Royale: Done and Done!

So I made pretty good progress on those sleeves I was working on, then took a few days to get around to sewing them in – which is the hardest part sometimes. But the blue sweater is done:

Yes! And the weather even cooled down this weekend so I got to wear it.

Specs: Pattern is Royale and yarn is coned stuff from colourmart, my latest obsession. I swapped out the twisted moss stitch for good old seed stitch, which looked a lot better (not sure if the problem was me or the yarn) and also saved some twisted stitches. Also raised the neckline a bit. And misread the starting rows so didn’t do any cable crosses in the ribbing. We’ll, uh, call that a modification.

Meanwhile, I’m knitting entrelac.

It’s like eating chips – just one more square. I may need a beer to go with it.

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Now, Where Was I?

I think I’ve mentioned a time or ten how I’m an easily distractable person who struggles with series. I read a book or two and wander off, or I’ll be waiting for the next one to be published and kind of forget about it. Last year (or earlier maybe?) I read A Darker Shade of Magic by V. E. Schwab which is about several Londons that exist in separate worlds. I love a parallel universe! Fun! Then, I dunno, I got distracted and never read Book 2, A Gathering of Shadows till now. And I kept wishing I could remember Book 1 better.

Then I went to check the library for Book 3 and lo, the library website is having technical difficulties. Of course I’ll remember to check back later, right? This time things will be different!

Likewise, I was knitting that blue sweater but cast on a scarf for train knitting. Which naturally I kept on knitting at home. What sweater?

Let’s all pretend I have trimmed that stray end.

Pattern is Close To You which has the awesome features of being super simple and also letting you knit till you use up your yarn. It would be a good one for multicoloured yarn.

So then I picked up my sweater again this weekend. Man, I sure wish I remembered those cable charts better. One more sleeve to go!

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Rosemary and Rue

Sometimes when I talk about how I didn’t much care for a book I feel kind of mean. Like, I’m sure the book meant well and it might be my fault because I read it on the bus and was kind of cranky. (Nothing fills me with rage quite like waiting 20 minutes at the bus stop staring at the sign that promises 10 minutes or better service. Can’t they just take those down?)

All of which is to say that I picked up Rosemary and Rue as a bus read and spent the whole time thinking “Shut up Toby! And you too loud cell phone talker sitting next to me.”

Anyway, Toby is half faerie which the book weirdly calls a changeling. (I thought a changeling was a fairy swapped for a human child? Doesn’t really matter but kept making my eye twitch. Shut up Toby!) During the prologue she gets turned into a koi fish by villains, and turned back several years later. Then she has to solve a friend’s murder.

I understand how this could put anyone in a bad mood. It’s even worse than waiting 20 minutes for the bus. But it got old after a while. She’s constantly encountering enemies/obstacles and complaining about how inconvenient it is. And I’m sure it is! But I feel like if you’re going to be all “Dear me, assassins again. Will I ever get to finish my crossword?” you have to back it up by making quick work of the assassins. It ruins the effect when you almost die a lot. Shut up Toby! Oh, that was mean; she almost died after all.

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In Progress

Still knitting that blue cabled sweater. For some reason I rarely take progress photos – I like looking at other people’s but somehow never think of doing it myself. But this time I’m so obsessed that I totally did.

Progress is so motivating! This is what I love about knitting – you can see how you’re getting there. Unlike, say, days at the office where two coworkers review your document and cancel out each others’ changes.

Body is done and part of a sleeve.  It’s a coned yarn so I’m slightly worried about gauge. My swatch filled in after washing but didn’t change size so it should be fine but there’s still that little element of suspense to keep me knitting. How will it turn out? Exciting!

Also, I need something simple to knit on the train this Easter, so I cast on a scarf with some laceweight I’ve had hanging around far too long. (Dear Past Self, why do you keep thinking you like laceweight? Stop buying more!)

Doesn’t it look delightfully swoopy?

(I stick a safety pin on the “right” side of my garter stitch so I can keep track.)

I have this vague plan/daydream of taking a series of progress photos over the weekend with various festive Easter backdrops. But let’s be honest, we all know I’m going to mostly knit this at home in bad light while watching TV.

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Kiki Strike

I’ve been in something of a reading slump lately, looking out the window on the bus instead of reading. (Alas, my commute is still not especially scenic.) Obvious solution is kids’ books!

Kiki Strike: Inside the Shadow City is so much more delightful than admiring the passing strip malls. Mysterious Kiki recruits girl scouts with cool secret agent skills to explore the forgotten Shadow City where disreputable characters used to gamble and smoke opium under New York City. Who doesn’t love a good secret passage? (Did you search your house for one? I know I did.) Although admittedly when I might prefer fewer skeletons and rats in my adventures. Universe, please take note.

Yes, it’s wildly implausible in spots but amusing enough that I don’t care. Do you think I can be a girl detective/secret agent/ninja when I grow up? Perhaps it was a mistake not to stick with Girl Guides.

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Can’t Talk Now…

…Knitting cables. Aren’t they awesome?

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Finally, Octopus Thumbs

Okay, so I guess octopuses don’t really have thumbs. But now my octopus mittens do:

A finished pair of octopuses. I love them. The light green is pretty drab looking on its own but I like it paired with the dark green – looks less like it tried to be beige and failed.

Tentacles go around onto the palms:

There are some stupid long floats in this pattern but worth it, I think. The original cuff pattern looked kind of unclear to me so I changed here to a tidier row of suckers.

I was worried I might finish just in time for the end of mitten weather. But luckily (or unluckily,depending on your point of view) it got cold again. Oh March, always keeping us guessing.

Specs: Octopus Mittens knit in odds and ends of Verdant Gryphon Bugga.

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