Finished Object: Foolproof

I really have been doing things other than knitting, just haven’t felt like posting about anything of that. So, I’ve got yet another FO post for you all.

When I completed the Clapotis, I immediately took it into work to keep myself warm in my very cool office. Then, after less than ten minutes of wear, remembered that I can’t actually wear wool. After pulling it off, I decided a different recipient would be more appropriate, one of Lizzie’s primary preschool teachers.

Which left me with an issue: what do make for her other primary teacher? I knew that I would use the other DK gradient kit from Neighborhood Fibre Company, this one in teals and jades.

After a bit of thinking, I decided on an old favorite, the Foolproof Cowl.

I knit until I had 54 stitches per side, then switched colors. For each of the other two colors – the last two colors in the gradient kit didn’t get touched at all – were knit for 30 ridges before switching. I went dark to light then, after picking up the other side of the darkest stitches, I started with light. It makes sense if you saw it all together.

It wound up quite long, perfect for being doubled-up on your neck when it’s not in the mid-90s.

It’ll get delivered tomorrow, along with the Clapotis. Just a very little of what the two ladies deserve for handling a room full of two year-olds…

Flurry of FOs on Friday

I’ve been doing quite a bit of knitting lately – hence the lack of blog posts – and figured it’s about time I share a few photos. I’ve got two shawls plus a quick-knit hat to share. Both shawl projects were created for coworkers and were the perfect combination of mindless and beautiful output. The hat was intended for Lizzie but, well, it wound up far too large for her, as you’ll see.

First up, my second Different Lines shawl, made from Spud and Chloe Fine. I’ll admit I’m not big on the yarn itself, but it was on sale and really great colors.

I only had 400 m of each color, so I only managed twelve of the cream-colored rows. It wound up just the perfect size for the coworker it was made for; she’s worn it every day when it’s chilly in our office.

Second project was my first ever Lacy Backtus, knit in Hempathy. The coworker I gave this to has a wool allergy, so was a perfect recipient for an item made in this bright blue I’d grabbed on sale during a trip to Denver.

(Excuse the just-got-out-of-the-shower look. I, well, was just out of the shower.)

Final project is a Short-Rows Sideways Hat, made in scraps of Ms Babs from a cowl project I made a few months ago.

Up next: A Foolproof cowl for one of Lizzie’s daycare teachers

FO: Clapotis KAL

I finally had a chance to get a few FO photos tonight, as Matt works on well, work and Lizzie sleeps upstairs. You can’t hear it from there, but I’m singing along to a playlist of show tunes and blues standards (thanks to Pandora letting me combine two stations).

As you know, I did this as a KAL with my buddy Ana (who isn’t quite done but, again, she’s busy prepping for her thesis defense). I had a pretty chill couple of days when we first started, so I made rather quick progressed and finished in less than a week.

That’s after the first day.

This one, well, it’s only three days later.

The colors turned out wonderfully. I switched colors when I ran out of the previous one, with the exception of starting the final (bright yellow) ball when I was ready to start the decrease section.

This KAL reminded me while this was such a popular project for all those years. It’s easy to knit so not terrifying for beginners and just interesting enough to keep an experienced knitter from falling asleep. Perfect TV knitting, as they say.

I may just make another, this time in the shades of aqua I got on my trip to the NFC studios in early May.

(All of the project details are on my Ravelry.)

State of the Stash II

I’m pretty impressed with myself, both in terms of how quickly I managed to acquire yarn after my last SotS (less than a week later) and also how much I actually knit this month.

Current statistics (delta from last month):

  • Total of 20,215 (+1262) yards
  • Lace weight: 0 yards (does not include the yarn I have up for trade/sale)
  • Fingering weight: 7,245 (+253, probably just something I found between stash counts as I did not buy any) yards
  • Sport weight: 11612 (+315) yards
  • DK weight: 1144 (+684) yards
  • Worsted weight: 6,432 (-249) yards
  • Aran weight: 2645 (+603) yards
  • Bulky: 1,131 (no change) yards
  • Super Bulky weight: 0 (no change) yards

What I bought:

  • Two Studio DK gradient kits (685 yards each, one used up in this month) from Neighborhood Fiber Company
  • One Rustic Fingering gradient kit (1100ish yards) from Neighborhood Fiber Company
  • One skein of Studio DK from NFC (which I just realized I never put in my stash…so is not above)
  • One skein of Jawoll in crazy bright colors (459 yards)

What I Knit:

  • Various leftovers from projects, mostly Sport weight
  • Started a skirt for E (though that whole total is still in the above)
  • Knit a Clapotis and a mini shawl (totaled 685 yards of DK, but that was all purchased this month)
  • Knit a Different Lines (used up 2 skeins of Spud and Chloe Fine)

Reunion 2016

For the last five years, a couple folks in Matt’s extended family have planned a reunion. There’s a ton of us, but that’s what you get when you start with two people who had seven kids who then each had ~3 kids who are now, well, our age (oldest cousin is in her 50s, youngest is 26). We live all over – current locations include a set of missionaries in Tanzania, someone hiking the AT equivalent in New Zealand and folks in the more frigid part of the Midwest, but mostly in the Mid-Atlantic region.

The reunion has usually been at the family estate – okay, a medium-sized house on a few acres, owned by the aforementioned missionaries – in Delaware. Two years ago, it was at a park in Maryland because a cousin was married one weekend in June and, realistically, no one was going to come up/down/over twice in a single summer. This year, though, we did something entirely different. One of the uncles cashed in probably years worth of timeshare credits to get a handful of three-bedroom suits at a swanky resort near Williamsburg.

Some things were different, others the same. Having our own apartments meant we weren’t all together all the time – great for true introverts like Lizzie and Matt. Being at a resort meant a giant pool and putt-putt and, well, constantly available A/C. (The DE reunions were in the side/back yard of a family member and we tried to stay outside as much as we could so we didn’t elevate their electric bill any more than absolutely necessary.) We did breakfast and lunch on our own, with dinner together in a multi-purpose room in the main building.

While I get completely stressed people around people all of the time, these are some of my favorite people to be made to be stressed by. Wait, that sounds wrong. But you know what I mean. I had a really great time with them. I was so busy having fun, in fact, that the only photos I have are – mostly – when I was enjoying a bit of quiet between chaotic moments (which may have been happening right next to me).

We joked that they purposefully put our rooms as far from the common pool/activities as possible. This meant strolls over there a few times a day, plus a quick drive last night when it was pouring rain and none of us wanted to deal with that.

Some folks either catching up on one another’s lives or discussing the issues of the day.

Cousin’s kids playing cards (Uno?) after dinner and before the adults were ready to attempt bedtime routines.

They discovered the playground quickly. My own blonde blur really loved it.

Extra energy was also expelled via a large game of duck-duck-goose on the front lawn. At least one set of non-related children joined us.

The pool was probably the biggest hit of the weekend with both kids and adults.

Lizzie, unlike previous years, took to the water like it was nothing and totally crashed afterwards.

A rainy day wasn’t without fun, thanks to an uncle who brought two bags of craft supplies.

Cries of “We found a frog!” sent everyone running out to the back patio. This poor guy was hunted down by a the under-10 set mulitple times.

Do you guys have reunions? Are they fun or dreaded? Big? Small? What do you eat (because, well, you have to eat at a reunion)?

Stash Enhancement (of the Stationery Variety)

This weekend, I sort of fell into a hole of stationery. It started at Michaels then continued at Target and the local Korean store.

Above: Washi tape tube (Michaels), PaperJoy 0.7 gel pens in bright colors (Target), hediwapp travel-themed stickers (Michaels), metal charms (Michaels), and nice pencil (Target).

I have to show off the stickers, because they are really awesome.

I’m hoping to use this when we go on trips, big or small, to spruce up what is usually pretty boring recording of our adventures.

I decided to be fancy and show you guys all of the washi and what the pens – and pencils – look like in my MTN. The InkJoy gel pens are super smooth and have great ink lay down.

I put one of the charms on my MTN right way. Think it perfectly expressed where I am right now, trying to enjoy everything that my life is right now.

Last, but not least – part of my purchase at the Korean stationary store. A pair of these adorable notebooks.

ClapoKAL16 – Kickoff!

Are you guys excited?

*crickets*

Well, I will pretend as if there are hundreds of you all out there, just itching to get started on this. I seem pretty dang pathetic, otherwise.

Tomorrow starts the first KAL I’ve ever hosted. The pattern is the very popular Clapotis – a drop-stitch scarf knit on the bias, designed to hearken back to the great scarves French women wear nearly year-round. (And, yes, they really do – I’ve bought a scarf every time I’ve gone to French, mostly to attempt to fit in better.)

What You’ll Need

In case you’re one of the 100 people who’ve never knit it before, here are the pattern requirements for Clapotis:

  • 815 yards of Worsted weight – original pattern was in a single-ply wool
  • Needle size US 8 (or size needed to obtain gauge, not that it’s particularly important)
  • 18 (yes – 18!) stitch markers

The pattern, as written, winds up at a size of 21″ x 55″ which is rather wide but not quite as long as a typical scarf for the average women (usually about 65″).

Helpful Resources

Oh! Before we get started, here’s two great resources if you face issues with the construction or following the pattern:

  • Ravelry group about Clapotis – it’s been dormant for awhile but you’ll still find some excellent tips
  • Google Docs folder for an Excel and PDF tracker/cheat sheet version of the pattern (I’m going to use the PDF, as I did for my other version of this scarf)

 

My Version
I decided to use the rest of the gradient kit from Neighborhood Fiber Company. Isn’t it pretty? Plan is to start with the dark orange then proceed in order, ending with the lighter yellow. I have more yardage than called for, so I’m probably going to keep the width but make it longer. (I’ll share my plan for making sure I have enough for the last section in a later post.)

(Weird picture because today was our first day of mostly sunlight in, oh, two weeks, and I really wanted to get the photo out of the way so I could get out of the house and enjoy the sun.)

Getting Started

The scarf is done in three sections – increase section, straight section, and decrease section. You start with only two stitches then increase one stitch per row, at the end of the row. Make sure you read the helpful tip about when to twist stitches.

So, go on – get started! I won’t tell if you start before Midnight in your timezone. This is just for fun, afterall. If you decide to join me, tag your project/post/photo/whatever with #clapokal16.

Next week…my progress!