A Much Needed Quickie

I have several projects ongoing that feel like they are taking forever.  Truthfully, it’s more likely that they are taking so long because I’m jumping between several long projects, stretching out each already time-consuming task five times.  This weekend, anticipating spending most of the weekend in the car on a not-so-fun road trip, I wound a ball of yarn and started what I hoped would be a quick knit.

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The pattern is Autumn Leaves, and was so easy and quick to knit up.  The yarn is Linsilk – a nonwool, linen and silk blend yarn that I actually enjoyed knitting with.  However, I foresee it pilling if washed too aggressively.  All that is left is to sew the sleeve seams and add 3 little buttons and it’s finished – fast enough for me to regain some knitting mojo and keep trucking through some projects I really want complete, and some that I’ve promised others I would do.

The Follow Your Arrow shawl is stalled as I was trying to decide which option of the 5th clue I was going to use, and I was a little dismayed about those choices (more to come on this).  However, I am going to finish up the Over the Rainbow one starting this weekend so I can wear it for our trip to Seattle at the end of the month.

I have also promised to knit a shawl for an indie dyer to use as display, and I have the yarn, but not the pattern.  I’m hoping this will be on the needles for the plane ride and city wandering in Seattle.

And, I have one wee little sweater to seam up for a Ravelry friend, which I’m hoping will be completed by Saturday.

In between all of that is a bag design I’ve been working on for publication, and another little bag design that I’m trying to work out as a gift.

Besides all of that, Burning Man tickets will be on sale soon, and thinking about my summer plans has caused an influx of inspiration.  I want to get all of the necessary things off the needles and out the door so I can start working on those designs.

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My Distraction

I’ve been trying to knit and stash bust and work quickly because the holidays are approaching whether we like it or not, and several people close to me are expecting little humans.  Enter, the stash bust blanket.  I have this black/white boucle that someone gave me.  It was one of those giant bajillion yard skeins that came without a label, and it’s been sitting in my drawer without a project because, while I like the color and it is rather soft, I hate knitting with boucle.  It’s impossible to get stitch definition, and if you screw up, say goodbye to your project because there is no ripping back.

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And then I thought about one of the babies we’re expecting in January, and how the mom is allergic to wool and what could I possibly knit from stash that is wool-free, and this yarn jumped out at me.  So, I’m making a simple garter stitch mitered square blanket.  This is great because I can stop when the yarn runs out and it will always be a square. I only hope that it is large enough to swaddle a tiny person in.  I think with vigorous blocking it will be fine.

And strangely, this project has been addictive.  Maybe it’s the excitement for having a little human to put it around.  Or maybe it’s the softness of the fiber.  Or maybe it’s that I really, REALLY, want to get through my stash so I can finally go to the yarn store guilt free.

(To illustrate how addictive it’s been, I started this project before I left for Burning Man – completed a couple of inches, then picked it up again last Wednesday.  This is how far I got in 5 days.)

Bind Off Cast On

I started casting off the baby blanket on my lunch break yesterday.  Something about the size of the border just seemed right to me.  Looking at it all laid out (pictures to follow another day), I think it was a good move.  It looks a bit crumpled right now, because of the nature of chenille, so I want to block it a bit before I really show it off.  Maybe a nice steam blocking…

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I have 4 balls of this yarn left and I really don’t know what to do with them.  I’m not a fan of the chenille.  It is super soft and great for the baby blanket, but doesn’t lend itself easy to inspiration or knitting – it’s a bit hard on the hands.  If you would like them, say the word and I will package the 400ish yards up and send them straight to you.  Otherwise, I fear they will be stuck in my stash for ages.

 

This morning, I was glancing about trying to figure out what to take with me on my day.  I always have a project to work on during my lunch break, but didn’t seem to find anything in my WIP basket that was small enough to take.  That’s not true – I grabbed the Bosc scarf and put that in my bag, then looked around for the pattern (why I didn’t keep it with the project, I have no idea).  I couldn’t find the pattern, but I did find Entrechat, which has been in my queue for a while.  I have a ton of single skeins of worsted, also, as well as a quickly growing god daughter and pregnant friends.  So I grabbed a set of needles, a ball of yarn, and the pattern and left the house.  I’m a few rows away from binding off the sleeves, and I’m super excited.  This is another project that may be knit up several times.

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If I have it done by Sunday, you will definitely be seeing more of them.  This is Madeline Tosh Merino Superwash, which is absolutely marvelous to work in.

Pack, Unpack, Rinse, Repeat

Pack, unpack, rinse, repeat… Pack, unpack, rinse….  That has been the last couple of months for me and it has been glorious!!  I started packing Ellette for Burning Man while packing myself for the Aerial Dance Festival.  When I came home, I pulled out the extra goodies I had picked up on Pearl Street in Boulder and added them to her box.  Then, I went shopping for First Aid supplies and built an extensive kit for the Playa.  From there, I have been throwing my clothing and other things I think of into a pile in the corner, all to be packed over the coming days.  For now, I’m washing the stuff I took to Colorado, much of which will then go into the Burning Man Mountain.

In the meantime, I’m trying to wrap up projects on the needles.  I have a new project ready to take on the road with me, but I don’t want to abandon my summer knits.  I cast off the green socks (pictures still to be taken, sorry!) and committed myself whole heartedly to the green baby blanket (I seem to have a thing for green…).

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I’m on the border, and I think it’s a death trap.  I did not count how many stitches I picked up, but the blanket is fairly big, and all four sides are on my needles right now.  I feel like I’m man-handling a fuzzy jellyfish.  I have only managed 5 rounds for the border, with each round taking about 20 to 30 minutes.  I don’t know how wide I want the border, but right now it looks silly, so I’ll just keep going.  I still have 4 balls of yarn so it could last a while.  Unfortunately, none of the photos are really appealing because the magnitude and pattern aren’t really visible in it’s current state.  If I do two rounds a night, it should be done within a week.  I think.

Thoughts on a Tuesday

I’m so close to being done with the baby blanket that it has practically become an addiction.  It’s only *not done* because the obsessive compulsive side of me would like it to be a real square, so I keep measuring the cast-on edge to the length I’ve knit so far and estimated I’m not done yet, a few more repeats, a few more rows.  Once that’s done, I want to add a border.  I’m debating a garter stitch border to keep it simple like the main checkerboard design, or a more intricate border that pops against the monotony of the blanket body.  Thoughts?

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You will be relieved to hear that I found Jeana’s cardigan.  It was in a bag with balls of Sugar ‘n Cream so that I didn’t realize it was there.  Those silly house pixies are more clever than I thought.  I will have to keep a better eye on my knits.

Sad to say that besides the monotony of checkerboard knitting and the victory in finding a lost wip, all that is happening in my world is Burning Man planning, with the awareness to start throwing clothing into a suitcase as I think about what needs to be packed for the Aerial Dance Festival, as I leave at the crack of dawn on Saturday.  More headway will be made on this later this week.

This Time It Will Fit

Last night, while watching 90s sitcoms and sitting in front of a fan at full blast, I whacked out a chunk of the Summer Pelisse for Jeana.  This time, I knit the size about what she would fit now, because I was unsure how long it would take me to knit it.  As it stands now, I have the right front and most of the back done.  This leaves the left front, two sleeves, and a tiny button band until I reach completion.  I think I can get it finished by Sunday evening.  Famous last words…I know, I know.  Sunday will be my only solo day for the entire summer.  I won’t have another day off until the second weekend of September.  And by “day off” I mean a day in which I can accomplish what is on my task list without obstacle, kick up my feet if I wish, and knit to my heart’s content.  I will have two vacations, but those are so jam packed and crazy I can’t really see them as “days off.”

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Anyway, back to the Pelisse.  The color in the photos is looking more lilac than what the color is in reality.  It’s more of a navy, cornflower type thing.  Not as dark as navy, but along those lines.   I love it, and I think with the horseshoe lace pattern, it’s turning out rather feminine and sweet.  This is the same yarn as the other one, knit to a slightly looser gauge.  I really like the feel of the fabric – full of drape and very soft.

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I have one more of these to make.  This last one will be for Jeana’s big sister Ryley, and will be in a lovely lavender.  That probably won’t get started until sometime in September, but could end up being a little later.

Also, a reader pointed out to me that a link wasn’t working in a previous post.  I fixed it, and want to reiterate why the link was there.

At the end of August I will be driving to Black Rock Desert with my daughter and a friend to attend Burning Man.  This is kind of a big deal for me – a major bucket list item will be crossed off with this adventure, and so many stories, inspiration, and friendships will be borne from it.  Remember Lakes of Fire?  It’s like that, but BIGGER!  I will be departing on my birthday for the most world-changing experience I’ve ever undertaken on my road to self-discovery.

But, it ain’t cheap.  To fund this trip, I am offering a discount to my Etsy shop.  Use coupon code PIXIE2BURNINGMAN to receive 25% off anything your little heart desires.  All funds from sales will go to my bucket list.  I will even include a mystery gift with every purchase (excluding digital patterns).  Custom orders are included in this – so if you want a special pair of wings or knitwear designed specifically for *you*, please consider this.  Your help is greatly appreciated!!

 

Finally, A Finished Object

I was up until well past my bedtime on Saturday, determined to finish this lovely little item.  I had figured out who it was going to  be for, and Sunday was going to be the last time I see her before the babe is born.  I’m glad I had the thought to bring the item with me so I could finish it up, and even remembered my bucket bin!

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This is the Summer Pelisse from Jane Austen Knits.  I used a cotton yarn (the name escapes me at the moment) in cream to work up this adorable summer cardigan.  I was giggling while sewing in the puff sleeves.  I adore puff sleeves.  I want them on everything, but on most adult garments, they tend to look silly.

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The horseshoe lace is a mindless pattern for me.  I don’t have to think about it anymore.  This cardigan is designed with just a little bit of ruffle at the top of the lace.

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I’m not quite sure how I feel about the drawstring.  I’m not sure if it’s actually useful or practical, since my experience with babies is that they like to grab and pull.

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The buttons are simple purple ones I found in my stash.  They were perfect – that excellent pop of color, feminine, but not over the top.

When the mother received the gift on Sunday, her reaction was the best.  A sharp gasp and her eyes went wide and that drawn out “awe” followed, and continued, and then there were tears.  She is 8 months pregnant, after all.

I love this pattern so much that I am making a larger one for my god daughter, and I will probably make a third for her sister.  I have to knit quickly to finish it all before other responsibilities take over.

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