Monday Musings

Back to the shawl…

You probably thought you were done having to hear about yarn structure from me.  You are almost right.  This will be the last of that for a bit…but I do have a little bit more to add.  I’ll be referring back to information from previous posts on Waiting for Rain, so check those out again if I lose you here.

Even considering gauge, as well as fiber content, there’s still the actual structure of the yarn which needs to be considered.  This is a bit of a potpourri of a topic.  Lots can affect what I’m referring to as structure.  Both gauge and fiber type have a role of course, but mostly it’s the construction style I’m talking about now.  For typical yarn, that means spinning style. However, a chenille, or a ribbon yarn would also apply to this section.

20190225_193505.jpgOne of my favorite, relatively inexpensive yarns is Lion Brand’s Homespun.  It has such beautiful colors (yes, while I can be an ass about using color as the defining consideration, I do recognize it can be *a* consideration), it feels so soft.  However, as you can see, it’s all bumply.  What this means is that it doesn’t show stitch definition.  The good of that: you can screw up a whole bunch and no one can see.  The bad of that: you can work your ass off with a beautiful stitch pattern, and no one will be able to see it.  This yarn makes wonderful garter stitch blankets.  They look super cozy (and actually are), and they are super easy to make.  If you are not one to like a concert hat, perhaps this would make a good concert knitting project for you. So, this probably won’t be my first choice for Waiting for Rain.  Unless I only did the garter in this, and found something to go with it for the lace panels.

20190225_193518.jpgThis is a singles spun yarn, which means that it is not plied like many other yarns.  It is also a warm yarn, but it is smoother than the Homespun, so it would show definition.  I made a wonderful cabled blanket out of it.  With the leftovers, I’ve made several twined knitted hats for Poopie.  Which he loves.  However, because it is only spun in one direction (rather than spun, and then plied in the opposite direction), the twisting of the knitting, and twisting of the yarns for the twining technique means that it frequently untwists enough to fall apart, so I have to do a lot of splicing in the hats.  This is why I try really, really hard not to tell people they can’t or shouldn’t do something.  Conventional wisdom is that you “shouldn’t” use singles for twined knitting.  However, these are truly Poopie’s favorite hats. They are a giant PITA to make, though.  So while I won’t say you “shouldn’t” use singles for twined knitting, I will say you “should” make sure the project/recipient is worth the extra effort you are sure to need to put in. This yarn would be a perfectly reasonable choice for the shawl, the color repeats are long enough to not be super busy and detract from the lacework.

20190225_193527.jpgThis yarn is an interesting yarn to discuss. If you look at the “core” of it, it is a laceweight. However, it has a wide halo around it.  The ball band calls it a bulky.  I think this is because you should probably use larger needles to give that halo enough freedom to “bloom”.  While this is an acrylic yarn, this type of construction is similar to what you would see with rabbit (which, yes, I know, I didn’t talk about last yarn structure post).  Yarns with this construction seem to me to most often be the super warm yarns.  They look so delicate, but they are soooooo cozy.  If you spin a more robust yarn with rabbit, you could go to the North Pole.  For me, this construction of yarn works best with a simple lace design.  I think you need the holes of the lace to let the halo really shine, but that halo will make it difficult to really see the lace.  If I’m going to be working charts and tearing out rows, I want the casual observer to *know* I busted my ass to do that, and I want them to be totally jealous of my skills.  Fuzzy yarn just doesn’t do that.  However, it makes a super easy lace chart look like you *did* do all that hard work.  Better than having everyone ooh and aah over a complicated pattern is to have everyone ooh and aah over something super easy.  I’m a big proponent of making my yarn work harder than me.  You may think that’s lazy.  I choose to say it’s smart.  Tomayto/Tomahto.

 

 

Friday Fails and Fixes

Party foul

Last night, Poopie and I were going to support some friends by watching their band play.  However, it was a venue I had never been to before.  Poopie hadn’t been there in a very long time.  Dear Reader, you know what that means…I had no idea what to take to work on.  The comparable bar Poopie suggested I use as a guide happens to have a well lit table in the back, I can’t count on that.

I started a concert hat just in case.  20180222_141950.jpgBut…I had some projects half started from Madrona.  Plus another thing I just started (which is not the shawl I’m supposed to make for Sheri, because I suck).  IMG_20180222_194635.jpgPlus spinning, plus…plus…plus… So, I just packed a little of everything. There’s the weaving on the knitting loom that hopes to become a hat someday.  There’s the new hat.  There’s the drop spindling.

We vaguely knew where the new-to-us venue is located, and went there.  We pulled into a cruddy parking lot, and saw our friends’ car, so we knew we were in the right place.  Huzzah! The Facebooks told us that our friends’ duo was going to be a solo since their poor children had come down with the plague.  We walked into the bar, which was NOT situated for live music.  Ok…many bars aren’t really set up for that.  However, we didn’t see our friend.  How weird.  Poopie didn’t think much of it, though.  He went to get us drinks.

Meanwhile, I am trying to use the information from my Madrona class on social media.  I was taking the picture of all my stuffs and typing up a caption for Instagram when he came back.  He brought the largest White Russian I’ve seen outside of my kitchen.  The featured image shows that it’s in a diner’s juice glass.  He also brought menus, just in case.  “Huh” he said.  I was happily typing on my phone..clickity clack.  “What?” I asked without looking up (I can be rude like that).  “We are in the wrong place.  I guess that explains why our friend isn’t here.”  Sure ’nuff…

SO…if you were to follow me on Instagram (latejedoracrafts), you would see the picture, and the caption, which says: “When Poopie makes me go to a new venue, I need to pack ALL THE PROJECTS. Also. We are in the wrong venue.”  I find me hilarious.  I had believed from my class that the post would also share to my Facebook page (La Tejedora Crafts).  I was wrong.  Apparently, I have to go in and check it over? I’ll have to do more research to see if I can make it auto-cross-pollinate

In my defense, I was busy hating on Kristi (not her real name) during my class.  She was loud, obnoxious, and was clearly always right…even when she wasn’t (no! she was not me!).  It started off with her being snotty about my laptop “I don’t know why people spend thousands of dollars on a laptop when a tablet will do everything a laptop does”.  Except, Kristi couldn’t figure out how to log into the WiFi, and had to ask for the password like five times (take that!).  It went downhill from there.  I mentally added an “e” to the end of her name.  She strikes me as someone who would HATE that.  She kept talking over the teacher, and interrupting.  At one point, the teacher was working with a student one on one, and Kristie (notice the e??) just started asking her random questions from across the room.  All this means that the instructor was not able to share as much as she probably planned, nor was I able to glean as much as I wanted.  But…I know how to Google.  It’ll happen, just slowly and painfully.  Kristie will forever be my social media scapegoat.

Back to last night…I chugged that White Russian.  It wasn’t very good.  I think they were running out of Kahlua? What it lacked in flavor, it made up for in volume.  (insert NSFW joke here) We went across the parking lot to the correct bar.  It was what I imagined it would be.  There really wasn’t a stage space.IMG_20180222_225216.jpg  The tables were lit with Beer signs.  There was even a large biker dude, complete with motorcycle patches on his leather jacket.  Also, he had an itty bitty dog with its own leather vest.  Apparently, it was a support dog? The dichotomy was startling to say the least.

While the various bands played, I worked on the loom weaving. As you can see from the beginning of the night, to the end, it’s relatively quick work.  And I can do it by the light of the beer sign.  This post and caption DID happen to make it from Instagram to Facebook.  My social media ineptitude is making me fear I am totally turning into my mother.  Pretty soon, I’ll be over-using and abusing emojis in my texting.  (Don’t ask, I have a rant all prepared concerning my mom’s texting habits)

So, last night’s party fouls were only somewhat failures.  We made it to the right place (eventually), and were able to show music love.  It ended up just being a hiccup in the process.  Hopefully, the continuing social media fails will be hiccups in the process.  And even if they are not, they are apparently making good blog fodder.  Just please, as much as I love my mother, don’t let me turn completely into her.

Totally off topic, I’m writing this in a coffee shop, and this couple next to me are clearly on a first date.  Spoiler alert, he is NOT failing.  He’s making good eye contact, clearly listening, asking all sorts of follow up questions.

 

 

 

Monday Musings

Ma’am, you need to leave

I’m going to tell you a story that even my knitting ladies haven’t heard yet.  This just happened this past Thursday. I wish I could say that Thursday was the first time I’ve heard those words from a bouncer…We all know that that’s not going to be the last time, either.

Poopie and I went to Portland for a concert.  You’ll soon find that concert knitting is something I take VERY seriously.  I have to take lighting, seating, and table space into consideration.  There are some places which have surprisingly good accommodations for crafting, and I can do relatively complex work.  Thursday’s venue, however, isn’t one of those.  It doesn’t often even have seating.  So, the knit hat is what I generally take to work on when I’m headed that direction.  I can knit the hat standing and I can even do it in the dark, if need be.  These are but two reasons why it is absolutely my go to project on the go. However, I do need to make sure I have cast on prior to arriving, as that can be a problematic step to do standing up in the dark.

Well, Thursday was my lucky day.  While Poopie made his way to the front at the stage, I went up to the balcony and found a seat!  Up at the stage, one of those blurry guys is Poopie, he’s looking down at his phone. 20180201_193513.jpgHere in the foreground, you see the brim.  I’m that far along before the opening act got onstage.  When it’s general admission, you gotta get there early.

Prior to the concert beginning, I listened to a podcast on my iPod, and knitted.  Once the opening act started, I turned off my iPod, but kept the ear buds in.  This, Dear Reader, is why I can still hear even after all these years of being married to Poopie and going to all those concerts.  My earbuds double as earplugs.  So, still knitting along around and around in 1 x 1 rib, just listening to opening act vs. podcast.

When the opening act was done, a hand landed on my arm.  My neighbor in the next seat over asked me what I was knitting.  I told her I was knitting a hat.  “Oh, like a tuque?”  (Clearly, she is from Canadia).  I confirmed that’s what I was knitting.  She complimented my color choice, and I thanked her.  A little later, she asked if I thought I would be done knitting the hat by the end of the concert.  I chuckled and said I didn’t think so.

I continued knitting and listened to the headliner, and knit, and knit, and knit some more.  Meanwhile, Poopie was up at the stage so he could gaze adoringly at the guitar players. Lo and behold! I did finish the hat.  But, by that time, I really wasn’t into doing the finishing work.  There was probably enough light, but I would have had to strain my eyes, and it wasn’t worth it, so I put it away and fidgeted my way through the last few songs.

As everyone was getting ready to leave, the same woman asked if I had finished my tuque? I said I had, mostly, but I needed to weave in the ends.  She asked if she could buy it from me? I apologized and said no because I hadn’t woven in the ends. The woman assured me that she didn’t mind the ends flopping all about.  So, I took the hat off the needles and handed it over to her.  I had asked her for what I thought was fair for an unfinished hat, and she gave me more than that, but less than she had pulled out to hand over (what she had pulled out was more than I ask for a finished hat). I would have woven in the ends, anyway, but the bouncer was giving us the bum’s rush.  How like me to irritate a bouncer because I’m trying to complete a knitting transaction.  There were still lots of people up in the balcony, so I don’t know why he was hovering over US.

That was my excitement for the week!  Poopie thinks that she wanted the hat as a souvenir of her experience at the show.  I tend to agree. I would love, love, love to hear this story from her point of view.

I had planned to take pictures and all of that, but my plans went awry.  I was probably going to use the hat in a scrap post because I was using up spare bits of yarn to make a striped hat.  The lighting, though didn’t make in process pictures very viable.  I was going to wait until the next day when I had better light.  But, my hat had a different destiny than what I thought. The story I thought I was going to tell changed and became a different story.  Honestly, that is a theme of my life…probably life in general.

I do wish that I had finished my calling cards, so I could have given her one.  While the mystery of me is good for her story, where will she get her future hand knit tuques from???  Although, the more I think about it, the more I like the idea of being the mystery knitter in some woman’s story.

In case I haven’t been clear before, I try to copy Life After Work in many things.  I tell her it’s the sincerest form of flattery, which she seems to be buying so far.  I did have some business cards done up for La Tejedora Crafts. However, when I started the blog, I knew I needed to update them, and carry them around to pass out like calling cards (this is the part I’m stealing from L) instead of just “business” cards.  However, while I have the mock-up done, I haven’t taken the time to print and cut the cards themselves. I’ll be doing that, you can be sure!