Posted in Completed Projects, Current Projects, Knit Ramblings

Elektra, Cleaning the Craft Room, and Projects

I finally have pictures to show of my Elektra shawl, which I finished back in April, right before our cruise the first week in May. I absolutely love how this shawl turned out, despite running out of yarn and having to finish the bind off with a thinner and darker version of the yarn. The beads in the pictures are true to color, but I couldn’t get the Fuchsia color just right in any of the photos. It’s a bit darker in person.

Elektra (Front)
Eketra

Pattern: Elektra by Rosemary Hill (My Ravelry project page.)
Started: April 7, 2011
Completed: April 28, 2011
Yarn: Wollmeise 100% (609 yards) and a little bit of Wollmeise Lace (17.5 yards) in Fuchsia
Needles: US 5 Addi Lace circular
Notes: Pattern was pretty easy to follow once I got past the start of Chart B where the marker placement is only listed in the written instructions. Despite getting a smaller gauge then stated in the pattern, I still ran out of yarn, so I would suggest anyone knitting it have at least 630 yards of yarn and be sure to check gauge! Placing the beads wasn’t too bad until the bind off row where you place beads AND work the bind off. I did end up missing to place a bead, which I noticed after it was blocked, but I managed to sew one where it should have been without it looking weird. I love how it turned out and it looked great with my dress on the cruise in May. πŸ™‚

Elektra (Full Size)
Eketra – Full Size

Elektra (Back)
Eketra – Back

Elektra (Detail)
Eketra – Detail

This weekend, I spent quite a bit of time in my craft room getting it clean and more organized. I wish I had some before and after photos! I cleaned out this plastic 3-drawer thing that has been through many moves with me (and that I’ve hated for the longest time, mostly because it was full of heavy things which made it hard to open or close) and moved everything worth keeping into the 3-drawer chest I bought from IKEA a while back. There wasn’t a whole lot worth keeping. Most of it was things that should be tossed or go in the Goodwill box. I took 3 bags of trash out and a box of things to go to Goodwill the next time I go. I think it still needs a little work to be how I’d like it to be, but first I need a bigger shelf, so that’ll have to wait. Only thing left to do is put up the blinds in there.

While cleaning, I found my Namaste bags (a Newport and a Zuma) and a buddy case. I decided it’s time to let my Namaste bags go to a new home since I will never use them. They just aren’t the right knitting/purse type bag for me. You can see pictures here. They’re also listed in my stash on Ravelry on my sell/trade page, with info. Leave a comment, email me, or PM me on Ravelry if you’re interested in them.

I also found the scarf I started for Matt back in 2009 during the cleaning of the craft room. It’s got to be my oldest WIP! This sucker needs to get finished, so I’ve pulled it out to work on. I plan to get it finished before it’s cool enough for him to wear this winter.

Matt's Scarf
Matt’s Scarf

Despite all the cleaning I did, I got in a fair amount of knitting time, too. I started and finished the Dahlia Cowl out of my handspun on Saturday. It’s currently blocking and waiting for buttons. I didn’t run out of yarn! Not sure I got gauge since I didn’t check, but I had a little left over from my skein after knitting it to the 24″ the pattern says to. Hopefully it’ll be dry today and I can finish it up by adding the two buttons. It’s super squishy and will be nice to wear come winter!

I’ve been moving along on the Gush socks. After figuring out how many extra rows I needed and knitting them where indicated, then starting Clue 2, I decided that I really didn’t like how they looked with the extra rows. I frogged back to where the design starts on the toe and added the additional rows in the toe before starting the design. Adding the extra rows where indicated just didn’t go with the rest of the design at all.

Gush Sock
Gush Sock

I’m hoping to get Clue 2 done on both socks before the next clue comes out on Wednesday. I’ve already re-knit Clue 1 of the second sock, so as long as I don’t get too distracted by casting on High Seas tonight! πŸ˜‰

Posted in Completed Projects

Stripey Socks and Upcoming Projects

Happy Friday! Today I have an FO to share. πŸ˜€ I was able to finish up my Stripey Socks yesterday! These will be fun and bright to wear once it gets cooler again.

Finished Stripey Socks!
PDY Stripey Socks

Pattern: 66 stitch toe-up sock with slip stitch heel (My Ravelry project page.)
Started: March 16, 2011
Completed: June 9, 2011
Yarn: Perfect Day Yarns Self-Striping, colorway “She Woos Me”
Needles: US 0 Knit Picks nickel circular
Notes: Generic toe-up sock using Wendy D. Johnson’s slip stitch heel and my rounded toe. I love the fabric I get on US 0’s with this yarn. I may try to knit my next pair of Vesper self-striping socks with the same gauge. Just a bit tighter then what I’ve been getting on my stripey socks.

Last week, Sheri of The Loopy Ewe blogged about Camp Loopy. Just a few days before I read her post, I had been wishing I could go to summer camp this year, and this kind of camp is right up my alley!

The first challenge project to go along with the theme “Campfire Nights” is to knit a two color cape, shawl, or scarf. I decided to knit a pattern that has been in my queue for a while now: Clockwork. After some thought on what colors and yarn to use, I decided on MadelineTosh Pashmina in Dahlia and Oak.

MadelineTosh Pashmina
MadelineTosh Pashmina

This weekend I’ll wind up the yarn, print out the pattern, and find the right needles so I’ll be ready to cast-on on June 15th!

Since I decided on no more sweaters for a while, I’ve been searching around for a shawl pattern to knit, preferably one that would look good out of one of the Wollmeise Lace colors I have. I haven’t seen anything that just called to me to knit it, so I just kept looking. Then, this past week, Kris mentioned to me on Twitter that we should do another knit-a-long (we knit Camber together via Twitter last year). After some discussion, we decided to knit High Seas. I thought this would be perfect for the Wollmeise Lace I have in Flaschenpost, which is a lovely blue-green color that reminds me of the ocean.

WM Lace - Flaschenpost
Wollmeise Lace in Flaschenpost

The fact that the shawl looks like waves, doesn’t hurt either! I love the ocean and frequently find myself missing it. We’ll be casting-on on Monday. I’ve already got the pattern printed, just need to wind that GIANT skein of yarn this weekend.

Have a good weekend everyone! I’ve got some new craft supplies that recently arrived and I’m looking forward to playing around with them this weekend. Hoping to have something to show you next week! πŸ™‚

Posted in Completed Projects, Current Projects, Knit Ramblings

FO’s, Sweater Knitting, and Projects

I’ve been a bit behind in blogging and I can’t say I have any good reasons why. I’ve been lazy about taking pictures of my current projects and then when I have taken pictures, I forget to edit and upload them. I think I’ve also been side tracked with getting everything in order for two upcoming trips. Ah well. I’ve definitely been knitting despite not blogging about it!

Since I last posted, I’ve finished two projects. The first thing I finished was my third sweater for the year, Cassis.

Cassis (Front)
Cassis – Front

Pattern: Cassis (My Ravelry project page.)
Started: February 26, 2011
Completed: March 27, 2011
Yarn: Knit Picks CotLin in Whisker, 10 skeins
Needles: US 6 bamboo circular and DPNs
Notes: I added waist shaping at the sides, did long sleeves instead of short sleeves, and shortened the length. Overall I’m still feeling a bit “meh” about this sweater, but it does make a nice, washable house sweater or sweater to keep at work for when it’s a bit chilly.

Cassis (Back)
Cassis – Back

After I finished up Cassis, I focused on finishing High Road since I was already pretty close to being done. A day later I was binding off High Road and blocking it!

High Road (Wrapped)
High Road

Pattern: High Road (My Ravelry project page.)
Started: March 14, 2011
Completed: March 28, 2011
Yarn: A Verb for Keeping Warm Metamorphosis in Pilgrim, 1 skein
Needles: US 5 Addi Lace circular
Notes: Knit as written, though my gauge may have been a little off (I honestly don’t check for shawls). Very interesting construction and the whole thing seemed to go pretty quickly with first knitting the middle section, then the middle to top, then the bottom ruffle. I enjoyed working with the yarn as well. Squishy and soft and such a pretty colorway!

High Road (Back)
High Road – Back

High Road (Big)
High Road – Full

With both of those projects off the needles, I only had my PDY stripey sock on the needles, which of course meant I needed to cast on more projects. πŸ™‚

First thing I cast on was another sweater. After all, this is The Year of the Sweater for me with my goal of knitting 12 sweaters in 2011. With 3 under my belt, I think I’m doing pretty good and feeling like I can definitely make it. Even with other projects going on, I’ve stayed with my goal of a sweater a month and not casting on a new sweater until the one I’m working on is done. I’ve been itching to use the Vesper Quick Sock in Ivy League ever since my first attempt at Bel Air didn’t work out. After finishing Cassis, I was hesitant to try Bel Air again because of the collar. Turns out I don’t really like the collar on Cassis much and was afraid I wouldn’t like the one on Bel Air (in hindsight, I think it would be fine since it isn’t big like the one on Cassis, so Bel Air is still in my queue). After some swatching and pattern searching, I decided on Slipped Hours.

I downloaded the pattern and immediately noticed something. There is no schematic that comes with this pattern. Now, that may not be an issue for some knitters, but it is for me. When I first started knitting sweaters, I didn’t think a whole lot about the schematic or how the end product would actually fit my body. After I’d knit a few sweaters, I found a few things “wrong” with them – something was too long, too short, or just didn’t fit me well. This is when I learned to read the schematic and really pay attention to it when I knit a sweater so that I would be happier with the end result. I must admit, it has definitely helped. Most importantly, it helps me choose a size that will fit the way I want it to fit rather then going solely by the sizing stated in the pattern like I did those first few sweaters. This is the third sweater pattern in as many months that I’ve purchased that doesn’t have a schematic and I admit I was really irritated and disappointed that I paid for yet another pattern without a schematic. In my opinion (and those of other knitters I have asked), a sweater pattern that you pay for should come with a schematic. I swear, I’m not even that picky about it and if it were a free pattern, I wouldn’t even mention it not having a schematic (after all, it’s free). I don’t expect everyone to be a great artist (I know I’m not!) and I would totally accept something a designer drew in MS Paint with all the appropriate measurements of the finished garment. Just something that I can look at and go “Okay, if I picked ___ size it will be…”. I have never designed a sweater pattern and put it up for sale, but from what I know of sweater construction, designing, and pattern writing, a designer does do the math to figure out sizing and instructions. It seems reasonable that with all that math done for the sizing that it wouldn’t be much to add a small picture of a sweater with measurements for it since those are already known because of the pattern writing for various sizes, right? To me, it seems totally reasonable, but I digress.

With no schematic to look at so I could cast on right away, I took a few days to think it over, draw my own schematic, figure out how to add waist shaping, and figure out which size I wanted to knit. Ultimately I went with the largest size. I decided not to do reverse stockinette on the turned hem and just did regular stockinette on a smaller needle (pattern states to do it on the same needle you use for the body), did a purl row for the turn row, then switched to the needle that I got gauge for the body with. I’ve finished the hem and I’m into the waist decreases for the body.

Slipped Hours
Slipped Hours

One of the trips coming up involves a formal dinner and I’ve cocktail dress dress I like, but it only has one shoulder strap. I’m a bit worried I might get chilly, so I figured I’d knit myself a shawl to go with it. Finally decided on yarn (Wollmeise sock yarn in Fuchsia) and decided to knit Elektra. I was on the fence about the beads, but decided they’d be a fun addition since I don’t often knit things with beads and I thought it would add a little sparkle to the shawl. I looked locally, but was unable to find anything to match the yarn that I liked, so I ordered from Fire Mountain Gems. Hopefully those will arrive this week and I can get started on the shawl soon.

Over the weekend I decided to cast on for another project. I suddenly had the urge to knit up this purple sock yarn that has tried and failed to be a project many times over. Immediately, I thought of the pattern Rook. I’ve been wanting to make these and this yarn was calling for me to knit it, so I cast on. I’ve got half of the first mitt finished and it fits great. I was a little worried about gauge since that had been an issue in previous projects when I’d used this yarn, but it seems to be spot on for this pattern. No pictures yet. Instead I’ll show you the yarn I’m using!

Willy Wonky Sock Club
Big Mouth Yarns Buxom Sock in “You’re Turning Violet, Violet!”

Had a lovely (and busy) weekend and the weather was pretty nice out aside from the crazy winds we’ve had. This morning I woke up to it being 71 degrees outside and windy! Tomorrow I think the high is in the 50’s. Crazy spring time weather! Hehe πŸ™‚

Posted in Completed Projects, Current Projects

Saroyan FO and Current Projects

It’s Friday and I have an FO to share! πŸ™‚

This may be the fastest scarf I’ve ever knit. Three days and it was done! It was an enjoyable knit, too.

Saroyan (Full)

Pattern: Saroyan (My Ravelry project page.)
Started: March 11, 2011
Completed: March 13, 2011
Yarn: Malabrigo Worsted in Rodecian, 2 skeins
Needles: US 9 bamboo circular
Notes: I initially did the entire increase section wrong. I did the increases every right side row of the pattern repeat, but it shouldn’t be done on rows 3 or 11. Oops. I ripped it out and started over on March 11. After I restarted it, I couldn’t put it down! I did change the part worked when you first cast on and before the first pattern repeat and the last part after the last pattern repeat and the cast off. I followed the notes here (Ravelry link). I did the decreases differently then written so that they better matched the increase section. I followed the notes here (Ravelry link). I have a total of 28 leaves – 6 for the increase section, 16 for the straight section, and 6 for the decrease section. I’m happy with how this project turned out!

Saroyan (Scarf)
Saroyan Worn as a Scarf

In addition to wearing it as a scarf, it could also be worn as a wrap!

Saroyan (Wrap)
Saroyan Worn as a Wrap

Saroyan (Back)
Saroyan Worn as a Wrap

After finishing Saroyan, I started on High Road. I had a bit of trouble with it at first because I had a hard time keeping count of what row I was on, but I finally got smart and put a row counter on my work to help me keep track. The yarn, Metamorphasis from A Verb for Keeping Warm, is 70% merino, 30% silk blend and it’s very nice to work with. I like the colors and the fabric it’s making.

High Road
High Road

I’ve still been working away on Cassis. It hasn’t seen much progress this week. I managed to spill tea on the collar of it when I got to work one day, did my best to wash it out, then it took about a day and a half to dry out completely. You can still see some of the brown tea stain on it. It’s not too noticeable, but when I look at it, I definitely see it. Just like mistakes in your knitting – it’s probably not as noticeable to someone else as it is to me! Not sure what, if anything, I’ll do about it, so right now I’m just continuing on and not worrying about the stains.

I have a stripey sock I’ve been working on since December (often setting it aside for other projects). The yarn is Perfect Day Yarns self striping in the She Woos Me colorway. I like the colors and the yarn, but for some reason, stripey socks sometimes get sent to the back burner when other things are more interesting. They’re good to keep around for something portable and easy to pick up, though, so I pretty much always have some type of plain sock on the needles. Anyhow, I was finally at the point where I finished the heel on Wednesday.

PDY Sock
PDY Stripey Sock

Then I tried it on and it was too tight. There weren’t enough stitches around and while it fit alright, the stitches were really stretched around the instep area of the sock. I knew it needed to be frogged and more stitches added. I frogged it completely and started over. The first time I had 60 stitches around, this time I have 66. So far it seems to be fitting, but then the other sock fit at this point, too. I’m just hoping it fits once I’ve done all the instep increases! Here’s where I’ve knit back to since frogging it.

Sock!
PDY Stripey Sock

Yesterday was a beautiful sunny and warm day. Today is rather gloomy and rainy. This weekend is promising warmth and sun, though, and I’m looking forward to that! This winter seems like it’s been a long one. It’s nice to see warmer days here and there. Not much in way of plans this weekend. We’re going to see the new movie Paul with some friends tomorrow and I do hope we get out and enjoy the nice weather at some point. I’ve got Monday off and I’ll be hanging out with my mom for the day! Should be fun. πŸ™‚

Have a good weekend everyone!

Posted in Completed Projects

February FO’s!

I can’t believe it’s been nearly a month since I last blogged! Where has the time gone? I haven’t felt like I’ve been that busy, but I haven’t been great about taking in-progress shots of my current projects which seems to result in me not blogging.

Since I last posted, I’ve finished 4 things! The first thing I finished was the Wurm hat I was working on.<p.

Wurm (Front)
Wurm

Pattern: Wurm by katushika – Rav link to pattern (My Ravelry project page.)
Started: February 11, 2011
Completed: February 20, 2011
Yarn: Brooks Farm Solo Silk in a light purple, about 1/2 a skein.
Needles: US 2.5 (3.0 mm) Addi Turbo circular, US 4 (3.5 mm) bamboo circular and DPNs
Notes: I did the brim a bit different. I did a provisional cast on to do a turned hem for the hat rather then casting on and knitting the cast on edge with your working row as the pattern states. I think this makes for a brim with more stretch. I started with the US 2.5 needles working the first stockinette portion and the purl row, then switched to US 4’s for the rest of the hat. I did 10 purl sections as the pattern called for, which gave me just the right amount of slouch. If you like really slouchy hats, I’d recommend doing more then that. After that last purl section, the hat gets pulled in VERY fast. Overall, I’m happy with how this hat turned out and it’ll be nice for cold days to help protect my ears.

Wurm (Side)
Wurm – Side

Wurm (Back)
Wurm – Back/Top

Next up is a cute little bunneh made out of my own handspun. I kept seeing these little guys around on Ravelry and got the urge to knit one OMGRIGHTNOW a few weekends ago. I had this handspun sitting at my desk along with needles and I cast on right away. Worked on him only while sitting at my desk, so he took a few days to complete, but I think it would have gone a lot faster had I worked on him more then just at my desk.

Bunny Nugget
Bunny Nugget

Pattern: Bunny Nuggets by Rebecca Danger (My Ravelry project page.)
Started: February 19, 2011
Completed: February 21, 2011
Yarn: Zarzuela’s Fibers Targhee in the Emeralds colorway, handspun by me to fingering weight
Needles: US 1 (2.25 mm) Knit Picks DPNs
Notes: I only used a small amount of yarn. If I had to guess, I’d say roughly 40 or so yards. The pom pom was too big at first, but I cut it down to be smaller. Still a bit big, though I think it adds to the cuteness!

For the pom pom, I tried a new tool, which may now be my favorite knitting related tool ever. I first bought this Clover small pom pom maker from my local Hobby Lobby. I quickly discovered that the smaller one in the package that makes a pom pom 1 3/8 inches big was as big as my bunny nugget! I trimmed it down to size and used it anyway because I was too impatient to wait for the extra small pom pom maker from Clover to arrive. These pom pom makers are FANTASTIC! It makes making pom poms almost painless compared to every other tutorial on how to make them that I’ve ever seen. Totally worth the investment if you make make pom poms at all.

After finishing up Wurm and knitting a Bunny Nugget, I focused on getting Matt’s socks done. With some focus, they were finished pretty quickly!

Matt's Camo Socks
Matt’s Camo Socks

Pattern: Plain Vanilla Top-Down Socks (My Ravelry project page.)
Started: January 1, 2011
Completed: February 23, 2011
Yarn: Zarzuela’s Fibers Merino Sock in the Camo colorway, just over 1/2 a skein (approx. 250 yards)
Needles: US 0 (2.0 mm) Knit Picks circular
Notes: Used my own plain top-down sock pattern for a 68 stitch sock. I really liked working with this yarn and Matt seems to like the finished socks! πŸ™‚

My final FO for February is Seneca. I absolutely LOVE this sweater. It’s probably my favorite of all the sweaters I’ve knit and other then the minor freak out over the skeins not matching (which turns out isn’t an issue at all), I had no problems with the pattern or fit or… well anything! This is my second sweater of the year, so I’m still on track for knitting 12 this year.

Seneca (Front)
Seneca

Pattern: Seneca by Jared Flood (My Ravelry project page.)
Started: February 1, 2011
Completed: February 26, 2011
Yarn: MadelineTosh DK, 5.5 skeins (1231 yards)
Needles: US 7 (4.5 mm) HiyaHiya stainless steel circular
Notes: My gauge was off for this sweater, but I really liked the gage I got with the US 7 needle, so I did some math and decided to knit the 40″ size instead of the 44″ size that I would have knit if I had got the pattern gauge. By my math, I would end up with a 44″ sweater knitting the 40″ size based on my gauge and I did! I did make some notes in my Ravelry project page about some missing information/errors in the pattern. There’s no errata for it that I could find, though these are noted in the comments of the pattern on Ravelry (which I didn’t check until after I’d finished the sweater). I made a mistake in Chart A and added an additional knit row where one shouldn’t be. I don’t think it’s noticeable at all and if I didn’t mention it, I doubt anyone else would notice either! I realized it when I’d reached the cables on the yoke and I knew there was no way I wanted to basically start my entire sweater over to correct it, so I made the decision to keep going and include the error I’d made. I did make the same error through every instance of Chart A that I knit and I even did it for Chart B as well so that at least the mistake is consistent. Overall, even with the error I made, I’m totally in love with this sweater! It fits great, the yarn was fantastic to work with, I love the color, it can be dressed up or down…. what’s not to love? πŸ™‚

Senca (Back)
Seneca – Back

Seneca (Top Cables)
Seneca – Yoke

Seneca (Sleeve Cables)
Seneca – Sleeve Detail

I need to get some updated pictures on the current projects I have going since the two main ones I’ve been working on don’t have ANY in-progress shots yet. Hopefully I can do that today or tomorrow and share what’s on the needles for me later this week!

Posted in Completed Projects, Current Projects

Watershed and Scalloped Potholders

Most of this week I’ve been trying to get this post together and it just kept not happening, so it’s FO Friday again! This week I have two finished projects.

The first thing that I finished, which I mentioned on my last blog post, is Watershed. This one has some mods, so there are some long notes below. This is my first sweater for the International Sweater-a-Month Dodecathon in 2011.

Watershed (Front)
Watershed

Pattern: Watershed (My Ravelry project page.)
Started: January 18, 2011
Completed: January 30, 2011
Yarn: Malabrigo in Pearl, 2.5 skeins
Needles: US 8 Addi Turbo Lace circular
Notes: I made changes to the sleeves. I didn’t really care for the original way they were done (a lot of extra ends!). Instead of knitting the 3 sections separately to create the bottom of the armhole, I knit the whole thing for 2.5 additional repeats (per the pattern had I done the separate sections), then instead of casting on for the sleeve stitches per pattern, I provisionally cast on a total of 60 stitches (amount it tells you to cast on, plus the 14 sts I would have picked up on each side had I followed the pattern), then put 10 stitches of the body on waste yarn (per the pattern for the underarm of the sleeve). Because I changed the sleeve construction, I also had to change the decreases. Instead of only decreasing on the right side row, I decreased the sleeve stitches every row (and only the sleeve stitches). I did this with ssk and k2tog on the RS rows, p2tog and p2togtbl on the WS rows. I didn’t like the decrease stitches as purls on the RS rows. This made the final stitch count come out the same as if I had followed the pattern. After completing the body and picking up the sleeves stitches, I did the following: Knit 9 rows, 10 row, decreased 10 sts evenly across. I switched to garter stitch for 3 garter ridges, then did the bind off in purl (rows would be as follows: purl, knit, purl, knit, purl, knit, bind off in purl). If I were to do this again, while I LOVE how it turned out, I’d cast on fewer stitches for the sleeve. Maybe 50 instead of 60. I’d do the math to figure out the size first, but guessing 10-15 less stitches for my size. I’d still do the decreases because otherwise the garter stitch flared out. Of course you could just go down a needle size, but I didn’t think of that until I was finished!

Watershed (Side)
Watershed – Side

Watershed (Back)
Watershed – Back

The second thing I finished was the second Scalloped Potholder. The second one ended up a little bigger then the first, but I used up two skeins of cotton making the two and now I have some new hot pads.

Scalloped Potholders
Scalloped Potholders

Pattern: Scalloped Potholders (My Ravelry project page.)
Started: January 24, 2011
Completed: February 1, 2011
Yarn: Lily Sugar’n Cream, one skein Hot Green, one skein Hot Pink
Needles: G/4.25 mm hook and H/5.00 mm hook
Notes: On the first one (green center), I only used the G/4.25 mm hook. On the second one, I used the G/4.25 mm hook for the center, then the H/5.00 mm hook for the shells, sc row and sc’ing them together. I think they worked out a lot better going up a hook from the shells on because it ended up laying a lot more flat. When I make another set, I’ll likely go up another hook size to sc them together (possibly for the sc row after the shells and sc’ing together). The first one really didn’t lay flat at all until I blocked it and even then it wants to curl a bit when you pick it up. I love the colors and they were quick to crochet, so I think I’ll be making more of them in the future. I just wish I had more solid cotton to use!

Since I finished my first sweater of the 12 I plan on knitting this year, I’ve moved on to the next one! I debated on what I wanted to do next, so I picked out a few and swatched. One didn’t work out at all and I knew right away I wasn’t going to get proper gauge, so I quickly gave up on that. The second one was for Watershed, which you see above, and the third one was for Seneca. This one has been in my queue and since Sheri of The Loopy Ewe is doing a Cable Challenge this quarter, I bought Madeleine Tosh DK in Lepidoptra from TLE specifically for the challenge to knit Seneca. After the sweater fail that was Bel Air, I wanted to start on this, but when I had gauge issues that required me to buy another needle size, I ended up going with Watershed instead.

I’ve finished the first cable chart, on to the second skein of yarn, and I’ve finished the waist decreases. I only have a picture of when I was about halfway through the cable chart and it’s a crappy one. Sorry about that! The color is fairly accurate, though.

Seneca
Seneca

This project has been getting all of my attention since I started it! I’m 2 repeats of the 16 rows stockinette/16 rows textured stitch pattern (for a 32 row repeat) of my Textured Stitch shawl, but I don’t have any new pictures of it. No real progress on Matt’s socks lately, but I do want to get them finished soon, so I’m thinking I may focus on knitting them this weekend.

Speaking of weekend, I hear something called the Superbowl is happening on Sunday. I don’t follow sports at all, but we are planning on going to a party a friend of ours is hosting. I’m possibly more excited about the food that will be there then the game, but that’s because I know nothing about football and can only barely follow what’s going on in the game. πŸ˜‰ Whatever your plans are, I hope you all have a good weekend!

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 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!