Posted in Completed Projects, Crochet, Current Projects, Spinning

NYAN!! and Other Things

Ever have one of those days where you feel like there’s a lot you want to share, but aren’t sure where to start? I’m feeling like that as I try to write this blog post today! I’ve been busy organizing my stash, figuring out what projects to work on, knitting, crocheting, and spinning. How about I start with an FO?

I hadn’t mentioned it here as a WIP at all because I wanted it to be a surprise. I knew I couldn’t upload photos to Flickr or Ravelry as I knew the recipient would see! It was hard to keep it a secret and I kept wanting to share it. Now I finally can!

I started this scarf back in December, hoping to get it done as a Christmas present, but it didn’t end up getting finished. January hit and I started working on other things, then decided to finish it up just in time to be a birthday gift. I made this for Jen, aka piddleloop on Ravelry and part of the Piddleloop Sewing Team. A while back she saw the Amigurumi Pop Tart Cat Scarf pattern and went crazy for it. I knew I had to make this for her since she said she can’t really crochet. This has to be one of most fun things I’ve made!

Nyan!! <3
Jen and the Nyan Cat Scarf
Photo from Jen

Pattern: Amigurumi Pop Tart Cat Scarf by Mevlinn Gusick (My Ravelry project page.)
Started: December 4, 2011
Completed: January 16, 2012
Yarn: I Love This Yarn, Caron Simply Soft, and Vanna’s Choice Solids (see Ravelry page for details on colors)
Hook: 4.5 mm and 5.0 mm (H)
Notes: Added a few extra stitches to make the scarf a bit longer. Added a mouth, nose, and cheeks. Followed the rest of the pattern as written.

Nyan Cat Scarf
Nyan Cat Scarf

Before I mailed it off to Jen, Matt was nice enough to let me take some photos of him wearing it. I think this one was my favorite of the bunch, though this one was a close second!

Tasty pop tart? (Nyan)
Tasty Nyan Cat!

This year I wanted to get back to spinning and hoped to get in at least an hour a week with my spinning wheel. Recently, my friend Karen learned to spin, which really motivated me to finish what I had on the wheel and do some spinning for the current SSK KAL. The top one is from Stitches ‘n Rows. It’s Falkland in the colorway Silver Age Joker. It was great to spin and I LOVE the colors. It ended up being heavy fingering weight, though I haven’t figured out the yardage on it yet. I’m planning to knit a pair of fingerless gloves with it.

Handspun!
Handspun!

The bottom one is from Gale’s Art. I bought this a few years ago when I went to MDSW. It’s merino in the Crayon Box colorway. I tried to get a worsted weight with it, but ended up bulky. I’m currently knitting up a Tony the Toy-Box Monster for the SSK KAL #3, which features Rebecca Danger patterns. Since I don’t have enough for the entire monster because the yarn ended up bulkier then I planned, I’ll be using some stash yarn in a chocolate brown color for the arms and legs.

Last night I realized that there was quite a bit of yarn, mostly acrylics, that I didn’t have in my Ravelry stash. I thought I had at least most, if not all, of it in my stash at the beginning of the year. I realized I needed to go through and double check everything yesterday when I noticed a non-acrylic yarn missing from my Ravelry stash that I knew was there. This added quite a bit of yardage to my total – roughly 8,000 yards! Last night I took the time to photograph it all and today I made stash entries for everything. I’ll have to adjust it just a bit later on because not all of them are full skeins. It sure does feel good to have EVERYTHING on there now, though, and have a solid total on everything.

In an effort to use up some of my stash, especially the acrylics I purchased for various home things (blanket, pillows, etc), I started a Moderne Log Cabin blanket using the colors below.

Moderne Log Cabin Blanket
Moderne Log Cabin

I’ve been wanting a knitted blanket for myself for a long time, but couldn’t bring myself to commit to it. I attempted to make a rippled afghan using the blue and pink from the photo above, but just got tired of it. Crocheting doesn’t allow me to watch TV while doing it because I have to look at my work constantly, so I frogged it. Since I can watch TV or read while knitting, I thought this would make a good TV/movie project since it’s all garter stitch. I’m about a 1/3 through the first big square right now and will mostly work on it while TV or movie watching, so it’s more of a long term project. I will admit it’s a bit addicting to knit garter stitch and I find myself wanting to work on it quit a bit. I think the bright colors I’m using are giving me motivation to finish it because I really want the finished blanket!

Oh! I gave Matt’s brother his hat and I think he liked it. 🙂

What are you working on this week? I feel like I still want to start ALL THE THINGS lately, but refraining until I get other things finished first so that I don’t get overwhelmed with WIPs. Tough when I see so many beautiful projects from everyone! I did finish the Wussypillows beret, but haven’t blocked it, so no photos of that yet. Of course there are other WIPs I’m working on, though I don’t have photos of them right now, so I’ll share them next time.

Happy crafting! 🙂

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Posted in Completed Projects, Current Projects

Turn A Square and WIPs

Saturday I was able to finish up the hat for Matt’s brother, Drew. This yarn is SO soft to work with. I want to make a scarf and/or sweater with it sometime! This is my first finished project for 12 in 2012. One down, 11 to go!

Drew's Turn A Square
Turn A Square

Pattern: Turn A Square by Jared Flood (My Ravelry project page.)
Started: January 3, 2012
Completed: January 7, 2012
Yarn: Classic Elite Yarns Liberty Wool in 7846 (blue – 1/2 skein) and 7813 (black – 1 skein)
Needle: US 5 Boye DPNs, US 7 Clover bamboo circular and DPNs
Notes: Used a total of 183 yards on this hat. I made the brim just over 3″ before starting the stripes. I changed the stripes to be 3 rows each instead of the 2 rows CC and 3 rows MC. I probably could have knit another inch on the brim with the black and done the last 2 rows in blue instead of black to fully use up the black skein.

Drew's Turn A Square (Flat)
Turn A Square – Flat

Recently, I’ve really enjoyed working on smaller projects. I was thinking about what to start after finishing the hat when I found a skein of yarn I thought had gone missing. This yarn has tried to be many things since I got it and none of them worked out. The yarn is from the Bigmouth Yarns sock club I was part of a while back. When I found it, I recalled the Wussypillows beret and mitts (is it just me, or is that a not so great name for a pattern?) that I had seen not long ago and thought it would be a nice color and yarn to use for it. I cast on for the beret on Sunday. I’m a little further then the picture shows. Currently working on the chart with the decreases.

Wussypillows Beret
Wussypillows Beret

I like how this yarn is working up in the pattern. Thought it might pool like it did in other projects I started with it, but glad it hasn’t on the beret. I should have enough yarn for mitts, but I think I’ll make them shorter then the pattern calls for just to be on the safe side.

I haven’t touched the Endpaper Mitts for a while now, but I have been making progress on the Cadence Socks! Currently working on the heel flap of the first sock.

Cadence Socks
Cadence Socks

Loving this yarn! The color is just gorgeous. I’ll be sad to give these up, but I know my mom will love them.

This Sunday a Knit-a-Long for Vonica is starting at my LYS, Lambikin’s Hideaway. I decided to join in on this one. I’ll be using Rowan Felted Tweed, which I’ve never used before. I like the way the swatch knitted up and I think it’ll make a nice sweater once it’s done. I’ve knit my swatch and I’m ready to cast on!

Rowan Felted Tweed
Yarn for Vonica

What have you been working on this week? 🙂

Posted in Completed Projects, Current Projects

Finished Mittens and Current Projects

It’s Friday and I have my first FO of 2012 to share!

Wood Hollow Mittens
Wood Hollow Mittens

Pattern: Wood Hollow Mittensl by Kristen Kapur (My Ravelry project page.)
Started: December 19, 2011
Completed: January 2, 2012
Yarn: Fibernymph Dye Works Cozy in Violet, 1 skein (220 yards)
Needle: US 5 Boye DPNs
Notes: Followed the pattern and made no changes. Well written pattern that I enjoyed knitting. Especially enjoyed the yarn!

Wood Hollow Mittens
Wood Hollow Mittens

I really need to do a post of my current projects, but I feel like every time I want to blog, I end up not getting to it, then the projects all look different or I’m working on different things that I don’t have pictures of. Doesn’t help that it’s difficult to get photographs of my current projects because it’s dark out by the time I get home.

This week I’ve mostly been working on a hat for Matt’s brother, Andrew. Around Christmas he asked me if I could make him a hat in dark colors. How could I say no? I went out to the LYS as soon as I could to get a nice washable wool in dark colors. Once the Wood Hollow mittens were finished, I cast on for Turn A Square by Jared Flood. I lengthened the ribbing, but thinking I should have made it even longer so it could fold over. I was a bit worried about having enough yarn, so I stopped after 20 rows. Now I feel like it definitely needs more ribbing and I will be ripping back tonight and adding more ribbing. If I run out, I’ll just use more blue at the top. I’m using Liberty Wool from Classic Elite. It’s really soft! I’d knit a sweater out of this if I didn’t have multiple sweater sets in my stash to get through first.

Turn A Square
Turn A Square

I’ve been working on a pair of Endpaper Mitts on and off since December. They require a lot of concentration when I work on them, so they’re progressing very slowly, but I do love the colors I’m using. The yarn is Yarntini from the semi-soild sock club she did a while back. I though the purple and green made a great combination for these.

Endpaper Mitts
Endpaper Mitts

I ripped out the Legwarmer Socks again and will be restarting them in 2×2 ribbing. I didn’t like the 1×1 rib and how stretched out it looked. The Cadence Socks are moving along nicely, but have been set aside for the moment so I can get the hat done. Here’s a not so great phone picture of my progress on them. I’m a little further along then the picture shows. I think I have one more repeat of Chart C before I start the heel.

Cadence Socks
Cadence Socks

I think it’s been a while since I mentioned Estelle. After finishing the first sleeve and half of the second, I’ve decided to frog it. The sleeves are just too narrow for my liking and I really don’t think that blocking will fix this. Planning on frogging it this weekend and will be casting on for Aereon sometime soon. Here’s what it looks like currently.

Estelle
Estelle

I feel like I’m fighting casting on new things left and right lately. I try to limit my WIPs to 4-5, which means I won’t cast on anything new until something is finished or frogged. Just seems like there’s so many new patterns and KALs begging to be started! What are you working on this week? Start something new? Finish something up? Always curious what others are working on even though it often makes my queue grow. 🙂

Have a good weekend all!

Posted in Current Projects

Stashing Down and Other Goals

I gave the Dover Castle Shawl to the lady I work with yesterday and she LOVED it. I’m really glad it was a hit! 🙂

In an effort to keep me going with reducing the stash this year, I’ve joined a number of Ravelry groups. I’m sure there will be times that I can use all the encouragement I can get and I find that Ravelry groups can be really good for that!

One group I’ve joined is Year of Stash Socks (aka YOSS). They are doing a “Slash & Smash Your Stash” challenge for 2012 this year. I’m not sure how many KAL’s I’ll join in on in that group as last year I think I dropped out of it because there weren’t many Knit-A-Longs (KAL’s) I was interested in and always had some other project I was working on instead. One of the KAL’s they’re doing this month is the Leg Warmer Socks. I have some stash yarn that would work well for these and I’m sure they’d be great to have around the house since I seem to always be freezing lately! I’m using 3 colors of Cascade 220 Superwash in white, red, and grey. Initially I was going to do grey stripes in the leg of the sock, but after knitting one stripe, I didn’t really care for it so I decided I would knit the foot with grey and red stripes instead. Here’s a picture with the stripe in it. I’ve ripped back and removed it, but have knit back to about this point now.

Leg Warmer Socks
Leg Warmer Socks

Another group I’ve joined is the 12 in 2012 group. This group isn’t project based (as in you have to knit a specific type of project), but can be any projects you want to knit. I’ve picked out 20 projects total and tagged them in my queue on Ravelry. Not sure I’ll get through all of them this year, but it’ll give me a decent list to pick from to get at LEAST 12 projects done from stash this year. I only put a few sock patterns that I wanted to start in the month of January on that list. I figure I’ll be knitting socks all year like I usually do, so I figured I’d keep that mostly separate from the 12 in 2012 projects. To help keep me organized and on track with knitting projects off this list, I took time to pull out all of the yarn from stash and bag it with the pattern (if I had the pattern already, there’s a few that I don’t have yet). I thought this would be a great way for me to just go to this bin and pull something out when I want to start a new project. No more project indecision!

12 in 2012
12 (okay, 20!) in 2012 Bin

You may notice a sweater in there. It’s my February Lady Sweater. It no longer fits, but I really love the yarn I used. My plan is to reclaim the yarn and knit a Fitted February Lady Pullover with it as one of my projects for this year. I don’t know if I’ll end up counting it for the 12 in 2012 since it’s really reclaimed yarn and not something in stash that hasn’t been knit. Figured I’d throw it in there as a reminder that it’s something I want to do.

I’m part of a few groups for socks on Ravelry: Year of Stash Socks (which I mentioned above), Solid Socks, Sock Knitters, and the big one Sock Knitters Anonymous (SKA). Solid Socks I’ve been part of for a while and I’ve been a member of SKA previously. It’s SUCH a busy group that I don’t really get too involved there most of the time, but occasionally I do like joining in the KAL’s. I figure between all of those groups, I’ll keep busy with KAL’s or other sock knitting during the year! I do have a few small sock goals: knit the Stained Glass Bubble Socks, knit socks from stash since I have a lot of sock yarn already, and knit at least two pairs of socks for my mom.

I’m already on my way with a combination of goals: knitting from stash and knitting socks for my mom. Monday I started a pair of Cadence Socks using Ogle Design Fiber Arts in Ruby which I picked up at the Hoosier Hills Fiber Festival in 2010.

Cadence Socks
Cadence Socks

Reduce stash, knit socks from stash (hoping for 12!), knit 12 projects… those are my main goals for this year. I’d like to get back into the habit of spinning since my fiber stash has grown, but I’ve barely been spinning, so I think I will add in a goal of spinning at least an hour a week, which can be broken up over days or done all at once. I think those are all goals I can accomplish this year! We’ll see how I do! 🙂

Posted in Completed Projects, Current Projects

End of 2011, Beginning of 2012

Happy New Year everyone! I hope that 2012 is treating you well so far.

I have one last FO for 2011. I finished this up on New Years Eve. I blocked it right away so it would be dry and I could take pictures before gifting it to the intended recipient (a coworker) January 2nd. This is really a Christmas gift even though I didn’t get it started until AFTER Christmas. I think it worked out okay since the recipient was on vacation prior to Christmas and I had it finished before she returned from vacation. 🙂 I hope she likes it!

Dover Castle Shawl
Dover Castle Shawl

Pattern: Dover Castle Shawl by Judy Marples (My Ravelry project page.)
Started: December 26, 2011
Completed: December 31, 2011
Yarn: sKnitches Cinema Sock Club, MCN in Everybody Knows (410 yards)
Needle: US 6 circular
Notes: I did 10 repeats of Chart A and one full repeat of Chart B. This was a great quick knit and allowed me to use the full skein of yarn with just a small amount left over. The pattern repeats were easy to memorize and I hardly had to look at the chart after the first two repeats. This is one I’ll be making again so I have one of my own!

Dover Castle Shawl
Dover Castle – Close Up

With that last FO completed, I have a total of 35 projects that I finished in 2011. Here’s the breakdown:

– 10 pairs of socks
– 6 shawls
– 6 hats
– 4 sweaters
– 3 scarves
– 3 cowls
– 1 set of potholders
– 1 pair of mittens
– 1 tiny bunny

Completed Projects in 2011 (BHL Mosaic)

Projects Completed in 2011

In 2011 I think my only knitting related goal that I had was to knit 12 sweaters, but that was abandoned when I started losing weight (on purpose). I can’t find where I really posted any other goals for 2011. The sweaters didn’t work out as planned, but the weight loss has been going well, as has the eating healthier overall, and exercising regularly to keep my back healthy. Those weren’t really goals I talked about here or goals that I set out to make happen when 2011 started. Really happy with how far I’ve come with those goals, though! 🙂

For 2012, my goals are a little different. Not so project-type-focused. My main goal is work on reducing stash which means knitting projects from stash unless it’s gift knitting and I don’t have something suitable. I’ve joined a few groups on Ravelry to help keep me on track, but I’ll post a bit more about the specifics later. Do you have any knitting/crocheting/spinning related goals this year? Speaking of spinning, I really need to do that more. Maybe I’ll plan to spin an hour a week and see how that goes.

My starting stash total is 95,455.2 yards (54.23 miles). Each month I plan to post a little update here.

It’s hard to not cast on EVERYTHING right now, especially with having a number of projects ready to go. I did finish up one WIP that was left over from 2011 and I’ve started two new projects from stash. Now that I’ve finally taken pictures of all my current and finished projects, I’ll be updating on those in a post later this week (I know I promised it last week, but well the week just got away from me!).

I know a lot of folks had a tough 2011. I had my own ups and downs as well, though I know many had a much more difficult year then I did. Here’s hoping that 2012 is a lot better then 2011!