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broodings from the burrow

June 29, 2022

tour de france knitalong: winnowing down the choices
posted by soe 1:55 am

The Tour de France and its corresponding knitalong begin on Friday, and, as usual, I’m down to the wire on making a decision. I thought I’d see what folks thought of some of these shawl patterns, all of which could be made from yarn in my stash:

From Summer to Fall uses 3 colors, with lots of garter stitch and sections of lace.

I have knit two Cally Monster shawls for Tour de France projects — 4-Ever in Blue Jeans, which I wear all the time, and my latest finish, Fully Charged. I considered Love Grows Here several years back, but decided against it that year. For the main color, I could either use the lilac I’d suggested at the time or the two mirrored shawl balls in gradients of green my parents gave me for my birthday this year.

I keep talking about learning how to knit brioche, and now could be as good a time as any, with something like Sylvan Tales Shawl, Sukha (which uses mohair as one of the yarns) or, more simply, the Feel Good Shawl.

Stripe Study is a two-color shawl, which would work well with some of the gradients I have.


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June 23, 2022

fo reveal: fully charged
posted by soe 1:50 am

Fully Charged

I gave you a preview of my Fully Charged shawl, designed by Cally Monster, while it was blocking a few weeks ago. This weekend I took it to Connecticut to get a few glamour shots.

Fully Charged

I’m pleased with the result, although ended up being reminded once again that colors play weird tricks.

The combination, super bright on their own, have the effect of toning each of them down. The pink yarn is Periwinkle Sheep Watercolors in Hot Mama and the green is Kelbourne Woolens Perennial in Neon Lime. But without the contrast of the yellow shirt, I think it looks more red and yellow than neon pink and green.

Fully Charged Detail

It’s good to have last year’s Tour de France knitalong project done and dusted before this year’s race begins on July 1.

Fully Charged

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June 16, 2022

seeking suggestions
posted by soe 1:13 am

Knitters, I’m considering options for my Tour de France Knitalong project for this year. The goal is to finish the project in three weeks, but I often end up going longer.

I’m looking for a shawl that can be knit up with fingering weight yarn, which is the bulk of my stash, either a single skein, like Noora Backlund’s Reyna, or several different colors. Or maybe a sweater, although my track record is way worse at finishing those. If it’s a sweater, I’d like it to be something I could make out of a single color of DK weight or something that could be pieced together out of different skeins, such as Andrea Mowry’s Stripes! or Wool & Pine’s Sea Glass Tee.

Do you have any suggestions that you’ve made or seen that you want to recommend?.

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June 9, 2022

unraveling wip project
posted by soe 1:06 am

Fully Charged Closeup

I mentioned last week that I’m trying to get a few projects off my needles by the end of this month so I can cast on something new for the Tour de France Knitalong on July 1st without feeling guilty. A pair of socks just need their ends woven in to be done, and this shawl, my Fully Charged from last year’s race, is blocking and awaiting a fashion show. If I’m very productive, I have three projects I’d like to wrap up in the next three weeks. That may be an ambitious goal, but I’m trying to focus on creative endeavors this month as part of my sabbatical before I have to turn my attention to job hunting.

On the reading front, I am actively listening to two books, Lyssa Kay Adams’ The Bromance Book Club and The Boardwalk Bookshop by Susan Mallery. I’m only a couple chapters into the latter and just getting to know the three main characters, but I’m wondering if it’s the read for me. (On the face of it, three women creating a bookshop/cupcake bakery/giftshop on the beach should be right up my alley, but it’s feeling a little … traditional … in its scene setting at the moment. I’ll probably give it another chapter before I decide to something that feels a little more up-to-date. I have Molly Shannon’s and Jenny Lawson’s latest memoirs and Benjamin Alire Sáere’s sequel to Aristotle and Dante Conquer the World (read by Lin-Manuel Miranda) checked out already and just waiting for me to clear space enough to download them to my phone.

On the paper front, I’ve returned to Saint Young Men, the Japanese manga about Jesus and Buddha rooming together in Tokyo in the early-aughts (it’s going much faster now that I understand that while I read the text left to right, I read the text bubbles right to left), picked up and immediately started Mia Sosa’s The Wedding Crasher (set here in D.C.) at a Little Free Library in the park, and am savoring Malinda Lo’s highly lauded The Telegraph Club for Pride Month.

Check out what others are reading and crafting at As Kat Knits.

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June 2, 2022

first unraveling of june
posted by soe 1:52 am

First Unraveling of June

On my list of projects I’d like to get off my needles is my mother’s Christmas shawl, which will likely arrive to her with fall’s first frost. My progress is infinitesimal at this time, but I’m down to four more rows (or, roughly 1200 stitches) of that patterned section before I move on to knitting that lends itself to doing other things at the same time, like listening to an audiobook. (I tried to jump the gun on multitasking and ended up with an extra stitch a couple rows back. I’m hoping I corrected it properly after some time out to consider what it had done, but, Mum, if I didn’t, we may have to consider it a design feature.)

On the reading front, I started two new books this week. The first is Great or Nothing, a Little Women retelling set during World War II authored by Joy McCullough, Carline Tung Richmond, Tess Sharpe, and D.C. novelist and librarian Jessica Spotswood, each of whom voices a sister.

The second is The Bromance Book Club by Lyssa Kay Adams, which I’m listening to on my phone. I’d picked up the second one a couple years back and hated the “voice” of the main guy character, so had put it back down. In this one, the first book of the series, that guy is a secondary character and talks less. So while I still don’t love him, his obnoxious tone is less grating. But I borrowed the audio because a D.C. librarian recommended it as humorous. Once I remembered I could adjust the speed of the reader (we’re up to 1.4 times the normal speed), I found myself better able to relax into the story, which focuses on a major league ballplayer whose wife has just asked him for a divorce. His buddies (including the irritating guy) and some other high-powered Nashville men come to his rescue by inviting him to join their bookclub, which reads only romance novels in an effort to better understand the women in their lives.

Head over to As Kat Knits to see what others are reading and crafting.

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May 19, 2022

mid-may unraveling
posted by soe 1:16 am

Mid-May Unraveling

I continue along The Lincoln Highway with Emmett and Billy and Duchess and Wooly, but theirs is not a journey that can be hurried. So I’ve dipped into a couple of other books, looking for a companion read. I’ve found it with Kelly Barnhill’s The Ogress and the Orphans. If you read her The Girl Who Drank the Moon, you’ll know that she is an amazing fairy tale storyteller, and the first chapters of this book do not disappoint. I only wish I had a small person to read it aloud to. I read the first chapter to the cat, but he didn’t seem impressed. I think it’s his loss.

My rainbow socks are finally off the needles, and the Tour de France knitalong begins in a little more than six weeks. Rather than start something new, I’m trying to see what other lingering projects I can wrap up. Next up are my Smock Madness socks, which date back, I believe, to 2018. As you can see, this is not asking for a huge time commitment, because all I have are a toe to finish (and I think a hole to patch on the foot).

Head over to As Kat Knits to see what others are reading and crafting.

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