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! 🙂

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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!

Posted in Current Projects

Super Summer Knitaway KAL and NaKniSweMo

Happy Halloween! Do you have any fun Halloween plans for the day? We’ll be handing out candy to all the trick-or-treaters in our neighborhood tonight. 😀

Today is also Matt’s birthday, but we celebrated over the weekend. I took him out for a surprise day of fun things on Saturday! Started with a trip to the spa for pedicures and massages, then we had lunch at Take the Cake . After that I’d planned go karts, but they ended up being pretty booked up and the next time slot conflicted with the dinner reservations, so we paid in advance and will be going another day. Since that didn’t work out and we were really close to Dave & Busters, we went by there and played games for a while. For dinner we got all dressed up and went out to Embers. He said he had a great day and enjoyed all the things I had planned for him. Hopefully we’ll get to the go karts sometime this week or weekend. It looks like it will be fun. 🙂

Now… onto the knitting things!

I did start one new project last week that I didn’t mention. It’s for the Super Summer Knitaway KAL. I’m fairly certain I haven’t mentioned the Super Summer Knitaway or that I got a spot, so let me back up a moment and talk about that!

Back in August, The Knit Girllls and Carin from Round the Twist announced a knitting retreat planned for June 2012. Spots would be limited and attendees would be chosen by lottery. It sounded like it would be a lot of fun and a lot of the folks I met at the Spring Fling in 2010 or know on Plurk were putting their names in, so I put my name in the hat for a spot.

When the lottery spots were first announced, I didn’t get in. I admit I was a little sad to see a lot of my Plurk friends saying they got a spot when I didn’t, but I was on the wait list in case someone else couldn’t make it. On October 3rd I received an email saying that someone had to drop out (sad for them) and my name came up in the lottery (yay for me!). I’ve already sent in my deposit and I’m looking forward to attending next year! 🙂

Leading up to SSK next year, in the Ravelry group we’re doing some KAL-ing to support the teachers and hosts of the event. The first one features the designer Wendy D. Johnson. For each KAL you participate in and complete, you get extra raffle tickets for door prizes at the event. I initially started to knit the Transvers Shawlette using Tempted Good Grrl yarn in Pocket Full of Posies (which will earn me 5 extra raffle tickets!).

Transverse Shawlette
Transverse Shawlette

I was moving right along on it, but something about this yarn and pattern weren’t really working for me. I like the yarn, I like the pattern, but not together. I think the yarn is just a bit too variegated for the pattern for my taste, so I decided to knit something different. I pulled out all three books I have from Wendy and looked at all my options. I decided on the Crocus Socks from Toe-Up Socks for Every Body and cast them on last night. I’m just about through the toe of the first sock.

Crocus Socks
Crocus Socks

Did you notice the DPNs there? I can’t remember the last time I knit a sock on DPNs! When I went to start these, I couldn’t find the US 1 (2.25mm) Knit Picks circular that I know isn’t on a project. I know I have at least two in this size and one is with my Embossed Leaves sock. I looked everywhere, including my WIP drawer and I couldn’t find it. I decided that since I used to knit on DPNs all the time, I could just use those instead. One thing I seem to have completely blocked out of my memory of knitting socks with DPNs was how fiddly it is to cast on toe-up socks on them. It took me two tries to get it going! Guess I was really sold on magic looping and it’s hard to go back to DPNs now. I’ll be taking another look for the missing circular because the lace pattern on these socks will definitely be easier with all the top of the foot stitches on one needle.

Since I finished the Luz Mojito socks last week, I’ve been working on Matt’s scarf as my TV knitting and other projects as my on-the-go knitting since the scarf, with it’s two balls of yarn, isn’t really that portable since they tend to get tangled in the project bag no matter how hard I try to place them in there so they don’t.

I can’t believe it’s nearly November! How did October go by so quickly? November, if you aren’t aware, is the National Knit a Sweater in a Month challenge, which was created in response to NaNoWriMo. This used to be hosted on Knitgrrl’s blog, but now has it’s very own Ravelry group where you can participate. Since I’m not a writer, but do like knitting sweaters, this challenge is right up my alley, especially considering that I recently took the Fit-to-Flatter class at Rhinebeck and I’ve been itching to test out my new knowledge. I’ve seen a few folks mention what sweater they have planned for NaKniSweMo, which of course is making my queue grow. I can’t believe I nearly forgot about it until I saw people mentioning participating! Luckily I recently swatched and had plans for a sweater, so I’ll be casting on with everyone else tomorrow. Will you be participating this year? If so, what do you plan on knitting?

I’ll share my NaKniSweMo plans tomorrow, along with an FO!