Sample Knitting

So, what was I working on Wednesday morning that I couldn't post for?  Well, a local yarn shop had put out a call for sample knitters a few weeks ago. I was able to respond within about 5 minutes of them posting it and got an in to doing some sample knitting for them! I'll reveal what shop it is when I'm all done with the piece.

I showed you the yarn already. 

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It's gorgeous and I love it. It's Forbidden Woolery's Pride Lace in Deathly Hallows. I'm making Sachiko Uemura's Jeweled Cowl. So far, it's going very smoothly and quickly. I've been lucky enough to be able to work on it at my day job during downtime.

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So, that's what I'm working on for the time being. While I was waiting for the yarn to arrive, I did make a pair of socks!

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It's been a while since I had made a pair of socks, and I had never made a pair for myself. I started them on last Thursday, and finished them this Tuesday. It's the fastest I've ever made a sock, let alone a pair of them! I used the Magic Loop method which was another first for me on socks. If you remember, that's how I decided to do the sleeves on my Driftwood Sweater.  

So, yeah! It has been a good knitting week.  

Sweater Sleeves

I thought that I might have my Driftwood Sweater done by this week.  However, the sleeves are taking longer than I thought they would.  Instead of doing them one at a time, I'm working them with the Magic Loop technique, so both at the same time.  (Check out this article on all the different ways to knit in the round.) (Remind me to put a picture here.)

One of the guys at my job keeps asking if it's done.  And honestly, it's just because I haven't had time to work on it.  Life has been crazy or I fall asleep.  Remember that whole falling asleep thing if I stay still for too long?  Yeah.  Friday is my last day of this temp job, and then it's on to a dental appointment on Monday and then California for a couple of weeks.  I couldn't be more excited (not the dental appointment, just California).

Thoughts on I Love Yarn Day

I didn't mean to miss yesterday's post.  I just had a lot going on at work.  And I was getting more literal rejections from jobs I've applied for.  One even called me but then decided against interviewing me when they heard I was only available on October 21st and wasn't living in San Diego right then.  I did explain my double edged sword dilemma (No one will hire me because I don't live in San Diego, and I can't live in San Diego until someone hires me), but alas.  Oh well.  The hunt goes on.  I have one week left of working this job, and then it's onto San Diego for the job hunting trip (finally). So my day was kind of a downer, but I was cheered up by Amanda (who I taught how to knit socks on Sunday) when she texted me a picture of her first completed wearable sock!  I'm so proud of her.  I cannot tell you how good it makes me feel when I see people I've taught to knit or taught certain techniques to flourish.  Best. Feeling. Ever. Damian shared with me last night a cowl he had finished for his mom with some yarn he dyed in the Indigo vat at school before he left.  Arlyn shows me her projects and planned projects.  If I can teach all of them and have them take off, surely I can teach others professionally?

Also, HAPPY I LOVE YARN DAY!!!!  We all know by now I have a healthy (or maybe not so healthy for my bank account) addiction to yarn.  And I have built up quite the stash since the San Diego Yarn Crawl.  I hope to work in my room this weekend to clean it a bit and maybe organize my stash and plan for future projects.

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New Sweaters and More Socks

On Friday, the yarn for my Driftwood Sweater arrived!  Of course I had to go straight home and wind it all into balls so I could start on my new sweater.  And that's what I spent the rest of the evening doing...winding yarn and starting my sweater.  It's quite easy and addicting to work on!  Clearly...look how far I am. TkVMdvSb7AyYL4Xc.jpg

Just a little more of the body, and then the sleeves and button band and I'm done!  One of the people at work walked by saying, "You'll be done with that by Christmas!" To which I replied, "No, I'll be done with it by next week!"  I'll give you all the details about the yarn, etc. when I'm all finished.

On Sunday I was able to teach another sock knitting lesson!  This time it was with Amanda, one of my Fibers classmates from ASU.  We parked ourselves in a Starbucks after picking up some yarn and needles for her, and spent about two hours working on her first sock.  And it was a success!

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She updated me on Monday that she had even gone ahead and done a second one!

Also on Monday, part of my knitting machine arrived!  I'll tell you more about that another day.  For now, I'm just super excited to learn how to use it.

Artsy Things I Did This Week

Tuesday was the end of the Soak Photo-A-Day Instagram Challenge.  I finished up with this image. vLYd5cSMNLkbRh1L.jpg

It's such a true statement for me...as you might have gathered during the last few months (or maybe just post college).  All I want to do right now is make things with my hands.

Also on Tuesday, I went to the FAN (Fiber Arts Network) Club's show opening, chromoFEELia, at ASU.  It was such a well rounded show.  It really made me miss school and having a studio to work in and a community to work with.  I still keep in touch with classmates, obviously, but it's still really nice to have them all there present.  I was able to see Clare, my Fibers professor, and Damian came up from Tucson to see the show and to see Arlyn and I.  I miss the Fiber Frat so much!

Monday and Tuesday I bought more yarn...you knew this.  It's a problem.  One of the packages is supposed to arrive today and I'm itching to start on my Driftwood Sweater!  The yarn for the Crosby Sweater should come on Saturday, so I guess that one will be second.  Also, I think that I have some buttons that Dylan brought back from Europe for me that will work perfect for one or both of them!  I'm so excited.

My Traveling Woman shawl is coming along.  I really enjoy the easy to remember repeats in the lace section.  I may have messed up the first row of the lace...but oh well.  It's not a mistake, it's a design element!

Onto the weekend...See you next week!

On Bringing Patterns to Life

I finished my Ishbel scarf/shawl in a week.  And I love it.  And I wore it before I blocked it...actually, I still have yet to block it.  But that's okay, because I was cold the day after I finished it, so I just put it on.  I can't wait to block it and see the pattern come to life even more. That's one thing I love about finishing projects and blocking them.  After you finish something, it's kind of lumpy and weird looking.  But after you wash it and stretch it out and pin it down to see your work, it's amazing.  Before I really got into knitting almost all the time, I was lazy and didn't really block anything.  I'm still bad and don't make swatches (oops), but I always try to block my work now.  And if I don't, it just seems to sit around.  I have one project, Ship to Shore Shawl, that I finished on the Alaska Cruise.  It's been sitting in my closet with my other finished shawls, but hasn't been blocked.  I just need to do it when I do my Ishbel.  There's something so satisfying about blocking.  You're done.  All done.  And then you go and enjoy what it is you've made or wrap it up to give away. So gratifying.

In other projects, I've been working on Hexipuffs for the Beekeeper's Quilt I started over two years ago.  Since Arlyn has started on hers, and I was coaching her through how to start them (really, it was taking pictures of me doing increases on my needles with a different project while I was in the car on the way to Tombstone), I've picked it back up and made a few.  It's a nice little thing to make while I'm working and in between projects.

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Knitting Downtime

Yesterday, one of my co-workers made the comment that I must have a really boring 8 hours.  And I'll be perfectly honest: I do.  But I try to occupy myself when I'm not answering phones or working on social media.  Usually I write these posts, browse Facebook for things to post on my page, glance at Ravelry for any new patterns to put in my ever-growing queue, and knit.  I don't like spending all my downtime on the internet, nor do I have any books on my Kindle that are begging for my attention.  So I knit.  I can put it down at a moment's notice if I need to do something, and I can still be totally aware of my surroundings. I started the Laughingbird scarf the first week I started this job.  I don't always work on it, and sometimes when I do I can only put a few rows in.  Some days I'm bored of it, and others I'm totally engaged in it.

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I can't wait to see it when it's all blocked.  I'm hoping that I can get another project going (maybe with some nicer yarn) before the San Diego Yarn Crawl.  I also am looking into getting a project back from Slipped Stitch Studios.  I'm kind of obsessed with their Lost at Sea fabric they've been using for their products.  I have bought way too much stuff of theirs in that fabric and am about to buy more.

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I'm looking into getting the Double Knit Plus Bag in Lost at Sea.  I know I have a ton of project bags that I've made myself already, but I really want this one...because of the fabric.  Believe me, if I knew where to find it, I would buy it all and make so many things with it. ...right after I wrote that, I just went and searched "Lost at Sea Fabric" and I found places to get it.  Damn.  There goes more money down the drain.  I really want to just buy 10 yards of the stuff.  It's a good thing my sewing machine is in storage...obviously that won't stop me from buying it.

I mentioned in a previous post I talked about knitting at work.  It just reminds me of my internship when Susan would say "Okay, enough work, let's go knit." And we would sit down and work on our projects, either personal or for the store, and if someone came in, I was able to pop up and help them.  That's something I really miss.  But no one has made a fuss here yet about me knitting on the job, so until they do, I'm going to do just that. And buy my new project bag.

New Knitting Pretties

IMG_6332 Ever since I got my Nickle Plated Interchangeable Needles from Knit Picks, I've been searching for the perfect case for them.  At first I had one from Knit Picks that was on clearance (I don't think they even have it anymore...and so I cannot link to it, nor do I know where it is off the top of my head after the move), and it did very nicely for a long time.  It was small, compact, 8" or so square in shape when closed, and held all my interchangeable needles, tools and accessories.  I only replaced it with a Della Q Double Interchangeable Needle Case when I got my Caspian Interchangeable Needles earlier this year (I kind of obsessed over them ever since they came out...so pretty!).

The Della Q one is nice, has labels for the needle sizes so you can grab them at a glance, and it had lots of pockets for the tools and accessories and extra space for extra needles and more sizes.  However, my one issue was the zipper pocket that I kept my cables in on the outside.  I would try to coil the cords as tight as I could, but they would always unwind themselves and then it made it hard to fold the right side over properly when I went to close the case.  It worked for a while, though.

Then Damian came home from Christmas '13 (between him, Arlyn and I, it was a very fibery Christmas) with his Pendleton Needle Case.  He showed me the large pockets and how it had space for both sets of needles.  The only issue for me was that it's only sold by Knit Picks, and they only had red (they call it Geranium) and Grey (if I remember correctly, that's the color Damian has...and I wanted something different than what he had, duh).  In the product photos, it looks like they used to have a green one, which would have been absolutely perfect for me, but it was not available.  So I stuck with my Della Q for a bit longer.  Well, when I was on the website a few weeks ago, just checking to see if any other colors came out, I noticed that they were adding a Marine (Navy) color!  It was the next best thing for me...you know, cause I like nautical stuffs, and navy blue seems to be a popular color in all of that.

So I bought it as soon as it was available (end of July), and it arrived this past Wednesday.  I immediately put all of my needles inside, and I love it.  It takes up less space in my Namaste Harlow Bag (I had been considering getting their Build Your Own Binder, but it would have been a little out of my price range...I love the concept though!), doesn't take up space on the table or on my lap when I have to open it up and it's not an ordeal to close it back up.  Everything seems to be staying in its place so far.  I do miss having the sizes labeled on the pockets since I got my Nickle Plated set before Knit Picks started engraving the sizes on the needles.

Also pictured are Caspian Cable Needles and the Yarn Kitten Project Bag. For cabling, I usually just use a DPN instead of an actual cable needle (you know, the curvy ones).  I liked it because all my DPNs are wood so it kept the stitches on the needle better than a plastic or metal cable needle or DPN.  The Caspian Cable Needles were a bit of an impulse buy, but I love the colors so much and they'll be well used.  That also doesn't risk me accidentally misplacing a DPN in my set.  Knit Picks also had a promotion recently that if you spent a certain amount of money, you would get either the Yarn Kitten bag or the Superfine Project Bag for free.  I chose kittens over Feelin' Superfine because...yanno...cats.

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I am no way affiliated with Knit Picks, Della Q or Namaste Inc., nor am I being paid to talk about their products...I just like their stuff.  A lot.