Posted in Completed Projects, Current Projects

I’m Still Alive – A Post with an FO and WIPs

Has anyone seen May? No? Me either…. where did it go? I thought it was around here, but suddenly it’s just disappeared!

I had every intention to blog during May. Seems that the month just got away with me and things have been busier then usual with school, though school plus work are the new “usual” for me these days. Spring term has just 5 school days left for me (term ends June 18th) and I’ve already registered for summer term. It’ll be tough considering it’s only 6 weeks with 10 weeks worth of material crammed into a shorter amount of time. It’ll be interesting to say the least!

Per the usual, despite the lack of blogging, there has not been a lack of knitting. I even finished something last month!

The current KAL going on for SSK (which ends today) is to knit something designed or inspired by one of the hosts (Laura, Leslie, and Carin). I chose to double dip and knit LaLa’s Simple Shawl both for the SSK KAL and the KAL in LaLa’s group, LaLa Knits. The photographs don’t show it well (and two of them are from my iPhone, sorry!), but there’s sparkle in the yarn! I think it turned out great. 🙂

LaLa's Simple Shawl
LaLa’s Simple Shawl

Pattern: LaLa’s Simple Shawl by Laura Linneman (My Ravelry project page.)
Started: April 20, 2012
Completed: May 10, 2012
Yarn: Another Crafty Girl Twinkle Sock in Lagoon, 1 skein
Needle: US 6, Signature Circular
Notes: I was able to knit a total of 5 pattern repeats. Very easy and well written pattern. Easy to make larger or smaller. I used a fingering weight yarn and smaller needles, which made it into more of a shawlette.

LaLa's Simple Shawl
LaLa’s Simple Shawl

LaLa's Simple Shawl
LaLa’s Simple Shawl – Worn

I’m still working on Thin Ice out of Cephalopod Yarns Skinny Bugga! in the Leafy Seadragon colorway. Not a lot of progress lately, but here’s a much better picture of it.

Thin Ice
Thin Ice

I’ve made a bit of progress on Magrathea, which I’m using handspun for.

Magrathea
Handspun Magrathea

After receiving some new yarn, my fingers were itching to get it cast on, so I decided to get a head start on Christmas knitting and started the Foreign Correspondent’s Scarf (free pattern on Ravelry) out of Cephalopod Yarns Nautilace in the Rainbow Trout colorway.

Foreign Correspondent's Scarf
Foreign Correspondent’s Scarf

I frogged the stripey Jaywalker socks because they were coming out too tight. Need to go up another needle size, I think to US 1.5, for those. For now, they’re frogged and the yarn is wound back onto it’s cake.

I knit to the leg of the second of the Bonnie and Clyde stripey socks, but then found it to be too tight. This was after knitting the heel nearly 3 times because the stripes weren’t lining up right! Turns out my gauge on the second sock had changed. Guess I was doing a little too much pulling on my yarn as I knit. Oops. Frogged the whole sock and it’s in time out utnil I figure out what I want to do. I think I’ll likely go up a needle size for the second sock and hope that fixes the gauge issue.

Since I frogged that sock and the Jaywalker sock, I had no socks on the needles! GASP! I needed something more portable and less complicated then anything else on the needles, so I started a new sock. I decided on the Georgia on my Mind pattern (free pattern on Ravelry) and pulled out the SweetGeorgia Yarn in Hard Candy that I had. Great pairing, right? Not so much. The yarn at 64 stiches was striping for me and I ultimately decided I didn’t like it, so I frogged it and will be knitting something else with it soon enough.

Georgia On My Mind Socks
Georgia on my Mind pre frogging

So, I’m back to no socks on the needles! I figure Summer of Socks will be starting at the end of the month and I’ll cast on for a new pair then. In the mean time I’m focusing on my other WIPs. In fact, I’ve started back on a WIP that I was thinking I was going to frog – the Rocky Coast Cardigan.

I was going to frog this one because the skeins are not well matched. Ah, Malabrigo. How I love your softness, but dislike your non-matchy skeins. I think it’s getting better, but I got these on sale and while they all looked very similar and well matched when in the skeins, after I started knitting, I found that they were rather different from one another. Since I didn’t start out alternating skeins (because frankly I just don’t like to do that), I figured I had a few options: frog the whole thing and use it for something else, keep knitting despite the rather drastic and obvious changes in color and just live with it like that, or frog it all and over dye it to even things out, frog it and alternate between 3 skeins (I have 3 sets that match, so this would be the best way to even things out). I didn’t really like ANY of these options, but out of those, I thought frogging and using it for something else might be best. After that, I put it in the bag and set it aside until I could decided what it’s fate would be.

Then, as I was going through all my WIPs that are hibernating, I thought “What if I finish it, THEN dye it?” I hadn’t considered this option before and I’m still not sold on doing that, but I am working on the sweater again and ignoring the fact that the skeins aren’t all that well matched. Here is a terrible picture of the current state of it.

Rocky Coast Cardigan

I’ve finished the body and currently working on the collar. The color is not quite as bright as the photo suggests, but red is such a hard color to photograph, especially with my phone! Once I get finished with the collar, I just have the sleeves left. Shouldn’t take too long. After that, I plan on having my friend Karen dye up some of the leftover yarn (will probably swatch it first and have that dyed) to see if I want to dye it or not.

Next post, I’ll show you all some of the spinning I’m doing and talk a bit about my goal for Tour de Fleece which is coming up at the end of June.

Happy Friday everyone! Hope you all have a great weekend!

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Posted in Completed Projects, Current Projects, Spinning

An Update with a FO

I can’t believe it’s the end of April already. It feels like it’s been longer and shorter then that since I last blogged early in the month. Two weeks ago I started taking two college courses in addition to working full time. Needless to say, that leaves me very little time to do much else aside from work, school, homework, and whatever household and family responsibilities I have to fit in in-beween those first three. I feel exhausted just talking about it!

I feel like I’ve started and abandoned (frogged) and set aside a bunch of knitting projects in that time, but I’m fairly certain it’s not that many. It’s just my brain playing tricks on me, I’m sure! Hmmm, lets see. *goes back and looks at previous posts to see where she left off*

I did spin up the bright colored Masham from BohoKnitterChic I mentioned my last post. Turns out I’m allergic to it. QUITE allergic, in fact. Yesterday I tried to photograph it and it made my throat feel very itchy until well after I put it in a ziplock bag! While I was spinning it, it made my throat feel itchy and swollen, which is the same reaction I’ve had to some of the more coarse and sheepy wools I’ve tried to knit with in the past (which I ended up giving away because there is plenty of other yarn that DOESN’T make me react that way). Needless to say it has to find a new home with someone else who isn’t allergic to it and The Sheep’s Company Masham will be finding a new home with a local friend of mine as soon as I can remember to give it to her. The Expand Your Spinning Horizons is definitely doing it’s job. Masham is a hairy and corse fiber. It was actually rather nice to spin up aside from the bad reaction I had to it. I’ll post a picture of the finished yarn when I get one. I like how it ended up just as bright as the fiber pre-spinning! Sad I’m allergic to it because I think it would make a great outerwear item. Ah well. I’ve had a new experience I likely wouldn’t have ever had thanks to this spin-a-long.

As for knitting… I managed to get one FO for the month of April! A pair of socks. 😀 I knit these as part of the Solid Socks KAL (colorway: yellow) and Sock Knitters Anonymous KAL (literary themed) for the month of April. This is the first sock group specific KAL I’ve finished in a while! Knitting with yellow was definitely out of my comfort zone. I can’t actually recall anything that I’ve knit in yellow, ever. It’s not a color that I wear much, if ever, so it was fun to knit something I wouldn’t normally knit.

Nemesis Socks
Nemesis Socks

Pattern: Nemesis by Susan Dittrich (My Ravelry project page.)
Started: April 2, 2012
Completed: April 28, 2012
Yarn: The Copper Corgi Studio Fingering in the colorway Mac & Cheese, 2 skeins
Needle: US 1 (2.25mm) Knit Picks circular
Notes: When I started the foot of the sock after knitting the heel flap and picking up stitches, I misread the instructions and left out part of the chart on either side of the main pattern. When I got to the toe, I realized it wouldn’t line up to continue the patterning on the toe as instructed, so instead I knit a plain toe and did the second sock to match the mistakes in the first sock. Ah well, I still like how they came out!

I’ve been working on a number of different projects. I appologise in advance for having mostly iPhone pictures for this part of the post, but I figured if I waited until I got around to taking better pictures with my DSLR, most of these would be FOs and I wouldn’t have even talked about them here yet! (Much like the Nemesis socks above. Oops.) I have four shawls and two pairs of socks in progress. Some of them are now “hibernating” on Ravelry since I tend to only focus on 2-3 projects at a time.

Back in March, I cast on for TVG. I’m using Malabrigo Rios in Archangel. I haven’t made a whole lot of progress and it’s been hibernating since shortly after starting it, but it makes for a nice “mindless” project to pick up whenever.

TGV
TVG

The first week of April, I decided to cast on a shawl. I’d been itching to use some of the Cephalopod Yarns I’d purchased earlier in the year, so I cast on for Thin Ice. I’m using Skinny Bugga! in Leafy Seadragon. Here’s a picture of the yarn so you can get a better idea of the beautiful colors in this yarn since my iPhone picture really, really doesn’t show the colors well!

Cephalopod Yarns Skinny Bugga!
Cephalopod Yarns Skinny Bugga! in Leafy Seadragon

I’m working on the 5th stockinette section right now. I’ve been picking it up every so often and knitting a row or two on it. I think this is going to be a great shawl once it’s finished. This is really lovely yarn to work with! It’s been quite a while since I last worked with Bugga!, but man is it nice. 🙂

Thin Ice
Thin Ice

That same first week in April, I cast on for another shawl. I must have had a bad case of startitus that week! The pattern is Magrathea and I’m using handspun. The fiber is from Zarzueal’s Fibers (Etsy & Artfire). The fiber is targhee and the colorway is Emeralds. This stuff is super squishy and very nice to knit with. I can’t wait to have this one done! It’s going to be great to wear, plus this pattern will allow me to use up as much yarn as possible. A better picture of the color can be found here – it’s the two on the right side. It’s not quite as “warm” as this picture makes it seem.

Magrathea
Magrathea

On April 21st, I finished the first Bonnie and Clyde sock. (Bad Amy 80/20 Stripey Sock in the Bonnie and Clyde colorway) These are hibernating for now. Needed the needles to start another sock with just a bit more patterning then plain vanilla.

Bonnie & Clyde Sock
Bonnie and Clyde Sock #1

The details of the SSK KAL #5 were announced on April 19th and I cast on shortly after that. I knew before the details were posted that the KAL would be featuring at least Laura (aka LaLa) of The Knit Girllls since she had mentioned it in her Ravelry group, LaLa Knits. Since there’s also a KAL going on in that group, I’m double dipping with this next shawl and knitting LaLa’s Simple Shawl. I’m using Another Crafty Girl Twinkle Sock in the Lagoon colorway. Sparkly! Pretty easy pattern which makes it easy for me to pick up and knit.

Lala's Simple Shawl
LaLa’s Simple Shawl

And last, but not least, here are the Jaywalker socks I started this weekend (the socks I needed my US 0’s for – for the cuff). I’m using Bad Amy Splendid Sock (MCN) in Violeta Stripe (brown & purple). Mmmmm MCN. I think I love MCN yarns, though I don’t knit with them nearly enough. Very nice to work with and I’m loving the stripes in this pattern. A lot more fun then just plain vanilla!

Jaywalker Socks
Jaywalker Socks

I think that sums up my April for knitting and spinning progress. We’ll talk about my stash “progress” another time. 😉 What fun things have you been working on lately?

Posted in Completed Projects

FOs: Socks, Hat, and a Blanket

It’s Friday which means it’s time to share some FO’s! I have a few of them to share since I didn’t blog much last month.

I finally have a picture of the socks I finished early March. The pattern was fairly easy, but did involve some shifting around of stitches for part of the leg. Aside from that it was a fairly quick knit when I actually worked on it and wasn’t distracted with other projects! haha 😉

Cadence Socks
Cadence Socks

Pattern: Cadence Socks (Ravelry link) by verybusymonkey (My Ravelry project page.)
Started: January 1, 2012
Completed: March 5, 2012
Yarn: Ogle Design Fiber Arts in Ruby, 1 skein
Needle: US 1 Knit Picks nickel circular
Notes: Followed the pattern exactly as written. Great free pattern! I think I’ll be knitting these again sometime so I have a pair of my own since these are a gift.

The 4th SSK KAL started in early March. I had just finished spinning Unwind Yarn Company Handdyed Moorit Shetland in the Midsummer Night’s Dream colorway. Since Unwind Yarn Company is also an SSK vendor, I decided I wanted to use the yarn I’d spun for the KAL. I had spun 126 yards of aran weight yarn (Navajo plied). One of the patterns for the KAL was the Robin’s Egg Blue hat, which I thought would be perfect for my handspun – right weight yarn and I thought the Shetland would make a good outerwear item. It knit up really quickly, but took me a few days to find a button, order it, receive it, then sew it on. I’m really happy with the finished hat and can’t wait to get some use out of it next winter.

Brown Egg Hat
Brown Egg Hat

Pattern: Robin’s Egg Blue Hat (My Ravelry project page.)
Started: March 9, 2012
Completed: March 12, 2012
Yarn: Unwind Yarn Company Handdyed Moorit Shetland in the Midsummer Night’s Dream colorway
Needle: US 10.5 Clover circular and DPNs
Notes: Added 1 inch to the “body” of the hat before doing the decreases to give it enough length to cover my ears well. I also sewed down the little button flap. Pattern didn’t call for this, but I thought it bug me if it weren’t secured. Seems more sturdy to me with it completely sewn down and I think it wears a little better (flap near where the button is sewn on doesn’t flare). The button came from Etsy from a shop called AskCheese.

My final FO from March is the Munchkin Blanket. This is a gift to a friend who has a baby on the way. I went with fun colors for this blanket and absolutely love how it turned out. If I were to knit it again, I’d likely choose a yarn that comes in smaller skeins so I don’t have so much leftover yarn. The construction of this blanket was great. Kept me interested and didn’t feel like a slog to get through. I spent last week working on this project. It went from one triangle and the start of the second, to a finished blanket!

Munchkin Blanket (front full)
Munchkin Blanket

Pattern: Munchkin Blanket by Amy Swenson (My Ravelry project page.)
Started: March 11, 2012
Completed: March 31, 2012
Yarn: Cascade 220 – 1.25 skeins in 1911 (blue), 1.35 skeins in 802 (green), 1.35 skeins in 1969 (purple), and 1.25 skeins in 821 (yellow)
Needle: US 8 ChiaoGoo Red Lace circular
Notes: Pattern instructions could have been more clear and next time I would take out that first WS row completely, but aside from that, I would knit it again. Actually thinking of knitting 4 and sewing them together to create a big blanket, then knit a border around the 4 squares. See on my project page for more detailed notes.

Munchkin Blanket (Folded)
Munchkin Blanket – Mmmm squishy garter stitch!

What have you finished up recently or hoping to get finished soon? Looking at finished items from others often gives me inspiration to focus on one particular thing I’m working on and finish it up. Many other times it makes me want to queue and cast on more things! haha 😛

Have a good weekend everyone!

Posted in Completed Projects

FO Friday – Two Berets and a Sweater

It’s Friday and that means it’s time to share some FOs!

First I finally have some pictures of the Wussypillows Beret I finished back in January. Overall I felt a little “meh” about this project, which is why it took me so long to take pictures of it. I like the pattern. I like the yarn well enough and glad I finally have SOMETHING out of it after trying so many times to knit something with it and it not working out. I think the latter might have more to do with why I feel “meh” about the FO. Anyhow, it’s done and here’s the pictures and details!

Wussypillows Beret (Crown)
Wussypillows Beret (Crown)

Pattern: Wussypillows Beret by Anne Hanson (My Ravelry project page.)
Started: January 8, 2012
Completed: January 17, 2012
Yarn: Bigmouth Yarns Buxom Sock in Violet! You’re turning violet, Violet!, approx .5 skein/150 yards
Needle: US 1.5 (2.5 mm) circular and US 3 (3.25 mm) bamboo circular and DPNs
Notes: I knit the 17″ size. Had I been paying more attention to the pattern and sizing, I would have knit the larger 19″ size to better accommodate my 21.5″ head. It fits okay, but a big snug for all my thick, curly hair. I made no modifications to the pattern and it was well written.

Wussypillows Beret (Brim)
Wussypillows Beret (Brim)

After finishing the Wussypillows Beret, I finished Toy the Toy-Box Monster and the Greer scarf. I started making a good amount of progress on Vonica and decided I would work on it until it was done (mostly because I wanted to start other things, but wanted Voinca off the needles first). Didn’t take long to get it done once I made it my primary project!

This was my first time using Rowan Felted Tweed and I have to say, I find that it sheds. A lot. I like it, but not sure I’d use it again. It does make for a very nice FO aside from the shedding. Pattern was well written with clear instructions. I found the lace pattern easy to memorize and over all thought it was a pretty simple knit with a unique construction.

Vonica
Vonica

Pattern: Vonica by Bonne Marie Burns (My Ravelry project page.)
Started: January 15, 2012
Completed: February 22, 2012
Yarn: Rowan Felted Tweed DK in color SH162, 5 skeins
Needle: US 7 HiyaHiya Stainless Steel circular
Notes: I knit the 36″ size, but my gauge was just a tiny bit off stitch wise (1 stitch every 4″), so it ended up slightly bigger then that. I’m really happy with the fit overall, though next time I would make the 3/4 length sleeves shorter to better fit my short arms. I had only a few yards left when I finished the sweater and thought I may have had to rip out the swatch to finish it! I cut it really close, but glad I don’t have any left over to use up. The pattern was quite interesting to knit. Different type of construction that I haven’t done in a sweater before. Thinking I might knit another using some yarn I have in stash and possibly making the sleeves full length on it. We’ll see! Always so many things I want to get around to. 🙂

Vonica
Vonica (Side)

Vonica
Vonica (Back)

Once Vonica was finished, I quickly finished up the Nouveau Bohemia beret, which I just love!

Nouveau Bohemia (Front)
Nouveau Bohemia

Pattern: Nouveau Bohemia (Rav link) by Carolina Carvalho-Cross (My Ravelry project page.)
Started: February 14, 2012
Completed: February 24, 2012
Yarn: Malabrigo Rios in Archangel, 1 skein
Needle: US 6 bamboo circular and US 8 bamboo circular and DPNs
Notes: I knit the 19″ size for this one. I learned from my mistake on the Wussypillows Beret and made sure to double check on the sizing! There are 3 versions included in the pattern: beanie, beret, and extra slouchy beret. I chose to knit the beret. I loved knitting with Rios and love this colorway. The beret turned out great and I’ve actually worn it, which is rare for me as I almost never wear hats of any sort (squishes the curls too much). I find that it’s loose enough that it doesn’t flatten my hair. I plan to make another at some point, likely the beanie version, though I might possibly knit another beret sometime, too. Pattern is well written and I didn’t make any modifications.

Nouveau Bohemia (Back)
Nouveau Bohemia (Back)

I do have one FO that doesn’t have pictures of it being an FO yet. I finished the Cadence Socks this past Monday! So glad to have those done. I think I’ll knit a pair for myself sometime (these are going to be a gift). It was a fun pattern to knit. I’ll share that FO once I get some pictures. 🙂

Have a good weekend everyone!

Posted in Completed Projects

Finished Objects and Stashing Down

Ever feel like you’ve made a blog post when you haven’t? I get that feeling sometimes when I’ve spent a number of days going over a blog post in my head only to realize I never actually made one. Turns out that thinking about blogging isn’t the same as actually blogging! Who knew? 😉

I’ve got a few FO’s to share today and one that I really need to share soon since I finished it mid-January. I can’t believe I took photos this past weekend and forgot to take one of the finished (and blocked!) Wussypillows beret. I admit I’m not all that thrilled with the finished beret because it’s a bit snug on my head. I should have knit the next size up. Ah well, it is finished and blocked at least! I’ll try to get a photo of it soon so I can do a proper FO post for it.

After finishing up the beret, I got to work on the monster for the SSK KAL #3 that features Rebecca Danger patterns. I ended up not using the brown I had in stash and instead used handspun that I had done a long while back from Zarzuela’s Fibers. I thought it went really well with the Crayon box from Gale’s Art that I had spun for the body. I love how Tony the Toy-Box Monster turned out! He now lives on my desk, so I suppose he’s more of a Desk Monster then a Toy-Box one. 🙂

Tony the Handspun Toy-Box Monster
Tony the Handspun Toy-Box Monster

Pattern: Tony the Toy-Box Monster by Rebecca Danger (My Ravelry project page.)
Started: January 22, 2012
Completed: January 27, 2012
Yarn: Handspun – Gale’s Art Merino in Crayon Box for the body and Zarzuela’s Fibers Merino in Emerald City for the limbs
Needle: US 10.5 bamboo DPNs
Notes: Followed the pattern as written. The directions were a little unclear about how to stuff the limbs. I put stuffing in the feet and stitched it shut at the bottom of the leg so it wouldn’t shift around. For the hands/arms, I didn’t do that, just let a little of the stuffing travel up the arms a bit. Overall I’m really happy with how it turned out!

Since finishing up Tony, I feel like I’ve started and frogged projects and not really made a whole lot of progress. I started the Guernsey Wrap, then decided I’d likely never wear it, so I frogged it. I started a pair of fingerless mitts out of handspun, but they were too big and the gauge was tighter then I liked, so those got frogged too. With two socks on the needles, a blanket and a sweater, I just felt like nothing was moving along. Then, Friday before last, Berroco sent out their usual Friday email and I saw the Greer Scarf. I’m not a frilly kind of person usually, but something about this scarf just begged me to make one. I went to the LYS near work, Hank, A Yarn Boutique, and picked up a skein of Berroco Lacey. That evening, I whipped it up in about an hour and a half. Pretty easy project and definitely one that qualifies for instant gratification in my book!

Matt is fancy wearing my Greer scarf!
Matt is fancy wearing my Greer Scarf

Pattern: Greer Scarf (My Ravelry project page.)
Started: February 3, 2012
Completed: February 3, 2012
Yarn: Berroco Lacey, White, 1/2 skein
Hook: 5.0 mm/H hook
Notes: This pattern can be done knit or crochet. Personally I think it is MUCH easier to do crochet because of the yarn used. Much less fiddly then knitting would be. If you wanted to use up the full skein of yarn, you could easily double the size. The first length of yarn that is cut scrunches up a lot when you do the border, so if you wanted a longer scarf, you would just adjust the size of that first/center piece of yarn.

Update on my attempt at stashing down: I can’t really say it’s going well! Mid-January, I discovered a lot of acrylic and a few random skeins of yarn I thought was accounted for weren’t actually accounted for. On top of that I fell down at two Wollmeise updates at The Loopy Ewe. Club yarn and my Color Affection Kits arrived, too.

In numbers January looks like this: +17,634.1 yards. New stash total: 113,089.3 yards/64.26 miles.

Well shoot. That’s sort of the wrong direction isn’t it? It wasn’t all bad, though. I did get 1,990.5 yards out of stash. Compared to the 19,624.6 yards that came in, that’s not so great, but it’s still something! If I were to adjust the total for the yarn that wasn’t accounted for at the beginning that I thought was actually accounted for, my starting total would be 104,329.8 yards/59.28 miles (for reference my beginning total was 95,455.2 yards/54.24 miles). So, with the adjustment I’d be up 8,759.5 yards instead of 19,624.6 yards. That all gets rather confusing for tracking, though. Instead I’m cutting my losses for not double checking my stash at the start and January just doesn’t look that good. Ah well, such is life sometimes.

So far in February, 8 skeins of yarn have found their way home to me and 1 skein of WM Lace is off to a new home very soon. Still leaves me up for the month, but I’ve got time to adjust that. I already have plans to start two projects that would use up 3 skeins of yarn and the club yarn that just arrived came with a pattern I’m planning on starting soon, too. Add in the projects I plan to finish this month and I think this month will be better then January for stashing down.

Next time I’ll show you all the WIPs and spinning I’ve been working on. 🙂 Happy knitting/crocheting/spinning all!

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! 🙂

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 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!

Posted in Completed Projects

Two FO Monday

Hope all my American friends had a good Thanksgiving! Ours was surprisingly not stressful for a chance since we only did one dinner with this year with Matt’s family and my family came over for dessert later on. I am so thankful for all I have in my life these days. I’ve come a long way from where I was and I couldn’t have done it without the support of my friends, family, and Matt who puts up with me, loves me, and supports me the most through everything. 🙂

The holiday Thursday allowed me to take 4 days off work and I got quite a bit of knitting done! I finished TWO pairs of socks. Both socks were picked up from about halfway through the foot and completed on Thursday and Saturday. It feels great to get two projects off the needles!

First I finished the Lace and Cables socks.

Lace and Cables Socks
Lace and Cables Socks

Pattern: Lace and Cables Socks by Wendy D. Johnson (My Ravelry project page.)
Started: October 31, 2011
Completed: November 24, 2011
Yarn: Tempted Good Grrl, colorway Pocket Full of Posies
Needle: US 1 (2.25mm) Knit Picks nickel circular
Notes: No modifications to the pattern. Knit the smallest size. Knit 8 of the center lace repeats before the cuff. These were knit to participate in the SSK KAL and my first time using Tempted yarns. Very nice to work with!

After those were off the needles, I couldn’t decide on what to work on, so I picked up my plain stripey socks. Before I knew it, I was through the heel and working on the leg. Figured I may as well finish them up too!

Venus In Furs Socks
Venus in Furs

Pattern: Plain, toe-up 60 stitch sock (My Ravelry project page.)
Started: September 17, 2011
Completed: November 26, 2011
Yarn: Knitterly Things Vesper Sock, Venus in Furs
Needle: US 0 (2.0mm) Knit Picks nickel circular
Notes: My standard toe-up sock with slip stitch heel. These socks were one of my “ready to go” projects to grab for knitting in public, so they didn’t get knit on a whole lot. Picked these up on Nov. 25th and worked the remainder of the foot, the increases for the heel, the heel and the leg. Next day I knit the cuff. They go fast when I actually work on them!

Shockingly, this means I now only have three projects on the needles. I debated starting something new, but decided I should really get that scarf done for Matt. I worked on it this past weekend and when I tried it out on him found that I’m not that far from being done (FINALLY!). Hoping to get that scarf off the needles soon. Nothing like seeing that a project is nearly finished to motivate you to work on it! 🙂