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A Loss, Some New Learning, and Stash Dash

Multi colored Granny Square crocheted afghan on oak floor
Crochet Granny Square

Dear Friends,

I hope that you have had a good week and that everyone in your inner circle continues to be healthy.

This week marks the beginning of one of my favorite annual events. Stash Dash begins today. If you are not familiar with it, Stash Dash is an annual knit along run by the Knit Girllls, Leslie and Laura.. It is an annual contest (against yourself) in which you see how many meters you can knit during the summer. This year, the dates are May 22, 2020 through August 22, 2020. The first year I participated, I was competing with my knitting group. That year, there was a flourless chocolate cake at stake for the group member with the most meters knit. I did not win, but my family really seemed to enjoy rooting for me. “Shut Up and Knit” became a regular phrase in our house. That tradition has continued, and I look forward to Shut-up-and-knit season every year. I am setting myself a goal of 15k this year. I managed 10k last year. I am hoping that with the pandemic and social distancing that there will be even more time for knitting. Of course we all know what happens to the best laid plans. This will be a summer without camp...

On a much sadder note, this was a strange week. We found out last Saturday that our son’s favorite teacher passed in his sleep. It came as a shock, and a lot of time was dedicated to helping our son process and cope with the news. There were a couple of rough days, there were tears, and there were lots of hugs and snuggles. The school, while mourning a colleague, was able to provide a kind and supportive network of teachers and staff members. Students were given the opportunity to say something about their teacher in a virtual town hall and teaching went on as usual. I allowed the kid to have some extra virtual play dates this week. Some things are more important than limiting screen time. There were not as many workouts, but I am forgiving myself for that, too.

Organic Lace Pattern in Jilly and Kiddles Ideal DK "Sugar Plum"

Let’s get back to knitting, shall we? I have a lot of WIPs going on. Do you remember last week when I said that I was going to take a break from design and focus on WIPs? Well, that lasted exactly 4 days. I got caught up in designing a new lace pattern and became a little obsessive about knitting swatches of several varations. I have included a picture of one of my favorites below..

My WIPs, in no particular order are as follows:

Windswept, by Tin Can Knits, knit in Harrisville Designs Nightshades "Dashboard"

Viajante, by Martina Behm, knit in Ellen's 1/2 Pint Farm Merino Tencel "Red"

The Big Easy Blanket, by Jennifer Hagan, knit in unknown stash yarn

Cottonwood Coat, by Annie Dempsey, knit in Brown Sheep Lamb's Pride Bulky "Wild Wisteria"

My Granny Square Blanket knit in various fingering-weight leftovers

Vanilla is the New Black socks, by Anneh Fletcher, knit in Knitting Fever KFI Luxury Collection Inndulgence Cashmere "601"

I have linked to the pattern pages on Ravelry, and the pictures are of the current state of each WIP.

In preparation for my next colorwork cast on, I was looking up some videos about Fair Isle Knitting. I have been having problems with tension in my colorwork. I do 2 handed colorwork knitting, and I have been having issues with uneven tension. I found this great video by Kristin of Voolenvine yarns. I tried the technique immediately after watching, and I think my tension problem may be fixed. Bonus? I think this method will make my colorwork knitting progress a lot faster. Thank you, Kristin for sharing your knowledge.

Last week, Jill Leary of Jilly and Kiddles Yarn Shop participated as a vendor in the Virtual Vogue Knitting Live Marketplace. She showcased our collaboration, RingerTee pretty heavily. I also made her some samples of my Joy Shawl and my Trapezoid cowl. It was really excited to see them on screen! She sent me some great photos, and we have agreed to collaborate again in the future. If you would like to take advantage of the 25% coupon code I offered to her followers, enter JillyLive25 when checking out in my Ravelry shop. The code is good until the end of May, and it will give you 25% off of each of Ringer Tee, Trapezoid or Joy.

I have been using the Libby app for my library audiobook reading. Libby allows you to check out a book for 14 days. If nobody is waiting for the book, you may renew for another 14 days. They do mean 14 days. And by 14 days, they mean not a minute longer than 14 days. Last week, at exactly 1813 hours, The Stand was returned to the library while I was listening to it. Care to guess how much time I had remaining in the book? If you said two minutes and 34 seconds, you are correct. There was someone waiting for the book, so I was unable to renew. I then had to put in a hold request so I can listen to the last bit of the book. Consider yourselves warned.

What am I reading now? I went for something a little more lighthearted this week. I am reading the Aeronaut’s Windlass by Jim Butcher. I didn’t care or the beginning, but then I discovered the talking cats. I am in. If you are a cat lover, you will enjoy the writing about cats in this series.

That is about it for now. It is time for me to shut up and knit.

Until next time –


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