Author Archives: Anna

Yarn acquisition

I have generally slowed down on yarn shopping because I have so much, but I’ve bought a little bit recently.

I got some more Woolmeise! I got 3 regular skeins and one of the more squishy MCN-like skeins. This is now dangerous because now I feel the urge to collect more Wollmeise in a different base.

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I also got a kit from Marianated yarns that I had ordered back when I was on knitting retreat. This is going to be a blue and grey Spice Market.

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I am trying to keep myself from casting on for any new projects, because I just had to rip out part of Walk on the Moon again, and I’m at the section of the project where there are too many stitches on the needles and it is getting tedious. But since I am currently working on a hat, shawl, and socks, I think no new projects for now is a better path to follow.

Knitting Retreat 2016

So this was my second year going to the knitting retreat at Alta. Last year it was very warm and I was able to go on a hike but this happened shortly after the drive up!

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So it was a good excuse to stay inside and knit! This is my still in progress Walk on the Moon.

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I cast on for a pair of easy socks, in the hope that good mojo from knitting retreat would help me actually finish a pair of socks.

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The retreat winds up with an insane brunch, and I had my annual eggs benedict, among other things.

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I also ordered some Marianated Yarn for a Spice Market shawl. It was really nice to have three days to just hang out with other knitters!

Everyone got knitting themed mugs 🙂

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Knitterly Updates

Random drive-by blogging knitting updates! This is all stuff that I’ve been working on/doing for the past several months.

I started a new project – Walk on the Moon. I’m using three colors of Wollmeise that were in my stash – greyish pink, pink, and lapis lazuli. This is the teeny tiny bit of it that I’ve finished so far, I haven’t yet reached the stage where the third color comes in yet.

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My husband was making a reference to my yarn buying habits, which inspired me to look up the last time I bought any Wollmeise, and I was shocked to find out that I hadn’t bought any for around 3 years, so I obviously needed to buy some more.

I was happy to find some Fledermaus and Mond im 7 Haus available – those were some colors I’d been wanting for a long time. I also threw in a grey skein, just because who doesn’t need more grey yarn?

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I also finished my Joker and the Thief, this is a picture of it looking somewhat crumpled.


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I really like it! I picked up some Marinated Yarn at knitting retreat last fall for this project. This makes me think that I need another set, maybe for an On the Spice Market? There’s something refreshingly simple about just buying a kit to make a pattern that you like. I enjoy knitting when I don’t have to ponder too deeply about color choices and get all stressed out about accidentally making something hideous.

Oh! I was wanting a small set of ChiaoGoo interchangeable needles, because I got a couple of the fixed circular needles and I really liked the twist cords used for these needles of coated steel cable. They are so nice to work with. I got a small set as a birthday gift, so now I have an almost ridiculous amount of interchangeable needles.

Too much purple yarn is never enough

I was delighted when my friend Margene decided to destash, because she set aside some awesome purple yarn for me!

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That is some incredibly high quality purple (and pink, and reddish pink) yarn there. So excited! Some of it might become….SOCKS! It could happen! My one pair of finished socks accidentally got sent through the washing machine two years ago, so I feel like I have been failing myself as a knitter because have not produced more socks.

I have also reached the home stretch, or stage three of Joker and the Thief, where the purple yarn becomes more prominent again:

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Soon it will be all done, hopefully when it is still cold enough outside so I can actually wear it!

January knitting update

I have finished one thing and made good progress on a new project.

The thing I finished was a belated holiday gift – it is a sockhead hat made out of 1.25ish skeins of Koigu KPPM from my stash! Hooray for using up stash yarn!

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The other thing I’ve been working on is The Joker and the Thief. This is from some yarn I picked up at the knitting retreat last fall from Marianated Yarns. I’ve made faster progress on this project than is usual for me, because I was horribly sick last week and wasn’t able to do much other than sit in bed and watch Netflix and knit.

jokerandthethief I really like the way this is coming out with the grey gradient yarn and the vibrant purple.

2015 Year in Reading

I need to post about my reading adventures for last year before January gets away from me! I read (or at least managed to track on goodreads) 77 books last year. Highlights include:

The Raven Boys series by Maggie Stiefvater – So much more creative than most YA fiction out there, and so well-written.

Inspector Gamache series by Louise Penny – I’ve been meaning to start reading this series for a long time and blew through around 5 volumes in short order.

The Winter Sea by Suzanna Kearsley – Nice historical time travel cozy book.

Magnificent Devices Series by Shelley Adina – Non-annoying steampunk romance series. I’ve only read the first four or so, but they feature an unconventional heroine with a yen for science who inadvertently finds herself in charge of a gang of child thieves.

 

Kicking off the new year with some knitting

I finished my long koigu entrelac scarf of doom!

20160104_194554This was six skeins of koigu, I started it way back in April 2013 and finished it Jan 1st! This was very much a background project that I worked on occasionally while knitting other things, and it felt very good to be starting off the new year with a finished scarf.

I’m making a sockhead hat, right now, using even more koigu.

20160104_194708All this yarn comes from my koigu collecting years of many years ago, and I have to admit, it feels good to use up some stash yarn. Maybe now that I’m putting much more of a dent in the koigu stash, I’ll now start to use up some of my Wollmeise.

Knitting plans for 2016 include:

We’ll see if I can do all that!

 

Knitting Retreat fun

I was very excited to be able to go to the Alta knitting retreat for the first time. My knitting buddies have been going to this for years and I’ve always wanted to go but never managed to block off the time before. It has been a long time since I’ve had a solo vacation, and I came back from the retreat feeling very refreshed and relaxed!

I came up on Friday with Cheryl! A ton of knitters come up on Friday to check in and get lunch, but other folks arrive later. Here’s a view from the deck of the Alta Lodge where I was knitting, check out the aspens!

deckCheck out those aspens!

Thai influenced salad with chicken and peanut dressing with rice!

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I went on a hike to Cecret Lake. Here’s one photo taken partway along the trail.

20150926_105004Here is Cecret Lake! It exists!

20150926_110349It was a nice hike, and great to get out and walk around a little bit after spending most of Friday sitting and knitting.

I worked on one old project and started a new one, even though I brought around 4 potential projects with me just in case. You never know what you’re going to be in the mood to knit! It was just great to hang out and knit, and drink some wine, and hang out and knit some more. The rooms in the Alta Lodge don’t have TVs in them, but I brought along my iPad and got caught up on a few season premieres (How to Get Away With Murder & Scandal) and got a bit further along in the Buffy the Vampire Slayer rewatch marathon I just started recently.

I got a substantial amount done on my 3 colorway koigu entrelac scarf of doom. You can see the three colorways mixing together below. Should finally be done with this soon!

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I started a new project, an easy hat called Wurm. It uses a folded brim, which I haven’t done before. I was worried I would accidentally pick up the stitches unevenly, but it has turned out great so far. I’m finding the pattern very entertaining, and I’ve knit several more bands since the photo below. I think it will be done very soon.

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It would be somewhat impossible to go on a knitting retreat. I brought 5 skeins of Woolmeise, which I ended up selling before the actual stash sale, which was partly stashed yarns from knitting retreat attendees along with some great indie dyers like Intrepid Tulips and Marianated Yarns. Then I turned around and bought some new yarn with the money I made selling my old yarn, my photo does not do it justice:

marianatedyarnThe purple yarn is called Amethyst, so of course I had to get it. I’m going to see about making Joker and the Thief, although I will need to fudge a little bit with the gradient pattern for the darker colors.

It was a great three day weekend, and I’m already looking forward to going back next year!

Summer Knitting Action

I have been knitting here and there this summer, although I’ve been mega busy.

I made a berry baby hat for a co-worker who is going to have a baby soon!

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When I was getting the yarn for the hat, I bought some extra yarn to take advantage of Webs’ crazy discounts.

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I got some Madelinetosh yarn in the colorway Steam Age, which I have been wanting for some time.

I might actually finish this endless entrelac koigu scarf soon, I think I started it last fall. This is a mix of 6 skeins of koigu, with 3 of one colorway, 2 of another, and a lone skein to finish up the scarf. It will all look very ombre yet crazy when I am done with it.

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In other long-term projects, I am still working on a throw for my youngest sister, but I haven’t been able to knit on it very much in the summer because I don’t often feel like sitting with a blanket in progress on my lap when it is 90+ degrees outside. I predict there will be more progress with that project once the temperatures drop.

I’m going to knitting retreat in September! I am excited, because most of my knitting buddies go every year and this is the first time I’m going. I need to strategize carefully about which knitting projects to bring.

Kawaii Box July 2015

What came in the July Kawaii box? This is my second to last box, since I have a 3 month subscription. I do so enjoy the messages on the cards, this one promises that the contents of the box “are as cute as you.” Well, we’ll see now, won’t we?

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These were the items I was most excited about, a toast coaster and a keychain with cute alpacas on it that matches the bag charm from last month.

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The toast coaster is one of those perfect things to get in a random subscription box, because I didn’t realize that toast coasters existed. I have also been meaning to bring in a coaster for my desk at work, so it will be practical too! Also, I just want to have the excuse to say to people, “Check out this toast coaster!” TOAST COASTER!

The alpaca keychain matches perfectly with the bag charm from last month, and who doesn’t sometimes need a new keychain? It is super cute.

Here are a couple things I was less excited about, candy and pencils.

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The candy was from the same company that was included in last month’s box, and the candy consisted of slightly chalky tasting links that were a bit harder in consistency than gummy candy, yet still somewhat gummy, if that makes sense. It was not that great.

Also cute pencils. I feel like I will have enough pencils to last for quite some time now.

There usually seems to be something absolutely surreal and ridiculous in these boxes, with the smiling pink poop pencil sharpener serving in that category last month, this month there is a doughnut pocket mirror. There was a pastel bracelet I will save for the next time I’m in the presence of tiny girl who likes bracelets. The sprinkles on the pocket mirror seem like they would wear off pretty easily if you actually threw it into a handbag.

Also, there is a plush mushroom with a somewhat tortured expression, which I find amusing. I enjoy erasers with weird shapes, so I did like the cupcake eraser.

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I can really take or leave glitter glue, but this looks like a good set, if I did want to glue glitter to anything. I really enjoy the sticker set, which features cute pandas with bizarre facial expressions.

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I was also happy to see this Rilakkuma post-it set, it is a little book of post-its that unfolds accordion style with a bunch of different shaped post-its. Super handy!

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Overall, I still think that a yearly subscription would result in someone getting too much plastic stuff, but a three month subscription or just buying a random box now and then is a nice treat, especially if you live hundreds of miles away from a good Japanese import shop.