So Many Works in Progress

I’m going into my last week at my job and they want me to wrap up all the things. Honestly, I don’t think they will realize how much I did until I’ve left because every few hours I remember another thing I need to switch over to someone else or give instructions on how to do or give some type of closure on. I’ll be happy when my inbox is zero’d out. On top of that I’ve got to submit things to the university at the end of the week in preparation for school! And I’m teaching two new to me classes and I’m a little nervous because they’re core courses so I have to match what others are teaching. So of course, what do I do over the weekend? Start a new knitting project in the midst of all my chaos.
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I cast on another cotton Guthrie sweater yesterday afternoon. This one will be long sleeve and it is black for the main color (I never knit with black) with hot pink for the pattern. I really do love this pattern and the colorwork is kind of rhythmic and soothing to me. It’s a great break in my mind from everything else. But I wasn’t just randomly starting new things and ignoring others…
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One of the few pics I’ve taken of the Spindrift cardigan I’m working on for my sister. I’ve completed the entire body and blocked it before I pick up stitches for the neckband (picking up stitches is my favorite part). Then I’ve got almost 6 inches of garter stitch for the neckband to work on before I’ll block it again and sew on pockets. It’s so close to being finished. YAY! And not pictured…I swatched the yarn for my newest test knit I plan to start this week. It’s all garter stitch and gauge is pretty critical so I wanted to make sure I was on point and focused on getting my gauge right. I like to wait 24 hours for it to dry and then do my measurements and I’m spot on! Woohoo!
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And of course in between the laundry, grocery store runs and cooking (I got an Instant Pot and am pretty obsessed with how fast everything cooks) I got distractions from my knitting. Jellybean decided for a bit that she needed to be directly in my face and staring into my eyes for a solid 20 minutes Saturday. She just kept wiggling that little butt and pulling up on me, so I obliged and gave her all my attention and love.
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And when Cher is over me knitting she just becomes the obstacle I can’t move. She loves to just physically plop herself directly on top of whatever I’m working on and demand that I rub her head. This was Sunday afternoon when she decided I did not need to focus on my Guthrie, she was totally more important. And she is, so I stopped for her.

If I can make it through this week I’ve got a week break to myself before orientation and classes start. I know I’ll be using it to prep for class and get myself ready but I’m still looking forward to that week at home to try and get my life together. I’m so close I can taste it.

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Blanket Knitting, Piece by Piece

When I first learned how to knit I did what every knitter does, I made a million baby blankets. I’ve even made a few lap blankets and couch blankets for loved ones. And after a bit of time I started to loathe knitting blankets. But I’ve always wanted a blanket for myself after some of the really pretty and fun ones I’ve made. So that got me thinking…what if I made a blanket piece by piece?

Knitted Triangle Sampler Afghan by Karen Baumer
Knitted Triangle Sampler Afghan by Karen Baumer

Clearly I thought of this before because as I searched my library I realized I purchased the Knitted Triangle Sampler Afghan pattern YEARS ago. So I pulled it out and realized they have a lovely blank chart for you to create your own color palette and pattern if you don’t follow theirs, so I spent a few attempts coloring and this is what I ended up coming up with.
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It was inspired by a quilt pattern I saw on Instagram and I decided that I wanted to do some bold pops of neon colors and ground it with some black and white. I should also note I’m making this blanket with acrylic yarn. Why you might wonder? It’s what I make all my baby blankets with, specifically with Caron Simply Soft, but I also know with two dogs I want something I can wash and dry a million times over and just not worry about it. So I dug into my stash and went with the following block combos:

    • Neon yellow and teal
    • Neon pink and purple
    • Black and white

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    And it will only take me 1 1/2 skeins per color combo to finish the blanket. I whipped up a couple of blocks over the weekend and I liked the color combos, so I’m going to keep it going. I need 81 squares total, 27 of each color combo. And on average it takes me about an hour to complete one square. So I’m down 3 squares and have 78 more to go, LOL. But I also know this is the kind of thing I can totally do when I just need a mindless knitting project. I don’t have a crazy pattern to memorize, they’re garter stitch blocks made with simple decreases and increases and I can always just throw a color combo in a small project bag and always have it with me when I need something quick to do.
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    And Cher has already claimed one square for herself. This is exactly why I knew I needed to just make it with the acrylic I had in my stash. Anyone else work on a blanket like this? Any tips?

FO: Rose Gold Togue Pond Tank

Remember when I started a new Togue Pond Tank way back at the end of May? No…yeah I forgot it too. I got so caught up in knitting my Guthrie tee that I just kind of let this tank fall to the side. I decided it was the perfect plane/vacation kind of knitting so I packed it up with me and took it to Chicago and finished it on my trip (and started my latest secret test knit).
Pink Togue Pond Tank
Despite the fact that I don’t love my arms, what I really don’t love is being hot in the sweltering heat and humidity and the Togue Pond Tank is pretty much the perfect summer knit piece. I’d rather have my arms out and wear a pretty top than try to hide my arms because I want them to look like Michelle Obama’s arms. Hence why this is my third for myself and I’ve made one for Jessica. I was actually replacing my very first Tank, it was a pale grey that had a big old stain on it I just couldn’t get out so I decided to make a new one for this summer.
Pink Togue Pond Tank
I decided to go with a fun yarn I like to use as a replacement for Quince & Co. Kestrel yarn. To be honest with you, I don’t always have a budget for the expensive yarns (who does), despite wanting them. Instead I find fun alternatives. This is Patons Metallic, you’ve seen me use it most recently and in this same color on the Baldric sweater for Jessica. It’s a tape yarn like Kestrel but it’s made of Nylon, Acrylic and a tiny bit of wool. I love the metallic colors and they’re forever putting it on clearance and then bringing it back to the regular line up (it’s currently on sale in the clearance section for $3.40, it’s regular price is $6.79). When you compare the two yarns, Kestrel costs $10.25 a skein for 76 yards and Metallic costs anywhere from $3.40-6.79 for 252 yards. This tank was less than 2 skeins of yarn, I know I got it on sale but not clearance so at most I paid $10 for the yarn to make this tank. It would’ve cost me about $40 or more with Kestrel. Now you understand why I like this as my substitute, but I also like the colors and the drape of the fabric. Jessica has already asked for me to make her a new Togue Pond Tank in the metallic black (black is her favorite color to wear…it breaks my heart LOL).
Pink Togue Pond Tank
The only modification I did on this one was to not do all of the short row shaping (I didn’t want it as high in the front) and I added more length before beginning the armhole shaping. It came out exactly the way I wanted. YAY! And since I mentioned Chicago…
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Our trip was lovely. I did not take many photos at all. My cousin did take this great pic of me with my husband before we got on an architectural boat tour on a beautiful morning. I also took this pic.
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Totally got to wear my Durumi tee while I was there AND I found insanely bright knit Cole Haan wingtips with the Nike soles so I was super comfy walking through the city. It was so breezy and light, loved it! And the dogs…well they missed us. And Jellybean yelled at me all day Sunday and made me carry her everywhere as my punishment.
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By the end of the 5 days we were apart she had wiggled her way into Cher’s bed at their pet hotel and made sure her sister snuggled her as much as possible. They got all the belly rubs and treats while I was away but it’s always good to come home.