I have done this November thing for, what, four years? Five years? And I still haven't done the write-the-blog-posts-ahead dodge. Slow learner.
When the prior twinkle-in-the-eye child became a fetus, I planned a kimono. The child's sex was a mystery. KellyR ("what?? you knit something for someone that doesn't exist yet??") would be horrified to know that I knit a kimono at the beginning of the pregnancy, thought it lacked punch, and then knit the second one which you saw in an earlier post.
[CERTIFIED BONKERS] << tag for my forehead
So the first one is, indeed, done and blocked. It is waiting for a potential mom, for whom the colors will sing quiet songs of joy.
Yarn: Claudia's Handpaints, Walk in the Woods colorway Needle: Knitpicks #3 circular Started: end of April, done end of May-ish
I forgot to tell you about a small (!) modification I did on the other baby sweater. The yarn was thicker than the usual fingering weight merino. When I finished the three needle bind-off for the sleeves, there was a valley on the public side at the top of the join.
So I turned the sweater instead out, where there was an attractive ridge, and called it the public side. The opening is on the left instead of the right. Hi-dee-ho.
The assignment was to design a blanket on the fly. The warp was given to you (some kind of cotton, maybe 22/2 - my notes are elsewhere). All the colors were possible. I chose outside of my color comfort zone. And promptly, after less than half a day, hated it.
Some of that was because I kept making mistakes. A line of color (weft) would unintentionally show up. I ripped out a few, but some were too far back to be worth tearing out. So I would duplicate the mistake in the next pattern shift. That particular strategy of always trying to pull it out of the fire does not work for me.
I had a night to sleep on it. I knew that if I spent the next day doing the same thing, I would be grumpy and miserable. I would hate what I was going to have to cut off the loom at the end of the day: some semblance of small blanket-piece in colors that failed me. (Have you ever tried to keep track of random mistakes, so that you can duplicate them non-randomly minutes to hours later?)
So I switched it around. The WHOLE THING would be a sample, called a gamp. Two different background colors (midnight blue, and wine), one after the other. And then a multitude of colors to see how they suited one another. It ended up being a great exercise. I learned stuff. I liked the gamp. I will use it to weave a REAL blanket, maybe even in the near future.
The rhythms of the seasons sooth the northeastern soul. Timelines vary by small, interesting bits. Themes stay the same.
My delayed microclimate is at peak foliage today, and gave me this -
and this -
Other themes overlap, harmonize. Once this is purchased,
the rest (Thanksgiving!) is inevitable -
The bracing joins on the underside are laughable.
My turkeys are routinely over the 20 pound warning label. The cookie sheet goes under the pan, so that the bird survives the journey from oven to counter. Because, on Thanksgiving, you are NOT alone in the kitchen.
My advisee told me he and his wife were planning pregnancy. I set out for Ravellenic knitting: pick a baby blanket pattern, wind a skein of Miss Babs Yowza (560 yards), and knit the entire skein during the Winter Olympics in 2014.
Their planning was interrupted by job hunting. She didn't want to appear duplicitous, revealing a new belly after being hired, and not having said anything about it for fear of not being hired. (Plus ca change, plus c'est la meme chose.) Then, over a year later, they were pregnant.
I knitandknitandknit. The original skein had been successfully deployed during the Winter Games, and now it was just knit the second skein until the blanket was long enough.
Tough endpoint, that. Just as with the baby sweater, no measures agree with any other. And no matter how many times I buy multiples of hand-dyed skeins, I learn the same lesson over again: alternate skeins, missy. Oh well.
Pattern: Surprise Baby Blanket Yarn: Miss Babs Yowza Whatta Skein, colorway Beach Glass approximately 1.5 skeins Needle: probably US #8 Measurement: written down somewhere, lost in the clutter
I am not quite sure what I am about here. Once a day? Once every other day? Ten times during the month? I have prompts. I have a list. (Of course I do.) There is potential for blog fodder.
Two fiber goals this year have centered around knitting from stash. The house is overtaken with yarn and fiber, and it is time to consider the natural end of a trend such as that. So when a co-worker announced her pregnancy, it was time to get to work.
The database spit up a suitable yarn. I looked for 100% merino, with enough yardage to knit a baby kimono. I am not only NOT knitting socks, I will not knit them out of 100% merino. And I know I don't even have to 'splain that to this audience.
But the yarn was thicker than what I used for my original baby kimono. I knit the smallest size (infant). The child was due in October. Even if it was too big at first, there would be enough winter and spring left for the thing to get some use. And at least half the purpose of a knitted baby item is to kill the mom with the cuteness. I cast on.
I did make a few mods. I always feared that the neck was too shallow. In order to deepen that, one has to make the sleeves wider. Since this is a kimono, I did that.
As I did more research, I noticed that the 20" finished sizing was defined on Rav as newborn, or 6 month old, depending on the pattern one consulted. Hmmmmm. Revert back to kid due in October.
Yarn: Fleece Artist Merino 2/6, 382 yards Colorway: Marine Needle: US #3
I hope the mom sends me a picture with the baby in it, because this one sucks. But you get the idea.
Big plans covered the lists. Get stuff done! Do this! Go here! Do that! Go there!
Maybe I simply have no clue how much time tasks take.
1. Cut back the container garden on the deck, and bring in tender plants to their overwintering spot. This take LOTS of time. Such a tangle. So hard to give up on plants that are still flowering. But imminent death to the tender ones becomes a motivator. Halfway through the afternoon, Weatherbug CANCELS the frost warning.
2. Have a friend over for fiber plotting. Trying to put order into UFOs, and prevent more in the future. I frogged a coverup that was one back short of an FO. But I had knit it when my gauge was much different. And I could be honest, and say I really didn't want the garment now. *phew* Gone. I recovered multiple needles and several stitch markers.
3. Made a recipe involving delicious chicken thighs. Make this. You will thank me. For cilantro-haters, you can substitute, or omit.
4. Went food shopping so we could make the thighs and feed my friend. We also needed milk. And cheese.
5. Weeded. My friends the birds have foisted an endless hopeless task on me: weeding bittersweet seedlings. Thanks, friends. NOT. Ungrateful children.
6. Exercised. Am on a tear with this. Went on an exercise vacation in September, and am trying to keep up the momentum. Skiing, y'know. Snowshoeing. Life. Cardiovascular risk reduction. Type II diabetes prevention. Etc.
7. Went to my favorite wine shop to taste some wine. Bought some value bottles: $18.37 each. Yummy.
8. Arranged to have the piano tuned. He is here now, and thumping on each key in sequence. Once I finish this post, I am going to hide somewhere else til the cacaphony is finished.
9. Swatched for Na Craga. It was an iterative task. The pattern called for #6 needles (too big), then I tried #5 wooden (good gauge, miserable experience with the Hebridean yarn), #5 metal (too big), and finally, #4 metal (perfect). The swatch is drying, pinned.
10. Spun. Am spinning the batts I made (6 x 2 oz). Long draw, and they are producing laceweight singles. The process is lovely, but long. I am on batt #5. On another wheel is Persimmon Tree 50% wool/50% mohair from 2005/6. I am not loving this spin. There is lots of VM. And mohair is often clumped in the roving. The elemental farm product is fine, but there is no flow, and no evenness to the yarn. It is somewhere between 7 and 8 ounces, and when it is done, so am I with that kind of blend. Lorrie always said, "say no to 'mo." I thought she was being curmudgeonly about it. She was simply more experienced.
Knit. I am finishing Asunder by Lisa Mutch. Light And Up is in the starting phase. (I ripped it out once for a mis-stitch, and am ripping back again for another hole. So much for mindless knitting.) I really should be seaming Brando, and not starting a Swans Island worsted merino hat with a braided band. (See #2.)
I did admire tree colors while doing errands. It is a mast year for acorns. I mulched bare soil yesterday and prayed to not get beaned by all the falling bodies.
Heat. Hot. Humid. Hell. Most of it related to staying out of it, or compensating for it.
1. Went to the hardware store for toilet parts. Fixed. Then not fixed. What is it that plumbers know that we don't? It is just the Fluidmaster 400, for heaven's sake.
2. Catalogued the newer parts of the stash, and put yarn away.
3. Watered shrubs and trees in the garden. *ka-ching* I hate this.
4. Watched the end of the third season of Downton Abbey. Really? Matthew killed? I boycotted the fourth season since.
5. Spun. Knit. Threaded the loom.
6. Had dinner with a friend and his son.
7. Wrapped a baby present. Should blog that soon.
8. Ate fresh vegetable pizza made by Mr. Etherknitter: eggplant, tomato, corn.
9. Watched birds. The finches are madly tearing at barely-ready sunflower heads. The usual hummingbirds are gone, but the migrators fill in. But not really. They behave differently, which stamps them as not from around heayah.
10. Cleaned. Fun, huh?
Not making the top 10, but definitely on my mind, is looking in the stash for yarn for QD. Something in me snapped. I cannot just keep knitting mindless stuff. Even if I f*** this up, it will be magnificent to have died trying.
Not an easy topic, this. American artists? At first I was stimulus-bound, and thought only of artists who work in oils. Then I ventured beyond, and could hold my head up in the Ten on Tuesday 'verse.
1. Warren MacKenzie - he is 91 years old, and still producing studio pottery. His work is functional rather than dustable. I like that. His yunomis are little works of art. http://www.americanstudiopotters.com/
2. Nancee Meeker - She was an amazing artist. Approximately 10 years ago, she switched careers. Her works are exquisite, expensive, dustable. Handthrown, hand-etched, rustic fire: http://www.nancee-meeker.com/virtual_gallery_pix_two-even/1123-024_big_vg.html
3. Robert Douglas Hunter - A local artist who pioneered the realistic oil still-life. http://artodyssey1.blogspot.com/2010/07/robert-douglas-hunter-robert-douglas.html
4. David Lang - He is a local artist who goes between 2-dimensional and 3-dimensional work: http://www.davidlangstudios.com/watercolors.htm