FO: Heliopath Vest

Yesterday one of my coworkers jokingly asked me how being married is any different from dating except for (in my case) living together.  She caught me off guard because all I could think of were serious answers.  Little things like I get a good night kiss every night even if I'm already asleep or I'm so secure in our relationship that I've started singing in the shower.  Or the fact that I now get presents like this

Which turn into this

That's right!  On Monday I finished my Heliopath Vest by Emma Welford out of The Plucky Knitter Plucky Sweater in Sticky Toffee.  I was so excited and happy with the result that I proceeded to wear it for the rest of the day including to a full staff quarterly meeting at work.  Nothing makes me feel more smug than when someone walks over and says "I'm guessing you knit that".  I should be more modest, but in an organization full of outstanding creative individuals I have to take me accolades where I can.

I was really nervous about knitting the size 34 once I got about halfway through the body of the vest.  Even though I wanted a fitted look I became very concerned that it would be too small.  Fortunately I trusted my gut, the advice of Emma, and my swatch and powered through.

It was a lot easier to memorize the pattern than I had originally thought. The cable is logical and adorable and I made liberal use of my stitch markers.  It was a little slow going if I wanted to read, but got me through many a football game or match and hit that autumnal cable craving I always develop this time of year.  And then you get to drop stitches!  That was one of the most decadent feelings I have ever had.

Oh, and the buttons?  They're Gnome Acres.  And so stinking cute people admire them more than my stitches.

To see more proud finished objects, head on over to Tami's Amis!


Make Way for Buttons

Happy Monday!  I hope your weekend was lovely.  We are enjoying a slow start to our morning, mostly because we are out of food and too lazy to make a grocery list.  So instead I'm digging up frozen fruit for smoothies and working on this mess of yarn.

Hopefully I'll be able to wear my new sweater today after I sew on some of these.

Then again, maybe I'll cast on a new pair of socks . . .


WIP Happy

We are fast approaching the start of the new tv season and I have been manic with my attempts to catch up on everything I fell behind on last year.  I am all caught up on Once Upon a Time and I'm now completely obsessed [again] with Revenge.  And now I am realizing just how much tv I watch and how little I stay current with.  Ah, well.

I'm still knitting away on the Heliopath vest.  I am thirteen inches into the body and have been in that black hole where I knit for hours and make absolutely no progress.  This may also be due to the fact that every time I sit down to work on it I feel an overwhelming need to take a nap, but I still argue it is a rift in space and time.

For those who were admiring the stitch markers last week, I bought them here.

Because I finished my purse project but have yet to feel the need to lug a cabled sweater around with me I cast on a pair of Cursed Cable Mitts in my special skein of Knitter's Nightmare -- Ducky and Andy.

These mitts are going so fast!  Admittedly I am making them a tad bit shorter, but they are already a tad baggy on my hands and I wanted to avoid the scrunch factor when wearing them with a coat.  These have gotten me through several hours of convention speakers and been quite useful for the "I'm stressed!  I'm just going to knit a row real quick" moments at work.

To see more works in progress, hopefully with less procrastination and stress, check out Tami's Amis!


Case of Ingestion

We suffered another loss here last week -- of the fiber variety.  This one fell prey to the foul beast who lurks behind our couch.  One whom all socks have learned to speak of in hushed tones only.  That great black beast known as Helo.

Thursday I walked both to and from work, having woken up with a migraine and deciding not to inflict my blurry state on the other drivers making their morning commute.  So I pulled on my favorite pair of handknit socks and over the course of the day walked a total of seven miles (I've been using a pedometer just for fun).  When I came home I took the dog back out for a walk, not realizing the treachery that would come.  We went on our walk, taking in the sights, fighting over how many bushes to crawl under or why he cannot go make the sweet little pit puppy across the way his girlfriend.  Finally we returned home where I collapsed on the couch, took off my shoes, and decided to veg out a bit in front of Veronica Mars.

After a few minutes I realized that I had not seen or heard Helo since returning home and decided to check in on him, only to find a most vicious sight.  Helo, the dog we so lovingly care for, eating my sock.  Yes, you heard that right, eating.

It seems Helo decided I did not pay enough attention to him, and thus decided to get my notice the best way he knew how.  Or he was just expressing his admirable taste in knitwear.  I am unconvinced either way.  All I know is that if we had a doghouse, Helo would have been in it.

Working in his favor, Gnome Acres had a big update on Friday so I was able to snag some replacement yarn.  He acknowledges that this makes him a very lucky dog.


FO: Makai

Where has this week gone?  I swear it was Monday like yesterday.  Now it is all just a blur of heat, work, and House Cup knitting.  Last week I showed you what I turned in for detention, and this week I seem to have decided that I am going to turn in homework for at least four classes.  First up?  Potions.

You may not immediately recognize this pattern, even if you are familiar with it, because I blocked it a bit differently.  This is Makai by Mel Ski knit in Another Crafty Girl Strong Sock in the Residual Boulders colorway.  I had an absolute blast knitting up this pattern and really enjoyed the inventive way in which it is shaped.  It's just enough that I had to read through the pattern several times but not enough that I could not read while working on it.  Mel actually has a few video posts in which she explains each portion of the shawl and I highly recommend watching them.  Sometimes you just want to stop thinking and let someone else show you exactly what to do.  Or maybe that's just me.

This was my first project in Another Crafty Girl and I really enjoyed the yarn.  I can now see why everyone enjoys it so much.  The shawl is designed to look like waves breaking and I thought these colors just worked to make that happen.  The pattern is also great to break up pooling.  It was not until after I blocked it that I saw the odd striping pattern the yarn had fallen into.

If ever you feel the need to stir up a little drama and speculation, just go outside to take pictures of knitting in an urban neighborhood.  My neighbors already seem to find me odd and this just sealed the deal for them.  Guess I'm the only woman they've seen climb over briar bushes to take pictures of a shawl on a log in an effort to get more of a natural photo.

To see more finished objects, probably from people who don't weird out their neighbors quite as much, check out the gang over at Tami's Amis.


Dos A Cero!

I don't know what you've been up to lately, but in our household it has been all US national football all the time.  I'm normally not a football fan (I refuse to call it soccer when we are talking about the international field -- it helps me to feel more legitimate), but Chris is so obsessed that it started cross-contaminating me.  Plus it is 90+ minutes of uninterrupted time that I can sit and knit on the couch while he watches.  Or while standing on bar tables with the rest of the American Outlaws. 

All of this football watching has led to increased productivity in my knitting.  I have finally started to make some headway on my Heliopath Vest.  I am knitting mine out of The Plucky Knitter Sweater in the colorway Sticky Toffee.  Normally I would never be able to knit a sweater out of such a fancy yarn, but wedding anniversaries are good for some things, after all.  I bought this yarn specifically for this pattern, which was the initial driving force behind buying The Unofficial Harry Potter Knits.  It is a little more work than my usual patterned but simple projects, but the cables and dropped stitches are really keeping it interesting.

I'm really ready for fall to get here.  I'm daydreaming of cables and hats and many shades of orange.

To see more works in progress, probably from less football obsessed households, check out the gang over at Tami's Amis!


FO: Sockhead Bounty Hunter

I feel a little weird blogging about this project just because it fees like everyone has knit this or is knitting it again.  But I really have had this on the needles for at least a year.  Why yes, it is a completed Sockhead Hat out of Haldecraft Bounty Hunter.

If you know the Sockhead pattern you know that this about half the height of the actual pattern.  The total hat used under 280 yards.  I waffled a lot about how tall to make my version, but ultimately I decided that as I do not have a lot of hair to fill out the fabric then there is no need to make it any longer.

Like many other extremely popular patterns I was originally not drawn to the Sockhead pattern on matter of principle.  It is an extremely basic pattern and I just did not see the appeal.  Fast forward a few years and I am over my need to only knit complicated patterns all the time and now find value in the more basic handknit.  Plus I now have all these crazily verigated skeins that need patterns that highlight their beauty.  So I'm embracing the simple knits, and appreciating the ones so clearly written they have gone viral.

And what FO would be compete without a puppy photo?  Helo is now officially part of a handknit family.

To see more FOs, probably with fewer puppies, check out the linkup over at Tami's Amis.


Sneak Attack Yarns

I did a marvelous thing last weekend.  I took a vacation.  On a holiday.  In my current line of work that is rather rare.  Some friends and I went over to Asheville for the weekend to stay in a cabin in the woods, hike, watch movies, and maybe go drink some champaign in a bookshop.

And you'll never guess what we happened upon.

Oh yes, yarn.  I nearly missed this shop as we walked past.  I actually do not know what it is called because we did not have time to stop in, but it was pretty cool to walk past.  And there were other yarn shops.  Most specifically Yarn Paradise and Asheville Home-crafts.  Sadly Yarn Paradise is closing, but Asheville Home-crafts is still alive and weirdly well.  It was the most fascinating hodgepodge collection of novelty acrylic and local handspun.  I got a Zauberball and this crazy skein of Cascade called Hollywood.

I think there is something really fun and crazy to be found in this skein.  Possibly something one might wear to a chocolate lounge.  Because oh yeah, that exists too.


Magic is Coming

It happened!  It finally happened!  Since last we spoke I was sorted into Gryffindor as a part of Harry Potter Knit and Crochet House Cup.  I cannot begin to tell you how excited I am.  I told the Sorting Hat I was fine with where ever it deemed would be the best location for me and the decision was still Gryffindor.  I've spent a large part of my adolescence and adult life identifying as Gryffindor but being told by fellow fans that there is just no way, I must be a Ravenclaw.  Well the joke's on them -- the new Hermoine Granger is here to stay!

So in my self-appointed roll of overachiever to prove that I belong, I am working hard to knock out more than the required one item per month, starting with Makai.

Makai is a lovely shawl pattern by Mel of Singlehanded Knits written in three parts.  I am using Another Crafty Girl Strong Sock in her Residual Boulders colorway.  I am excited to see how it works up.  The stitch pattern is gorgeous and knits up very intuitively.  Plus, you get all of Mel's video support after you purchase the pattern.

To see more rad works in progress, check out the gang over at Tami's Amis!