Knitstant Gratification

The crafting adventures of a knitter, music lover, and hockey fan.

Archive for August, 2013

Yarn Crawl 2013, or How I Broke My Own Rules

Posted by Andi on August 31, 2013

For the past couple of years, the local yarn stores in the Chicago area sponsor a yarn crawl in August that coincides with Stitches Midwest. Every store has a raffle, and there are additional prizes you can win if you visit 5, 10, and 25 stores. Also, every store has a free pattern available. You don’t have to buy anything to enter the raffles or receive the patterns.

Initially I decided I wasn’t going to go on the Yarn Crawl this year. I was going to be going to the Michigan Fiber Festival the week after Stitches Midwest (more on that in an upcoming post) the following weekend so I wasn’t even going to Stitches. I wanted to save my money for the following weekend. I changed my mind when I got a text from a friend from whom I was going to borrow a book, who asked if I was doing the Yarn Crawl because then we could meet up and she could give me the book.

I broke down and decided to go, but not without a set of strict rules regarding my purchases. I was only going to allow myself to buy a very limited subset of yarn. First, my friend Jane is collecting red items as part of a charity silent auction (I already bought some red yarn for a shawl back), so if I saw some pretty red yarn that I could use to make another charity auction item, I could buy that. It’s for charity, after all. Second, without going into too much detail, I’m making a gift for someone and needed a particular yarn. I could buy that. Third, nothing else.

My friend and I decided to hit two yarn stores in the city: Sifu and Windy Knitty. Both stores are a bit far from where I live now, so I left early because I wasn’t sure how long it would take me. I figured I could find a cafe to kill time if I was really early. I was. I parked my car near Sifu and started thinking about where I could go. I used to live walking distance from there, so it is an area I know somewhat well. As I hit Broadway I saw a little sweet shop called Lickity Split that came in since I moved away. I went in, and it’s a candy shop/soft serve ice cream parlor/baked goods shop. Yum! I had a sundae.

I met my friend in Sifu, and I was so good. Even though I saw some beautiful red and black yarn that would make a wonderful Blackhawks themed something or other, I didn’t buy it. There was no red yarn I wanted and they didn’t have the yarn I needed for my friend’s gift, so I got nothing. I even forget to get the free pattern!

We walked to Windy Knitty, and again, I was pretty good. I saw this beautiful Fleur de Fiber Asbury.

Fleur de Fiber Asbury

It was the suggested yarn for the free pattern they were giving out, which was for a cowl. I figured I could use the free pattern and the red yarn to make an item for the charity auction, so I bought the yarn. This purchase clearly abided by my strict rules, so I was happy with myself.

And then Sunday came.

I thought I was finished yarn crawling on Saturday, but when I got home I noticed that I could enter an additional raffle if I visit five stores. I had already been to two, there are two stores walking distance from my apartment, and there is another store near my mother’s house (and I was already planning on going there to tend to the garden). I figured I could just hit those three stores so I could enter the extra raffle. No problem, right? Wrong.

The first store I went to on Sunday was Knot Just Knits in Oak Park. Again, the same rules were in play for Sunday. I was doing well until the woman who worked at the store directed me to the free pattern. It was a shell with a simple cable. It was pretty. The recommended yarn was Cascade Eco+, and the woman pointed out that the first two sizes of the pattern only call for one skein of yarn, so you could make a garment for less than $20. I looked at the pattern and, sure enough, I was the second size. I could make a garment for less then $20! The shell is nice enough that I thought I could wear it under suit jackets in the fall and spring, when I don’t want long sleeves but want something warmer in front. I succumbed.

Cascade Yarns Eco+

Not only did I succumb, but I bought pink yarn. Of the colors of Eco+ they had, I thought this one would go with all of my suits the best. So, I broke the rules. At least I didn’t go hog wild, and I bought something with a specific project in mind, something I will use.

Next I hit Knit Nirvana in Forest Park. I got myself back on track there. I found the yarn for my friend’s gift and bought that. I was proud of myself.

Finally, I hit Idea Studio in LaGrange. At this point, because I bought some red yarn and had bought the yarn for my friend’s gift, I wasn’t planning on buying anything at Idea Studio. Tim was with me this time, so my goal was the browse a little and get out. We went our own ways in the store. I got to the back of the store, where there is a table with some displays. On it were three skeins of Plymouth Encore in bright fluorescent colors. And I mean bright. The yellow is so bright I don’t know if I could knit with it without wearing sunglasses. One of the colors was bright orange. When Tim was a little boy he had a bright orange hat that he wore all the time. We have a picture of him with his mom and sister at the beach wearing shorts, a t-shirt, and the orange knit hat. I thought Tim would get a kick out of the bright orange yarn,so I called him over. He came around the corner carrying one of the bright colors of Plymouth Encore to show me! Clearly we were on the same wavelength. I showed him the bright orange yarn, and jokingly asked if he wanted a new bright orange hat. He said, “Maybe.”

Now, Tim never answers a yes/no question by saying yes or no. “Maybe” generally means yes. I was surprised, as I thought for sure he was going to say he didn’t want one. He’s very picky about what I knit for him. He doesn’t like me to use variegated yarns, and the only sort of interesting stitches he likes are cables. He likes dark colors, or white for socks. Also, I had offered to knit him other hats in the past, and he declined. So I was surprised. I said, “Really?” And he said, “It could be nice,” again, Tim-speak for yes. So, I got the bright orange yarn, that clearly broke the rules.

Plymouth Yarn Encore

That night, I found some hat patterns on Ravelry. Tim narrowed it down to 11 patterns. He wanted to wait a bit, then look at the 11 patterns with fresh eyes to narrow it down further, but we haven’t done that yet.

Five stores visited, four purchases made, two of which broke the rules. Not good, but it could have been worse I guess.

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Catching Up – Dayflower Cowl

Posted by Andi on August 29, 2013

Dayflower Cowl
Pattern: Dayflower Cowl by Doggrell Designs
Needle: US 8
Date started: May 5, 2013
Date completed: May 13, 2013

Yes, I finished this over three months ago. I’ve been a bit lazy about blocking, photographing, and posting finished objects of late.

I’m not sure what this yarn is. It came in a box of leftover yarn I got from a friend (lots of hexipuffing yarns!). This white yarn was very delicate and beautiful, and would look great as a lacy cowl. And it does! I think it looks beautiful. The cowl turned out a little drapier than I wanted, which is my own fault because I didn’t swatch. Members of my knitting group had a great idea, though. I can fold it over and use a pin to keep it that way. That would look really cute. This cowl isn’t for winter, but more for spring or autumn evenings when I might want a little something on my neck that isn’t too bulky. In that sense I think it will do the trick.

I have more of this yarn, but I don’t know what I’m going to do with it yet. Maybe some lacy mitts to match?

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Lollapalooza, Day 2

Posted by Andi on August 25, 2013

I know, I know, I’m catching up.

We started Day 2 by grabbing some coffee and doughnuts and sitting at a picnic bench somewhat close to Perry’s so we could hear Cherub. As I mentioned in my previous Lollapalooza post, you didn’t have to get too close to Perry’s to hear it really well. After a long day the day before, it was nice to start of the day easily.

Next we went over to Beast Patrol, which was a fun set.

Beast Patrol

After that we went to see Reignwolf and meet up with friends. He started his set on stage by himself, playing guitar and a drum at the same time, and he was amazing! After a couple of songs some other musicians came out, so he was able to focus on playing guitar and singing.

Reignwolf

In an effort to not tire ourselves out too much, we spent the next set lounging in the shade to Charles Bradley. Tim discovered him. He sings old-school soul music.

We were hoping to see HAIM next, but the schedule was changed and they were going to play later in the day. So we grabbed some food (I had yummy tamales) and then headed to the Grove to see Unknown Mortal Orchestra.

Unknown Mortal Orchestra

It was okay, but enjoyed the next band we saw, Foals, so much more.

Unknown Mortal Orchestra

It was a tough call because The National were playing at the same time, and I love them. But the last time Foals were at Lollapalooza we only heard a small part of the set, so I wanted to hear more. Tim wanted to see them too, so that made the decision a bit easier. We got pretty close to the stage, which worked out well when the lead singer left the stage and came over close to where we were.

The Foals

After Foals we went across the field to use the Port-o-Potties since those seemed the safest, and ended up hearing the beginning of Kendrick Lamar’s set. It wasn’t my thing, and that’s fine, but this again highlights some of the sound issues I discussed in my previous Lolla post. That particular stage, the Bud Light stage, was so loud, and during the day, poorly mixed. It was so loud that we left that field and were passing The Grove, a smaller stage, and could still hear it perfectly. IF you wanted to see who was at the Grove at the same time I’m guessing you couldn’t hear it well if you were further back on the right side. Again, the sound bleed problem this year was pretty bad.

Thankfully we were not heading to the Grove. Instead we went across the part to hear The Lumineers. We dealt with sound bleed there, too, hearing the music from Perry’s more than we would have liked. We were toward the back because the crowd was huge on that side. There were a lot of people who wanted to see The Lumineers and Mumford & Sons. We wanted to be able to get out quickly because we wanted to go back to the other side to see the Postal Service, and I didn’t want to miss any of that. That meant sound bleed. We’ve sat in the back near where we were for The Lumineers (who were great, by the way) in years past and didn’t have that problem.

And then, the highlight of the day. The Postal Service.

The Postal Service

I didn’t see them 10 years ago when Give Up came out, so I was really looking forward to this. Next to New Order and Alt-J, it was the only must-see set of the festival for me. And they didn’t disappoint. That set made me so very happy.

The Postal Service

Day 3 will be in a separate post. Hopefully the wait for it won’t be as the wait was for this one. I would love to post it well before I end up at Riot Fest in a few weeks!

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Now with real knitting content!

Posted by Andi on August 23, 2013

Despite what this blog has been about lately, I have actually been knitting.

Torrent
Pattern: Torrent by tincanknits
Yarn: Dream In Color Smooshie, purchased at the warehouse sale
Needles: US 0
Date started: May 1, 2013
Date completed: August 17, 2013

I thought it was very fitting that I finished the second sock while sitting at a beautiful lake, given that this pattern is inspired by water. I would have to go back and look at my old projects, but if this isn’t the pair of socks that took me the longest to complete it has to be right up there. Almost all of the knit time I spent on these socks was on airplanes, and to be honest, I’ve been trying to catch up on sleep lately while flying. There was no hurry to finish these, so I let it stay that way, but I’m glad they’re done.

Torrent

The reason why I was finally motivated to finish them last weekend was because I was going to be traveling this week, and since these were so close to being done I didn’t want to take them on the trip, finish them, and have no knitting to do. I figured I would start a new sock project. In the end, though, I didn’t take any knitting on this trip. One reason was because, again, I knew I would be catching up on sleep on my flights, so there wouldn’t be time. But secondly, and more importantly, my left shoulder was bothering me for a few days. And when I say it was bothering me, there were times I was in a lot of pain. I spent a lot of time knitting over the weekend, and thought it was important to give my shoulder some rest. I haven’t knit since Sunday. My shoulder is almost better. It hurts a lot less than before. I might try knitting this weekend for a short time to see how it goes.

The annoying thing is that this comes right on the heels of trouble with my right shoulder. I think I didn’t knit for a week or two about a month ago because my right shoulder was bothering me. I was knitting lightly for a while, then the left shoulder started hurting. I have no idea how I hurt either shoulder. The right one is fine now, and hopefully the left one will be soon.

Besides these socks, other knitting has happened. This is the fourth of four finished objects I have yet to post about. One will have to wait because it’s a gift that hasn’t been sent yet. I would have finished that one sooner, but it was one of the projects that was put on hold during the Great Right Shoulder Pain of July. Another still needs to be blocked, so I haven’t photographed it yet. It was knit between shoulder issues. The first one, finished months ago, is blocked, but I’ve been too lazy to take a picture of it. I will post about all of them soon.

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Lollapalooza, Day 1

Posted by Andi on August 10, 2013

Last weekend was our eighth annual trip to Grant Park for Lollapalooza. I was thinking of making one long post about this, but let’s be honest. Today I don’t have the attention span to do something that will take that long. It seems much more manageable to break it up by day.

So, Day 1.

We started by seeing IO Echo.

IO Echo

They sounded great, but I think I would prefer to see them in a dark tiny club instead of the middle of the afternoon at a huge park. Then we went over to see Deap Vally. It was great to see so many women that rock at Lollapalooza this year!

IO Echo

We weren’t sure what to do after that, but Tim really wanted to see Ghost (or Ghost BC, I’ve seen it both ways) because it was one of the heavier bands at the festival, and a friend of ours said she heard they were worth checking out, so we did. I had no idea what to expect. This is what we got.

Ghost BC

And here is a better view of the lead singer.

Ghost BC

The costumes may look kitschy, but you know what… they were great. The music was great. It was definitely the discovery of the festival, and one of Tim’s favorite sets (although he ranked The Cure higher, but I’ll discuss that more in the Day 3 post).

We ended up hearing the last song of Atlas Genius, which I was disappointed about because I really wanted to see them. Then we went over to Band of Horses, who were great. It was the perfect set to just sit on our blanket and relax during the afternoon.

After that we went all the way over to the other side of the park for the first time to listen to Imagine Dragons. The crowd was huge. We sat sort of far away from that stage because I really wanted to see the next band on the other side of the field, so we weren’t stuck in that crowd. I thought they were good, but I probably would have been way more into their set if I wasn’t anticipating New Order so much.

New Order. My favorite set of the entire festival. I’ve loved this band for 26 years. Their music is my security blanket. This was my second time seeing them. Unfortunately Peter Hook is no longer with the band (but I will see him next month at Riot Fest!!), but I’m glad Gillian Gilbert is back.

New Order

And I have to admit, it was a little weird that Bernard Sumner was wearing a New Order t-shirt, but I looked past that quickly.

New Order

The set was great. Even though they have a new album out, they did what a band that has been around a long time is supposed to do at a festival where, although some people are there specifically to see them, many are not: they played songs the people knew. Older songs. My favorite songs. For the last three songs of their set, they played Joy Division songs while flashing pictures of Ian Curtis, a Joy Division album cover, etc., on the screen behind them. For those who don’t know, Ian Curtis was the lead singer of Joy Division, and he committed suicide right before they were to leave for their first US tour. The band carried on and changed their name to New Order. That part of the set was kind of emotional.

Ian Curtis

Forever Joy Division

As for the headliners that night, we were kind of all over the place and didn’t see much of any one of them. We started out at Nine Inch Nails because they started first.

Nine Inch Nails

We stayed for a few songs. They sounded amazing, but as you can see, we couldn’t really see them. They were in silhouette much of the time, and for whatever reason the screens on the side of the stage weren’t turned on, so you couldn’t really see anything if you were way in the back like we were (since we knew we would be leaving that set early). Perhaps it would have been cool if we had been up front and could see the whole stage.

We left Nine Inch Nails and walked over to Lana Del Rey, and I have to admit, we made it through half a song before we decided we heard enough of that. We heard Steve Aoki on our way to the other side of the park to see The Killers.

We have been at so many festivals where The Killers were playing, and had never seen them because there was always someone else on at the same time that we wanted to see more. We had no problem leaving Nine Inch Nails early to see The Killers because we had seen Nine Inch Nails twice before.

The Killers sounded great, except for one thing. The sound bleed from Perry’s (the electronica stage) where Steve Aoki was playing was awful where we were sitting. As you will see in future posts, sound bleed was a bad problem this year. Thankfully we heard The Killers well enough that we could sort of tune Steve Aoki out, but it was annoying and I don’t feel we should have had to put in that cognitive effort. They need to do a better job of either stage placement or volume setting next year.

Coming up, Day 2.

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