Sweater thoughts.

I have the itch to cast on a sweater for myself; a nice cardigan or something with cables or maybe something simple knit from gorgeous yarn. But I am Being A Grownup. My first priority must be to Finish All Most Of The Things OTN. If I cast on something else it will just add to the mental weight of UFOs, which is already heavy enough to drag at me.

That being said, there are many thoughts running through my head concerning yarn, sweaters and how I might pair them up. (I have five (5!) nine (9!) sweaters’ worth of yarn, soon to be six (6!) ten (10!).)

Noro Silk Garden striped sweater.

This is one of the yarns in my stash, color 289 (blues and greens) and 269 (beiges).

I plan a striped sweater from this yarn, with the stripes like this…

…or like this, using the knit-one-below stitch, as demonstrated in this scarf.inside_outside_scarf_finis_medium.jpg

The advantage of the first stripe pattern is that 1, it is simpler than knit-one-below; b, I could use any generic pullover pattern; and iii, I definitely have enough yarn for it (2,200 yards).

The advantage of the second stripe pattern is that it yields vertical stripes, which we all know are more flattering than horizontal ones. Major disadvantages are 1, it is more difficult to correct user error in the knitting, and b, it takes more yarn (I think). Since I have more-or-less exactly enough yarn, that could be problematic. (However, I had a brain storm while surfing Ravelry for photos for how I envision this sweater. I could substitute a different yarn for the beige Noro! Besides the advantage of being able to buy plenty of the sub and avoid a game of yarn chicken, the substitute yarn could be a blend with less wool and therefore not as warm as the Silk Garden: a worsted weight sweater made mainly of wool would be way too warm for me. I think I will follow the sub route. Anybody want to buy ten skeins of beige Noro SG?)

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Rovings sweater.

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I bought this at my first Yarnover in (gulp) 2007. 

This yarn has been in my stash for…

::checks Ravelry::

ten years!

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I am pretty sure that moths got to it sometime during that period, so I took precautionary measures.

I bought the yarn during the last minutes of my first foray into the market at Yarnover. It was love at first sight — those colors! so *me*! But I knew that my knitting skills at the time were not up to a fingering weight sweater deserving of such gorgeous yarn and so this purchase was an investment, not a wild impulse. Got that? Investment for the future, not impulse purchase based on sudden desire.

I toyed with various ideas of how to make the best use of the yarn. For a long time I thought intarsia diamonds down the front would be cool. I saw that in a Kaffe Fassett vest somewhere, but I can’t find it on Ravelry. Here are a couple of other KF designs; use your imagination.

Then, in 2011 or or so, after I made Steven West’s Daybreak, I had the idea of designing a sweater using that pattern. At Yarnover I acquired a white-ish skein of the same Rovings yarn to use for the yoke.

The sweater would look vaguely like this:

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I have plenty of yarn for this one. The yarn, fingering weight, came in 800-yard skeins, and I bought four. Yep, that should be enough yarn.

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Cabled cardigan in Knit Picks City Tweed DK.

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My Knit Picks City Tweed DK. Color is fairly accurate.

I spent a hour the other night when I couldn’t sleep searching Ravelry for sweaters that others had made from this yarn. The image that has been in my head ever since I bought the yarn — almost 3,200 yards (what was I thinking?) — was of a cabled V-neck cardigan.

Here are the contenders.

Clockwise from upper left: the Cable Embrace Cardigan from Knit Picks; the Grandpa Cardigan by Joji Locatelli; the Tangled Yoke Cardigan by Eunny Jang; Sophie by Jennifer Wood; and the Locke Street Cardigan by Glenna C.

If I knit the Grandpa sweater I would convert the sleeves and back to stockinette with perhaps a single column of cables in order to simplify things, e.g., shorten the time to knit. And at least one of those patterns does not offer my size; I’d have to add about four inches to the bust. (It’s the Tangled Yoke. I think putting more increases in the yoke would not be difficult.)

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Rowan Calmer sweater.

Back when Rowan announced that it was discontinuing this yarn, I panicked. Because an all-wool worsted-weight sweater is too warm, and a lighter weight yarn would take me roughly forever to knit — I have never knit a sweater in under two years — Calmer seemed like a logical choice for me. Therefore, I stocked up before it was all gone.

Clockwise from left: 16 skeins (2,800 yds) in a lovely teal;  12 skeins (2,100 yds) in natural; 5 skeins (875 yds) in a lighter blue. I’m pretty sure I have one skein of olive, too, but it never made it onto my Ravelry stash page.

The natural or even the teal would go well as an Aran sweater, but frankly, I’m not sure I have enough years left on this earth to knit one, especially given the other sweaters discussed above and below. Beyond that, I haven’t a clue.

Unknown sweater.

On the way home from the Boston trip I made a slight detour to visit The Fold in Marengo IL. Since the last thing in the world I need is more yarn, this stop should have been strictly sightseeing. But it turned out otherwise.

Besides one skein of cotton/wool blend sock yarn — I need more warm weather socks! — I ordered enough of a cotton yarn in a tweedy olive for another V-neck cardigan. This one I envision being plain, no cables, no pattern stitches, just stockinette.

Tragically, I do not absolutely remember what brand of yarn it was. I think it was Kraemer, and Google led me to the Kraemer page. I think this was the yarn, Tatamy Tweed, but I don’t remember if we ordered worsted or DK.

I had to order the yarn because they did not have enough of one dye lot for me. Every day I check the mail in anticipation of a package.

But Kat™, you say, remember? You are Being An Adult? You were going to finish some things first?

Pshaw, I say. A knitter can dream.

Other.

Clockwise from upper left: 7 skeins of Louet KidLin laceweight (1,750 yds); 17 skeins of Gedifra Cotton Merino (1,850 yds); 15 skeins of Madil Edem (1,640 yds); and 2 cones of Colourmart cashmere laceweight (6,000 yds).

Good grief, just typing all that makes me cringe. I acquired the first two from others’ destash, so I don’t have a ton of money invested in them; the red Gedifra was intended for Fairfield sweater, but it languished for so long in a tote bag and I feared that I didn’t have enough of it for that pattern — but mostly because I screwed up the sleeve decreases — that I frogged it. The brown Eden was part of a Summer Chevron sweater that didn’t work out. The Colourmart yarn was an experiment to see what laceweight cashmere was like; don’t ask me why that required 6,000 yards of it. (If you are wondering, this particular laceweight cashmere feels rather like string. I should probably wash the swatch I made and see if it softens up.)

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There you have it: my ambitions and my shame. And now, back to Being An Adult and Finishing [Some of] The Things OTN…and maybe a destash.

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Posted in knitting, Sweaters, Yarn | 6 Comments

Throw-back Thursday: October 2010.

Nest; originally posted 10/10/10 (Wow, see what I did there?)

Matthew is here today to get new brakes on his car and to help Smokey do some other car stuff. A few minutes ago he came running into the house to show me what he had just snapped with his camera phone.

Nest 1

Behold: the biggest wasp nest we have seen in recent memory.

Hmm, guess we don’t use that door much. Maybe when I was designing the house I could have left it out…

Nest 2

Nest 3

Watch out, little ladybu– oh, wait, that’s one of those annoying Asian ladybugs.

Nest 4

Kill!

For now, while the wasps are active, we will just let them be. In a few weeks it will be cold enough that they will be sluggish. Then we will knock down the nest and burn it. ::wicked laugh::

Posted in TBT | 3 Comments

Foliage photo & Unraveled Wednesday #12.

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It was a very good week for reading (in spite of me being miserable with this cold).

First up was Pothole Confidential: My Life as Mayor of Minneapolis by R.T. Rybek. I remember R.T. from his years as a reporter for the Minneapolis Star Tribune, but he did a number of other things after that before he was elected mayor in 2001. This book probably won’t appeal to anyone who hasn’t lived in Mpls, but as a former resident I found it fascinating. Rybek’s accomplishment that is most important to our family was how he promoted the bicycle infrastructure of the city, leading to it being included in every list of bike-friendly cities. He was also a tireless promoter of the city.

Back when I was working in Minneapolis, one Monday morning a co-worker told the story of she and her fiancée had attended an outdoor winter event that weekend. A man had starting chatting with them and eventually introduced himself as the mayor of Minneapolis. He was just that outgoing.

Another time I was listening to the radio as I drove to work. I had gotten up on the wrong side of the bed that morning was very, very grumpy. R.T. happened to be on a morning drive-time show chatting with the host about music. The two of them were having so much fun that I realized, as I drove into the parking ramp, that they had completely turned around my horrible mood. He was just that enthusiastic and energetic.

Anyway, like I said, this book has a limited audience, but I really enjoyed it.

Next was Kitchens of the Great Midwest by J. Ryan Stradal, which happens to be another book set in my home region. If you enjoy wine and/or food, there is a lot here to please you, not to mention an interesting story.

* * * * *

There is not a lot happening on the knitting front; I am being very good about resting my thumbs. This was made somewhat easier by feeling like death warmed — and not like knitting — over for most of last week and weekend.

I did pick up a WIP Sunday night — a hat of Aran weight on US#8s that I started in the car on the way to one of the reunions. It was a fallback project if I got tired of Herbivore.

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The stripes are three strands of sock yarn held together. They are a tiny bit thicker than than the navy Aran, but close enough not to be noticeable.

This  project is fairly easy on the thumbs because I don’t need to hold the needle tightly at all. But I try to limit my time on it to an hour at a time, at most. That seems to work; my trapeziometacarpal* joints continue to get better.

From Wikipedia: “The most important joint connecting the wrist to the metacarpus, osteoarthritis of the TMC is a severely disabling condition; up to twenty times more common among elderly women than in average.”

Oh crap. “…severely disabling” “…more common among elderly women…” Not sure which of those seems worse…

*Wikipedia told me that the carpometacarpal joints are the five joints at the base of the thumb and fingers. The trapeziomatacarpal joint is specifically the one at the base of the thumb, and is the one troubling me.

Posted in Autumn, Unraveled Wednesdays | 7 Comments

Monday Q&A on a Tuesday.

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*Tell me about a product you love: Better Than Bouillon paste. So handy for amping up soups and other dishes, including enchilada sauce.

*How do you start a campfire? I call upon Smokey or Younger Son, both of whom are most excellent at starting fires.

*Tell me why your are working with the yarn weight you are.  Given the tender state of my thumb joints, I am very cautious about knitting. On Sunday I found that I could knit Aran weight yarn on US#8 needles with minimal discomfort, mainly because I did not need to hold on tightly. So I continued knitting the charity hat I started a few weeks back.

*Would you rather have tickets to HAMILTON or a Baseball play off game? Hamilton. No contest.

*Would you be frightened or thrilled to be on a space walk? When I was younger I would have been thrilled. Now that I am on the shady side of 60, I don’t know. Zero gravity might mean fewer aches and pains? Senior mobility issues might make it  problematic? Hard to say, really.

*Spices: cinnamon or pumpkin spice? Yes, please!

*Shoes your mother wore: Weird, but I do not remember any of the shoes my mother wore (although I am pretty sure she did wear shoes) except those of mine that she took over when I was tired of them.

*Your knitting this weekend in three words or less: Less is more.

*Apples eat them , cooked or raw? Yes, please!

*New baby?  What did they name it? No new babies around here except Thelma And Louise The Wonder Cats.

Posted in Monday questions | 4 Comments

That sheepdog photo.

Remember this from today’s yarn-y links post?Sheepdog experience tweet.jpg

There is more to the story.’

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Here is the photo competition he entered. Click on over and vote for your fave. (Spoiler alert: this photo has roughly twice the votes of any other.)

There. Credit given where credit was due.

Posted in LInks knitting | 2 Comments

Yarny links.

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Sheepdo– sheepdog?

My goodness, I saw a lot of sweaters this week that piqued my interest.

Wouldn’t this column look great down the front of a sweater?

Sorry, what?

Whatcha knittin’?

Brussels FTW!

WIPs FTW!

Alpacas vs. llamas.

Posted in LInks knitting | 3 Comments

A bridge is a link.

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The very best response to tRUMP’s offensive inanities about taking the knee.

Probably true.

Oh, yeah, it’s that time of year again.

Make smart choices.

The good timeline.

IPhone users need to see this.

Literary brooches.

Know your flag etiquette.

A prank for 2114.

Selfies and portraiture.

Posted in Links | 5 Comments

Foliage photo of the day, etc.

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Every year I see some oak leaves that do this, and every year I take a photo because they seem so weird.

Let’s do some bullets, ‘kay?

  • I cooked my right hand in a heating pad on Wednesday night. Thursday morning, as I write this, that hand definitely feels better than the left. Heat FTW!
  • Thank you all for your many suggestions on how to deal with the sore thumbs and absence of knitting! Although I suck at taking advice, I still appreciate it muchly.
  • I plan to cook the other hand later today — Thursday — and try to lay off the knitting until sometime this weekend.
  • Laying off the knitting is easier than it might be because I discovered that I can crochet without pain; fingering weight yarn and a 4.5mm/F hook with a big plastic handle and holding said hook in different ways so as not create a repetitive motion injury.
  • The crochet project will be felted potholder. I swatched this particular Araucania yarn years ago and found that it felted beautifully, never mind that the label said superwash.
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  • There may be more felted potholders in my future. Just sayin’.
  • On Monday I started to feel a scratch in my throat. By Wednesday I was in full-blown misery with a cold — coughing, sneezing, sniffling, congested, achy. Thursday was better. A friend said she had had this, too, and it lasted 2-1/2 weeks. Me? So far, so good. I seem to be improving.
  • Three weeks ago Thelma The Kitten started sneezing and sniffling herself. Emergency trip to the vet and a shot of antibiotics and she was no longer acting sick, although she continues to sniffle and sneeze, albeit somewhat less than at first.
  • I googled the symptoms of feline leukemia virus and was reassured that sniffling and sneezing were not listed.
  • I googled “kitten sniffle sneezing” and found some bogus stuff about vitamins and cider vinegar. Mainly we are just waiting it out. Sniffle-sneezing symptoms are typically caused by a virus, and there is no cure for that but time.
  • Louise The Kitten is thriving. She is the adventurous, active one. Thelma is more of a snugglebutton.
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Thelma the snugglebutton. The kittens’ favorite place to sleep is in my sock basket, but they stubbornly insist that there are too many pairs of socks in it for comfort. I keep picking up socks from the floor.

  • Okay,  time for another nap. Catch you on the flip side!
Posted in Autumn, Crochet, knitting, Uncategorized | 5 Comments

Three things.

Three

Three things I am NOT doing.

  1. Knitting. This is really, really hard, but I know that letting those thumbs rest for awhile (weeks? months? ::sob::) is the best thing I can do for myself.
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  2. Eating. Well, I am eating, but not as much nor as often as I used to. Kat and I signed up for Weight Watchers last spring, and I am having some success. Twelve pounds so far — it’s a really, really slow game. What helps me is that I am doing the online version and I find it kinda fun to log in my food every day. Nerdy, geeky, sure, but it’s working. It took me four or five months to adjust my portion size (I’m a slow learner), but so far, so good.
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  3. Traveling. Having covered a lot of miles in the past six weeks, I am happily staying at home as much as possible. Smokey is planning to visit his brother in Chicago sometime soon, and I turned down the opportunity to come along. (It helped that I had seen Brother a few weeks ago at the tail end of my long road trip, plus the thought of all those hours in the car without being able to knit sounded like torture.)
Posted in Three things, Uncategorized | 6 Comments

Foliage photo of the day and Unraveled Wednesday #11.

Not all of the autumn foliage change in in the trees. From upper left: milkweed in the ditch; Virginia creeper on a sapling; a soybean field nearly ready to harvest.

Given that my thumbs are non-functional for knitting, let me tell you about my reading instead.

My practice for several years is has been that, whenever I read about an interesting book online, I request it from my library consortium. This results in me having an enormous TBR pile next to my bed, causing a certain amount of low-level anxiety — will I be able to  read them all? Maybe some will not catch my interest in the first 50  pages (my limit) so I can return them unread? What about a book I really would like to read but which I have already renewed twice and cannot renew again? What to do, what to do?

Before I left on my long road trip, I returned all the library books currently checked out and froze my remaining holds so they would not arrive while I was gone. My new practice since returning home is to request books two at a time and to use Goodreads’ “Want to read” feature to keep track of books that sound interesting. Having only two books next to the bed removes all the pressure, plus, if I finish both before the next two arrive, I can read one of my own books. What a concept!

Anyway, the two books I picked up yesterday at the library are Unmentionable: The Victorian Lady’s Guide to Sex, Marriage, and Manners and Juniper: The Girl Who was Born Too Soon. The Bloggess recommended the first, and I don’t remember where I heard about the second; it was in amongst my previously frozen holds. I will let you know if they are any good (imo).

Posted in Autumn, Unraveled Wednesdays | 7 Comments