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!

Posted in Current Projects

All the FO’s

Wow, it’s nearly the end of December! I can hardly believe how fast this month has gone by. Considering all the holiday things going on this month, I’m not really surprised that it’s gone by so quick since we’ve been rather busy most of the month. Just hard to believe December and 2011 is nearly over!

Hope everyone has had a good holiday season. For those who celebrate gift giving holidays this time of year, I hope you got all the knitting/crochet/fibery things you asked for! 🙂

Turns out that since I haven’t blogged for nearly a month, I have a number of FO’s to show (five. FIVE?!). I know I showed this first one previously and promised better pictures, but since he’s been wearing it, I’m not sure when that will happen, so I’ll go ahead and give the details with the picture from last time. (Forgive me, it’s been tough to take pictures this month with all our dreary weather!).

Matt and his scarf
Matt’s Striped Scarf

Pattern: 1×1 rib scarf, switching colors every 2 rows (My Ravelry project page.)
Started: November 17, 2009
Completed: November 29, 2011
Yarn: 1 skein each of Dye Dreams Luster Sock in Shades of Ireland and Malabrigo Sock Yarn in Negro
Needle: US 5 birch straights
Notes: The pattern is the Noro Striped scarf using non-striping yarns. Really easy, but really boring which is why it took me 2 years to complete! He loves it, though, and I’m glad I finally got it off the needles.

A friend of mine, Jessie (who is a knitter), asked me to knit a sock monkey hat for her soon to be born son and I was happy to do it. How could I resist knitting something so cute? Initially I knit the larger size (baby) and it looked way too big for a tiny baby, but since I’d already knit it and had enough yarn, I finished it and sent it along with the newborn sized one. She said she loves how they turned out. Now the little one just needs to decide to make an appearance so he can wear it!

Sock Monkey - Baby/Toddler
Sock Monkey Hat – Baby/Toddler Size

Pattern: Sock Monkey Ear Flap Hats for the Whole Family – Baby size (My Ravelry project page.)
Started: December 5, 2011
Completed: December 14, 2011
Yarn: Cascade 220 Superwash in Really Read, Charcoal, and Aran
Needle: US 5 bamboo DPNs
Notes: Modifications I made were to use felt for the eyes instead of buttons and I knit i-cord instead of doing the braid which I thought was way too bulky. I used a 3 3/8″ Clover Pom Pom maker for the pom pom.

Sock Monkey - Newborn

Pattern: Sock Monkey Ear Flap Hats for the Whole Family – Newborn size (My Ravelry project page.)
Started: December 10, 2011
Completed: December 14, 2011
Yarn: Cascade 220 Superwash in Really Read, Charcoal, and Aran
Needle: US 5 bamboo DPNs
Notes: This is the newborn size one. Modifications I made were to use felt for the eyes instead of buttons and I knit i-cord instead of doing the braid which I thought was way too bulky. I used a 2 1/2″ Clover Pom Pom maker for the pom pom.

Sock Monkey Hats
Sock Monkey Hats

Sock Monkey Hats
Sock Monkey Hats

Originally I was going to keep these socks for myself, but ended up deciding my mom could use another pair and I finished them in time to gift them to her for Christmas. She loved them and kept saying “NO, these are MINE.” hehehe 🙂

Embossed Leaves
Embossed Leaves

Pattern: Embossed Leaves by Mona Schmidt (My Ravelry project page.)
Started: September 22, 2011
Completed: December 17, 2011
Yarn: Alchemy Juniper in Autumn Ecstasy, 2 skeins
Needle: US 1 (2.25 mm) Knit Picks circular
Notes: I made a small modification to the heel flap. Instead of knitting 3 stitches on each end, I slipped the first stitch of each row creating 2 garter stitches on each side instead of 3. This made it easier to pick up the stitches on either end. I didn’t cut my yarn after finishing the heel and picking up stitches along the flap – there’s really no reason to do that unless you like weaving in ends!

I started these socks for Matt after knitting myself a pair of sport weight socks from this yarn in a different color. He knew I was working on them, but I finished the second sock just before Christmas and decided to package them with the other gifts I gave him. He’s up to 3 pairs of winter house socks now! I think these are the squashiest of the 3 pairs. There’s only one sock pictured here, but trust me, they are done and they both look the same! 🙂

Matt's Socks
Matt’s Ribbed Socks

Pattern: 50 stitch toe-up 3×2 ribbed sock (My Ravelry project page.)
Started: November 29, 2011
Completed: December 19, 2011
Yarn: MadelineTosh Tosh Sport in Boxwood, 1 skein
Needle: US 2.5 (3.00 mm) Knit Picks circular
Notes: Basic 50 stitch toe-up sock with slipped stich heel. Did a k3, p2 rib for a snug fit. Squishy! This just might be my favorite sport weight yarn for socks. Not that I’ve knit many pairs, but I do love how it knits up.

I think these will be the last FO’s of 2011, but there’s a small chance I may get the shawl or mittens I’m working on done before the year ends.

With this year nearly over, have you been thinking much about knitting/crocheting/spinning goals for 2012? I certainly have. There’s so many things I want to knit and work on next year, but I’m still working on some strategy to complete the goals I have in mind. If you have knitting/crocheting/spinning goals for 2012, what are they?

Next time I’ll share some of my WIPs! Until then, happy knitting all. 🙂

Posted in Current Projects

Scarf of DOOOOM and Other WIPs

Since finishing the two pairs of socks, I’ve been fighting the urge to cast on something new. I have at least 3 projects in mind that I’d like to start, possibly more if I thought about it longer!

Thankfully, seeing how far along I am on my current projects and seeing how fast they’re moving along has kept me from starting anything new before finishing something up. As luck would have it, I was able to finish up one of the three projects I had on the needles yesterday.

Matt's Scarf
Matt’s Scarf

This project has been on the needles since 2009. I started this scarf for Matt in the winter of 2009 and it kept getting put aside for other things. It’s finally DONE! I hope to take a better picture of it soon for a FO post. So incredibly happy to have this project off the needles!

Matt and his scarf
Matt and his new scarf!

Finishing those two pairs of socks I has allowed me to pick up the Embossed Leaves socks again. The pattern repeat was easy enough to memorize and is just enough to keep me interested without being bored. I finished the heel flap and I’m now working on the foot of the first sock. The yarn I’m using is Alchemy Juniper, which I’ve not used before. It’s really squishy and nice to work with. This is one of the yarns I got in The Loopy Ewe Sock Club in 2010. Nice to be knitting up some of the older things in my stash!

Embossed Leaves
Embossed Leaves

The other project on my needles is probably the least interesting to look at. It’s a black cardigan. The pattern I’m knitting is Estelle Cardigan, which is a pretty simple cardigan with a feather and fan edging around the collar, cuffs, and bottom of the sweater with ribbing at the waist. I think it will be very wearable, but really just not that interesting to see! Plus, black is sort of hard to photograph and hides any of the details in pictures, so it ends up looking like a blob of black instead. Ah well. I think the yarn is pretty nice to work with. Matt thinks it’s too rough and not soft enough – what a yarn snob I’ve turned him into!! Hehehe 🙂

Estelle Cardigan
Estelle Cardigan

I debated starting another pair of stripey socks to work on after finishing Matt’s scarf. There’s a lot of holiday parties coming up this month and a plain sock that I don’t have to think much about seems like just the right thing to have to work on. I took a look at my stash and decided to cast on a pair of house socks for Matt. I picked up a skein of MadeleineTosh Sport at Lambikins Hideaway the last time I was there. At the time, I had just finished a pair of socks for myself out of this yarn and enjoyed working with it, so I thought I’d knit him up a pair. I used a US 1.5 (2.50mm) needle for my socks with this yarn, but I thought that was a little on the tight side (though, personally I like my socks with a bit tighter fabric). For his, I decided to go up to a US 2.5 (3.0 mm). I didn’t have a plan when I cast on aside from making it a 50 stitch sock. Once I finished the toe, I played around with different stitches until I decided I liked the look of 3 x 2 rib best. It’s working up really fast! I’ve already knit 5″ of it.

Matt's House Socks
Matt’s House Socks

What are you working on this week? Something new? Holiday gifts?

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! 🙂

Posted in Completed Projects, Current Projects

Rikke Hat, Sweater Fail, and Other Projects

Wow, where has November gone? I can hardly believe it’s almost Thanksgiving. I’ve had the best of intentions to blog over the last almost 3 weeks. Things have been busy lately. It doesn’t help that the sun going down so early now or that the weather has been rainy and dreary making it difficult to take decent pictures. Despite all the busy and lack of photographic evidence, I’ve been knitting things. In fact I started and finished a project since I last posted!

After some issues with another project (which I’ll get to in a minute), I needed something that was almost-instant gratification and fairly simple. I happened to see this hat pattern on Ravelry and immediately knew that I needed to make one out of the Malabrigo Rios I had.

Rikke Hat (Front)
Rikke Hat – Front

Pattern: Rikke Hat by Sarah Young (My Ravelry project page.)
Started: November 11, 2011
Completed: November 13, 2011
Yarn: Malabrigo Rios, colorway Solis, 1 skein
Needle: US 4 and 7, bamboo circular
Notes: This is a free pattern that can be found here. I ended up using a yard or so from the leftovers from the first skein of this that I had for the last 2 rows of the hat plus bind off. Simple pattern that makes a great, squishy hat!

Rikke Hat (Side)
Rikke Hat – Side

It is November and it is NaKniSweMo. Do you recall me talking about a sweater I planned to knit this month? Yeah… about that… I ran into a problem. It’s small. REALLY small. I had a feeling it might be a bit on the small side from the gauge being off, but I thought the changes I planned on making would allow it to still fit well even if it was a bit snug. After finishing the right and left fronts, I tried it on and it just felt incredibly small. Way smaller then I’d want it to be for a cardigan I want to wear over other layers. I haven’t frogged it yet because part of me thinks I should just finish it, wash it and see how it turns out. However there’s a secondary issue. The second skein is quite a bit lighter in color from the first and other two skeins. Guess where I joined the second skein and there’s a pretty distinct line! The bust. Right around the largest part of the bust even. Yep. So, it’s sitting in time out for now while I debate what to do. Thoughts or ideas what to do?

Metro
Metro

Since that didn’t really work out, I went back to working on my Lace and Cables socks for the SSK KAL. I finished the first sock last Monday. Not the best picture as it was taken in the car on the way to take Matt to the airport last week, but hey, it’s a picture of my progress! I’ve finished two of the lace repeats on the second sock. It goes pretty quickly, so I’m sure I’ll be able to finish it this week I have some time off this week because of the Thanksgiving holiday.

Lace and Cables Sock
Lace and Cables Sock

Last week, while Matt was out of town doing some training for work, I spent a lot of my free time cleaning and organizing parts of our house that we usually ignore: the spare room that has boxes of things that don’t have a place to go and the basement that holds both things that have no place to go and things that are only used occasionally. Much of this stuff needed to be sorted through, thrown out, and given away, so while he was away, I focused on taking care of these two areas of the house. I’m pleased to say I made huge progress on both! I think there’s probably a little room for improvement in the spare room, but that can’t happen until we have some sort of storage solution for it. Overall, I’m really happy with getting rid of a lot stuff and having a better idea of what we have.

As a reward for getting all that done, I cast on for a sweater: Estelle. I picked up yarn for this sweater after seeing a sample at Lambikins Hideaway. The sample was knit out of a different yarn, but this yarn was near where I saw the sample and was really reasonably priced. If I’m remembering correctly from what the shop employee said, this yarn was something that was custom spun for the shop quite some time ago (I think before owners changed). The yarn is Yarn Source Sol, 100% wool, and 220 yards for $4.50. They didn’t have a huge selection of colors, but since I’ve been wanting a black cardigan for a while, I figured this was the perfect opportunity to knit myself one.

Yarn Source Sol
Yarn Source Sol

When I got home and looked up the pattern, I found it was already in my queue. No wonder I liked it!

When I bought the yarn, I decided I was going to wait until the socks were done to cast on. After almost a week of hardly any knitting and getting so much accomplished at the house, I made Saturday “knit anything you want” day and cast on for Estelle. I’ve knit to just past where you split for the sleeves. Since my gauge is different then the pattern, I’m knitting the smallest size to get the size I want and it’s moving along quickly. Now to get those socks done so I can get back to it! 🙂

Posted in Completed Projects, Current Projects

NaKniSweMo, Luz Mojito, and SSK KAL

It’s November and today is the start of NaKnitSweMo! Have you cast on for your sweater yet?

After getting home from Rhinebeck, I started searching for just the right pattern to use for the Twist of Fate Spinnery worsted weight 50 wool/50 alpaca yarn I purchased.

Twist of Fate Spinnery
Twist of Fate Spinnery Wool/Alpaca

I swatched with one sweater in mind, but ultimately decided to knit something different and to knit it for NaKniSweMo. I wanted something that would be great to keep at the office for when it’s freezing and that would use the new knowledge I had from the Fit-to-Flatter class I took. I combed through my queue and all sorts of patterns on Ravelry. Ultimately I decided on Metro. I had the right yardage available, it’d be easy to take on and off at the office, and it would challenge me to use shaping modifications I haven’t used before.

It took a little math since my gauge is different then the pattern, but I’ve decided to knit the smallest size and add in vertical bust darts with the waist shaping increases. I still haven’t quite worked out how to do the bust darts other then a general idea of where I’ll put them. I plan on taking a look over my class materials tonight to plan out exactly how I’ll do that when I get there. I feel pretty confident that I can do this, but I think it’ll be a challenge to make these modifications and trusting that it’ll work. Here’s hoping it all works according to plan!

Now for an FO! 😀 I finished the Luz Mojito socks last Thursday, but didn’t get finished photos of them until the weekend. I love these socks! They are so squishy. I can definitely see myself wearing them around the house this winter to keep my feet extra warm. This is my first time knitting sport weight socks, but I have a feeling it won’t be my last! One skein of yarn was just enough for these for me. I had only a tiny bit left over. If you have larger feet (I wear a US women’s 7 or 7.5) you’ll want more then one skein if you like the leg to be somewhat tall and knit a denser fabric like I did.

Luz Mojito (Front)
Luz Mojito

Pattern: Luz Mojito by Heather Zoppetti (My Ravelry project page.)
Started: October 14, 2011
Completed: October 27, 2011
Yarn: MadelineTosh Tosh Sport, colorway Terra, 1 skein
Needle: US 1.5 (2.50mm) Knit Picks nickel circular
Notes: Followed the pattern as written. Only mod I made was to the toe. I knit as written until there were 16 stitches on each needle left, then decreased every round until 8 stitches were left on each needle, then kitchnered the stitches together. I chose to do these on a US 1.5 instead of a US 2 because of the stitch count. I knew that the stitch count called for in the pattern would be too big on a US 2, so I went for a denser fabric.

Luz Mojito (Heel)
Luz Mojito Socks

Little update about the SSK KAL. When I looked at what I had knit of the Crocus Socks, I didn’t like how the side lace stitches looked. They didn’t look much like the pattern. I figured out that this was because I was knitting the smallest size which wasn’t producing the same look as the medium or large size would. I really like that design element, but knew I couldn’t go up a size and still have socks that would fit, so I decided to pick another pattern. I settled on the Lace and Cables socks instead. It had the same stitch count I knew would fit and from reading over the pattern I knew that none of the design elements would be lost on the smaller size. Ripped back the Crocus Socks and added 10 rows of stockinette before starting the charts (prevents the lace from showing “toe butts” which I’m not fond of). Not much to look at so far, but they’re moving along quickly.

Lace and Cables Sock
Attempt 3: Lace and Cables Socks

Look! I found that other circular! Turns out I’d missed it in my WIP drawer. It was on a project I’d marked as frogged in my Ravelry notebook, but apparently hadn’t actually frogged yet. Oops! I think the sock is going a lot faster now that I’m not using DPNs. Guess I’m a total magic loop convert! Hahaha 🙂

Start anything new or have any plans to? As usual, I’ve got other things I want to start OMGRIGHTNOW and making myself hold off. I have plans to participate in the Solid Socks (Ravelry Group) November KAL, but holding off on casting on until I get at least one of the Lace and Cables socks done. I would like to focus on other WIPs, too, however new things seem to be winning out at the moment! What do you to to help motivate yourself to finish WIPs? I keep trying to make myself work on them, but struggling because they aren’t holding my interest.

Off to start Metro! Happy Knitting/Crocheting!