Think Pink

I cast on a p_ssyhat for myself while the Mercury socks were out of commission. I’m not able to go to the Women’s March on Washington this Saturday, but I wanted to be able to support the marchers from afar. I cast on 88 stitches in a sport/dk weight (the label said dk but I disagree) held double, and after five or so inches of knitting a slipped stitch pattern, it was clear this hat might fit my niece A, if I was lucky.

I frogged it back and cast on 96 stitches and repeated while my brother and I watched Nerve (okay movie, the ending redeems it). Then, yesterday while I worked on it, I tried it on. It was so tight it actually hurt. I ripped it out again at maybe 6:00 that night and tried again.

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This is what it looked like once I yanked it off the needles. I then unraveled it and cast on 100 stitches on needles a size up. I forgoed (forwent? forgave?) the slip stitch pattern and knit it plain vanilla organizing my yarn scraps into a gradient while I listened to hours and hours of Welcome to Nightvale. This is what it looked like five hours later.

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(An aside? I just saw my cat launch herself off the arm of the couch and fly through the air. She is now tearing around the house at breakneck speeds. That’s it. I just had to share)

The yarns used so far are (from bottom to top) Elsebeth Lavold Silky Wool XL in ‘Cinnamon’, Berroco Weekend Dk in ‘Rose’ (I think) held double, Cascade 220 Superwash  in ‘Strawberry Cream’ (Again, I think), and at the very top there’s KnitPicks Swish DK in ‘Conch’. There’s one more color after that, but I have no idea what it is, other than I used it in this project eons ago (think old blog eons ago).

I alternated between my p_ssyhat and knitting my Katzen Bites Back socks with the needle I found that night in my bedsheets whilst waiting for my new Chiaogoos to arrive. (Why did I find it there? How did it get there when I did not knit in or near my bed that day? Who knows.)

They arrived yesterday and are, for the time being, redundant. I’m sure I can find some way to put them to use. For now, look at how cool the laser etching tells you the size is!

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Full disclosure, this picture is a wee bit blurry because only one hand is holding the camera. The other is holding the needle because the first time I took the picture (with two hands) the needle rolled off of the windowsill and down into the baseboard heater. It came out the bottom, but I didn’t want to tempt fate.

Anyway, I finished up the cuff in short order and turned the heel while watching Furious7 with my brother. (He and my mom are the ones setting up the Netflix queue. This means it’s a cultural whiplash-inducing mix of Humphrey Bogart and his peers, and brand new action movies.)

I struggled to turn the heel, the first few times I ended up with a bunch of stitches left on one side and none on the other.  I then began to think I was smarter than the designer (No, no I’m not. Not about this.) and try to come up with the ‘correct’ number of stitches to knit at the beginning of the heel. Then, finally, I ripped it back to the heel flap and started at my knitting, forcing myself to tune out five minutes of a car chase on the side of a mountain. And lo-and-behold, when I followed the instructions accurately, I ended up with a proper heel.

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I’ve since finished the gusset and am chugging along nicely on the foot. I would really like to finish it tonight, but since the Netflix dvds (we can’t stream things on our internet where we live) were sent back today that means there won’t be any new movies tonight. Maybe more Welcome to Nightvale, or we’ll have to dig through our collection. It is totally possible to finish it tonight except for the fact I’m worried I will run out of yarn.

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This is how much of the first ball I have left. I planned one ball per sock. 50 grams should be plenty per sock. Maybe knitting a seven-inch leg wasn’t the best idea. I was going to measure the foot so we could over-analyze whether I was going to make it together, but now I can’t find my tape measure.

Knitting, Finally

Friday might have been the 13th, but Thursday was my unlucky day. I was just having a miserable day and finally convinced myself to get out of my empty, dark house and do something. I decided to go the LYS instead of the bar (I jest, I’m 21 but I don’t drink). Once I got there, I spent a few hours talking to the owner and knitting. I worked on my Mercury Socks, which I am fully addicted to. (Good thing; I want them to be my January entry into the BoxO’Sox KAL and the Arctic Knits Sockness KAL)

I took some pictures of them this morning, complete with cat of course.

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I’m about 5 inches into the 7-inch leg on the first sock (including ribbing). Bad news- one of my DPNs disappeared last night. I know I had all four when I left the LYS because I knit on the socks while I was waiting for the noodles to boil last night. I’ve checked all over the kitchen and the living room, down in the couches, under chairs etc. but I can’t find it anywhere. I blame the cat. She might be trying to tell me she is tired of modeling the sock.

I ordered a new set of US 1 (2.25 mm I think) needles on amazon while I was getting my textbooks. Hopefully, they’ll be here soon since I wanted them to be my January entry for two KALs. I’m already kinda iffy on whether I can knit 12 pairs of socks in a year, so this isn’t helping my self-esteem.

Anyway, back to the LYS. I bought 2 skeins of yarn while I was there because I decided I needed a pick-me-up.

I bought a skein of Ella Rea Lace Merino DK yarn in ‘BI Pink, or 206.

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The picture is dark, but the colors are as close to accurate as possible. I also bought a skein of Cascade Yarns 220 Superwash Aran Splatter. The picture isn’t quite right color-wise, but it’s the best I can do.

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I also finished the Geek Feminist Revolution and will be writing up a review for it (spoiler alert: I loved it). Would you guys be interested in me posting it here?

Roar!

It’s been cold lately. So cold, in fact, I made a vlog about it. (It’s made, but not uploaded. I’ll link to it when I do.) Tuesday I had an appointment to get my flu shot at 8:45. My appointment was right on time (unlike my dentist appointment) and I was out the door by 9:00. Them, I popped into the grocery store a block away to get some things. I was out of there in another 15 minutes.  It had been flurrying when I left my doctor’s and by the time I left the grocery store, enough snow had fallen I not only had to clean off my car, but had to drive super slowly to get home.

There are several hills between town and my house and I slipped down the last one that has a v-shaped curve I must go around to get home. My car didn’t want to do that, though, so we went a little ways and turned around properly so that I could turn around, and by the grace of a man in an oversized pickup truck who stopped to let me in my little (thankfully all-wheel-drive) Subaru go past when I should have had to stop for him I was able to get back up the hill and then down the road I needed to go down to get home.

At about 11 the scary computer lady called to tell me all students in my brother’s district were getting out  3 & 1/2 hours early. He came home and the snow stopped at 1. We didn’t get more that 2 inches, though it came all at once.

That night, it rained. The next day there was a half-inch of ice on top of everything. School was canceled for my brother. The driveway was encrusted in ice and snow so I did the only thing I could think of. I shoveled/scraped the entire thing. You might wonder why I didn’t just wait for it to melt. Well, it was surprisingly warm Wednesday, and I was worried it would all freeze solid that night with no snow underneath.

So, I spent an hour and a half of my life entertaining myself with renditions of ‘The Twelve Days of Christmas’ (one of the only songs I can carry a tune with), the ‘Itsy Bitsy Spider’, butchered versions of ‘She’ll be Coming ‘Round the Mountain When she Comes‘*, ‘I Know an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly, ‘** ‘Siyahumba‘***, and ‘Drunken Sailor‘****  since I didn’t know most of the words for each of these songs. I also sang Happy Birthday to Alexander Hamilton, because about 1/2 way through the ordeal I realized it was actually his birthday (Feel free in the comments to point out that I am enough of a nerd to know when Alexander Hamilton’s Birthday is. I know. I relish in it.).

In the end, I got it done, and got a free concert out of it (though the quality is doubtful).

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Hear me roar.

(I promise I will talk about knitting tomorrow)


Song Notes Because I’m a Nerd

*This is the closest version to the one I remember singing with my grandmother at age 4 or 5, although I remember something about red pajamas…  Also apparently, in other versions, they have to kill the rooster to get the chicken and dumplings…

** I had forgotten that the old lady dies in the end until I heard my mom singing it with my niece. In this version, she blows up (??) which is kind of terrifying since it’s a clip from Sesame Street (??!)

***This one is more of a ‘church song’, but I learned it in my Middle School chorus, not that I can sing.

****Seriously, listen to this one. It’s a good old sea shanty. I couldn’t remember any part but ‘shave his belly with a rusty razor’, but I digress.

What’s Monogamy?

I told you I could feel a coup coming. I could feel it in my bones.

I finished off the ball of green on the ten stitch blanket that I have finally taken a picture of.

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I flung aside the shawl in Calliope that was finally starting to look the way I thought I might want it to. (See? It landed on the cat.)

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And I started a sock.

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It’s a k1tbl, p1 ribbing for the Mercury Socks. (modified from the pattern’s K2 P1 ribbing) It can be seen below at my brother’s futsal game, with my new copy of the Geek Feminist Revolution, by Kameron Hurley.

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I had been enamored with the pattern since I saw it on the Yarngasm podcast, and when I rationalized realized that none of my projects were suited for portable court-side knitting, I decided to cast on one of the two Schoppel-Wolle. Ambiente balls (in the colorway Katzenbeißer, meaning ‘cat biter’ which I find hilarious given the impending Women’s March on Washington DC and the p_ssyhat project, and the state of American Politics in general, but I digress) that I bought last spring. I had a moment of anxiety before I threw the slightly messy ball into my project bag. I had been hoarding coveting saving it for almost a year, and it was hard to decide to use it.

I’ve been planning to use it as a travel-only project, but as I continue to be lukewarm about my shawl-in-the-making the sock is calling to me.

Maybe I’ll work on my blanket a bit.

Restraint

Monday I lay in bed, tossing and turning, trying to fall asleep despite the radiating pain in my wrists, especially my right one. The next day I awoke and packed to head down to Jake’s house. At 8 AM I called the dentist to try to reschedule the cleaning I was supposed to have on Wednesday. I managed to get a cancellation time for 11 AM that day.

As I left my house I realized it was raining. Not quite a torrential downpour, but a fair amount. I wasn’t too happy about that. Not that I’m scared of driving in the rain, but I hate the enormous amount of brainpower it uses.

I arrived at the dentist’s at 10:50 and got myself checked in. I sat and read Time magazines that creeped me out a fair bit since they were all from before judgment day the election. At 11:35 I was ushered into the office. The hygenist took some x-rays and then the dentist himself came to check out my mouth. Since the lady was behind, he was checking me before she cleaned it.

He took a gander at the x-rays that were projected up on the TV screen in the corner. I was thinking to myself ‘dang I have a nice looking mouth’ when he turned to me and said ‘Looks pretty nice. A little gingevitis here and there, but that’s normal.’ I gawked at him like he had just said I was growing my vampire fangs quite nicely.

I honestly couldn’t tell if he was joking or not. I can’t imagine he’d joke about it, but he had sounded so joke-y. I decided to myself that I’d take his comment seriously.

I refrained from shoving the hygenist away from me as she mauled examined my mouth. ‘You drink a lot of coffee,’ she said dryly.

‘Yeth,’ I responded as calmly as I could given that her finger was still in my mouth.

‘You should use a whitening toothpaste. I’ll give you a few samples.’ I only retorted ‘do use a whitening toothpaste‘ in my head.

As she explained for the third time how to floss, I refrained from screaming ‘I know how to f%&*ing floss! I can still remember the demonstration we had in the music room when I was in elementary school! Since admitting I know how to floss, but don’t, would be even worse.

I was out the door at 12:12 PM with two mini tubes of the exact toothpaste I currently use, a snazzy new soft-bristled toothbrush, some awfully thick looking floss, and the fear of my teeth falling out of my head in me.

I refrained from sobbing/screaming all the way to Jakes house (in the rain). You should be proud of me my dudes. Why? I didn’t knit at all that day. Not in the waiting room, not during the examination, not once I got to Jake’s. I didn’t knit for almsot 48 hours, the most I haven’t knitted in probably years.

Why would I torture myself in such a manner? My damn wrists. I didn’t want a repetative stress injury. I did it, though, my wrists feel much better, and I’ve been flossing every evening.

(You should be proud of that too.)

Anarchy Reigns

My mom and stepfather have been gone on their annual January vacation only approximately 13 hours and chaos has taken over the house.

  • We had tater tots and pierogies for supper.
  • The cat is walking and laying on the counters and tables.
  • I was on Instagram at the supper table.
  • My brother is doing the dishes since I cooked something, but he is doing them ‘later’. I am trying to not let this make me twitch.

Who knows what shenanigans we will get up to before they get back? I might even stop knitting monogamously…

(But that wouldn’t take a household coup for that to happen)

Linen Lust

I have been coveting a skein of yarn since I grabbed it from the Shirsty Cat Designs booth at the Steel City Fiber Festival. It’s a skein of Calliope, in her Just Fingering base, if you’re curious. It makes me feel swoopingly happy and yet sad at the same time. It reminds me, actually, of this song.

After hearing of Carrie Fisher’s death, and feeling the compounded shite-ness of this year (not limited to celebrity deaths, though this one hit me in a rather personal place), I knew it was time to cast on my yarn.

What to make of it? Well, a shawl was the obvious answer. But, what so about the wild varigation? After a cursory google search, I found this article. While, I definitely recommend that you read the full blog post yourself, the main points of the post are as follows.

Look For Patterns With Small Lace Repeats

Slipped Stitches And Variegated Yarns Are A Match Made In Heaven

Add Some Texture

Combine with a Semi-Solid/Solid Colour

Choose a simple design and let the yarn speak

Keeping this in mind, I made a swatch. (I know, right?)

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I normally don’t leave my pictures big, but I wanted you guys to be able to see the texture. I loved the first section, linen stitch. The second section, not so much, a slip stitch pattern I realized I messed up after the fact. The third section, a basket weave pattern, I liked almost as much as the first. The fourth was a short-lived attempt at the second section, correctly this time. I still didn’t like it.

So, I cast on a triangular top-down shawl, using the linen stitch to start with.

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Again, a bigger picture for details’ sake.

I don’t like it. I just don’t like the way the linen stitch looks running diagonally in this shawl. It’s in time-out for now, while I work on a charity knit that I’ll tell you about next time. For now, suggestions? I have a few ideas percolating, but I want to hear what you guys think first.

Thanks.

Confidential

Operative codename: Kninernat

Mission: Knit secret Christmas present for the ‘target’, civilian boyfriend Jake.

Clearance: Seven to eight years knitting experience.

Deadline: December 18, 2016

Key: operatives-knitters, civilians-nonknitters, ‘package’-hat, blueprints-pattern


Dec.1.16: Took the ‘package’ to the operative meeting ‘KnitWits’ where I am the president. Attempted to cast on. Realized I forgot the appropriate circular needle. Returned to dorm building early to cast on. Cast on in white. After consulting internet images, recast on in pink.

Dec.2.2016: Knit on the ‘package’ during civilian Math Methods I and Intermediate Spanish classes. Struggled to explain to operative Spanish Professor what I was knitting a ‘Gorro Pescado’ (fish hat) and resulted to showing her the blueprints. Finished short-row shaping before bed.

Dec.5.2016: Knit on the ‘package’ during civilian Spanish class. The three civilians seemed interested in my progress. Interestingly enough the two operatives we not. Perhaps it is the novelty that interests them…

Dec.8.2016: Knit during operative meeting ‘KnitWits’ and switched from circular needles to DPNs.

Dec.9.2016: Knit during civilian Spanish Class while participating in Finals Review. Finished the body decreases and started the tail.

Dec.11.2016: Had a heart-stopping conversation on with the ‘target’ about whether Magikarp is red or orange. In the end, we agreed on reddish-orange.

Dec.17.2016: After several fiddly bits and bobs, the hat is finished and wrapped. I wanted one for myself but I’m good and sick of it for the time being.

Dec.20.2016: The ‘package’ has been delivered. Mission Accomplished!

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The World is my Oyster

Now that Christmas knitting is done. And what do I do? I decide to work on my oldest WIP (March 24, 2013); my Sock Yarn Blanket (By Shelly Kang). That’s what it was called before the Cozy Memories Blanket craze, you blanket noobs. I’ve been rather obsessed with it lately. I knit about nine squares (11?) in the space of a day and a half (The nice thing about that is that each square before the end of the year is an entry into the Slug Club thread in the Oh! Loops KAL. I’m up to about 38). Then, I decided that

Then, I decided that I should go through the flannel sheet set bag that housed my scraps and miniskeins dedicated to the project and figure out whether there was enough for a square in each ball or skein.

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I then borrowed the super sensitive scale my brother uses while building quadcopters (you wanna make them as efficient as possible, and those tenths of a gram add up, apparently).

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Anything that was more than 5 grams got to stay. Anything significantly less, got set aside in my glass pitcher.

In the end, I had so little self-control so many minis, I ended up adding them to the magic cake I had been making for a while now. It’s made of whatever is leftover that can’t go into the blanket. Most scraps are only a few yards. Some are 3 or 4 grams. My magic cake is now a hefty 124.81 grams. Huh, my brother was right. Those tenths of a gram add up.

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I’ve Been Knitting my Socks Wrong

There’s no clever or witty way to ease into it; I’ve been knitting my socks wrong. Now, you may be thinking “but Sarah, knitting is very individualized and it doesn’t really matter”. And, well, you’re mostly right. But, I have proof.

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These are the vanilla socks I knit for my step-grandfather. (I’m still considering writing the pattern out, but it’s wrong!)

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These are the socks I knit for my step-grandmother they were essentially the same pattern as the ones for my grandfather, but in DK weight yarn, with smaller needles and adjusted accordingly.

So they look fine, right? They fit my feet well, though my grandfather’s are a bit loose and my grandmother’s are a smidge tight owing to the fact that their feet are differently-sized than mine. The heels are a bit boxy, but that’s how it is when you do a heel flap right? (no) I love the way the neat little gusset sections look as well.

Then, when I was pouring over Socks Socks Socks book that jake got me, and I was looking at their genius anatomy of a sock section (really, all of the book is genius. Very 1999, but genius) and I realized I don’t actually turn my heels!

The worst was I noticed 2/3 of the way through my grandmother’s socks, but decided to continue with them the rest of the way through.

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I circled the bit that I forget to do. It’s usually, apparently, a short row section. Who knew? Everybody but me. I also drew lines showing what I did. I knit the leg, the heel flap and skipped merrily along to picking up the gusset stitches. I also highlighted the section on the picture at the top of the page.