Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Work in Progress Wednesday v.129

Greetings from Puppy Land, where everything is snuggles and puddles and please-for-the-love-of-all-that-is-holy-don't-chew-on-THAT, and where there is only precious little time for knitting these days.  The culprit:

Lucky for her, she's ridiculously cute.

But!  I did manage to knit a bit.

For instance, I managed to knit enough of my Baby Sophisticate sweater to realize that I have not enough yarn to finish.  Boo!  Looks like I'm about 12 yards short on sleeve #2, so I'm currently trying to decide how to remedy the situation.

Cute sweater though, eh?  Think the recipient would notice if it had only one sleeve?  Design element?  No?  Yeah, me either.  Sigh.  Stash busting is hard, man.

In other news, I'm nearly done with the back of my Austin Hoodie, and loving how it's looking, especially the woven section and the ribbing (Is it weird that I desperately want to block it RIGHT NOW?)...

I'm hoping to finish up the back and get started on the fronts in the next couple of days because I expect the sleeves and hood to take a soul-suckingly long time.

For now, I have a question if anyone's game.  I'm working on a row where I knit X number of stitches across the back, then put Y number of stitches on a holder for the neck, then work X number of stitches on the other side, and begin working up the left shoulder.  The pattern doesn't say to break the yarn here, or to join new yarn on the other side of the held stitches, but that's what I need to do, right?  I'm sure it is, I'm the sort who obsessively follows directions, and it's not in there.  Anyone care to nod at me before take the leap?

Then, after you solve all my problems, go check out the rest of the Work in Progress Wednesday posts.  I'll see you there!

Friday, January 18, 2013

FO Friday -- PUPPY!! Edition

guys! Guys! GUYS!  Guess what?  Okay, you guessed.  WE ADOPTED A PUPPY!

(I know, I know, FO Friday and Fiber Arts Friday are all about the knitting, but if I talk about my stripey socks and make you wade through lots of words, all you'll read is:  Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, PUPPY!  So if you're strictly interested in fiber, scroll down for the socks...)

Here she is!  See?  (Shelter's fuzzy pic):

My much better pre-adoption snap:

And the picture that melted my heart:

Now that we have the squeeing out of the way, I can tell you the story.  Mr. Right and I have been talking about getting another dog to (at best) keep our old girl company.  Or at the very least, to inspire her to be more active during the day.  So we decided that I would go by the shelter after I dropped him at the airport on Wednesday to do some initial research.  Easy enough.  I went, looked at lots of grown up dogs and made a list.  One by one, they dropped off because of different limitations (hate kids, hate other dogs, that sort of thing).  I was standing at the desk going through this list with the clerk when an old man came in with this cute little puppy on a leash.  She proceeded to run  up the back of my jeans, then went away with the man.

I went and met with a dog who turned out to be Not Our Dog.  He was a cutie, but would've driven our geriatric shepherd into an early grave.  No dice.  When I went back out, the clerk told me I should check back since they get new dogs all the time.  "Like the puppy that guy just surrendered."  What???  Seriously???  Why would anyone do that???  "Can I see her?"  And the rest, my friends, is history. 

I sat down on the floor with her and she climbed into my lap.  It killed me.  Then someone walked past the glass door and she ran over and barked.  Shortly after that, a big dog went by and barked at her, and she dove back into my lap and tucked her head behind my purse strap.  Then it was really all over.

After a meeting with our dog, and a looooooooooooooong phone conversation with poor Mr. Right who's half a continent away, we decided to bring her home.  I can't believe it!  She was spayed this afternoon, and Mr. Right and I will go pick her up tomorrow morning on the way home from the airport.  She's SO not the dog we thought we'd be adding to our family, but she's perfect!  She's ostensibly a purebred Australian Cattle Dog who is 4 months old.  And at the moment, she's called Peanut, but I expect that will be old news by the end of the weekend.  We'll see what fits our new girl.

And oh yeah.  In other news,  I knitted some socks.   I finished these before the holidays, but they're the last in my back up of FOs.  This was my first foray into the world of self-striping sock yarn, and I've made a vow not to buy any more of it without seeing a swatch.

In the beginning, I thought they were the ugliest things I'd ever seen. (In my defense, the first repeat started with pink, purple, rust.)  But I must admit, I'm pleasantly surprised with the way they turned out.  They're a nice bit of cheer in a pretty dreary winter.

Now that you have your puppy fix, go check out FO Friday and Fiber Arts Friday.  Both are guaranteed to have much more yarn-y goodness than this particular entry -- but absolutely no chance of finding a cuter puppy.  You win some, you lose some, right?

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Work in Progress Wednesday v.127

The weeks just keep flying by, don't they? A blink and it's already (WIP)Wednesday again!  Craziness.  Things are cracking along over here.  I've made some (seemingly invisible) progress on the Austin Hoodie...

I swear it looks nearly like it did last week, but I finished another 3" of body, then started the cool woven section -- linen stitch, I think -- and divided the back from the fronts.  I'm currently marching up the back of the sweater, determined to wear this thing at Stitches West.  That's 35 days from now, but who's counting?  Right. 

And, as promised, those two partial skeins of yarn got some attention this week, and have morphed into this:

Actually, that's what it looked like on Saturday when I decided that I'd better take a picture in case I accidentally finished before I had time to take a proper WIP photo.  No such luck, as I've slowed down considerably over the last few days, strategizing.  You see, this is how much charcoal yarn is left:

24 grams.  And I still have one shawl collar/ button band and two striped sleeves to make.  It's gonna be a squeaker, my friends.  I decided to knit the collar/band first, since I know I want that to be grey, then weighing my yarn as I go to determine how much striping the sleeves will require.  So cross some fingers for me, please.  You can check back in a week or so to see how it all turned out.  You're all biting your respective nails, right? 

Meanwhile, I'm going to get back to the task at hand.  Mr. Right is leaving for a business trip today (boo!), so I expect to have lots of uninterrupted knitting time and silly girly movies to keep me going for the next few days.  Could be worse, right?

Friday, January 11, 2013

FO Friday -- Really Big Beanie Edition

I can't believe it.  It's Friday again, and I actually have another FO to share.  Know what's the best part?  I already have another one ready to go for next week!  I know.  I can't believe it myself.  Now that we have that out of the way...  I present (Really Big) Turn A Square:

Ta da!

Note that the hat in question was very helpfully modeled by Mr. Right prior to being gifted, and that my sweetie has a much smaller noggin than the intended recipient.  I'm happy to report that it fit Brother-in-Law's giant melon quite nicely.

Anyway, I think I mentioned that I decided at some absurdly late date to knit a pair of fingerless mitts for my shiny new sister-in-law for Christmas.  Well, some time around the thumb gusset for mitt number one, I came to the conclusion that it would be sort of rude to do that and not make something for her husband too. 

And so I set about making Jared Flood's super cool hat pattern on December 28 (keeping in mind that we were seeing this part of the family on December 30).  It went swimmingly, and after just a few hours of frenzied knitting I was ready to start the crown decreases.  Unfortunately, I had nowhere near the correct number of stitches.  A quick review of the pattern revealed that I'd completely forgotten to do the increase round after the ribbing.  You know, about 1" into the hat.  Gah!  I spent a good hour trying to convince myself that it might be alright if I just knit the hat a little longer, and maybe his head wasn't so big, and maybe... 

Then (you know what's coming, right?) 

I ripped the whole blinking thing out (well, back to the ribbing anyway) and started over.  On December 29.  Le sigh.  Somehow, I managed to knit like the wind, and even got it finished in time to take a few photos *and* get it wrapped before our gift exchange.  Phew!  I'm awfully glad it worked out, and that he was happy with his hat, and even angling for his own pair of fingerless mitts.  But really, I don't think I'd like to get quite that close to a gift deadline again.

Bonus Points:  I totally knit the mitts AND the hat from stash yarn!  For those of you keeping track at home (okay, I'm willing to accept that I might be the only one)... That's 4(!) projects in a row from stashed yarn!  I'm hoping to continue this trend for the better part of this year, but we'll see how it goes.  Anybody else stash dieting this year? 

That's it from these parts.  Hope y'all have a great weekend! If you have time, I highly recommend starting it off with visits to FO Friday and Fiber Arts Friday.  All the cool kids are doing it.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Work in Progress Wednesday v.126

Happy WIPWednesday, peeps!  I'm still here, and while I don't have anything even remotely exciting to share with you, I can promise that I really have been knitting my fingers off of late.  Evidence:

That right there is a solid 12.5" of Austin Hoodie body.  I know it doesn't look like much, but really it's a megaton of knitting in frustratingly skinny yarn.  I really, really, really want to have this finished to wear to Stitches West next month, but I'm not sure I'll make it.  Cross y'er fingers for me?

The most annoying thing about this is that it's a New Year, and I've survived the holidays, and I have some time finally, and I want to knit ALL THE THINGS.  Right now, please.  And so I'm knitting like a crazy person and making not much visible progress since I'm working at such an itsy gauge.

Only one thing to do:  Cast on Something Else!  Of course, that's the answer to all manner of knitting dilemmas, right?  So by next week, this little pile of yarn...

Should look a little more like a Baby Sophisticate.  Yay for instant gratification projects!*

*Yes.  I'm well aware that this will actually slow my hoodie pace, thus actually preventing me from achieving my goal.  But don't bother me with details right now, there is a shiny new pattern to be conquered!  Woot!

PS.  You can feel free to pull out the I-told-ya-so's next week when I'm crying about my snail's pace.  I think that's fair.  Until then, go check out all the other (slightly more sane) WIPW entries over at Tami's.  They're sort of universally awesome.


Friday, January 4, 2013

FO Friday -- Fo Ho Ho Edition

Twice!  In one week!  Be still my beating heart, it's SO fun to be back here and be in touch with all my bloggy friends.  I missed you guys!  As I mentioned, I lost all my marbles the week before Christmas and decided to make presents for my shiny new sister-in-law and her husband, neither of whom I'd ever met (despite being with Mr. Right for almost 7 years now!).  I have no idea what possessed me to do this, but once I got the idea in my head there was no convincing me otherwise.  Nooo, I'm not stubborn at all.  Why do you ask?

Anyway, I decided a pair of worsted weight fingerless mitts would be a good idea since I had a pattern I'd been eyeing, and plenty of appropriate yarn.  What I didn't have couldn't find was a set of dpns in the right size.  Grumble.  Undeterred, I decided now would be a good time to teach myself how to magic loop (see "stubborn" above).  And while I found looping completely unintuitive, I totally pulled it off, yo!  Check it out:

Okay, I didn't have time to block them, the color's kind of wonky in this photo, and there's one tiny mis-crossed cable on the right mitt that I had to work hard to ignore, but overall, I'm really happy with how they turned out.  And they look pretty good on, if I do say so myself:

This is much closer to the actual color

Sister-in-law was properly happy with her gift when she opened them, until Mr. Right made sure to let her know that I'd made them.  She didn't believe him at first, then was all kinds of impressed.  Definitely a knitworthy reaction, which was really fun.

And once I finished the mitts, I decided to knit a hat for her husband.  Twice.  But you'll have to wait until next week to hear that harrowing tale.  You see, I'm currently knitting a fingering weight hoodie, so if I don't string out my recent FOs, I'll have nothing to share for eons.  Until then, there are plenty of other goodies to check out over at FO Friday and Fiber Arts Friday. Go check 'em out!

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Work in Progress Wednesday v.125

Surprise!  Also, Happy New Year!  It seems I took a bit of an unintentional holiday while I adjusted to married life and working from home these last few months.  Sorry 'bout the radio silence, but I think I'm finally in a place where I can comfortably get back to blogging.  Yippee!

And what better place to start than my beloved Work in Progress Wednesday.  And I have work!  In progress, even!  I think the last time I popped in, I mentioned that I'd finally cast on for the Austin Hoodie I'd been dreaming about for ages.  It's still plugging along, but it's not terribly photogenic yet.  Exhibit A:

Really though, it's much farther along than it was.  There's about 6" of body there and I'm busily working the waist decreases at the moment.

It'd be bigger, but I got some crazy idea that I wanted to make a pair of fingerless mitts for my shiny new sister-in-law for Christmas.  And that meant I should probably also make a hat for her husband.  Totally reasonable if not for the fact that I had this revelation right around December 10 while I was finishing up a pair of socks.  But I pulled it off.  All of it.  For a minute there, I felt like Super Knitter.  It was exciting since the socks fit like a dream and both of the gifts were well received.  It was also exciting because I have material for lots of upcoming FO Fridays.  Bonus!

Anyway, while I was busily not blogging, I was doing other fun stuff.  We got some snow!!

Then Mr. Right had a birthday which prompted a weekend trip up north to Moose Country, resulting in lots of this:

And a pleasant amount of this:

And then Christmas appeared, and brought this with it:

*insert Kermit flail here*

I've been wanting a food processor for ages, and am so excited to finally have it.  Now I feel like I need the perfect recipe to test it out.  I've been perusing my new Smitten Kitchen cookbook, but haven't settled on anything yet.  So I'm open to suggestions.  What should I make with my fancy shmancy food processor?  Feel free to leave ideas in the comments -- I'm terribly impressionable.

With that, I'll say "See you Friday!"  And really, I will.  Promise.  I'll also be around more this year and will get back to blogging about other stuff some times too. Good times will be had by all.  Hmm... This sounds suspiciously like a list of New Year's resolutions, but let's just call them plans, shall we?

Edit:  Confession:  I wrote this post on Tuesday night and scheduled it to post on Wednesday morning.  It went ahead and posted it anyway.  I guess Blogger figured it'd been long enough between posts or something.  At any rate, if you read this on Tuesday night, be a sport and pretend it's Wednesday.  Mmmmkay?