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Apr. 23rd, 2010

frogcap

Earth Day thoughts

Just a quick post, particularly since I don't have much in the way of pictures with which to update (I'll remedy that shortly, I hope!...I seem to be only making it on here once a month at the most. Eeek!). I did want to mention a project I finished earlier, with specific pertinence to Earth Day: an Elisa's Nest Tote in Lion Cotton Print. I didn't have a ballband, but it's yellow and white. Again, I'll post pictures when I take them, and I'll write up the specs then. :)

I thought it was important to finish this particular project for Earth Day, as a reusable bag. I've been refusing bags since before it was cool (no, really!). When I worked at a certain chain bookstore that starts with a B and only has one word (heh) starting in 2003, I would always refuse a bag for my (many) book and music purchases, adapting one of my fellow eco-conscious coworkers' anti-bag slogan: "I don't need a bag; save a plastic tree." Once I started carrying my knitting bag with me all the time, I would just put whatever purchases I made in my knitting bag. Fast-forward a few years and now every store has their own reusable bags; at first they would give them away and now they charge a dollar and up for the pleasure of advertising their store for them as you reuse their bag. Being a self-loathing anti-consumerist/anti-capitalist packrat that shops too much (it's as painful as it sounds, really), I have little desire to advertise any store for them, much less PAY for the privilege. I bought a number of reusable bags from another former employer, a certain big-box toy store, when I fell for their ploy of marketing these bags as "100% recyclable" which I read as recycled. Jerks! I think some of the profits were benefiting something admirable at the time...I don't remember at this point. I even gave all of my holiday gifts in these reusable bags one year! My fellow twentysomething friends that all grew up with the message of GLOBAL WARMING WILL KILL US ALL were very appreciative of the gesture and I do see that they use them. They've held up, so that's a good sign, right? Anyway. I have accepted a free reusable bag along with a purchase even if it advertises a chain, because...it's free, it's reusable, and I will use them. I have amassed quite a collection, actually, and I do use them. I carry one around at almost all times. When I forget, I either will carry my purchase freely, stick it in my purse, or end up buying yet another reusable bag. Very rarely do I accept the plastic bag anymore...yet I still have plastic bags coming out of my ears!!! I think because my grandmother, who does grocery shopping for about 5 of her neighbors, constantly sends me home from visits with food, etc. in multiple plastic bags. I end up using them to line my garbage cans.

I do not live in a state that charges for plastic bags. I wish I did. It would force me to be more responsible about remembering to carry an empty bag or two in my purse. The reusable bag that I just knit scrunches up much smaller than the stiff-sided plastic-made reusable bags, so if I find it to be much easier to carry around, I will definitely be making more! I have found it much easier to stuff a medium-sized cloth tote bag in my purse than it is to carry around the stores' reusables. Anyway, I've rambled enough about bags, heh.

The second big thing to note about today, specifically was that something I had purchased (shhh) arrived in the mail (shh again, I tried to buy local, I really did!). Now, at first this doesn't sound at all eco-conscious, but I can explain. I arrived home today to my (very first ever!)...iPod.
Do I really own an iPod?!? SPT 4.22.10

Now...how is this earth-friendly, you ask? Well, local to me is an awesome used cd store. My fellow music-obsessed beau and I have been separately frequenting this place for years before we even met, and now we do so together. We peruse the super-discount rack and pick up albums we have been wanting to get, along with some that sound interesting that we have never heard of. We have both amassed quite the epic collections of cds. We both like making cd's for our friends, many of whom are in bands, actually, and spreading the music love. This ipod that I just acquired has a 160GB memory...which is the same as the entire hard drive of the computer I had before this one. Now I can have all of the music that I keep meaning to listen to more often at the touch of a button rather than having to dig it out of a stack of cd's or a storage book. If I am not listening to a cd...I can sell it back to the used cd store, or pass it along to a friend who would enjoy it, instead of them going out and buying it brand new. If this sounds awful to the music industry...well, I have two answers for that. First? The record industry itself is basically evil and isn't really looking out for the artists; the artists themselves make their living off of tours (tickets and merch), and I try to support bands I love by going to their shows, absolutely. Second of all, with an ipod in particular, downloading new albums through itunes is really easy when the songs will just sync right up to the player. This also does not create waste the way that producing new cd's in jewel cases does. A lot of people I have talked to do not realize that jewel cases are made from plastic that cannot be recycled. Bummer, right? However...I have seen some really awesome crafts, such as lamps, made from recycling jewel cases in such a way that shows off your love of music AND the earth! I had the pleasure of meeting one of such artists recently, Emily Anderson, who created this fantastic lamp:


I apologize if I'm a bit rambly tonight; I blame allergies!!

Mar. 26th, 2010

frogcap

Today, I splurged...

...thanks to a tax refund. Woohoo! I headed into Manhattan today to do a knitwear photo shoot with my lovely Squishy, and I arrived very early. We were planning to meet in Union Square so I wandered over to the Lion Brand Yarn Studio (a very cool store. I am really digging their Lion Collection upscale yarns. awesome). I had read that they carried the Hiya Hiya interchangeable needles, and I was very curious. I recently ordered the Knitpicks Options, but I haven't gotten them yet. I used them on a project once before (the Menorah Pillow), borrowed from the beau's mother. I hated them at the time because I didn't know there was a key you could use to tighten the join (which kept unscrewing since the cables twist). A swiveling cable would make me much happier, which the HH set boasts. The reason I broke down and ordered the KP Options was a recurring join/cable issue with fixed circs that I *HATE*. I also have amassed WAY too many fixed circs, and I will be destashing excessive duplicates. There may have been a few incidences where I bought a new circ because I couldn't find the one I already had...then found the project that was using that needle, and wound up with two. I also have been gifted several stashes and superfluous needles from some of my caregiving patients, which is how I ended up with four grey plastic 24" size 11 needles. Yes. I don't even really use 24" needles...

The major draw of the Hiya Hiya set for me was that they go down to a 2.75mm/US2 AND have a 16" cable, two things no other needle set I've heard of can claim. It is possible that I will be buying extra shorter cables (that's my go-to cable length, especially since I knit a lot of hats...AND I prefer to do my two-at-a-time on 2 circs on 16"...since that's what I got used to because that's the size of needles I had). The price was right at the LBY Studio, so I picked up the small set of HH's.

When I found my friend was going to be a while still, I walked down to Downtown Yarns. In my rush to get things together for the photo shoot, I wound up leaving the house without a project to work on. SO! I decided I would suck it up and give the old Magic Loop another try on a pair of toe-up plain socks (I try to have a pair going in my purse at all times...but I recently finished the pair I had going). I decided after perusing the sock yarns available that as much as I adore Malabrigo Sock (I really do), I prefer it knit on smaller needles than a 2.75mm/US2, and the semi-solid colors are good for showing off patterns, not so much for a good vanilla sock. I narrowed down my decision to a purple/blue handpainted Fleece Artist skein and a neon multicolored handdyed Collinette Jitterbug skein. I've never played with either yarn before...and it really all came down to just how giddy that neon rainbowy yarn made me. The Jitterbug won. I cast on while waiting at the Dumpling Man (Whole Wheat veggie steamed dumplings made an excellent lunch!), toe-up with Judy's Magic Cast On, both together, using the smallest tips and the longest cable, Magic Loop style. I'm still pretty "eh" about magic loop, but I'm trying to be open, since that also will save me from having two full sets of needles, or buying each set of tips separately as I need them for 2aat pairs projects. We shall see if it sticks. I'm honestly trying.


After an eventful day, freezing our butts off but getting some awesome shots around Coney Island, I settled into my multi-hour commute home with my fancy needles maneuvering through my fancy yarn. My first take on these needles is that I adore the finish. Very smooth with just enough catch to not let all your stitches fall off, but they slide like buttah. I prefer a sharper tip, but I'm not hating the in-betweenish tip. My Susan Bates fixed circs are about the same bluntness and I've dealt with them just fine for years. They're also pointier than my addi's. In comparison to the Susan Bates fixed, the join is *SO* much smoother. My 2.5mm/US1.5 addi fixed circs have a catch in the join at times, even, and the HH are about on even keel with that. The cable is the best I've used; much thinner than the options, and more flexible for magic loop than any fixed circ I've ever tried, even addi's.

The one...BIG...negative I discovered started out as a minor annoyance. I wouldn't call myself a particularly tight knitter; a bit moreso when knitting continental, so I switched to English for the toe increases, since the last few stitches of each sock wouldn't make the jump from the cable. Many online reviews suggest that when this happens, to twist the cable in the direction of the stitches to ease them on, since the cable swivels. I tried this once on the first sock of the round, and it worked a bit better than the other methods of easing them up I had tried. On the second sock of the round...the cable popped right out of the metal base at the join. On a train. Right before my stop. I tried not to panic, and pulled the (now tipless) cable carefully through the unworked stitches and all the way through to keep the stitches from sliding off in my bag, then jammed the now unattached tip into the cake of yarn as to not lose it. Once home, I maneuvered the stitches onto the next shorter cable. So now I'm torn. I do not want this to be a recurring problem. I only had the set for 12 hours when the SUGGESTED USE caused the product to fail. Now I get to decide whether to have the cable replaced or give up on the set. I'm working the socks on the 32" cable now to try to help me decide. I will not (nor do I suggest anyone else take that erroneous advice!) twist the cable up to coax the stitches over the join. I think I'm going to give the larger tips a whirl before I write this set off completely, too. I really want to love them, but if another cable pops with gentle handling, I would be too afraid of losing stitches (particularly in lace) to put my faith in them again. We shall see, we shall see...

Feb. 13th, 2010

frogcap

Schoolwork Knitting

I was just taking stock of my WIP's, as I finished up a hat that I was able to work on, mostly absently, while doing a lot of schoolwork. With weaving in the ends, I decided to check on my WIP's before casting on something new, in case there was something I could finish up, or add to, instead of letting it sit idle while new projects cut in line. These were the observations:

Nutkin: While I'm totally off-book for this pattern at this point, I do need to read my knitting to work on them, so these are strictly in the category of a project to work on with an audiobook, a movie I've seen before, or reruns (and all of these are rare luxuries these days, with the piled up schoolwork. :/ )
Smooshykins socks in natural light-2 repeats done!

Shedir: Every other round is cabled, with intricate 1x1 stitch cables in constantly changing directions with some knit, some purled, and then the in-between rounds are not plain, either. Definitely something I have to focus on. Not just on the knitting, but also keeping track on the pattern. It's so sad, too because I love this pattern, I enjoy working on it, and I really want to finish it, as it's to be donated to an amazing organization. It will get the proper attention when I can, though.
Shedir

Entrelafghan: While I have located the crochet hooks that I had been missing, I still can't crochet without looking (you kinda have to see what your hook is going into with every stitch), so basically anything crochet is right out for schoolwork crafting.
Entrelafghan! Done other than the edging...Modeled on a queen sized bed

Pop Tabs: Also crochet, also out.
1006090448.jpg

Emu Plume Stole: I considered breaking this out, as only one out of every four rows is patterned. However, every row has a lace edging on either side, and the pattern rows require focus, which would be very distracting if they came up at a point where I was engrossed in reading. Tempting, but just not the right project.
Emu Plume Stole, unstretched.

Skylla/Acorn: Need to be lined with fabric, which I don't have a sewing machine set up here, nor is that something that can be done without paying attention
SkyllaEddie Izzard's Makeup Bag

Argyle Socks: These are actually done, for all intents and purposes. I want to stabilize the wedge and anchor it to the ribbed cuff with a crocheted edging, which also takes it out of the running, as crochet.
OMG AN ARGYLE SOCK!
(Wow, I need to take pics of the second sock, and the wedges!)

While I would love to get some of my WIP's in check, I am certainly not heartbroken about casting on a new project! :D I think a sockhead hat sounds perfect; tons of boring rib and boring stockinette on small needles with small yarn...which I don't have to complain about because I won't be paying enough attention to mind! Okey dokey, study break almost over...just a few more minutes so I can cast on the hat!

Feb. 8th, 2010

frogcap

When I stop posting for a long time I end up writing posts that are way too long...

Eh, long time no type, and all that fun "I'm a horrible blogger" stuff. I actually claimed the username on Blogger, to either migrate the blog over there, or not have any personal stuff on that blog...or maybe just for info on finished projects or patterns, maybe? I have not decided yet. But I did decide that when I start adding stuff over there, I want to start with the Entrelafghan...which is FINISHED other than the crocheted edging, btw. I just can't find the crochet hook I want to use to edge it, and the rush to finish seems like such a waste now. BLARGH.
Entrelafghan! Done other than the edging...Modeled on a queen sized bed

I wanted to update in here with a bazillion knitting things, but I probably won't say everything I would like to, because, y'know, I need to sleep sometime. Anyway. Recent history basically is that I started a new semester the first week of January, and basically since the second week of January...I have been sick. Like...ugh, completely lethargic, multiple cold/flu symptoms, trouble breathing, fever, hacking cough...SICK. I finally went to the doctor last Tuesday and the suspicion is that it has lasted so long because the underlying cause is ALLERGIES. I need to get everything cleared up so that I can finally get allergy tested and either remove the allergens that are most troublesome, or remove myself from the allergen-filled situations. We will discover what needs to be done at that time.

In the lingering sickness, I succeeded in getting myself ridiculously far behind in ALL THREE of my courses this semester. It is my first semester taking three courses instead of two (They are accelerated semesters, which means condensed coursework...meaning you can fall behind twice as fast as regular undergrad classes that are 14 weeks), and I haven't even had a chance to adjust to the added coursework. Thankfully, my professors are being incredibly understanding (one of their super-nice emails actually made me cry. No joke), and I feel I owe it to them to get myself caught up as quickly as I can handle, and hand in absolutely stellar work. The motivation is there...now if these medications didn't cause me to fall asleep in the middle of my hundreds of pages of readings...

So. KNITTING! I have been trying to get some knitting done, as I can keep myself awake longer doing the readings if I have my hands occupied. I got a lot done on a second pair of stretch socks (the same yarn and needles and basic pattern as the first pair, but sized for MEEEEE instead! Aw for couple-y matchy socks!) when I was really sick, since they are just stockinette. I had cast on a while back for a pair of Nutkins socks (but modified quite a bit...I will have to give them their own entry at some point), but for some reason I feel very sluggish working on them. The Dream in Color Smooshy is lovely, and the Gothic Rose colorway I am using is stunning...it's semi-solid but has so many different shades mixed in...just...wow. Unfortunately, it is also rough on my hands? It doesn't have a lot of give while knitting, and the pattern is on every row, and tight...I wonder if the stress is also making me knit tighter, causing this to be more of a problem? I am not sure, but suffice to say not much progress is being made on these socks lately.
Smooshykins socks in natural light-2 repeats done!

When the beau and I ventured to Canada in November (yeah...I managed not to write about that at all, either. My computer basically quit right around then, so that is the fundamental cause of the radio silence), I started to whip up some knits out of the first two skeins of Malabrigo worsted I ever purchased. The Blue Surf colorway was worked up into a Birthday Cowl (I call mine the Anniversary Cowl, being knit going into our two year anniversary - awwww :D ); and even extending the length a good deal, I had a bunch left over. I cast the leftover yarn on for two-at-a-time mitts (knowing they wouldn't end up being huge, there wasn't a ton left), in the same stitch pattern as the cowl. When I ran out of the blue, I decided to add some ribbing with the other colorway, a coordinating Charrua (brown with the same blue running through it). The results are like so:

Malabrigo anniversary mitts :DMalabrigo anniversary mitts reversed - how versatile! ;)

With the rest of the skein of charrua, I wanted to make a hat (both neck and hands were covered...head needed some malabrigo love, right!?). So, in scouring my ravelry queue, I revisited the Bombshell Betty pattern, and thought it would look interesting in the variegated colorway. I made a bunch of notes on ravelry about the process of knitting it (in one night), so I will just say that, even with adding extra length and width, it turned out too small.
Froggie's own malabrigo aviator hat! Too bad it's too small. :(

I frogged back to where I had stopped increasing for the center panel, and added another few rows of increases. Hopefully I will have better news and a (much) better picture...with a happy face along with it...very soon!

With all the stress recently with school and my illness, some other outside stressors have come into play, which I will not delve into here. Unfortunately, one of them came to a head in the past few days, and there was some extra turmoil around, which made me flip out a bit and fold in on myself. I started looking at yarn to calm me down. I had decided that a nice package of yarn heading my way would make me smile a little even if everything else seemed bad. I put it off, thinking really hard about EXACTLY what I wanted, and in the meantime did some cleaning that had been neglected while I was completely bedridden. Part of the organizing I wanted to get done was to at least make a bigger dent in my ziploc-bagging of yarns that already had been assigned to projects (as well as updating my ravelry queue to remind me that I had yarn for said projects already picked out). In just one hour of doing this, I was not only personally satisfied by the organization, but also blissed out from fondling yarn...I was shocked to see how much yarn I had that I was still "shopping" for (I kept hounding myself that I always buy variegated sock yarns, but want to make these patterns that would look better in solids, so I think *need solid sock yarn*...and I found I have...a LOT of solid sock yarn. A lot). So, I was happy to make the realization that if I feel like I need to buy some yarn...I can shop from my own stash! I am perilously close to SABLE proportions, here, folks. And I proudly twittered earlier that I had only bought 3 skeins of yarn so far this year, and they were all specifically needed to finish a project...thus conveniently forgetting that I left TWO yarn shops in NYC last week with yarn. One store only yielded one small ball of sock yarn, but School Products (!!!!!) yielded a skein of yak (!!!!) and a CONE of like 2000 yards of luscious merino tweed for a hemlock ring blanket...or two. That could take a while. Also? MANY long-term shawl projects either started or planned:
-Emu Plume Stole (on the needles)
-Dianna shawl out of the crazy zauberball
-Super Spiral Shawl (green merino, wound into a cake, ready to CO!)
-Second skein of green merino into a shawl, likely for Gram (her birthstone color) - maybe a pi shawl?
-Mega hank of purple from rhinebeck into a shawl
-Mega hank of silver form rhinebeck into a shawl
-Swirl Shawl out of the Jojoland Melody I already bought for it
-Cozy shawl (from knitty) out of the remaining yarn recycled from a thrift store sweater
-Jeanie(from knitty) out of the bare yarn I bought specifically to dye to make the Jeanie

...yup. That is a lot of shawls. I can keep myself out of trouble for YEARS just on those! I also have dozens of sock patterns that I want to make, with at LEAST a dozen queued with matching yarn already paired and ready to go! Once I get more ziploc bags, I will be in business in the Major Stash Organization of 2010. I also have put aside a lot of yarn and notions that I will be destashing once I take decent pictures and actually bother to list them on etsy!!

Some exciting news of the last few days was that, in tying up loose ends with my WIP's (which I would LOVE to get under control...a possible knitting olympics effort?) I pulled out the Argyle socks I started for the beau in 2008. I had one sock completed at that time, and the second sock was already ripped back once, and now had some significant work done on it. When I pulled it out to see if I could focus on argyle for more than an hour...I found that I only had 20 minutes of argyle left to do on the sock. I discovered this by finishing the argyle portion in 20 minutes. o.O I fail. Fail, fail fail. This should have been done eons ago, and I know that. These puppies deserve their own post, as well, but I will say that I finished the foot of the second sock within two days of finishing the 20 minutes of argyle (stockinette foot worked perfectly with reading, too. Score!), and I finished, on one sock, the wedge of calf shaping I decided to add (again, a full post *should* follow to explain) tonight. So...now these puppies are 95% complete, and I now plan to present them to the boy for valentines (even though I think it is a stupid holiday and we are not going out to dinner or anything - as far as I know - and I could go off on vday, but I will stop) instead of holding onto them until his birthday (in May).

With those done, and once the Entrelafghan is done, most of what is languishing on the needles that is not in "active hibernation" (how great of an oxymoron is that!?) really just needs lining...which I have big plans to finish in the week between semesters (which just happens to fall on the beau's spring break week!), on a visit to my grandmother...and her always-at-the-ready sewing machine. (I also want to turn a pair of the beau's old pants that got ripped into a kickin' khaki skirt for myself while I have the access!) Then, basically, it's the emu plume stole and the pop tabs thing that need to get more attention than they do. I really need to make sure I stop ignoring them for such long stretches!

So...here's to keeping myself updated better, however I find is the best way to do so. If I migrate completely over to blogger, I will be sure to link over there from here, although I have a sneaking suspicion that I am only talking to myself. That is not a problem...I just want to get the notes down for my projects, as well as have a place to vent when needed. :D

Oct. 21st, 2009

frogcap

Technology used in ways in which they were never intended...

While this has nothing to do with knitting...it is truly bizarre enough to share with the world (should anyone happen to stumble upon this blog and actually read it). Today, my beau left his phone at home. When he got to class, he realized this...and realized he had forgotten to print a paper that was due for that class. With no phone at his disposal, what could he do? Abuse technology, that's what. He had his netbook in class, and access to the internet. He pulled up Twitter, and started sending me @replies, knowing that they would be sent to me via text message, and hopefully the texts would wake me up. The texts instructed me to sign onto Facebook, where he posted instructions on how I could help him. I needed to get to his desktop computer and email him the file that was still open.
When he didn't hear from me after the first hour of his 3 hour class, he figured he was screwed, and updated his status on Facebook to reflect this. A mutual friend (who lives three states away) commented, and asked how she could help. At this point, the boy admitted that he doesn't know my phone number by heart (not that there are pay phones anywhere near his campus. Way to go, Rutgers). The mutual friend happens to have my number in her phone, and (in a thankful flash of brilliance on her part) she emails the number to him (not posting it on his facebook for everyone to swipe). His next plan is to borrow a classmate's phone during their break in class, though I have made it well known that I do not answer my phone for numbers I do not recognize (I have had my phone number for over 6 years, and when I first got this number, I was harassed constantly by calls at all hours of the night with people frantically yammering in spanish. I speak spanish, but not very well at 4am. After a while, those stopped, but then I started getting calls from collection agencies and bail bond places and lawyers, all for the same name...so I tend not to answer strange numbers; I return calls when messages are left). So...I did not answer the strange phone number. I had, at this point, become aware of the chain of twitter texts...and facebook posts...and missed calls... and done my girlfriendly duty by saving his ass.

Technology is so weird.

Oct. 20th, 2009

frogcap

Tales from Rhinebeck

Catskills!
So! This year was my first trip to the New York Sheep and Wool Festival, affectionately referred to simply as Rhinebeck. As a n00b, I tried to gauge what I was up against, and I was glad that I did. I brought along the beau and his mother, both knitters (the beau is working on his second project, his mom is massively talented, but doesn't think she is. She's a sweater and sock-a-holic, mostly making socks for her daughter). I made sure to make a list of things I was specifically looking for, and that I would let myself buy, specifically noting what bloggers and fellow ravelers said would definitely be there (Quiviut and Socks That Rock stood out as desirables). But I had specific yarns and specific projects in mind to shop for, and a budget carefully outlined...and I didn't even abandon EITHER completely! Score one for me...I'm shocked!
Say no to cars! :D
So, going into the festival, I told the beau "Worst case scenario: I leave here with a loom or spinning stuff and a garbage bag full of fiber." I stood strong. I have way too much crafty stuff supplies dedicated to my lifelong interests of counted cross-stitch and beading, for example, on top of a stash that would make some knitters woozy. I promised myself I'd work through the stash that's already dedicated to projects before I would even consider a drop spindle. Looms...now that's a little more dangerous, because I'm already interested in weaving. I've done bead weaving since I was 11 (huh, I just realized that's the same year my Gram tried to get me to start knitting...lol), and it's the same concept, but you have a lot more possibilities with yarn. I can see myself in 20 years with a fiber room with a huge spinning wheel and loom and just shelves everywhere of fiber and yarn and books...and I'm grinning just thinking about that...but I will need to win the lottery (or at least finish school) before that could even be anything less than a pipe dream.
FWD: Just saw @ravelry jess and casey plus a knit bob mascot! #rhinebeck
I'm getting ahead of myself. Anyway, the three of us decided to stay in a hotel about halfway there (where my last post was updated...woot!) and head up from there. It was a good choice, and we got a much better deal on the room than if we had stayed closer, where the hotels were jerks and overcharging to capitalize on the event. Grr. So...we got to the festival, and got our bearings, and pretty much decided not to get caught up in the buildings, but instead decided to wait for the Ravelry meetup, since it was only about 15 minutes from then. We forgot to realize that we ditched our coats so we wouldn't have to be carrying them while in the heated buildings...and 15 minutes outdoors in the cold feels like HOURS. We also didn't know anyone specifically that was going to be there out of online friends; I was the only one who's semi-active on Ravelry, and I don't chat much in the groups, and didn't know of any of my cyber-pals that were going to be there. Even though I recognized people, I am terribly shy, so I didn't really talk to anyone (at first...I talked to some people later). I just stood there, freezing my ass off, and trying to at least get a little knitting done on my Leyburn Socks. I got a couple rows done, but my fingers were so stiff and cold!!! We were so cold that by the time the Ravelry geniuses appeared, with Ysolda in a knit Bob mascot suit, we basically ran away once we got our Ravelry buttons.
The Giant Sock!
We tried to make an orderly round of it, and started at the buildings right up the hill from the meetup. The boy's foot was bothering him, and he was more interested in the wine and cheese anyway, so he went to settle into that building and amuse himself while his mom and I tried not to buy everything we saw. There was a lot of cool stuff, and a lot of stuff I could get at local stores or very easily online. I found a lot of places were overpriced. We were looking around for at least an hour before I made my first purchase: Mini Mochi! I got rainbow and blue/green/purple (the colors my bff says are "my colors" and she will find this very predictable of me. Well, I can't be the only one that loves those colors, they're so easy to find all together already!). I've never seen it in a store before (and, of course, now that I bought some, I'll see it everywhere) and the price was right. Done and done! I actually held off for quite a while after that before buying anything else. I did spend a long time staring at the yarn in the quiviut booth. I was sadly disappointed that all of their blends had silk in them. I would have bought a $30 ball if it had been a quiviut/wool or cashmere, or alpaca...but everything had silk, too! My only other option was the pure quiviut at $76. I was tempted, and I also was tested ethically, and even considered for a moment that I don't buy silk because it kills bugs. BUGS! But then I put my foot down and said, no, it kills silkworms, and it's not necessary. No waffling just cuz I wanted yarn. So, still, no Musk Ox will be sliding across my needles in the near future. Sad.

From there, we met back up with the boy, who, along with his mom, wanted some keilbasa. I said have fun in that epic line, I'm gonna sit down a few. I ended up meeting a very nice couple that was also from New Jersey. We talked a bit, and the boy teased me that I pulled out my socks to demonstrated how it's really easy to knit 2 socks at a time on 2 circs. I was among my people! This was considered normal! People nearby could see and smiled, and were all bedecked in handknits! It was a very powerful moment for me. I was starting to see the social aspect of knitting, finally. The understanding. It's very powerful.
Autumnal :)
While the carnivores enjoyed their nosh, I ventured off on my own to the barns. I found some freakin killer deals on some stuff. I'm not gonna do a yarn haul, but when I do make projects from the yarn I bought, I'll post that I got the yarn at Rhinebeck. Anyway, one of my unique scores was a Hiya Hiya circ in size 6-0. That's right: 000000. For miniature knitting. I was SO happy! Since I've been back, I keep wanting to throw my socks to the side and bust out that circ and make something tiny and outrageous. But I'm being good. Socktoberfest comes but once a year!
Speaking of Socktoberfest, I was true to my list and acquired several skeins of SOLID sock yarns. No more pining away after sock patterns, only to lament my need to get crazy handpaints. I even got a rich royal purple that just BEGS to be made into Esther socks. My second squee moment (well, in regards to yarn; I was all giddy over the animals and people too) was when I found a basket of Crazy Zauberball yarn. I thought I was picking up the rainbowy one, but apparently that is the Frische Fische and I got kleiner Fuchs. I am amused by these color names, because they apparently mean "fresh fish" (rainbow) and "small fox" or "tortoiseshell butterfly" (big difference there. German is a strange language) for the one I got. So...I'm slightly disappointed, but it is still rainbowy, and this just means that if I ever find the "fresh fish" (LOLZ!)...oh, darn, I'll have to buy more!
Rhinebeck sheepies!
In between the barn booths, and shopping till dropping, I petted sheep, angora goats, llamas, alpaca, bunnies...and even got to meet George Washington and his Leicester sheep!
George and Benjamin
I was hunting the perfect cherry red yarn for Susan, and eventually found some that was awesome...AND on sale! So, in that same booth I picked up my first mohair...ever. Well, unless you count the ONE skein of Moonlight Mohair I bought (and hated). I even bought it with a project in mind. I was on FIYAH!
We were all separated for a while, and I happened upon a tent with a shop I'd never heard of before (Sliver Moon Farm), which had the craziest bright yellow sock yarn I'd ever seen (and coveted badly, but I put the small skein back in exchange for a skein with ten times the yardage for three times the price. Can't argue with that...I just wish I could have gotten the huge skein in that YELLOW!).
Once I got to the end, having sped-shopped through most of the barns, I decided to head back to the buildings where we started. One thing I want to note, there were a few booths that had some awesome stuff that I was very interested in. And the whole place was busy, which I sure hope the vendors realized would happen. But you know what? I didn't spend a dime in a bunch of them, since there were NO PRICES ON ANYTHING! I'm not going to waste my time jostling through a crowd to GET the item I like, then jostle through the crowd back to someone who looks like they work for that vendor, but who may or may not, then interrupt them from ringing up the huge line of people who will all glare at me for holding them up more, just to ask a price, which may or may not be any kind of a deal. VERY disappointing. I was especially sensitive to asking about prices after I was BARKED a price at by a vendor, clearly annoyed by my question, even though it was her own damn fault the skeins weren't marked. I wasted five minutes of precious browsing time pawing through skein after skein of her Malabrigo Sock for just ONE with a price, but nothin. And the price I was barked was no better than what they sell it for at Downtown Yarns, and I'm sure I can find a deal online. Anyway. I know there's a snowball's chance in hell that any of the vendors would even FIND much less READ my blog, but if anyone ever reads this that knows any vendors at any of these big fiber shows? There are people traveling really far with the sole purpose to buy lots of fiber. Make it easy for them, or they will go to another booth that DOES make it easy. I certainly did.
Shoppers in the Horticulture Barn
So, enough with that rant. When I doubled back to find my partners in crime, as well as ponder quiviut and some of my "maybe" booths once again...I realized I hadn't seen several of the yarns I had specifically set out to find. I thought that was strange. As I pondered this, I walked into one of the booths that I had skipped at the beginning of my rounds, since it was way too crowded. Lo, and behold, it was The Fold, one of the most sought after booths, with their (still) massive display...of SOCKS THAT ROCK. Yes!!! I have never knit with STR before, and, though I was curious, I had never been so antsy as after seeing the Yarn Harlot's STR projects. Gorgeous, I tell you! So...this was the only vendor where my credit card came out, and I went over my budget by 3 skeins of STR. Worth it? I think so.
Angora goat...Where mohair comes from! #rhinebeck
So...I was still surprised that I did not come across a SINGLE skein of Louet Gems Pearl. I see projects on ravelry made out of it ALL the friggin time, though I've never once noticed a single skein in a yarn shop, nor did I see any at Rhinebeck. Weird! I am branching out in sock yarns these days, since I've realized, as much as I adore koigu, when you think about it in price per yard...it's really expensive. I may even venture so far as to say that I like Malabrigo sock as much...I'm not sure if I like it better, but it's on par. And for 4 dollars more for a skein that's three times as much??? Wrong. So wrong. I'm sorry koigu, I'm gonna stick to only saving you out of sale bins. Oh, random, come to think of it, I don't think I even saw any koigu at Rhinebeck!? OH - I have to remind myself that I should get to Seaport Yarns sometime soon. I didn't pick up any of the Rhinebeck colorways that J.Knits put out while up there. But I can get them in NYC...and I really like J.Knits, their yarn, and them as a company (though I did overhear the ladies at Downtown Yarns bitching about their J.Knits rep...very professional, I tell ya), and the Rhinebeck colorways were so awesomely autumnal and scrumptious.

So. That was a very broad stroke of my first Rhinebeck experience...on the drive home we were already talking about next year...

OH! And we stopped at a rest area, and while I was in line for some food, I was stopped by a fellow raveler (I didn't even think to ask her name, I'm an idiot!) who just turned to me and asked if I had fun at the festival. I think dripping in handknits is a good way to illicit these kinds of questions...especially when you're wearing Jaywalkers. We talked a bit; it was her first year, too, and her friends came over and we talked a little, and then went our separate ways. So, another positive social aspect situation to gently shove me more toward that sort of thing. I dunno. I think the wool fumes just made us all especially giddy and nice, and apparently made me a little less shy.

I'm just really sad that Stitches East is happening this year mere MILES from my childhood home in Connecticut, but it is very doubtful that I will go. It's about equally as far from here as Rhinebeck was, and we've been on the go every weekend for way too long. We need a break. And I probably could only afford to look at the yarn if I was even able to go. If I did go, I'd probably be on my own, taking a bus up, which would run me about $40 from here, then another like $10 to get in...? As much as I love the possibility of having a panic attack in a throng of knitters hundreds of miles from home, I probably will have to pass. I still think it's so funny that as soon as I heard it was going to be in Hartford, I informed the beaut that we were going; and that was a long time ago. Ah, well. I'm happy that out of the two, Rhinebeck was my first big festival like that.
My cousin...FeltNFrog

Oct. 17th, 2009

frogcap

Halfway to Rhinebeck

So, I'm trying to be quiet, in a hotel room with the beau and his mom, who are soundly sleeping woolly dreams in anticipation of our trip to the New York State Sheep and Wool Festival (lovingly referred to among fiber-types simply as "Rhinebeck" after the town in which it is located). None of us have ever been there, and of course it's supposed to rain. And be 40 degrees. As of 2am, the forecast no longer calls for snow, but it has been threatened in the past few days.

I'm not really sure what to expect. I mean, we went to the Big E a few weeks ago, and I kinda feel like this will be the animal part of that...ON CRACK. Plus, I know there will be more than two different yarn vendors there (Seriously, at the Big E there were more sheep than people, but only a few dozen skeins of yarn in the whole place? FOR SHAME!) I've read on a few blogs the accounts of their past trips to Rhinebeck, and I know I'm in for an overwhelming treat. I followed some advice I read in an article (I don't remember the magazine; I was flipping through it at a bookstore) about how to survive wool festivals. I put aside the amount of money I'm willing to spend, and that is all I am bringing with me. I made a list of specific yarns and amounts I'm looking to buy. And I'm bringing along the beau, who can tell me when I'm being crazy (time will tell if I actually listen to him). The boy is excited about the wine tasting and cheese sampling and animal petting. He injured his foot, and really shouldn't be walking around too much, so his plan is to mostly stick near the wine. HA!

In other news, I'm typing this on my brand new laptop! It's an Acer, and a full-size (I was waffling on full size or netbook for months). Basically, it's the big brother of the netbook the boy bought a few months ago for school. I'm happy because now I have a laptop that's only 5 lbs and actually portable...and has an awesome battery life, as well as a card reader slot (HUGE plus, since my camera's software BLOWS. Now I don't need it!). So far, I am quite pleased. A few things are annoying to me (like the page up and page down keys both on the f-key row, and the touchpad is off-center to the left), but I'm otherwise entirely enamoured.

The typing (however quiet, much quieter than any other computer I've ever had!) seems to be just loud enough to cause some stirring. I'm off!

Oct. 10th, 2009

frogcap

I keep forgetting I have my own blog...

I've been starting at the very beginning of blogs and working my way through their archives, and now I'm pretty much down to The Yarn Harlot, and I'm finally into this calendar year! Not quite caught up, but it's been very interesting to follow the journey.

I had huge hopes to put up a pretty decent entry, but earlier this week, the beau was using the laptop, and the dog jumped in his lap, and now my e and w keys are acting up. It makes it really frustrating to type. Anywho.

There was gallivanting since my last post, which I do need to update about. But the other day, a momentous occasion occurred, where I gathered up maybe 85% of the knits I needed to photograph, and got some pretty nice shots, if I say so myself.
Picot en pointe

Even the pupster was amenable to model.
Cloudy Alpaca

And she even helped me knit a few rows...
This shot shows the true red (it's not pink AT ALL)

The top picture shows the completed Orange Limonade Jaywalkers, with a dashing picot edge, knit in fabulous yarn from knittyarcrafts.etsy.com. They are destined for holiday gifting greatness. The middle pic is the shawl I whipped up in a day (I KNOW!) out of local New Jersey Alpaca (more on that another time) to wear at the Big E, which I'd never been to before. A shame for a native New Englander to admit that, but it's true. I will eventually blog that whole experience, and share the bazillion pictures of farm animals (awesome). I was grateful to have that shawl, after all, since it rained torrentially, complete with tornado warnings, the entire day we were there. Anyway, that's a story for another time.

In other news, it is SOCTOBERFEST again! w00t! Last year, I joined the Mystery Sock KAL, spearheaded by Through the Loops, and made these:
Sock Knitting + Mythbusters = <3

They turned out really cool (I keep saying I'm going to knit another pair out of a less busy yarn...), so of course I was excited to hop on board again. Behold!
Mystery socks with another pink flower :D

That was taken after completing Clue #1. I've done 2 repeats of the pattern for clue #2, and I dig the leg pattern. I haven't been overly enthused about the "cuff" clues for either sock, but I suppose I just like a good, plain ribbed or picot edge. That's not so exciting in a Mystery KAL, though, so I can understand. Were I to repeat either pattern, I'd tone down the cuffs, though. I'm working this year's socks out of the leftover yarn from the Anastasia socks, purchased from HandSpunandDyedToo.etsy.com. I'm hoping I don't run out. Though a differently colored toe may prove interesting. Hm. We'll cross that bridge when we get to it.

Earlier, I finished a pair of Ken gloves, which was a quick project. I'll write more when I take pics (I really need to work on that). This leaves the "active" project list a little more manageable. In the past few days, though, I have CO two new projects, a Quant out of Caron Simply Soft Shadows, and a plain pair of toe-up socks in Paton Stretch Sock. The latter is for car and movie knitting (we went to the movies the other day to see 9, and I thought I could work on the entrelafghan...and ended up having to rip back and fix things, actually LOSING time on the project. Never again). I'm still deciding how many more repeats I'll do on the mystery sock leg (out of concern for the yarn amount), and the Emu Plume stole is limping along...
Emu Plume Stole, unstretched.

But I made some terrific headway on the "pop tabs...thing" earlier this week. I just went where inspiration took me, and I'm very happy! I took pics, but I need better ones, and that deserves an entry all to itself. I really love cool, weird recycling projects like this!

Tomorrow I may be getting a new computer (this one will be retiring to do Gram's bidding: All Mah Jongg, all the time). Hopefully a new phone (that's misbehaving even worse than the laptop!) as well. I'm trying not to go overboard though, since in one week...

RHINEBECK.

Sep. 21st, 2009

frogcap

Oh Boo Hoo.

Disclaimer: I'm feeling kinda down, emotional (hormonal), and really upset about a few things that came to light recently, so this won't be the happiest entry I've ever made. I just really wish the world would stop crapping on people I care about. :(

So. I never was a big knit blog reader; I collect books like they're going out of style, and not just the pattern books, but anything having even remotely to do with knitting. I fell in love with the Susan Gordon Lydon books, and was devastated when she passed away. But blogs? Only in the past year have I started to dabble in the knit blogosphere. My M.O. is to start way back at the beginning of the archives (or read them in reverse; that's fun too sometimes), and just read through the blog, y'know, a few entries here and there, until I get through them all. Sometimes I abandon the blog after that, sometimes I keep checking for new entries (like Grumperina's and BrooklynTweed). The biggest effort to date on this matter has been the Yarn Harlot blog, which I'm not even through the 2006 archives yet on, so it'll take a while to get current. But I've noted a few trends in a lot of these knit blogs and I feel like I'm missing out on a few things, or I'm just doing something wrong.

First, I'm not a social knitter. AT. ALL. I mean, I knit when I'm out, and my friends are sometimes horrified, sometimes amused, but always with eyebrows raised. I've knit at rock shows and at restaurants, and always during movies. But I have never once partaken of a Stitch N Bitch. I've never taken a knitting class, never hung out with other knitters just knitting to knit, other than with my beau's mom or with my Gram. Well, sometimes I knit with my beau, too, but he hasn't gotten to the obsessive knitting point yet. I've never knit with a bunch of strangers, or people who became friends because of knitting. It was recently decided that the knitters from my beau's family's havurah would start a stitch n bitch, including me, but that was just decided last weekend. Maybe I'll discover what I've been missing?

Another thing that seems to be a trend that I haven't witnessed is about crazed holiday knitting. I have certainly been awake up till wee hours of the morning Christmas day finishing a gift for that day. However, among my friends, I don't have this problem I keep reading about people asking for certain things. I don't get broadly dropped hints from people saying, well...you know, I lost that hat I loved, the red one? Man, I wish I could get a hat just like it, but I haven't seen them ANYWHERE...WINK WINK. No. I get the reaction on gift-giving days of..."socks? really? Um...wow, thanks." Even when they react excitedly, I have yet to see my knits "in the wild" other than one exception: Harry Potter Scarves. I mean, I am certainly pleased and honored that scarves I have made have kept my friends warm at Platform 9 3/4, and have seen the midnight showings of every HP film since the day they were finished. That I find awesome (and am flattered that my friends care enough to wear them even when the movies premiere in JULY). I'm also flattered about these scarves that they are worn, even when said friends are not expecting to see me at the events they're wearing them to. Truly "in the wild." But other items? I dunno. I guess I'm not reading my friends' style correctly? Or making things in the wrong colors? I mean, I've even made things with yarn my friends have chosen, and not once seen them wear it. I've made fingerless gloves for people, only to never see them on after that day, and see them wear pilly store-bought ones in my presence instead. Of course, my beau isn't in this category; he sometimes steals things I've made even before I've woven in the ends and starts wearing them, even if I think they're a tad too feminine (he doesn't care. He's a feminist. At least that's his excuse):
Rusty Foliage Hat

His mother also wears handknits constantly, and though I don't make her a lot of things, since she knits herself, she wears all of them and gushes to anyone who will listen about them. So, that sorta makes up for it, I guess? I dunno, I just read things on these blogs where the writer is complaining about all the demands on their knitting time from other people. I wish I had that problem. :(
The ONE exception to all of this (the one knitted object I see "in the wild"), not from the beau is this friend and this hat(on the right, though I did also make the hat on the left):
Fair Isle Hats modeled and much loved :)

In other news, I've been up to my neck in schoolwork, but luckily I had projects I could work on while reading. I also attended 4 different services in the past 9 days (one conversion, one Bat Mitzvah, and two Rosh Hashannah services), which, although I wouldn't have wanted to be elsewhere for any of them (they were all wonderful!), that was four days I lost most of my studying time to spiritual endeavors. So, on the in-between days, I haven't gotten a lot of "personal knitting" done. Because of this, I was as shocked as anyone else would be that, while reading up on media violence and its effect on children, I finished the Palindrome Scarf. Just like that. It feels good to finish things! AND I exercised extreme restraint and once again did not cast on something new.
Sawtooth borders also make me feel smart
(it's so much bigger than this now...at least four times the size...sigh.)
The other night, in a fit of annoyance at having to cart around the book while working on the Emu Plume Stole, I traced the chart from the book, and also charted the annoying border, which wasn't charted in the book for some reason...? I mean to say that the fact that the border is written out longhand and the pattern for the lace is a chart is annoying; the border itself is lovely. So lovely, in fact, that I would knit as scarf just of that border! Yarn overs on right AND wrong sides? YO's to begin a row? You had me at yo...but I digress. I copied the chart and freed my lovely stole from house arrest. Now I can take it on the go...if I ever go anywhere. Well, I did take a walk at the lake today with the beau, and was able to do at least one square on the Entrelafghan, but you know what I mean. I worked on the stole while watching an Anorexia video for class yesterday, so I was able to make sure the chart was okay while still in the same place as the book, if I needed to change anything. So far so good!

I'm starting to think that this is the fewest projects I've had on the needles in several years. Even the "unfinished projects" I have listed are actually finished with their knitting or crocheting; they just need fabric linings. I'm shocked. I'm neither happy nor sad really about it...just surprised. I like that it's forcing me to pick up the long-term projects like the stole and the afghan when I need to knit something. BUT! It won't last. I know, once I get a few more tiers in onto that afghan, it is not leaving the house. It will be too huge and heavy to work on while on the go. MAYBE it would be able to come on a trip if I was going to have time at night before bed to work on it or something. Maybe I should bring it to NYC with me on Tuesday, before it gets put on house arrest, in place of the stole. I also hope to remember to block the seaweed scarf tomorrow (Yeah, I STILL have not blocked it...) so I can try to wear it Tues, so I can see if it irritates my neck (I'm expecting it to). Also, THAT reminds me that I need to set up an appointment for the allergy tests. I do have these things written down, but we see how good I've become about following my to-do list...

To-do right now? Finish the square I'm doing on the Entrelafghan and GO TO SLEEP!

Sep. 18th, 2009

frogcap

A Whole Lotta Nuthin.

I could say that I've been REALLY busy, but I really haven't. I guess I've been doing a lot of stuff that amounts to nothing all that interesting. Last week, I finished the fingerless gloves I made for a commission, and they're lovely.
Left Palm and New Jersey Sky
Clearly, so was the weather! I busted out a hoodie twice this week so far, and have been considering scarves. I've also been considering MAKING more scarves; something lacy, something just a little warm, but not woolly. Hmmmmm. But enough of that distraction! I've been teasing myself with a beret that I want to make as a gift, since the koigu Purl Beret came out so well. I scored 5 skeins of Paton's Kroy Sock in black, and it'll take less than one skein to make a beret. In the same clearance sale I also scored:
I had to fight for my right to YAAAAAARN
...which is Wool-Ease Thick n Quick, which I had to fight with this yarn mess in order to get:

Just for a frame of reference, all the skeins visible in that picture have an end tangled into that yarn blob. The blob itself, when lifted, is about the size of a beach ball. Yowza.
Anyway, that Wool Ease will most likely become another Top Hat, maybe as a gift...

SO! I was teasing for three weeks almost about a package I was obsessively tracking its way here? Why, my friends? Well...BEHOLD:
Is that...a SWIFT!?!
ITSASWIFT OMG!!!!!!!!! YAAAAAAAAAY!!!
There are so many projects I was putting off because I knew I was going to get one, and I finally found a good deal on one, ordered it, and it took FOREVER to get here. BUT! I used it to wind one of my skeins of Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock.
Well, now that was fast...
(And took a really crappy pic of it cuz it was really late at night)
Now that I have it, of course I'm not letting myself play with it because A) I was focusing on the commission, and now I'm focused on finishing what's on the needles, especially gifts (discipline is hard, believe me) and B) I have 2 final papers due in 12 days, plus two more weeks of discussions and quizzes before then. So, what am I doing to keep it real? The entrelac Afghan. Nope, not joking. It's one of the gift projects, it will be HUGE, it's keeping me interested, and it's eating yarn at an alarming rate. I thought I had way more than enough yarn, but I'm doing a solid red on the odd tiers, and a shadowed yarn on the even tiers, and the shadowed yarn is almost gone after one tier. Not good. I'm only on the third tier right now, so maybe the leftover amount from that tier isn't as small as I think it is. We shall see. So far I think I'll get at least two tiers out of the solid, which should be fine. I don't have any pictures yet, and, to be honest, on the circ it looks like I'm making some sort of weird leaf skirt when it's all bunched up. While I'm thinking of it, though, I should point out that I'm very happy with the new nickel plated Susan Bates circ's I picked up for the project. I snagged another one in US 6 size last time I had a 50% off coupon. I also returned the Clover size 3 bamboo circ I'd bought; holy crap were the joins on that the worst or what!? I couldn't even get through one row; I had to transfer everything onto DPN's. Horrible. I've learned the error of my ways; the join isn't a problem on my Epically Huge clover circ's (size 11,13,15) but i now know not to get small sizes in bamboo circs ever again. Sadly, the join on my size 1 addi's snag sometimes, too! I may have to look into their "lifetime guarantee" thing and see what they'll do about that. Luckily my issue with Clover ends with the circ's, cuz I LURVE their DPN's, even if they snap easily, they're much less expensive than the yarn shop ones, and they grip better than the aluminum ones (which I also use the dickens out of).

Ahem. I get passionate about my needles. I was putting away all the circs I'd left scattered about the room the past month or so, and I realized I have a serious investment in needles. Not even counting the ones I've inherited; I probably have several hundred dollars worth of needles. Easily. This is why I don't tally these things; and this is also why I don't stop to consider the value of the Stash either. I just try to appease myself with the thoughts that probably 90% of the stash, not to mention the needles, was purchased on sale or with a coupon. The remaining 10% is either acrylics that cost like $3 a skein or "souvenir" yarns, which will always remind me of a special trip/event.

As far as what's on the needles right now, the Entrelafghan is mostly what I work on at night when I'm trying desperately to take my mind off of EVERYTHING, relax, and doze off. When out and about, I drag the Palindrome Scarf with me. I've been staving off casting on a new "plain stockinette" project (either a pair of socks, or another Purl Beret) until the boy and I make it to a matinee of 9. NOTHING else I have on the needles will be appropriate. I can't keep track of where to cross cables OR cross the cables in a dark theatre, and entrelac is straight out. Still on the needles is the Waving Chevron Scrap Scarf, though that'll be ongoing. No rush on that puppy. The pop tabs bag is on the back burner for now (though I constantly get good ideas for details and scribble them down). The Emu Plume Stole I wish I was working on more. I keep thinking it's more complicated than it is, and when I grab it to work on it, I go "oh, this is really straightforward. Why am I not working on this every day?" Alas. It is progressing slowly. I keep forgetting to work on the beau's socks while he's not around, so who knows when they'll ever get finished. LE SIGH! The Uncle Argyle scarf I will not even talk about right now. Things that need linings, I will hopefully one day just bang those all out...and the only other thing "on the needles" is the recycled bags bag, which I need to work on in small doses since long periods of time knitting on it makes my hands hurt. Wow, I have a short list of projects this month! Hopefully, while working on finals, I can chug out a few "destressor" projects (nothing like stockinette in the round to help focus).

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