Posted in Current Projects

Scalloped Potholders, Volna, and Socks

Recently, I kept seeing a crochet potholder pattern come up in my friends feed on Ravelry being favorited and queued. There are a number of pretty and colorful ones that people have made and since I had some cotton yarn in my stash, I caved and whipped one up in pink and green. The pattern is Scalloped Potholder by Pracilla Hewitt. This is the first one I made and I’ll consider it finished when I make the second one, using up two full skeins of Lily Sugar’n Cream cotton. At least that’s the plan assuming I can get another one out of what’s left. I don’t think it will be a problem, though.

Scalloped Potholder
Scalloped Potholder

I think I’ll use mine more as a hot pad then a potholder, but you can never have too many of either! I thought they’d be a good way to use up some yarn in the stash and make something I can use in the kitchen. The second one will be opposite: green shells, pink for the rest, and crochet the two together with green. On the second one I might try going up a hook size once I hit the scallops so it will lay flat easier. The one above I blocked because it was curled pretty bad and wouldn’t really lay flat. It seems lays mostly flat now. I think my crocheting was just too tight and pulled it in. We’ll see. I’ll play around with it a bit to see if I can’t get it to lay flat. I seem to have trouble with that sometimes when it comes to crochet!

For a few months now I’ve seen Noro lace at various LYS’s. I keep thinking I should pick up a skein, then debate about what I’d do with it and eventually put it back on the shelf. For months, it’s been calling me. Then I saw the perfect pattern: Volna. I had other things going on at the time I posted about it back in November, but recently I picked up a skein at the LYS and cast on last week.

Volna
Volna

I haven’t progressed on it much because I’d been focused on knitting Watershed, then I started the Textured Shawl, but I hope to get back to it once I get one of my other WIPs off the needles. Speaking of which, I did finish one of Matt’s Camo Socks a week or so ago and I started the second one. I love nice the yarn feels knit up.

Matt's Sock
Matt’s Camo Socks

I’d like to focus on this and get it done now that I have Watershed finished. We’ll see. My interest changes all the time on what I want to work on or what interests me! πŸ™‚

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Posted in Completed Projects, Current Projects

Juneberry Triangle FO and Project Updates

Hey, it’s another FO Friday! This edition brings you a finished Juneberry Triangle.

Once I got to the edging on Juneberry the 2nd, I didn’t want to put it down! Wasn’t long before it was finished. Last weekend I finished it and blocked it. I the yarn blocked out nicely. It’s drapes wonderfully and the finished shawl is pretty big, maybe slightly bigger then the first Juneberry Triangle I knit.

Juneberry Triangle
Juneberry Triangle

Pattern: Juneberry Triangle, the 2nd (My Ravelry project page.)
Started: January 5, 2011
Completed: January 22, 2011
Yarn: Brooks Farm Solo Silk, 1.15 skeins (approx 460 yards)
Needles: US 7 bamboo circular
Notes: I did make one mod (the same one I did on my first Juneberry Triangle, which I didn’t mention on that FO post). When you start the border, it tells you to repeat the first two rows twice more. I only repeated once more. Repeating twice more then knitting the next two rows didn’t line up right to the existing garter edge on the shawl (because you’re working 4 stitches total before starting the pattern and the garter edge is only 3). When you reach the end you only work the garter edge picking up 3 stitches from the shawl (the 3 border stitches from the shawl), so I think this may be an error in the pattern. Even if it’s not, it makes the two edges match rather the the start of it having an extra garter ridge.

Juneberry Triangle
Juneberry Triangle – Full

Juneberry Triangle
Juneberry Triangle – Back

Since I finished Juneberry the 2nd, I went back to working on Watershed. You start by knitting the bottom band, then knitting the points on each edge, then you start the body. I’m up to the armholes now, but I’ve decided to change from what the pattern says to do. The pattern directs you to knit the two front and the back pieces separately until you’ve completed 2.5 repeats of the pattern (for the size I’m working). This creates the bottom part of the armhole on each side. Clear as mud? It’s kind of hard to describe, but it would basically look like this when you move on to the next part. Please excuse my lack of detail. I’m not very good at drawing things. The little squiggles at the top represent the stitches that would be live on your needle.

Sweater
Drawing of the Armholes on Watershed

Then you cast on the arm stitches and join the fronts and back together. Once you’re finished, you pick up the stitches between the fronts and back that you put on waste yarn, then pick up stitches along each side where you knit those 2.5 pattern repeats, and around where you cast on stitches for the top part of the arm. Work one row, then bind off. Seems like a lot of work and ends to weave in!

I’m concerned that working it as written would make the armholes too deep for me and I was thinking about lengthening the sleeves a little more then the pattern calls for, so instead of doing all that, I’m going to work the whole thing 2.5 more repeats, put the same number of stitches on waste yarn for the under part of the sleeve, then cast on more stitches then it calls for to do the sleeves (the amount it tells you, plus what would be picked up on each side). I started doing the separate bits last night because I couldn’t figure out what was going on, despite reading ahead in the pattern, then when I finished the right front I realized what was going on and I didn’t think it would work for what I wanted to do. So, I ripped back and I’m now to where I cast on stitches for the armhole.

Watershed (Front)
Watershed – Front

Watershed (Back)
Watershed – Back

Remember that Summer Flies Shawl I started back at the beginning of the year? After not picking it back up for well over a week, I decided to frog it. The written instructions were just not working for me and I dreaded having to work from them. I like the finished shawl a great deal, however it just wasn’t appealing to me right now, so I decided to frog it and try the pattern some other time with a different yarn. Last night I cast on Textured Shawl (Ravelry link) with the same yarn – Malabrigo Worsted in Rodecian and size US 9 needles. (You can see pictures of it on Flicker here and here.) Since it’s more of a recipe then a pattern with specific instructions, I’ve looked over notes from others on how they started and worked theirs. I’m sure I’ll have a lot of notes on it when I’m finished, but so far it’s a pretty easy knit!

Textured Shawl
Textured Shawl & My New Project Bag

If you notice in the picture above, I have an awesome cupcake project bag in the background. I recently bought it from the Piddleloop Sewing Team. It’s one of the large box bags and came with a matching zippered pouch. It’s really well made, arrived super quick, and I love it! I have a feeling I’ll add more to my project bag collection soon enough. πŸ™‚

Tonight we’re going to a hockey game with some friends. Should be fun and I’ll be bringing my knitting to the game, of course. This weekend our only plans are to get a new garbage disposal installed tomorrow (so long as it arrives – we ordered it on Amazon for less the Lowe’s was selling it for). Wednesday, I found that it was leaking right before running the dishwasher. Our sink has been mostly out of commission since then, so I’ll be happy to have it working again. Hope everyone has a good weekend!

Posted in Completed Projects, Current Projects

Honeycomb Cowl and Juneberry the 2nd

Last week I spotted this honeycomb stitch in a pattern and had some other ideas for it, but since I lacked the yarn needed for a large project, I tried it out on this cowl. Not sure I’m too fond of the ribbing as it tends to extend out when worn and I’d probably change that if I were to knit it again, but the cowl turned out very squishy, soft and warm.

Honeycomb Cowl
Honeycomb Cowl

Pattern: Honeycomb Cowl (My Ravelry project page.)
Started: January 13, 2011
Completed: January 14, 2011
Yarn: Malabrigo Chunky, 1 skein in the Butter colorway
Needles: US 10.5 bamboo circular
Notes: See my Ravelry page for more details on what I did. This was my own design that I threw together, but since I’m not 100% happy with it, I think I’ll tweek it some before writing it up properly. Used up an entire skein, with no leftovers! Malabrigo chunky makes as nice of a cowl as it does a scarf and I like the stitch pattern.

I still have plans to use the stitch pattern on something else in the future, but I need to get yarn for it first and I’m still debating on what I want to use for this project I have in mind. More on that at a later time!

After my Bel Air sweater fail, I swatched to figure out what sweater to knit next. Swatches didn’t meet gauge, so I swatched more. Finally settled on Watershed and it’s making slow progress since I started it earlier this week since I’ve been consumed with finishing Juneberry the 2nd.

Last weekend being a 3 day weekend with only dinner plans on Saturday and Sunday, I spent a LOT of time knitting. I was waiting for swatches to dry, so I spent that knitting time working on Juneberry. By Monday I had finished chart B, C, D, and started on the edging! I’m nearly halfway through the edging now and I’m hoping to get it finished this weekend so I can focus more on sweaters I want to knit.

Juneberry 2
Juneberry the 2nd

Juneberry 2
Juneberry the 2nd Edging

One exciting (at least for me) thing I’ve done on the blog is finally get a Completed Projects page up. I’d been meaning to do that since I converted over to a self hosted blog from TypePad. It’s not exactly where I want it to be yet, but it’s getting there. Currently the only year missing is 2010 because I typed it up and left it on another computer. Hopefully I’ll get that up tomorrow. I’d like to add photos on the pages as well, though I’m not sure how I want to do that just yet. Updating everything made me realize that there’s a lot of things I didn’t photograph or didn’t blog! I think I’ve been a lot better about that in the last year or so, but it still surprised me how many smaller items were never blogged.

Snow is falling and piling up faster as the day goes on. If you have snow where you are, stay safe out there if you must go out! Thankfully I’m tucked safely inside the house for the rest of the night. πŸ™‚

Posted in Completed Projects, Current Projects

A Little Jazz

It’s FO Friday! πŸ™‚

This week I finished up my first project for 2011. Feels good to get something off the needles after feeling like I’m knitting all the time and not getting anything finished. As a process knitter, it’s not really about the finished item to me, so I don’t think it was really that I wasn’t getting anything finished, but rather feeling like I was in a total black hole of knitting with everything on the needles and not really getting anywhere. Anyhow! On to the FO!

The pattern and yarn are from The Loopy Ewe Sock Club shipment from March 2010. This is the first one I’ve knit up out of all the shipments! I think part of that is because most of the patterns didn’t appeal to me right away (and sometimes neither did the yarns) and part of it was that I was busy with other knits when they arrived. This particular one I felt meh about when it arrived. Wasn’t too thrilled with either pattern and the yarn isn’t colors I’d normally wear, but when I saw someone else’s knit up in December, I suddenly had to knit it. Still don’t think it’s something I’ll wear much and I may gift it at some point. I did like working with the yarn and I plan on trying it for socks in the future. I think it would make some really squishy, comfortable socks!

A Little Jazz (Wrapped)
A Little Jazz

Pattern: A Little Jazz (My Ravelry project page.)
Started: December 28, 2010
Completed: January 12, 2011
Yarn: Fiesta Yarns Baby Boom, 1 skein in the “Spring Chill” colorway
Needles: US 5 Addi Turbo circular
Notes: Knit as written. Didn’t swatch because it’s a scarf. Had a bit of yarn left over after knitting just over 2″ on the ruffle. I would have kept going, but those ruffle rows are ridiculously long and time consuming and I didn’t think it would look that great being longer then it was. Haven’t blocked it yet, but I plan on doing that this weekend.

A Little Jazz (back
A Little Jazz

In other project updates, I think I’m going to frog Bel Air. I know, I know. I’m 12 inches into the back and that’s a lot of work! I’m just not happy with it, though. My two major concerns are that it’s going to be too long on me and too big on me. I think I should have gone with the 40.5″ size rather then the 44″ size. My bust is 42.5″, but holding that back piece up to me it wrapped well around my sides and this isn’t a sweater that I want to be baggy. I want the sweaters I knit this year to fit and fit well! The length of the 44″ size states it should be 16″ from the hem to the underarm, which is too long for my short torso. Had I known that I would finish the increases at around that point making it hard to just knit a shorter length like I’d planned on doing, I would have started the decreases and increases sooner or done them at a different interval so that I could make it 14″ or so instead. With all that in mind, I think it just needs to be frogged and I’ll come back to it later.

Now I need to figure out what sweater I want to knit. Debating finishing up Junberry #2 before starting a new sweater, but I’ll think on it for a day or two before jumping into the next one. Have to let the soon-to-be-frogged sweater wound heal first! hehe πŸ˜‰

Have a good weekend everyone! It’ll be a 3 day weekend for me since I have Martian Luther King Jr. Day off.

Posted in Current Projects

New Year, New Projects

Since the new year started, there’s been no shortage of new projects or knitting for me!

Along with the 12 sweaters, I joined Year of Stash Socks. I figured it would help me with my stash reduction goals since the majority of my stash is sock yarns. For the month of January, I decided on a plain vanilla sock. I was having trouble picking yarn at first, then figured this would be a good time to knit Matt a pair of socks out of the Camo yarn I got from Jessica. He likes ankle socks, so I think I should be able to finish them up this month. I’m through the heel and on to the foot of the first sock.

Matt's Sock
Socks for Matt

I’ve started on my first sweater of the year as well! I had been wanting to make a sweater out of Vesper Quick Sock in “Ivy League” that I had. This was a club colorway and I collected three other skeins that people were destashing to go with the one I received to have enough for a sweater. My first attempt at making this a sweater failed to be come the striped Jumper Cardigan. I do love this color by itself, though, so I set it aside for something else. When I saw this pattern, I knew I had to use this yarn! The first sweater I’m working on this year is Bel Air. The back is moving along pretty quickly, though it is a little slow going on US 3’s!

Bel Air
Bel Air (Back)

This next pattern may look a little familiar from my last blog post. Yep, another Juneberry Triangle! I couldn’t resist it. A bunch of folks on Twitter were talking about a KAL and well… I caved. I love the pattern so much and had already been thinking about knitting another, so I joined in. I’m using Brooks Farm Solo Silk for this one. The color may also look familiar! It’s leftover from my Cottage Garden Sweater (which was later felted and unwearable). I was going to try and destash this yarn, then decided to keep it so I could have something out of this very lovely yarn.

Juneberry Triangle #2
Juneberry Triangle #2

I have one other project that I started, but haven’t finished, from last year. I started this the last week of December after seeing Sarah’s finished one. The pattern and yarn are from The Loopy Ewe Sock Club last year. Initially I wasn’t in love with the yarn or either of the patterns, but like a lot of yarns and patterns, one day I suddenly must have it. The pattern is A Little Jazz and the yarn is Fiesta Yarns Baby Boom in Spring Chill. Now that I’ve made it to the ruffle part, the rows take a long time to get through. I’ve made this my TV knitting since it doesn’t require much attention. Come to think of it, three of my four current projects don’t require much attention! Sometimes that’s not a bad thing. πŸ˜‰

A Little Jazz (On to the ruffle)
A Little Jazz

January seems to be the month of “Start ALL the Things” for me. I started another shawl, but I’ve set it aside to work on the projects above. I started this when I was trying to resist the call of another Juneberry Triangle, but you can see how well that worked! This is the Summer Flies Shawl (free pattern, but not charted) out of Malabirgo Worsted in the color Rodecian. This was a gift from Alita and I thought it would make a nice shawl after seeing a few knit up in Malabrigo on Ravelry. I did use a different needle size after looking at the notes from those who knit this with Malabrigo. I went with a US 10.5 to give it a little looser fabric which should make it drape a little more. So far I like the result!

Summer Flies Shawl
Summer Flies Shawl

Hope the new year is treating you well so far and you’re off to a good start with your own knitting goals! πŸ™‚

Posted in Completed Projects, Knit Ramblings

Juneberry Triangle FO and 2011 Goals

Happy 2011 everyone! πŸ™‚ It hardly feels like a new year to me and nothing feels that different, though I suppose that’s what happens as you get older. I hope everyone’s new year is off to a good start and that if you’re the type that makes goals or resolutions that you’re doing well with them.

My Juneberry Triangle took a few days to dry after I blocked it, but now that it’s all dry, I love it even more then I did pre-blocking. It’s VERY warm, which is something to keep in mind with this yarn. I think it’s great for anything you’d wear when it’s cold out. It also has a lovely drape and halo to it. I’ll definitely be working with this yarn more in the future and already thinking of things I’d like to make with it. I present to you my last FO of 2010!

Juneberry Triangle (Stretched)
Juneberry Triangle

Pattern: Juneberry Triangle (My Ravelry project page.)
Started: December 13, 2010
Completed: December 31, 2010
Yarn: Great Northern Yarns 70% Mink/30% Cashmere DK weight, just over 2 skeins in natural
Needles: US 7 bamboo circular
Notes: No changes made to the pattern, knit as written. As with all shawls I’ve knit, I didn’t bother to check gauge, which may be why I ran short on yarn. This was a great knit and well written pattern (as always from Jared Flood). It even helped me get over my hatred of bobbles! I think they look really nice in this shawl and I won’t be put off by knitting a pattern that has them in the future.

Juneberry Triangle (Worn)
Juneberry Triangle

Juneberry Triangle (Detail)
Juneberry Triangle – Pattern Detail

Juneberry Triangle (Edge)
Juneberry Triangle – Edge Detail

Since the last week of December, I’ve been contemplating what I’d like to accomplish in 2011. I’ve seen various people joining things like Self Imposed Sock Clubs (or this one that isn’t limited to just socks), Year of Stash Socks, 11 Shawls in 2011, and various “Knit from stash!” type groups. I thought a lot about what I really enjoyed knitting last year and what I’d like to knit in the coming year. Throughout 2010, I ended up focusing more on sweaters then I expected and even enhanced my stash with many sweater quantities of yarn, which I haven’t done in previous years. Much to my surprise, I find myself wanting to knit more sweaters then anything else! In 2010, I feel like I got a much better idea of sweaters I like and don’t like. Sweaters I know I’d wear and ones I wouldn’t. I learned a lot about fit and gauge and adjusting patterns to fit me better. All things I didn’t have a good grasp on previously.

Shortly after realizing that I’ve suddenly found myself to be a Sweater Knitter, I remembered seeing a group at the beginning of 2010 that had a goal of knitting a sweater a month. Of course at the time I thought this was a crazy idea and didn’t think that I’d ever be wanting to join that sort of group. Sweaters? Really? 12 in a YEAR?!? In my mind I was firmly Not A Sweater Knitter like that. Yeah, I’d knit sweaters, but felt eh about sweaters in general. Funny how things change in a year!

I’ve decided to challenge myself with sweaters in 2011 and I’ve joined the ranks of the International Sweater-a-Month Dodecathon. Yep, really! My goal is to knit up the 9 sweaters worth of yarn that I have in my stash, then buy whatever I need/want to finish off the last 3. My hope is that I’ll have 12 sweaters by the end of the year and I think this is a totally achievable goal for me. Some are fingering or DK weight sweaters (actually most of the sweaters in my stash are), but there’s a few worsted and aran weight sweaters I have planned as well. Shrugs, tops, and sweaters all count, so I do plan on at least 2 shrugs and one tank top in mind, though the rest will likely be pullovers or cardigans. Aside from 3 patterns, I’m leaving things pretty open as to what I’ll knit. My mind changes far too much to set everything right away and this gives me some flexibility for when I see a pattern that I Must. Knit. NOW!

Joining IntSweMoDo2011 fits along with something else I’d like to work on this year: knitting primarily from stash. I’d been thinking about this on and off for some time, but it wasn’t until seeing Michelle’s blog post about stashbusting in 2011 that I really wanted to commit to it. Currently, including all WIPs, I have 65,2904 yards (59,702.6 meters) of yarn. Less then I expected, but still more then I’d like to have. While I love my stash, it sometimes makes me feel a little limited. I’d like to have a smaller stash and learn to buy more for a specific project then “Oh I bet I can make something with (insert random yarn I’m thinking about buying without a project in mind here)!” That just leaves me with a lot of yarn I’m not interested in or don’t know what to do with. Besides, I change my mind far too often about what I want to knit for me to have a stash of yarns that I will “make something with” and never being able to find that something! This doesn’t mean “no yarn buying in 2011.” It does mean that I will need to be more aware of what I do choose to buy and stick with only buying things I want for specific projects.

Those are the two things I will be working on this year. I’m sure I’ll knit more socks, shawls, hats and whatever else strikes my fancy. And spinning! There will definitely be more spinning this year, though I don’t have any specific goals for that. Something has to break up all that sweater knitting after all! πŸ˜‰

Do you have any knitting/crochet/spinning/crafty plans/goals/resolutions for 2011? I’d love to hear what you’re planning for this year!