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. πŸ™‚

Have a good weekend all!

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Posted in Completed Projects

Three FO Monday

It’s nearly the end of October and I haven’t shared much of what I’ve been working on. Despite that, I have THREE finished objects to share today! Even when blogging doesn’t happen, I’m always busy working on something. πŸ˜‰

The first FO is the hat that was such a hit at Rhinebeck this year. I don’t know if I even mentioned that I was working on this one! I got quite a few compliments on it! I love the way it turned out. Next I’ll need to figure out a red bird version for Matt!

Angry Birds Green Pig
Angry Birds Green Pig Hat

Pattern: Green Pig Beanie by knitterbees (My Ravelry project page.)
Started: September 25, 2011
Completed: October 10, 2011
Yarn: Various acrylics listed on my Ravelry project page
Needle: US 3 bamboo circular and DPNs
Notes: This pattern is no longer available, but I wanted this hat! I used Jared Flood’s free hat pattern Turn a Square as the base and followed the instructions for knitterbees Green Pig Plush Toy for the eyes, nose, ears, and crown. Took a little trial and error to get it just right, but I’m really happy with how it turned out!

Next up is a shawlette that I knit in the week before Rhinebeck. Someone *cough*Andrea*cough* decided to knit one and talked me into knitting one, too. It knit up pretty quickly and I finished it just in time to wear to Rhinebeck unblocked. The yarn I used, Handmaiden Casbah, was great to work with. The pattern, Maluka, is a free one that can be found on Ravelry.

Maluka (front)
Maluka

Pattern: Maluka (My Ravelry project page.)
Started: October 8, 2011
Completed: October 13, 2011
Yarn: Handmaiden Casbah, just under 1 skein
Needle: US 6 Knit Picks Harmony circular
Notes: I made two modifications to the pattern: instead of decrease short rows, I did wrap and turn short rows and instead of the garter stitch edge, I did an i-cord bind off.

Maluka (Edge Detail)
Maluka – Edging Detail

The last FO I have to share are the Grove mittens I started a while back. These started out pretty roughly, but I’m happy to say I like the finished mittens. The first yarn I chose didn’t work out (too thin), then they weren’t very portable because I had a hard time getting the hang of the chart, then I finished one mitten only to find I’d missed the 4th row, a knit row, which threw the design off and made the right mitten look different. I would have just matched the right mitten to the left one, but I didn’t like the way it looked with two garter ridges on the top of the cuff pattern and only one below it. After starting the right mitten, knitting it correctly, and noticing my error, I decided I would re-knit the left mitten after finishing the right one. Much happier that way! I’m glad I have a new pair of mittens waiting to be broken in when it gets cold out here.

Grove Mittens
Grove Mittens

Pattern: Grove by Jared Flood (My Ravelry project page.)
Started: October 7, 2011
Completed: October 21, 2011
Yarn: Berroco Vintage Chunky, color 6175, 2 skeins
Needle: US 6 Banboo DPNs
Notes:Start and finish dates are based on when I started the right mitten since I didn’t keep the first left mitten I knit. Made no modifications to the pattern. It would be easy to lengthen or shorten these by adding or removing the pattern repeats.

Grove Mittens
Grove Mittens – Palm

Despite these FO’s, I still have quite a few things on the needles. I suppose that’s how it always goes with knitting… well at least for those of us that aren’t monogamous knitters! Even with all the things I’m working on, I want to cast on more things. I’m hoping I can resist casting anything else on until I finish up at least 2 more things I’m working on. Maybe it’s that time of year. Fall is definitely here in Southwestern Ohio and I’m itching to make sweaters and other warm things.

Ever get that urge when the fall months hit that you want to cast on more things? What’s next on your list to knit or crochet?

Next time I’ll share what I currently have in progress! πŸ™‚

Posted in Current Projects, Sewing

WIP Wednesday

It’s been a while since I shared all of my current projects and since I recently cast on some new things, I figure it’s time to share what I have on the needles today.

Sometime at the end of August or early September, I decided I needed to have a plain vanilla pair of socks on the needles. I have enough stripey yarn that I could probably have a pair of striped socks on the needles for at least a year or two! I pulled out a skein of Vesper self striping yarn in Venus in Furs. This is a colorway I traded with Jen (of the Piddleloop Sewing Team) for. I don’t know if my knitting changed or what, but for some reason my normal 64 stitch sock was way too big. Then, I went down to a US 0 made, but the fabric I was getting was a bit too tight and the sock (66 stitches) was too big. After a number of failed attempts at getting these socks going, around mid-September I finally re-started these with a stitch count that worked (60 stitches). I’m past the heel and halfway through the leg on the first sock. Behind the sock, you’ll see one of my bags from Jen. I love the fabric and it’s just the right size for a sock project!

Stripes - Venus in Furs
Venus in Furs Stripey Sock

I think I could have forced myself to work on things I had going, but last week Knitty released their Deep Fall issue and Brooklyn Tweed released the Fall 2011 collection. Two patterns jumped out at me as things I MUST KNIT NOW.

The pattern from Knitty caught my eye was Ambroso. I had a skein of Cascade 220 Superwash on hand that I’d been trying to find a pattern that suited it. Yesterday I spent a lot of time working on the decreases on the top of the hand portion, but after working it as written twice and trying to adjust it twice, I’m just not happy with how it’s turning out. The decrease section on the outer part of the mitten tends to shift itself almost to the center of the backside of my hand. Personally, I’m not at all a fan of how this looks. In looking at the pictures on the pattern page, I do notice this issue. I guess I didn’t think much of it when I started knitting them. After some thought on what to do since I couldn’t straighten it out, I’ve deiced to make these into fingerless gloves instead! I’ll knit ribbing around the thumb and hand to match the cuff.

Ambroso Mittens
Ambroso Mittens

The pattern from Brooklyn Tweed that caught my eye was Ashby. As the weather has turned a little cooler, I’ve found myself wanting something light that I could wear and easily take off. A non-lace shawl made from a warm fiber was just what I needed. I picked up some Ultra Alpaca and started it this past weekend. I like the construction of it. You knit the edge first, then pick up the stitches from the edge and knit the shawl from there. It avoids the problem of having 400+ stitches when you get to the bottom of the shawl! The color of the yarn is a little lighter in person then the photo shows.

Ashby
Ashby

For a while now I’ve wanted to make a pair of Embossed Leaves socks. I also wanted to use up this very fall colored yarn I got from the Loopy Ewe Sock Club last year. The yarn is Alchemy Juniper in Autumn Ecstasy. I’ve not used this sock yarn before and at first I wasn’t fond of the colors, but it seems to have grown on me and has been demanding that I make it into some nice fall socks. When I saw another pair of Embossed Leaves out of this very colorway, I knew I needed to finally knit this pattern. So far I’m enjoying both the yarn and the pattern. The yarn reminds me a bit of Fiesta Baby Boom. Looks kind of fluffy in the skein, yet isn’t as fluffy when you wind it at work with it, but makes a really nice fabric.

Embossed Leaves Sock
Embossed Leaves Socks

Despite casting on three new projects, I can’t shake the urge to cast on more things! I’ve noticed some other folks feeling the same way. Maybe it’s just the time of year. The weather has started to cool for many of us. For many knitters and crocheters, we start to think of all the warm, wooly things to knit and wear during the cooler months. I’ve already got my eye on at least one pair of fingerless gloves, a scarf, a hat, and a few pairs of socks. I won’t even talk about all the things in my queue!

Have you started any projects recently? Is anything calling to you to start right now? Any new patterns come out recently that you just can’t resist?

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 Current Projects

Cold Weather Knitting

Lately I feel like I’ve been doing a lot of cold weather knitting.

I’ve been working on Cottage Garden as much as possible since Rhinebeck is only three weeks away, but it’s at the point where it’s no longer portable because of the colorwork, chart reading, and size. I’m about a 1/3 of the way through the chart right now. I found two errors on rows 14 and 21. The decreases can’t be done on this row because the stitch count by my math wouldn’t accommodate it as written (not enough stitches to knit as written AND decrease), so I moved them to the row above. Seemed like the best thing to do since that’s where they are for the other 4 rows of decreases. I was surprised that even with the projects in Ravelry, there was no mention of this issue at all and there was no errata on the Twist Collective website. Sent a message to the designer about the possible error since I couldn’t find anything about it elsewhere. Anyhow… it’s progressing!

Cottage Garden
Cottage Garden – Full Sweater Progress

Cottage Garden - Yoke
Cottage Garden – Yoke Progress

I think I’ll be able to get it done within the next week or so, but we’ll see. I’ve had some extra knitting time this week since we didn’t go to the gym because of the sinus infection I’ve been fighting. I figure breathing is pretty important when you’re working out and if you can’t do it properly, you might be in some trouble! Best to let myself get over that before getting back into our after work gym routine.

Shortly after my last post (on Sept. 9th? Where has September gone?!), I started Xeriscape. A very lovely scalloped scarf with a unique construction of the scallops. I think I’ve been a little burned out on sock knitting since I’ve had no desire to work on Maelstrom, so I started Xeriscape to work on when I needed a break from Cottage Garden. I’ve been hanging on to this lovely skein of MCN (Merino, Nylon, Cashmere) sport weight from Squoosh Fiberarts, unsure what to do with it, until I saw this pattern.

Xeriscape
Xeriscape

I’m a few more scallops along then the picture shows. I haven’t been working on it too much since I keep getting distracted with other projects!

After Cottage Garden became not-so-portable, I started Iced from the current issue of Knitty (First Fall 2010). When I first saw this cardigan, I wasn’t sold on it. It looked too oversized and I’m not really into oversized garments. It wasn’t until the designer (Carol) posted pictures of a more fitted version that it caught my eye. Carol posted on Ravelry about the smaller size here, stating the green version was knit with 1″ of negative ease. I found the perfect “this will go with everything I wear” yarn in a chocolate brown and cast on for it on September 15th. Since there was a size that was spot on my bust measurement, I decided to go with the 42.5″ size. I’m up to the waist decrease rows. It seems to be going pretty quickly considering I really only work on it on my lunch breaks.

Iced Cardigan
Iced Cardigan

So, let’s see… that’s two sweaters and a scarf. What other cold weather knitwear do I need? Mittens? The ones from last year are still perfectly wearable, but Rhinebeck is only a few weeks away and I wore those mittens LAST year, so I can’t wear them again this year, can I? Hahahaha, I’m sure I could and I still might, but it occurred to me that I’d like a secondary pair of mittens for winter since I only have that one pair and winters here in Ohio can be pretty darn cold. I looked at a lot of patterns and nothing really called me until I remembered the mittens Jesh knit earlier this year: Skeuomorph. I looked through my stash and found enough yarn in Knit Picks Wool of the Andes “Iris Heather” colorway for them. Took a few times of starting, frogging and restarting before I made much progress. My stitch gauge was off and I ended up going down a size from small to extra small. It doesn’t look like much right now, but I’m a few rows in to the first mitten.

Skeuomorph (mittens)

I think the few cold days we had here got me thinking about fall and wanting to start fall and winter clothing, which lead me to starting new projects. As a knitter, fall and winter are my favorite knitwear seasons! πŸ™‚

Posted in Completed Projects

Glorious Cabled Mitts

I’ve been all about test knitting recently. Today, I’m sharing one test knit that I recently finished and I’ll share another that I’m working on very soon (gotta get those pictures edited and uploaded first).

My friend Karen asked me to test knit her Glorious Cabled Mitts. A number of us in the knitting group had been after her for quite a while to write up the pattern. I pointed her in the direction of Intwined Pattern Studio after seeing an ad for it on Ravelry and it wasn’t long before she had the first draft of the pattern ready to test knit. I have to say, test knitting isn’t for everyone. Sometimes it means a lot of bumps in the road, while other times you don’t run into any issues. I admit, I’m the kind of person that wants consistency and clear directions in a pattern. I’m also the kind of person that will likely give a lot of detail in something written down so that there’s no confusion or questions about what the next step is. I blame it on writing a lot of Standard Operating Procedures while I was in the military! I think this helps in test knitting. While I totally understood the directions, I could see where there might be confusion for someone else. A few drafts and revisions of the pattern, two weeks, a pair of fingerless mitts and a photo shoot later (*squee* the photos in the pattern are ones I took!), the pattern is now up for everyone to have and knit! It’s available on Ravelry here.

Glorious Cabled Mitts
Glorious Cabled Mitts, modeled by Karen

Pattern: Glorious Cabled Mitts (My Ravelry project page.)
Started: March 4, 2010
Completed: March 16, 2010
Yarn: Malabrigo Sock, colorway Violeta Africana, a little less then half of a skein
Needles: US 0, Knit Picks 32″ circular
Notes: No real notes on this. I followed the pattern exactly as written. The yarn is squishy and lovely to work with and the semi-solidness of it works really well with the cables. I would definitely would knit these again and I think a few knit-worthy recipients in my life might be in need of a pair!

Glorious Cabled Mitts
Thumb Gussets

Glorious Cabled Mitts
Mmmm… cupcake!
Oh! And look at those mitts!

Posted in Completed Projects, Current Projects

FO: Aegean Mitts, Matt’s Socks, and Ravelympics

Wow, I’ve really not kept up on the blogging so far this year! I’ve been knitting a few smaller projects recently, so I have 3 FO’s that need to be shared. I don’t have pictures of two of them to share yet, but I do have pictures of the fingerless mitts I finished about two weeks ago.

Aegean Mitts
Aagean Mitts

Pattern: Aegean Mitts (My Ravelry project page.)
Started: January 28, 2010
Completed: January 31, 2010
Yarn: Malabrigo Worsted in Polygala, 1 skein
Needles: US 4 bamboo DPNs
Notes: I frogged my Hannah hat and reclaimed this lovely Malabrigo for these mitts. Pattern was quick and fairly easy (as long as you can read charts) to work up and I love the result! They’re definitely getting a lot of wear lately. πŸ™‚

Aegean Mitts
Aagean Mitts, with Matt as my model

Aegean Mitts
Aagean Mitts, with Matt as my model

Yesterday I was thinking about the projects I currently have on the needles and decided that I’m going to frog Haruni. I love the look of the finished shawl, but recently I’ve been thinking about shawls and how I don’t really wear the ones I already have (I do wear Multnomah and Springtime Bandit occasionally as scarfs). Since every time I think about knitting it, I shy away from it, pick something else, or start a new project, I figured it’s time for me to let this one go. Maybe some day I’ll come back to it, but right now I’m not really into it and I’m okay with letting it go for now in favor of knitting other things!

Speaking of knitting other things… I’ve been working diligently on Matt’s socks. I’ve finished the first sock and I’m 2 inches from starting the heel on the second sock. I don’t have a picture of the finished sock, but here’s a picture of it before I started the heel which is about the point I’m at on the second sock.

Matt's Wollmeise Sock
Matt’s Sock in Wollmeise colorway Lowenzahn

Aside from Matt’s sock, I’m still working on my Vesper plain vanilla socks in Summer Breeze (though they haven’t seen much action recently) and last night I started Rogue in some green Cascade 220. I knit this as my second sweater ever and really liked it. The one issue I had with it, though, was that it was a bit too short for me. It falls right at my belly button (natural waist) which is shorter then I like for any top – sweater or otherwise. I decided to give it another go since I enjoyed knitting it the first time around and since I have learned a lot about sweater knitting since then, I have a feeling this one will get a lot more wear!

So are you busy gearing up for the Ravelympics/Knitting Olympics? I know I am! For those who don’t know or haven’t heard of the Ravelympics/Knitting Olympics, it started back in 2006 when the Yarn Harlot decided to challenge herself to knit something challenging during the 16 days of that year’s Olympics. Many, many people joined in the challenge and knit along. When the summer Olympics came around in 2008, she decided she only wanted to do the Knitting Olympics during the winter games, so people on Ravelry started up a group and it became known as the Ravelympics. There’s a Ravelympics group on Ravelry and the Yarn Harlot has posted about the Knitting Olympics along with a sign up form on her blog.

I picked out my project a few weeks ago and decided on the February Lady Sweater (aka FLS) in Brooks Farm Mas Acero. I think it’ll be a pretty good challenge to get a sweater done in 17 days. Cast-on time will be 9 pm tomorrow (EST) as the opening ceremonies start!

Brooks Farms Mas Acero
Mas Acero for my FLS

I just realized that I’m using red yarn for a sweater with “February” in the name for the Ravelympics which follow the Olympics which are being held in Canada this year. Could I pick a more fitting color or pattern?! It wasn’t even intentional! haha πŸ˜€

What are you knitting for the Ravelympics? Ready for it?

Posted in Completed Projects

Funky Chunky Mitts

This weekend I found myself wanting a pair of fingerless gloves made with chunky yarn. Nothing fancy since the yarn I picked was variegated. I just wanted a pair of ribbed fingerless gloves with a thumb gusset. Every pattern I looked at wasn’t what I wanted. Most had part of the elements, but not all. There were plenty of patterns for ribbed fingerless gloves but with no thumb gusset – just a hole to stick your thumb through. If the pattern did have a gusset, it was ribbed to the wrist, knit in stockinette for the thumb gusset and hand, then ribbed around the top for the fingers and thumb. So failing to find what I really wanted, I decided I’ll just make my own pattern! It was pretty simple and at first I wasn’t going to bother writing it up. Then I thought about it more. I figured that since I wanted a pattern like this and couldn’t find one, there might be someone else out there wanting the same thing. So here it is, my first written up pattern!

Funky Chunky Mitts

334/365: Fingerless Gloves

Fingerless Gloves

Fingerless Gloves - Thumb

Fingerless Gloves

Pattern: Funky Chunky Mitts (My Ravelry project page.)
Started: November 28, 2009
Completed: November 29, 2009
Yarn: Malabrigo Chunky in Brillante
Needles: US 9 bamboo DPNs
Notes: I could have easily finished these in one day, but I was playing around with the thumb gusset to get it just right. They are a quick knit, keep my hands nice and tosty, and I’m actually ready to make a few more pairs to wear! I just under the 104 yards in the skein and you can probably make these 6 inches before starting the thumb gusset if you wanted to make them a little bit longer or use up all the yarn.

Right now you can download the free PDF here. As soon as I get hooked up as a designer in Ravelry, it will also be available as a free download from there. You can find the pattern in the Ravelry database here: Funky Chunky Mitts Feel free to start them right away or add them to your queue for later! πŸ™‚

Posted in Completed Projects, Current Projects

FO: Starlight, Springtime Bandit Blocking, and Snapdragons

I had been putting off blogging because I wanted my next post to be about Rhinebeck, but I’m having issues getting all the pictures uploaded to Flickr at home, so it will have to wait. I did finally get pictures of Starlight and other things I’m working on, though. I think it’s time to do an FO post about Starlight, don’t you?

Pattern: Starlight (My Ravelry project page.)
Started: April 1, 2007
Completed: October 10, 2009
Yarn: RYC Silk Wool DK in “Porcelain”
Needles: US 2 and US 3 circulars
Notes: (Brace yourself, these are long notes.) I don’t even know where to start with this sweater. It went in and out of hibernation because I got really bored with the constant cabling. I left off the border that is knit separately then sewn on because after knitting a swatch I thought it was big and floppy and would get caught on things. I really didn’t want to sew that big border over the whole sweater and didn’t really care for the look of it. After washing it, the sleeves were too big. I put it through the dryer, which shrank them a little, but not enough. I decided to cut the sleeves and re-knit the garter edge to the proper length. That was difficult to do, but I manage to do it and you can’t even tell! (Go me!)

I really like how this sweater turned out, but my one disappointment is that I spent so much on this lovely yarn only to have it pill a ridiculous amount on the first wear. Pre-Ravelry is when I bought this yarn and I didn’t know other knitters that had used this yarn that could tell me how it holds up. The comments on the yarn in Ravelry say that it pills and doesn’t hold stitch definition well. I think it does hold up the cables quite well (so far), but holy crap this yarn pills A LOT.

I wore this sweater at Rhinebeck 2009 and carried my camera bag with me, over my shoulder like a messenger bag. Where the bag sat on my left side is where it pilled the most – I was pulling off clumps of pilling later on. How disappointing! It did pill quite a bit all over on just the first wear, so the next day I was pulling off all the little bits and finding them everywhere. Were I to knit this sweater again, I’d definitely pick a different yarn. It’s really quite disappointing to me to spend so much on this yarn, put a ton of work into this project, only to end up with a sweater that pills so much I’ll probably only wear it on very special occasions. The yarn itself is really nice to work with, very soft, and has a lovely drape, though, just not something I’d use on another sweater.

As for the pattern, I really didn’t have any issues with it. I don’t think it would be great for a beginner or someone that doesn’t have some sweater knitting experience because some of the instructions aren’t super clear. The front piece instructions are a great example of this. It give you directions from start to finish for one side, then tells you to “reverse all shaping” for the other side, without giving you much other direction then that. There’s also a lot of “do ____ and at the same time do ____ and at the same time do ____” which can easily get confusing.

Starlight
Starlight is finally done. I still can’t believe it.

299/365: Finally Photographed
Yep, it’s done and I love it.

Starlight, back
Here’s the back.

Starlight, side
And here’s the side.

286/365: Buttons
The beautiful buttons. I love them!

Over the weekend, I blocked the Springtime Bandit shawl. I don’t have any pictures of it post-drying yet, so here it is blocking.

Springtime Bandit - Blocking
Springtime Bandit, blocking.

I finished up the first Snapdragon and decided that instead of a flip-top, I wanted to do fingerless gloves. I started the second one and just have the thumb part left to knit. I love how soft and warm Malabrigo is. Love the cabled pattern on the gloves, too!

Snapdragon, Modified
First Snapdragon fingerless glove.

I did start a sweater, but it’s been frogged and the yarn (hopefully) has a new home now. I’ll share more of that story after my Rhinebeck post since the yarn was yarn I purchased at Rhinebeck, which I haven’t even posted about yet! I have three projects on the needles (I’m counting Snapdragons done since I have so very little left to do) – Featherweight Cardigan, Colorwork socks, and iPhone mitts which might end up fingerless gloves or frogged. I think I’m going to cast on for Waves of Grain with the Sea Silk I got recently. I’m itching for a project that will grab my attention and make me want to knit it! πŸ™‚

Posted in Completed Projects, Current Projects

Starlight is Done and Rhinebeck is Almost Here

Yesterday, I was able to put the final touches on my Starlight Sweater. No full pictures of it yet, but here’s a little teaser.

286/365: Buttons
Starlight

Yesterday, after I got the buttons on, I tried it on only to find that the sleeves were about 5 inches too long. They came to the tips of my fingers. I was pretty devastated to find this out after all the work I’d put into it, just DAYS before Rhinebeck, but I managed to save it. I put it through the dryer, which shrank it about 2 inches in length. That brought the sleeves to my knuckles, which was still a little longer then I wanted. I though, “Oh, I can live with it.” As the night went on, I kept thinking about the sleeves and I knew I wouldn’t be happy with them, I needed to fix them. I carefully cut it where I wanted to re-knit the garter stitch edge from, picked up all the stitches and re-knit the edge. The sleeves come to about the base of my thumb now, a length I can definitely live with! Crisis averted. πŸ™‚

Since I finished this, I’ve started some new projects. The first thing I started was my TLE swap partner’s knit thing, but since it’s a seekrit, I don’t have any pictures I can post! Monday, I started the Snapdragon Flip-Tops. Today I finished the first part of the first one.

287/365: Snapdragon Flip-Tops
Snapdragon Flip-Tops, using Malabrigo Worsted in Sunset

I started Springtime Bandit with Tilli Thomas Plie (100% silk, plied) last night, but no pictures yet. I plan on starting the Featherweight Cardigan very soon, maybe tonight. I want to make sure I have enough interesting knitting to keep me busy during my trip since Laura figured I’d have at least 15 hours of travel time to knit. I’m undecided if I want to frog my iPhone mitts or not, so I might not bring them along with me, but as of now I plan on bringing my plain sock, colorwork socks, Springtime Bandit, Snapdragon Flip-Tops (which might be finished before I even land in DC), Featherweight Cardigan, and yarn/needles to cast on for Sunday Swing socks. Should be enough… right??

Alright… well, it’s time for me to get on out of here. Got some last minute errands to run (gotta get my “this chick is bionic” card from the doctor before flying tomorrow) and knitting tonight, then tomorrow it’s off to Rhinebeck! I’ll try to do some mini updates while I’m away since I can post to my blog from my iPhone now, but if I don’t get a chance to, I’ll do it when I get back Monday.

Have a great week everyone! See some of you Saturday! πŸ™‚