 April 2018; finished 6 April 2018
11. Hat for Little Man: started 19 April 2018; finished 27 May 2018

I have an actual finished this week! The discontinued yarn I needed to finish up the hat for Little Man arrived and I finished up the hat this week. It's had a good wash and it's dry but I've not photographed him wearing it. It's been far too warm these last few days. But it is finished.


This is, of course, pre-blocking glory. The colors aren't quite right either. But that's fine. You get the idea. I almost ran out of the grey color, as well, and I probably would have cried but at least I know I can get that one again (it's from Anzula).


WIPs (Works-in-Progress) These are carried over from the last Year of Projects....or longer.
1. Wink: started 5 January 2015
2. Smooth Operator Socks: started 13 October 2016
3. Stomping Grounds Collection: started 26 February 2017
4. Hat Design: started 20 March 2017
5. Unnamed Hat Design: started 14 August 2017
6. Shetland Neck Wool (support spindle): started 8 September 2017
7. Paradiddle Prototype: started 19 October 2017
8. Returning: started 14 January 2018
9. Frankensocks: started 1 March 2018
10. Faerie Mountain Fibers Crazy Batt (EEW Mini Spinner): started 13 April 2018
11. Granny Square Blanket (1): started 28 April 2018
12. River's Edge Fiber Arts Falkland Merino (wheel): started 19 May 2018

I managed not to cast on something new this week, which is lovely. I even managed to work on current WIPs. I spent some time with the FrankenSocks. The yarn I ordered arrived earlier in the week but I haven't had to break into it yet. I've finished the gusset decreases. I found a mistake where I had miscounted the number of stitches before the decrease and I could have ripped it back but I was out of bothers. So, I have a teeny mistake on the bottom of the foot for the gusset decrease. Oh well. They're not for anyone fancy. I also worked on the Returning Shawl. I'm still in the endless increase stockinette section so it's fairly easy knitting, as long as I remember to do the increases where and when I'm supposed to. I don't think I'm ready for the next set of directions but I might have to count, just in case. I also need to figure out what my third yarn is going to be. I don't think the yarn I originally chose is the right color. The main color is kind of a mushroom green but it's so light in spots that it's difficult to really tell...but you put it in the natural light and you can definitely see it. The blue I chose to be one of the contrast colors is like a variegated sky blue and it's just the wrong color. I think I'm going to have to go with a red of some sort. I'll have to have a dig through my stash. I know I have a couple of options. I even managed a teensy bit on the granny square.

My bobbin, however, continued to sit and mock me and I was definitely not happy about it. I did wind it onto the Niddy-Noddy and give it a bath but it's still mocking me. I'll at least be able to claim a finished on it for next week. And add it to my Stash Dash totals.



OMGLSGWTFBBQ Lists:

Children's Items
1. Stuffed toy for my Devil Niece (so-called because her initials are TAZ)
2. Undetermined hat for Stormageddon
3. Mittens for Stormageddon
4. Oliver for Stormageddon (worsted weight - Stunning String Studio from Stitches West 2018)
5. Lancelot for Little Man (worsted weight - green Plymouth Encore)
6. Dandy Sir Cephalopod (worsted weight - Red Creek blue, probably for #1 on this list)

Items for ME (selfish knitting FTW!)
1. Brickless (worsted - Miss Babs Yowza in "Celebration") *
2. Honey Badger (fingering - BMFA STR L - one of the ones from Carrie)
3. Park Slope (fingering - Mountain Fibers Crazyfoot)
4. Maya's Shawl (bulky - Plucky Silk Merino Aran)
5. Companion Mitts (fingering - BMFA STR orange from Carrie) *
6. Forest Cardi (worsted - Baah Shasta in "London Blue" and....something....)
7. Flax (worsted - Cascade 220 in "Royal Blue" or Misti Alpaca Harry Potter color)
8. Jag in Garter Stitch (fingering - KP Palette grey and Artfibers Carezza)
9. Reichenbach (fingering - AVFKW Slick or BMFA STR-M in "Vintage")
10. Sockhead (fingering - Madelinetosh Merino Light)
11. Moab (fingering - Wollmeise in "Lavender")
12. Pumpkin Pie (DK - Kangaroo Dyer orange)
13. Age of Brass & Steam (DK - Berroco Comfort DK)
14. Anne's Sweater (sport - Artfibers something)
15. Moyen Age (fingering - Vice special order either grey or green)

Random Things
1. Pop Blanket (worsted - may need to order some yarn for this)
2. University of Wisconsin Ski Hat kit
3. University of Wisconsin Christmas Stocking kit
4. University of Wisconsin Button Beanie kit
5. Xandu Snowflake Cowl (fingering - two contrasting colors)

Designs
1. Susan's Hat *started* - need new prototype & write pattern
2. Little Man's Baby Blanket *started* - write pattern
3. Paradiddle Socks  *started* - need prototype & write pattern
4. Pacific Waves Hat *started* - need another prototype & write pattern
5. Fall in San Francisco *started* - need another prototype & write pattern
6. Stormageddon's Baby Blanket - need prototype & write pattern
7. Cabled pullover (grey look-alike sweater - Old Navy hooded sweater with cable) - need sketch,
grading, swatch, prototype, & write pattern
8. Christmas stocking for Little Man - need charts, prototype, & write pattern (maybe)
9. Christmas stocking for Stormageddon - need charts, prototype, & write pattern (maybe)
10. Christmas stocking for Husband - need charts, prototype, & write pattern (maybe)
11. Stomping Grounds collection *started* - need everything: charts, prototypes, swatches, etc.

Spinning
1. AVFKW Merino Silk
2.  Abstract Fiber Merino Tencel
3. Allons-Y Fiber Arts 18.5 Micron Merino
4. Allons-Y Fiber Arts Merino, Trilobal Nylon, Silk
5. Alpaca (from Lambtown 2014)
6. Ambrosia & Bliss Rambouillet Top
7. Anne's Fiber Expressions
8. Ashland Bay Fiber Merino Top
9. BMFA Handpainted Roving
10. Bramble Wool Farm Shetland Wool

Dyeing
1. Malabrigo Nube (fiber)
2. Gaia (worsted)
3. Euro Sock 6-ply
4. Whatever else I find in the bag...I have a bag...or maybe a couple of bags....

Other Fibery Endeavors
1. Stitch markers
2. Vintage patterns into Rav database
3. Inventory of books & loose patterns (update)
4. Inventory of PDF patterns (update)
5. Update yarn inventory (make sure it's up-to-date)/destash
6. Inventory project bags (Erin Lane, I'm looking at you)



This last week has been busy around here. I mean, every week is busy but this week was busy, even with Monday being a holiday. However, considering that last weekend didn't really feel like a weekend, Monday was kind of my weekend. But it wasn't a weekend.


I did manage to get Stormageddon to sleep at a decent hour on Sunday, however.

Tuesday was all kinds of running around. Stormageddon had speech therapy, I ran a bunch of errands, I had a doctor appointment in the afternoon followed by a make up swimming lesson for Little Man. I thought Thursday was never going to end.

On Wednesday, Husband worked from home, which allowed me to change my hair color. Again. You can see a couple photos in a mo'.

Thursday.......that was an interesting day. I crossed off four things on a bucket list I didn't know I had. But before that, I had allergy testing done. After new symptoms and recurring symptoms, I went in for a full outdoor allergy test and asthma test. After having little pricks for numerous allergens, it turns out I'm not allergic to anything, including the things I was previously allergic to.....but my histamine reaction works just fine. So, basically, I have a non-allergic reaction to a bunch of different things. The symptoms are similar and an antihistamine will generally take care of the problem....but my skin didn't react to anything except the histamine, which it's supposed to react to. Also, my asthma symptoms are gone. I have no trace of being asthmatic. I'll bet that if I were in Wisconsin in February, that would be a different story. But, for living here, no allergies and no asthma.....just miserable symptoms. ::sigh:: In some lights, this could be construed as a "good thing" but, really, I'd rather have it be "something" than "nothing." It makes me sound less crazy.

But, aside from all that, I crossed off four things on a bucket list I didn't know I had.

Outside Oracle Arena

Free t-shirt

Warmups

Team introductions

Final score


Thursday was Game One of the NBA finals, between the Golden State Warriors and the Cleveland Cavaliers. Our friend, Thom, got tickets and he and I went to the game. Husband took the boys to Little Man's Cub Scout den meeting (which was at the fire station as one of the other dads is a fireman).

So, here's where the "Bucket List" things come in:
1. NBA Finals game
2. Half-court buzzer shot at the half, nothing but net, that tied the game
3. Overtime
4. The Warriors won

I didn't even know that I had a bucket list for something like this. Where I grew up, in southern Wisconsin, the nearest NBA teams were the Milwaukee Bucks (who sucked at the time), the Minnesota Timberwolves (who also weren't a great team), and the Chicago Bulls (who were one of the best teams in the NBA - this was during the Michael Jordan years, just so it makes sense). I never went to an NBA game until I moved here. And it was just this past April. In fact, I hadn't been to any professional sporting event of any kind until I moved to California (the first one was a San Francisco Giants game against the Arizona Diamondbacks, before Stormageddon was even a year old). So, the thought of having any sort of bucket list about professional sports just never occurred to me. But, I managed to tic off four things on that list in one go.

Also, we got "free" swag. On every chair in the arena, there was a t-shirt. I wore mine on Friday and was impressed that it fit properly. Our seats were way up in the "nosebleed" section but, really, there isn't a "bad" seat in Oracle Arena. We were at half-court and could see everything. And what we couldn't see was shown on the big screen. So, you know, when LeBron James started getting a little pushy with Steph Curry, we got to see a close-up of it...we could kind of see what was happening but we weren't sure which two were getting into it. But all was well in the end.

Friday was a very long day for us, as well. I did a bunch of neglected things at home (laundry and dishes, mostly) and then there was the Dad's Club BBQ at Little Man's school. Part of the reason we were there so long was because Little Man's music/art/drama after-school group did another performance during dinner. It was a little....well, chaotic isn't the right word but it may not have been the best idea to have them do the entire thing. But they did.



We didn't get home until almost 7:30pm and the boys were tired. We just kind of vegged, playing on electronics, until I put the boys to bed.

Yesterday was Husband's birthday so we let him sleep in as much as possible. I took the boys to the gym and when we got home, Husband had left for the gym himself. After that, we had the Cub Scouts BBQ to go to, where each den did their Bridging Ceremony. It's really only super important for the Weebelos as they transfer from Cub Scouts to Boy Scouts but every den got their move to the new one.


So, he's now got his Wolf Scout gear, and I can "retire" the Tiger Scout stuff until Stormageddon is old enough.

The rest of the day was rather warm so we spent it inside with the room air conditioners running, not doing much of anything. I think we even waited until just before sunset to mow the lawn.


I keep hoping that this week isn't as busy but I think being busy is just now our version of normal.


I hope you've had a lovely week and weekend :) If you missed it, I posted about my purchases from Spinning at the Winery yesterday.