Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Packing Up!

By Friday, my fiance and I will officially be residents of Salem, MA! I assume that also means we will officially be witches too. Now that I'm back from a conference in Charleston, South Carolina, majority of my time this week must be dedicated to packing. Now this presents a bit of a conflict as I also need to be knitting, not just for my sanity, but to finish a gift for a wedding on Saturday. That's right, we are moving Friday and then leaving for a wedding in New Hampshire on Saturday... it will be a very busy weekend. Although to make up for all of the stress, I plan to end my day Sunday with a nice cold Lobster Martini at the Lobster Shanty in our new neighborhood.

My fiance Michael enjoying a Lobster Martini at the Lobster Shanty.

Okay so the Cape Ann Blanket... As I'm writing this, I'm realizing that I must officially give up on bringing it to the wedding. I mean, I'll bring it to the wedding so I can knit it on the car ride, but I won't be able to give it as a gift at the proper time. It's not that I have a lot left to do. In fact, I am 87.5% there --- I've used 21 out of the 24 balls of yarn already! It's that instead of knitting, I'm forced to spend all of my non-work time packing. Can you tell that I'm not bitter/frustrated at all by packing???

This project is borderline unportable at this point, but that's a sign that I'm almost done!
Plus at least it's packed and ready to go now haha.

Well, I guess one can only plan ahead so much. At least I know that the end is near with this blanket and that I'm getting better at ALMOST making deadlines. I am guessing that the gift will be a week late for time to soak, block, and unpack in there too. Wish me luck!

PS - Here's Millie, the three-legged, cancer surviving cat. I know it is a faux-pas to be
a knitter and not like cats, but now I can officially says that at least I like one cat.
This girl here stole my heart!

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Greetings from Charleston!

Greetings from Charleston, South Carolina, the land of heat and humidity. As a girl with frizzy/curly hair, of course this was the first thing I noticed. 

I have only been in the South for 24 hours, and its not necessarily bad, but it has been thundering up a storm. I also think there was a tornado warning last night... Even worse though, there are no yarn stores here! I guess that's a good thing. I won't be tempted to add to my stash or start a new project. But let’s be honest, it’s highly disappointing.

In the meantime, I've been doing some serious work on the Cape Ann Blanket — only 9 balls of yarn left! I made some good headway on the plane, but I need to make a conscious effort to stay on time with this project.

Making a lot of progress!

Isn't this AirBnB room so adorable?
I also have to remember to take a picture of Millie, the three-legged, cancer-surviving cat!

Despite what I said about needing to be disciplined, I have started to think about my next project already. I’m thinking of making Caramel by Isabel Kraumer in solid navy blue. I’ll use the same the Baby Camel/Merino/Nylon blend yarn that I did in the Guernsey Blanket. In fact, I'm planning to add a similar chevron pattern along the front band, inspired by the blanket and the Guernsey Wrap by Jared Flood. Now that I think about it, I'll pretty much be remaking the Guernsey Blanket as a cardigan. Given how cozy and cool the blanket came out, I'm totally okay with that.

I even did swatch of the herringbone pattern for the frontband...
I need to stop procrastinating and finish the blanket first.

Friday, April 17, 2015

The Verdict

In my last post, I driveled on about the Cape Ann Blanket and my growing concern for coming up short on yarn. I forgot to mention that yes, I did do a swatch (although it was small and no, I didn't block it -- consider this lesson learned). Anyway, I finally pulled myself together and measured the blanket to find out once and for all if I was short on yarn. And the verdict is...

The CO edge is so long it wouldn't even fit in the picture!

....I'm not short!! But I'm not totally in the clear. It turns out my cast on edge is longer than I expected. Because the proportions were off, I thought I was short. Originally, the cast on edge was supposed to be 45" and then the cables would run horizontally for 60". It turns out that the cast on edge is more like 55".

The fix? Blocking, I hope lol!! For now, I'm going to keep knitting away to make the deadline, which I've decided needs to be April 26th to allow time for blocking and drying. This Sunday I leave for Charleston, South Carolina to attend a week-long conference for work. Fortunately this means lots of uninterrupted knitting time on the plane. Wish me luck!!

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Falling Short

Finally, we are getting the beautiful Spring weather we deserve after that bone-chilling winter! Michael and I spent Sunday going on a long walk around Jamaica Pond and the Arnold Arboretum. This is our go-to outing when the weather is nice and we both have off work. That means I didn't get much knitting done on Sunday, but on Saturday, I managed to squeeze in some work on the Cape Ann Blanket.

The whitest, brightest tree I've ever seen. It looked as though someone had spraypainted it.

Despite it being a gorgeous 60 degrees outside, some remnants of the snowy winter managed to survive. 

The blanket is coming along nicely! I love the texture from all of the cabling. It will make for such a lovely thick and cozy blanket. At first I was excited for being just about halfway through the 23 balls of yarn I planed to use, but now I am getting worried about running out of yarn. My target size was 45" x 60", and I'm not sure I'm going to make that 60 inches.

Close up on the cables.

Now, let me be honest, I haven't exactly measured it yet. I could be making a mountain out of a molehill. I haven't measured it yet because I'm too nervous that I'll come up short. Luckily I have the same bulky alpaca yarn in another colorway, which I can use as a "center panel". Although including this extra yarn would throw off my timeline. So much for making a plan....

I guess my best bet is to just measure the darn thing, right? I will force myself to measure it and decide tonight what to do.... Wish me luck!

Sunday, April 5, 2015

The Gift of Giving

Happy Easter everyone!!

I received a care package full of holiday nerds rope and some cute spring attire from my mom yesterday, which inspired me to write about some gifts that I was finally able to give this week. Currently I have a pile of finished projects sitting on a coffee table in my room, just waiting for me to give them to their intended recipient. What happens is, it takes me longer than expected to finish a gift. Then I miss the opportunity to give said gift at the appropriate time. Instead, it sits on that coffee table until the next time I see the person (or in some cases, until the following year unfortunately). 

Recently, though, the pile shrunk by two! I previously posted about a test knit I did for a pattern called the Hive Mind Cowl. Note its not available yet, but as soon as it is, I'll post it because I love this cowl! While this was a test knit, the end product was intended for a girl at Michael's work, who was in fact the one who helped Michael get his current job. Michael finally had the opportunity to give her this cowl, and it turns out, she's a knitter too!  

Another gift I finally got to give was this Guernsey Blanket I made while I was in Germany last fall. The pattern was based off the famous Guernsey Wrap by Jared Flood of Brooklyn Tweed. If you have the pattern, I simply repeated the center panel over and over and over.....

Blankets are typically a lot of work because they take up so much time (and yarn). I know some knitters stray away from blankets for this reason, but I like to always have a blanket on the needles. Although for me, the blanket pattern must be an easy and repeatable. This is then the project that I work on when I want to zone out and watch The Wire or read a book. By the way, the book I'm currently reading is Do Your Om Thing by Rebecca Pacheco. I should also mention there is no coincidence that I made this blanket was for the talented author and her fiance for their (now not-so-recent) engagement.

[WIP] Cape Ann Blanket

I debated mentioning the current blanket I'm working on, given that it will also be a gift. This time a wedding gift for two dear friends of mine. I hesitated to write about it in case these friends read my blog, but I can't NOT write about it, since its what I'm spending most of my precious knitting time on. So as a compromise with myself, I am including the following disclaimer...

If you are getting married in May and want your wedding gift to be a surprise, don't read further! On the other hand, I won't be offended if you peek :)

Another thought I had was what if they actually don't read my blog haha? Anyway, this blanket is a modified version of the Cape Ann Stole by Julia Farwell-Clay in her book From Folly Cove, which I got at Fiber Camp. Instead of using the cabled pattern at the ends, I just repeating the cabled pattern throughout the whole blanket, which makes it very simple for me to memorize the pattern. The yarn I'm using is from a bulky blend of 50% merino wool / 25% alpaca / 25% acrylic, which I ordered online from Turkey when I was over in Europe. 

The deadline for this Cape Ann Blanket is quickly approaching, but with my goal of at least 65 yards (1 ball) of yarn a day, I think I can make it. Here's to no more additions to the gift pile!!