Posted in Crochet, Current Projects, Knit Ramblings, Life

Still Not Knitting

Still not knitting here, but I have been able to do a little spinning and this weekend I managed to start and get a good way into a crocheted scarf. Not quite up to where I can knit (still hurts a bit to knit) and I can only spin or crochet for short periods of time before I take a break (don’t want to overdo it!). At least I feel like I’m finally seeing some progress! For a while I was getting rather frustrated because both wrists were hurting a large part of the time, but this last week seems to have brought some improvements.

The scarf I started this weekend is a pretty simple pattern to memorize. The pattern is Spring Ripple Scarf (Ravelry link), which I’m fairly sure is just a generic stitch pattern that is likely in some book somewhere, but seeing as I don’t have many crochet books and I was looking to start something right away, I paid the $2 for the pattern and went looking in the stash for some yarn to use. I chose the pink/white/green Zauberball I had and thought it was appropriate for the name of the scarf.

Zauberball - Pink/Green/White
Zauberball colorway 2079

I don’t have a picture of it yet, but it’s about 8″ long now. I really need to get some pictures of my Elektra shawl and now of the scarf! I like to do a bunch of knitting related photography all at once and with not knitting, well I just keep putting it off. Soon I will rectify this.

I don’t know about you, but when I’m not knitting, I’m often thinking about knitting (you could also substitute crocheting or spinning in there). I haven’t been knitting for over a month now. At first I didn’t think to much about it and tried to focus on other things. Slowly I was thinking about it more and more as the days turned into weeks and I still wasn’t knitting. This year has become one full of sweaters up to this point. Knitting sweaters, thinking about which sweaters to knit, planning and pairing patterns with stash… even thinking about what sweater I’ll knit for Rhinebeck. Up until about 2 weeks ago now, I was on the fence about going to Rhinebeck because of some things going on at work in October, but I reserved a room a few months ago “just in case.” Then I found out that Amy of Stash, Knit, Repeat will be doing her Fit to Flatter class there and I’ve been really wanting to take her class. That sealed it for me – I’ll definitely be there this year! So… last week I started thinking about a sweater for Rhinebeck. After a lot of thinking about what I wanted this year’s sweater to be and pattern searching, I found the pattern and yarn (from stash!) that I wanted to knit. I was all set to start swatching it as soon as I’m able to knit again.

That’s when something dawned on me.

Rhinebeck is 5 months away. That’s PLENTY of time for me to knit a sweater, but these last few days I’ve been frequently mentioning something to people: my clothing is no longer fitting me very well and soon I’ll have nothing to wear. Before any one gets any crazy ideas, NO, I’m not pregnant. I’ve been losing weight. For the last few months, I’ve been following Weight Watchers and working out. I’m finally fitting back into clothing I haven’t been able to wear in 3+ years, but it seems that just as I’m getting into those smaller sizes, I’m shrinking right out of them just as quickly!

Overall, I’m really quite happy about this, since that’s the point of WW and exercising, plus I’ve been feeling a lot better physically with regular exercises and some changes in my diet. With that said, though, the downside is that it doesn’t make a lot of sense to continue to make this the year of sweaters if by the end of the year (or fall when I could wear them) most of them will be too big on me. And really, what’s the point in knitting yourself a bunch of sweaters you can’t wear? I did consider knitting smaller sizes, but I don’t really know what size I’ll be once I get to my goal weight or how long it’ll take to get there. I also considered just knitting to fit me (possibly tightly) now, then frog later and make into a new sweater. Typically I would be fine with this, but I rarely knit a pattern twice and frogging a whole, finished sweater seems like a giant pain to do. I’ve frogged sweaters 2/3 finished and that was difficult enough. Definitely not up for that task.

So, I’ve come to the sad conclusion that I am going to stop knitting sweaters for the time being. No Rhinebeck sweater for me this year. After thinking on it a day, it makes sense and I’m a bit less sad about it. On the up side, I think I’ll get a lot from the Fit to Flatter class and get even better fitting sweaters when I’m ready to get back to knitting them!

I think I can safely say that the 12 sweaters in 2011 that I was working on is no longer a goal for this year. I will definitely give this another go next year, though, as it’s still on my “bucket list” of things I’d like to accomplish. I’ve put the two sweaters (Slipped Hours and Shibuya) I’ve been working on in hibernation until I’m ready to knit sweaters again. They will likely be frogged, but I’ll decide that later.

At the moment I keep thinking “Well, what now?” There’s so many patterns out there and in my queue that aren’t sweaters, but it’s difficult to shift my focus so much after planning a lot of sweater projects (or potential projects) for the year. I’ve been looking around at what other knit-a-long type things I could do instead and Summer of Socks 2011 is about to start! I was all set to knit socks last summer, then I got sidetracked and didn’t knit very many socks. I think that was about the time I got bit hard by the sweater bug. I have loads of sock yarn, there are tons of patterns out there, and with sweaters set to the side, I’ve started looking at what socks I’ll knit this summer.

First thing I want to do is get Maelstrom and the PDY Stripey sock finished. Hopefully before Summer of Socks officially starts on June 21st. Not sure what I’ll start after that yet. Thinking I might do a few Cookie A. patterns and maybe some colorwork socks. What’s you’re favorite sock pattern? One you’ve been wanting to knit? Socks you’re planning to knit for Summer of Socks 2011? Go ahead… make my queue grow! hahaha πŸ˜‰

Posted in Current Projects

So Many Projects, Never Enough Time

The last few weeks have been a bit hectic. I spent the first week of April getting ready for a trip to DC (part work related, part fun), then I was in DC all last week, now I’m re-adjusting to being back at work AND getting ready for another trip in May. I still need to go through and upload pictures from my DC trip. I’ve spent a fair amount of time away from the computer while at home, so I just haven’t had time to get to it yet, but I’m hoping to share those soon! I had a fabulous day with Laura while I was in DC. We went to the zoo and yarn shopping. Cute animals and yarn – is there a more perfect day? πŸ™‚

I did take some time to take pictures of all my WIPs yesterday and get them uploaded since I hadn’t photographed almost any in-progress pics of them yet. Here’s everything I’ve got on the needles right now.

Just before leaving to DC, I had a sudden moment of “omg must cast on something new for the trip!!” Suddenly the thought of all the stockinette and garter stitch projects I have going made me feel like I’d be totally bored with them and that I needed something more interesting to work on. I quickly looked through my stash, picked a pattern, and cast these on while Matt drove me to the airport. The yarn in Blue Moon Fiber Arts Socks That Rock Mediumweight in the Farmhouse colorway and the pattern is Maelstrom. I have knit this pattern before and found it to be quite enjoyable. Just enough patterning to keep it interesting and keep me from getting bored with it. I was able to get the first sock to where all the gusset decreases have been done.

Maelstrom #2
Maelstrom #2

I only knit on this at the airport waiting for my flight to DC, on the plane to DC, on the bus to the hotel, on the bus back to the airport, at the airport waiting for my flight home, and on the plane home (and while stuck on the runway for about 45 mins). The rest of the time while taking the Metro pretty much everywhere I went, I brought my Perfect Day Yarns stripey sock with me to knit. I managed to get the first stripey sock done and get up to where I start the gusset increases on the second one! For some reason these socks seem to be taking me a long time and for no good reason other then they keep getting put on the back burner so I can work on other things. I love the yarn and the colors, so once I finish Elektra, I think I’ll focus on finishing these.

I did try a new-to-me cast off on these: Jeny’s Surprisingly Stretchy Bind Off. I think it’s my new favorite! It is, like it’s called, surprisingly stretchy. I like the way it looks and it’s a lot easier then the typical sewn in bind off I have done. Definitely my new go-to for toe-up socks.

PDY Stripey Socks
PDY Stripey Socks

Last post I mentioned that I was waiting for the beads to arrive so I could cast on Elektra. They on April 7th and I cast on for it right away. Yesterday I was 4 rows from finishing Section B when I realized I did two bead rows in a row, skipping an increase row. I had to frog 18 rows, 9 of which had beads. I’ve knit about half of those rows over again and I’m hoping to finish Section B today. I’ve got a week and a half to get it done and blocked. Hopefully I can get it done.

Elektra
Elektra

Last post I also mentioned starting Rook. I did finish the first one, though it’s not finished in this photo.

Rook
Rook – almost finished

Slipped Hours has seen a fair amount of progress, especially this weekend while we were at a Cincinnati Reds game. I’m up to where I’m increasing from the waist shaping and on to the second skein of yarn. Not super interesting to look at right now, but it’s growing pretty quickly. Since I’m focusing all my knitting energy on Elektra, I’ve set this (and all other projects) to the side until it’s done.

Slipped Hours
Slipped Hours

Even with all these projects in the works and knowing I should focus on getting Elektra done, all I want to do is cast on more things! It sure didn’t help that I recently went through my queue to clear out things I’ll never knit, no longer interested in, or can’t remember why I even queued it in the first place. I came across so many things that made me go “… and I want to knit that and that and that… and OH THAT!” I’ve even got two projects set up on Ravelry for the next sweater and shawl I want to cast on.

Projects to Knit Next
L to R: Shibuya, Berroco Vintage DK, Rock Island, and SweetGeorgia Yarns CashSilk Lace

I saw Shibuya at Fibre Space (which you can get to pretty easily on the metro – only a few blocks to walk from the metro station to the shop) where they have a sample of it knit up in Berroco Vintage DK. I saw it and immediately fell in love with it. I needed to make one for myself! I bought the book, yarn, and needles for it on the spot. Normally I wouldn’t buy needles because I have a pretty big collection of them, but it seems that I only own one US 5 needle that is always in use, so I figured it wouldn’t hurt to have another and it meant I could swatch for it right away. At any rate, I’m itching to cast this on! Trying to hold out until I’ve got some other things (like Slipped Hours) off the needles first.

The other project I want to start soon is Rock Island. I’ve had this SweetGeorgia Yarns CashSilk Lace in my stash for a while and had it set aside for another shawl. I hadn’t cast on for the intended shawl because I really needed 1000 yards and I only had 800 yards. I was planning on just making it shorter then called for, but after a lot of debate, I knew I wanted to knit the whole thing, so this was waiting for the right project to come along. Well, it has! I love a lot of Jared Flood’s patterns and this is no exception. Once I get Elektra finished, I’ll be casting this on right away.

What projects are calling to you lately? I’m sure I’m not the only one that’s been bit by the startitis bug. 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 Current Projects

Cassis, Saroyan, and High Road

Last week I did take pictures of my current projects as promised. I was even going to post on Friday, but I just didn’t feel up to it with everything going on in Japan with the earthquake and tsunami. I just felt like anything I said would have been insignificant compared, so I decided to put it off until this week. Then, I knit so much on one project, it needed a new picture! Oops! (The pictures aren’t my best, but in an effort to blog more and keep my projects updated, I’ve been using my point and shoot more often lately.)

As soon as I finished my Seneca sweater, I knew what sweater I wanted to cast on next: Cassis. I’d been seeing this one around Ravelry for a while and after seeing a number of people knit this, I knew I needed one of my own. One of my goals with knitting 12 sweaters this year is to primarily use stash, so the first thing I did was go stash hunting to see if I had something appropriate for it. The Knit Picks CotLin I bought with the intention of making Jali (then decided the cables didn’t work with the yarn) came to mind and I even had a swatch already knit from my Jali attempt that had the exact right gauge! Seemed like a perfect fit and I cast on as soon as I had Seneca blocking.

I started this February 26th and I’m well into the body. I decided I’m going to make this with longer sleeves and I’m adding waist shaping. I debated about sizing since I’m between the 42″ and 44″ sizes, but went with the 42″ size. Since the fronts are meant to overlap by about 2″ and I don’t plan on wearing it closed all the time, I think it will fit me better overall this way.

Cassis
Cassis

I was on the fence for a while with how I felt about the Textured Shawl I’d started in Malabrigo. Ultimately I decided I didn’t want another triangle shawl and the textured pattern (while nice) was annoying to knit for me. I just had this feeling I wouldn’t wear it much, so I frogged it. After frogging, I went in search of another pattern for this yarn. It was calling me to make it into something, so after some searching I decided to knit Saroyan. I started this on February 27th, but after a week and a half of working on it I found that I’d not read the directions properly and did the increases wrong (they aren’t done on row 3 and 11 of the pattern repeat). I realized this on March 10th when I reached the point where I would work straight. I waited a day to decide what to do since it was late at night when I realized my error. The next day, I frogged it and started over. I’ve worked on it non-stop since then and I’m three repeats away from finishing it!

Saroyan
Saroyan

I should be able to finish it tonight and get it blocking. I’ve already got my eye on the next project I want to knit once it’s finished: High Road. This is from A Verb for Keeping Warm’s 2nd shipment. I’ve wanted to knit this since I got it. The construction is interesting and I love the color of the yarn. It’ll be a good project to work on when I can’t work on Cassis since that sweater is getting rather large and hard to cart around easily.

AVFKW/Pro-verbial Club - Winter 2011
A Verb for Keeping Warm
Yarn: Metamorphosis, Pattern: High Road

I’ve been doing a lot more project planning lately then is usual for me, but that’s not such a bad thing. Sometimes I feel at a loss for what to knit and other times I just know what I want to work on. Just the way things go sometimes!

Since I’m working on planning a trip for some training, I’ll just throw this out there for folks in the DC area: I’ll be visiting in April. If you want to meet up or hang out while I’m there, let me know and we can figure it out! Still not solid on the dates since I’ll be taking personal time as well, so if some days work better then others, I’m sure I could plan my trip accordingly. πŸ™‚

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 Current Projects

Projects In Progress

Has it really been almost two weeks since I’ve updated on my projects? This month has been going by pretty quickly!

Since the last time I posted, I’ve been working away on Seneca and I’m even further then this picture from last week shows. I’ve finished the second sleeve, joined both sleeves to the body, and have just started the first chart on the yoke.

Seneca
Seneca

Yes, the sleeve is a bit lighter in color then the body is, but it’s not too noticeable when you see the whole sweater together. After taking the above picture and realizing how it looked lighter then the body, I had a brief moment of panic and wanted to frog the whole thing, start over and alternate skeins. Thankfully that was only for a brief moment. After giving it more consideration, I decided I could live with it. Seeing the whole thing together now, I’m glad I made that choice. The color difference is just one of those things you run into with hand dyed yarns like the MadelineTosh DK I’m using. It’s such a pretty yarn, though, and one I would definitely use again.

I have knit maybe 2 rows on the Textured Shawl since I mentioned it last, but here’s an updated picture of my progress. I’m about halfway through the first skein of yarn.

Textured Shawl
Textured Shawl

After I had the minor freak out about the sweater color issue, I had to put it aside and think about what to do. Nothing currently on the needles was calling to me to work on while Seneca sat in the corner. I was feeling rather “meh” about everything I had in progress, but had a strong urge to cast on something new, so last weekend I started Wurm (Ravelry link). I’d been wanting to knit this for a while and I also wanted to use up the rest of this Brooks Farm Solo Silk I had in the stash. I cast on and within a day and a half I had a lot of progress. I haven’t worked on it much since I cast on for it on Feb. 11th, but it sits on my desk at home and I’ve been working a row or two here and there.

Wurm
Wurm

I’ve been working primarily on Seneca after deciding to keep going with it. Didn’t take long to finish the second sleeve, but now that I’m on the yoke, it’s a little slow going with all those stitches on the needle. It’s also not that portable anymore considering it’s size, so I’ve been alternating between Seneca and Matt’s Camo Socks. The socks are coming along. I finally finished the gusset and heel turn of the second sock, picked up the stitches along the gusset and have started the decreases. Getting to that point made me excited to get them done. Since I have a 3 day weekend coming up, I think I’ll focus on those so I have an FO to share soon! πŸ™‚

Happy knitting all!

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

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.