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I will openly admit that I never only on occasion swatch before I knit something. But then again I’ve been doing a lot of shawls and scarves lately so it’s not exactly critical for fit since there really isn’t a fit to consider. Unless of course you consider that one particular hat with all the lacey bit that’s just a wee too big. Nah that never happens, hmm…

So this, my dear readers, is one of the few times when I clearly understand that a swatch is necessary (yes, yes, I know). You know why? No? I’ll tell you.

I am about to begin knitting a real garment. Yup, you heard me, a real honest to goodness garment. So considering I will be using fingering weight yarn I figure the annoyance of having to do a swatch far outweighs the time it will take to complete enough of said garment before I realize it’s too big or too small.

This isn’t the first swatch I’ve done mind you it’s just that without having to worry much about the size of the knitted object I’ve gotten lazy.

My deepest apologies to Clara Parkes for maligning the poor unappreciated swatch. Truly I mean it no disrespect. Sacrilege, bad knitter, I know.

So, what am I knitting? “The Morro Tank” by Grace Akhrem. It was published in “Knitscene Summer 2014″ and yes I know it’s mid-August and yes I know I’m not the fastest knitter in town and yes I would like to wear it before the first snow so I am really hoping I have gauge. (I had a little distraction working on a baby gift, shhh) Crossing all the things!

I am using Madeline Tosh Merino Light in the Leaf and Thoreau colorways, respectively.

MadToshMerinoLite

I purchased the yarn and these awesome buttons from The Knitted Purl in Oyster Bay, New York. A wee bit of a hike for me but such nice people!!!

Buttons-Vertical

Oh hey, check out all of the yarn bombing around town.

Gazebo-YarnBomb    ThreeTrees-YarnBomb

Anyway, I’ll measure it up when it’s dry and let ya know if I’m on gauge or I need to work on swatch number two.

To be continued…

So I decided to embark on a rather daunting task this weekend: photograph and log my stash on Ravelry. Yup, you heard me correctly.

Malabrigo-Lace-500I must be a lunatic, completely crazed or just plain bored.

No actually this is something I’ve wanted to do for quite a while and to tell you the truth, I kinda enjoy this sort of nerdiness. What can I tell you, I like cataloging and organizing things. The only piece that’s bothering me is I can’t remember where I bought every skein of yarn. I know right? What’s wrong with me?! Hmm, I suppose I could go back through my receipts and figure it out. Yea, it’s definitely a sickness.ClassicElite-Ava-500

The only thing I do recall is what I bought at Rhinebeck, cuz you know. Pretty much everything else was purchased online with a smattering purchased locally. Those are usually straight to the needles purchases anyway.

As I do typically, I’m approaching this in a very systematic way: pick a storage location, select a shelf/drawer/box and have at it.

I photographed, edited and posted 14 items over the weekend. Not a lot but hey these things take time. I was surprised to discover that several years ago I had actually logged some of my yarn. MadTosh-MerinoLite-500Who knew? Clearly not yours truly.

I’ve got lots more to go but that’s okay, a little at a time; I’m determined to get this done. So, want to see? Check out my stash page on Ravelry and who knows, I may put some up for sale or trade. Ya never know. ;-)

I wasn’t exactly planning on knitting another shawl/scarf/kerchief at the moment but then I needed something for a long car ride. Something that wouldn’t require lots of thought, something that I could easily memorize and something that’s not fiddly.

So Age of Brass and Steam it is.
TechnicolorSteamWIP-1

A wee bit more colorful then the first one huh?
Steam Kerchief

I’ll be honest the yarn I chose freaked me out a bit when I started it but as I kept knitting (encouraged by my enabler aka: husband), I came to really like how the colors are working out.
TechnicolorSteamWIP-2

But I have something else on my plate too. Something that requires actual gauge as in it must fit a real human and I don’t mean flung over the shoulders but that’s another post. ;-)

Oh, and I completed my Brickless it just needs blocking. LOVE! I’ll post pix soon.

Contrasts

This past week has been one full of contrasts; of ups and downs, of highs and lows, of gains and losses.

It has given us both loss and love, grief and joy, sorrow and happiness; a death and a marriage.

After moving him into hospice this past Monday, my father-in-law, Charles Hollander passed away on Thursday June 5th, he was 81 years old. Although we were all well aware that this day was looming, expecting it and experiencing it are two different things.

Charles Hollander

Two days later, on Saturday June 7th, my stepson Steven and his lovely fiancée Eileen got married. It was a beautiful happy occasion.

SteveEileen-Cake

Contrasts

Although I often hide it, I am an emotional person (disclosure) there were tears, some at the most inopportune time (thankful for an empty ladies room). You see, mourning a loss and celebrating a union put me in great conflict and their collision, it turns out, was harder to take than I anticipated it would be.

Dad-1

My father-in-law was a loving and creative man who passed on his curiosity and inventive nature to both of his sons. He didn’t slow down until his body said otherwise. I have fond memories of family gatherings and working craft shows in New Paltz, NY…and pointing out “trac-toors” (winks at mother-in-law and husband). He will remain in my heart, always.

Although this week began on a sad note and was punctuated with the loss of a life, it ended with the beauty of a new life for two, joined at the heart. And it is my heart that both aches for dad and swells with joy for Steven and Eileen.

SteveEileen-Dance2

SteveEileen-Kiss

The newlyweds are now on their honeymoon in Hawaii and I hope they are having a wonderful time.

Despite the sad start to the week, for my husband and I, it ended on a happier note.

Us-Laugh

Brick Walls

Did you ever have one of those days where no matter how hard you try you just can’t seem to match the yarn in your stash to a pattern you want to knit?

I chose these three different yarns, fingering/sport, DK and worsted weights. Different quantities as well. I looked thru Ravelry and my books – well skimmed them – and I kept running into the same problems: right weight/wrong quantity; right quantity/wrong weight; right quantity/right weight/wrong color way. (Meaning the pattern wold be better knit with a more subtle yarn).

Sigh

It took the better part of the day – with the standard dog and laundry interruptions – before I finally stumbled onto something that was right under my nose the entire time: Brickless using Miss Babs Yowza Whatta Skein. I had the pattern in my favorites but somehow missed it. Or perhaps it was that I was looking for something with lace? In any case it so happens that her sample was knit using Yowza so jackpot.

And look at the size of this frickin’ ball of yarn!

Yarn and Pattern

So onward and forward.

Okay so it’s half over and your point?

We had a wee bit of snow.

I finished a few knits…

then “froggie came a courtin'”. :-(

Now I’m thinking about a major blog overhaul.

Stay tuned.

Dear 2013

Hey there 2013 I see it’s about time for you to go. I have to be honest with you, you’ve left me with some mixed emotions about whether to remember you fondly or with contempt. You really didn’t start off too well now did you…you know what I’m talking about.

Thinking back, you’ve been both good and bad, been relaxing and a crazy stress pit; we lost a furry family member way too soon and gained a furry family member; you brought on some new challenges and some failures learning experiences.

Although ’13 (You don’t mind if I call you that do you? no matter) I will say I did get in some quality knitting and yummy baking during your tenure. And my husband and I had a really great staycation over the summer. We bought bikes and rode most mornings, weather permitting, during those months. A new breakfast/lunch place opened in our neighborhood and we haven’t missed a weekend breakfast there yet.

We also had a very nice and long overdue vacation in New Hampshire this past fall. But then you went and changed on me…and if you don’t mind me saying so, not for the better.

Despite it all ’13 I would have said you were a relatively balanced year but then you had to go and mess with me for three months. Is this your way of flexing your 13ness? Wasn’t it enough you tormented us at the start of your rein? You had to go and make me personally miserable at the end too? Thanks a lot.

You wrenched my back in the MOST STUPID way: walking from my car to the office. And don’t think I missed the irony in that either now. Without even giving me some breathing room-I mean that both literally and figuratively-you strike out at me with a ridiculous childhood disease: whooping cough (it’s on the rise people!). Seriously ’13? What did I ever do to you? I will say this bit of mischief did provide fodder for my husband’s funny bone: he offered to buy me a coloring book and crayons. I’m sure you got a big chuckle out of that one too.

Then just when I thought things were back to normal, BANG! You had to go and saddle me with an allergic reaction to the dang antibiotic I took to rid myself of said cough. And now the knees.

So thanks for all of that ’13, you’ve been real.

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