Tuesday, January 26, 2016

The Impatient Knitter

It feels like an age since I was able to get something off of the needles. Although after looking at my ravelry page, each of my projects are only 2-3 weeks old.
Pucker: a bit harder than I expected. This is the first sock of the pair.

Logically, if I stick to one project, I will get it done faster. This isn't how "knitting brain" works. Knitting brain says, "You should cast on a new project. All your projects will come off the needles sooner if you do." Knitting brain is dumb and should be ignored.
The first plain vanilla sock in the pair. See those shadowy bars in the image? It's knitting prison. I will be knitting this forever.

Not helping all of this is that the project I've been most diligently knitting on, and was a quarter of the way through, had to be ripped out and redone because my numbers were not coming out right. In this case I added an extra increase in a mysterious location. The pattern is still correct. (Yay!) I still have to be precise when testing my own patterns, so ripping was the only way to go. (Boo!)
This shawl has been in the works for 2 years. If this iteration works out, I will high five myself.

Friday, January 22, 2016

Whiskey And Rye

I'm pleased to present my latest offering, the Whiskey And Rye socks.

The socks are knit top down and feature a slipped stitch chevron pattern.

This pair is knit in Miss Babs' Yummy 2-ply in the Biker Chick color. My test knitters all happened to have wild skeins of Miss Babs hanging around and chose to knit with them. I'm am pleased to say that every pair looked good. I'm pretty sure that even the wildest colors can be tamed by this pattern.

If you're interested in the pattern, it can be found on ravelry, craftsy, and my own bear-ears website. I've also set up a hashtag on instagram: #whiskeyandryesocks

Thursday, January 21, 2016

A Yeti In Dunsmuir

This past weekend Mum, Connor, and I drove up to Oregon to visit Oma. On the way there, we stopped in Dunsmuir. Last time we were in Dunsmuir, we discovered the best chocolate shake in the world is located at Burger Barn, so this trip we made a point to leave extra early so we could arrive in Dunsmuir around lunchtime. We got there there by two (it's hard getting up in the morning) and after lunch walked around the town a bit.
This was taken towards the end of our walk

Usually we go see Oma in summer or when no storms have passed through, so to see the snow was a real treat. I know this might sound silly to everyone who is experiencing a white winter. I've lived my whole life in places that do not see the snow. We had brought Yeti with us. He was a present from "Santa" aka Mom.
A Yeti in its natural habitat

We had seen a man with a dog go for a walk while we were at Burger Barn. When we came out, we saw them walk back up a street labeled "not a through street." I was certain we could go through. We passed a pair of young boys... possibly through their non-fenced backyard, before slipping down a hill to the street below. After we crossed the street, a snowball landed close by. We looked up and the two young boys (8-12ish) were hiding behind a tree. Connor turned and presented his rear in an enticing manner, so another snowball flew by. Then another. Connor packed a snowball, lobbed it over, and it hit the older boy in the chest. Then it was on.
The boy on the left just threw a snowball when I took this shot. 

We spent a good 15 minutes exchanging snowballs, almost wordlessly. Every once in a while I'd make the call, "Car!" and the war would cease just long enough to let the vehicle pass by. Every one who passed had a great grin on their face. In the end, we told the boys they won before we continued on our walk.
I had a tough time getting my snowballs to connect. The boys had the high ground.

Eventually we ended up by the train tracks where Connor and Mum tossed Yeti between them to get a "yeti jumping shot."

As we headed back to the car, wet and cold, I tossed a few more snowballs at Connor. It was a fun day.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016


Two years ago I started an instagram account, and for two years I've had "Make instagram logo for blog" on the list. I don't know why it took me so long to do it. I'm certain I've spent more time thinking about it than it took me to finish. Such is life, right? The logo is now in the side bar. And while I was at it, I removed some social media buttons to places I don't really use.
Fun fact: My father is pretty awesome. He developed the Qwikcards app. I use it to keep my to-do lists in order.

I've found myself wanting to put more time into my Instagram account recently. I started becoming more inspired after reading Angela's 2016 goal list on her blog Pans and Needles. #8 on the list resonated with me. I find myself working to take pictures of my projects in progress, but I don't get around to putting up a blog post because I want to write more than, "This is how far I am in my sock." Then I knit more and the photo feels like it is irrelevant. This led to a cascade effect where I found myself not wanting to work so hard to take nice knit pictures because I wouldn't get around to writing a blog post on it. And because I felt most images wouldn't be used, I stopped challenging myself to take better pictures. Instagram seems like the better place to put up the images that would otherwise not make it to the blog and I hope that helps me to challenge myself. Although, there may be the odd repeat between the blog and the instagram account... especially because I'm fond of the Mr. Bear Ears photos.
My account can be found at bear_ears for those who are curious.

On a slightly different topic, I'd like to call attention to the sock in the top left corner of the above picture. It is my newest pattern and I'll be releasing it on Friday. Keep an eye out for the Whiskey And Rye socks.

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Mr. Bear Ears And His First Knitted Scarf

Connor had been diligently knitting away at his scarf. He thought he would have it done for next winter, but it got cold, so he became "motivated to finish" so he says. I'm pleased to show off his very first knitted project, a 2x2 ribbed scarf in Jill Draper Makes Stuff's own Rockwell in the Pacific color.
We decided that the only place the Pacific scarf could be photographed was in front of the Pacific itself

He's already received compliments at work. A co-worker told him they didn't know what a "manly" scarf would look like until they saw his. He was pleased to report to them that he made it himself. I'm so proud.

I'm also pleased to report that he is working on his second project already. It is Purl Soho's Lovely Ribbed Cowl out of Anzula's For Better Or Worsted in the Mariana color.

Since he is on his second project, I thought it was high time for him to join ravelry. You'll find him under the moniker mr-bear-ears.

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

A Friendly Cowl With Socks On The Side

Another week, another FO. After six months with low finished project numbers, even I'm surprised. This project started when my buddy Alina came by our place, saw a skein prominently displayed (I was going to make a hat out of it), and told me that it reminded her of camping, forests, and the stars swirling overhead. Clearly this skein needed to be knit up for her.

She expressed interest in a large cowl. I knew I didn't have enough of the skein. (It's a mystery skein, by the way. It was given to me by a good friend. I have no idea what it is or who it is by. It had no tag.) So I bought a skein of Malabrigo Rios in the Purple Mystery color way. There is no mystery about how purple the skein is: it's nearly electric. Seed stitch insured that the colorful skein would look like dappled light once knit rather than something an angry preschooler finger painted. I knit 2/3 of the cowl in the mystery skein and 1/3 in the purple. I think it came out beautifully and Alina was surprised to receive it.
I wore this the day I gifted it to make sure I didn't leave it at home. My Mum saw me in it and wanted to know why I was wearing Alina's cowl.

Promptly after finishing the cowl, I cast on my Pucker socks. I'm using a skein of Hedgehog Fiber's Twist Sock in the Budgie color way and a skein of Baah! La Jolla in the La Perla color way. After buying all those white skeins for my Sheep May Safely Graze socks, I feel the need to use them.

The Pucker socks require quite a bit of concentration, as it turns out, so I've also cast on a pair of vanilla socks out of Canon Hand Dyes' Charles base in the We're All Mad In Here color way. I have knit with this color way before, although in a different base. Those socks suffered the fate that many of my early socks did and the color faded terribly. But since I've started re-fixing my socks and have started using a different wool wash, I have high hopes that these will stay nice and bright.

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

The Last FO of 2015

With all the secret knitting I do, I'm pleased that I don't have to keep this one under wraps. This was the last thing I finished in 2015: a hat for Connor. Or maybe more accurately described as "A hat for whoever has last misplaced their hat." Clearly I need to knit more hats. I've got my eyes on the currently popular Baa-ble Hat, the also popular Deep Woods Toque, or maybe a Croix. My French is good enough I probably could muddle through Croix's instructions.

Anyways, I used Wei Siew's delightful Slipped Hat pattern using a skein of Crystal Palace Yarn's Sausalito in the Big Sur color way and Little Wool Co's 4-ply wool in the Chocolate color way. Connor is quite pleased with his new knitwear. He's been wearing it every chance he gets. It doesn't matter if we are indoors, outdoors, going through doors...

Also, in case you didn't know, we are both 5 years old. I was trying to get some serious photos, but we aren't really serious people... mostly.

Saturday, January 2, 2016

Annual Goal List 2015-2016 Edition

2015 was the year of becoming an adult. After marrying Connor, we worked to separate all our finances from our parents (or the financial umbilical cord as my Dad likes to call it). We even got our own Netflix account, the true mark of adulthood in our day and age. We did things like book our own vacations and cringe as we spent our own money. I also got to visit places I didn't ever expect to, including the San Juan Islands (thanks Cat and Jim!), the Florida Keys, Salvation Mountain, the Hoover Dam, and Valley of Fire.

Now to this year's highlights.

I got married! It's been great. Connor and I have faced some tough stuff this year, but I wouldn't rather face life with anyone else.
Thanks to Gabriel Harber for taking such grand photos

Learning to snorkel. I didn't ever expect to even try snorkeling, but it is definitely a new favorite thing. It was even more fun because Connor taught me at the Dry Tortugas, which we arrived at via float plane. We will have to go back.
Connor was copilot on the float plane on the way back. We have absolutely no images of us snorkeling because we were having such a good time.

I taught Connor how to knit. At first he told me he was just happy to be a knitting connoisseur. Eventually his curiosity got the better of him. He's already saying things like, "That's my yarn!" and "Maybe we can go to bed after this row." I'm proud of him.
Connor with his boyfriend, Scooter

And now for the assessment of last year's goals:

Goals for 2015:
1. Develop stronger cooking skills. Specifically, I'd like to develop a menu of different meals that spans at least a week. This year I had to go gluten free, which means I have to be much more mindful about food. All my guilty pleasures had gluten. It's been interesting discovering foods that feel like a treat and adhere to my new diet.
Status: Indirectly Achieved. I taught Connor to cook. This was smart because while I'll cook if I need to, it turns out he likes to cook. I don't cook much anymore.
2. Put together a wedding. This is a bit of a challenge because I didn't grow up designing a dream wedding in my head. Connor and I are now working on what we would like the day to look like. Connor is a champ and is supporting me while I'm busy discovering that I have more opinions than I thought I did.
Status: Complete! We are awesome, our families and friends are awesome, so our wedding was also awesome. We have made it 10 months. Go us.
3. Declutter my life. I have so many things! I don't need all those things. I can feel the weight of owning more than I truly need. I also have a large amount of paper records/things that need to be sorted. We all have that large box of paper that you ought to have organized years ago, but now it's sat in that container for a decade and you still aren't motivated to go through it. This is the year for that.
Status: Ongoing. When we moved, we got rid of things. But we moved to a bigger place and found we needed things like a rug to be more comfortable. Mostly we just traded things. Our place its pretty clutter-free, though.
4. Write a comic book. Over the years I'd often think about putting out a comic book. The topic has changed over time, but the desire to make one has remained. I'm not sure if I want to complete a project of this magnitude in just a year, but I think I'd like to just start working on it.
Status: Morphing. I started writing my daily comic again, and have been at it for over 5 months now. Connor and I were working on a website to put it up. I keep going back and forth on whether or not to put it online. I could happen.... maybe.
5. Knit Connor a sweater. I haven't started yet because I believe in the sweater curse. I'm not even swatching. But I have the yarn and a good idea of what I want to knit. Super bonus: we are such a similar size that I can make a sweater that we will both fit into. I'll just have to roll up the cuffs.
Status: Still a goal. I knit him a cowl this year. I have yarn and plans to knit him a sweater. I've settled on designing the sweater. It could be a while yet.

Things on the list got done in one way or another. I'm most pleased with learning that Connor likes to cook. Even he didn't know. We both get to benefit.

Goals for 2016:
1. Work on a menswear pattern collection. Ideally it will have two garments and three accessories. I've been interested in developing a menswear collection for awhile now, but before Connor entered into my life, it was hard to motivate myself to knit garments for someone who wasn't me.
2. Put up a daily comic site. This was a goal in 2011, which changed in 2012 because I stopped doing the comic. But I'm drawing the comic again... so it's a goal again.
3. Learn to weave. I've alternated between being really interested in trying out weaving and having no interest at all. At the moment, I know I have yarns that would look far better woven, so I'm interested again. And I have a buddy who is going to loan me a small loom so I can see if I like it.
4. Design a sweater with set in sleeves. I think doing the math for different set in sleeve sizes is rather intimidating, which is precisely why I must try.
5. Go somewhere I haven't been before. This year, our current vacation plans are to places I've been to, but want to share with Connor. I hope that we can throw in one that I haven't done yet.
6. I'm adding a bonus goal this year: Work on the Knitting Photography Series again. I worked on it in 2013, but stopped when I put my energies towards finishing writing Lit Knits instead. I've wanted to work on it, but just didn't put time aside. I think I'd like to give it a go again.

And so concludes the annual goal list.
When I was writing this year's list up, I looked at some past years for inspiration and realized that I've done a list for 7 years now! I know.... it surprised me too. Here's links to the past posts: 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015.
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