Posted in Completed Projects, Current Projects

I’m Still Alive – A Post with an FO and WIPs

Has anyone seen May? No? Me either…. where did it go? I thought it was around here, but suddenly it’s just disappeared!

I had every intention to blog during May. Seems that the month just got away with me and things have been busier then usual with school, though school plus work are the new “usual” for me these days. Spring term has just 5 school days left for me (term ends June 18th) and I’ve already registered for summer term. It’ll be tough considering it’s only 6 weeks with 10 weeks worth of material crammed into a shorter amount of time. It’ll be interesting to say the least!

Per the usual, despite the lack of blogging, there has not been a lack of knitting. I even finished something last month!

The current KAL going on for SSK (which ends today) is to knit something designed or inspired by one of the hosts (Laura, Leslie, and Carin). I chose to double dip and knit LaLa’s Simple Shawl both for the SSK KAL and the KAL in LaLa’s group, LaLa Knits. The photographs don’t show it well (and two of them are from my iPhone, sorry!), but there’s sparkle in the yarn! I think it turned out great. 🙂

LaLa's Simple Shawl
LaLa’s Simple Shawl

Pattern: LaLa’s Simple Shawl by Laura Linneman (My Ravelry project page.)
Started: April 20, 2012
Completed: May 10, 2012
Yarn: Another Crafty Girl Twinkle Sock in Lagoon, 1 skein
Needle: US 6, Signature Circular
Notes: I was able to knit a total of 5 pattern repeats. Very easy and well written pattern. Easy to make larger or smaller. I used a fingering weight yarn and smaller needles, which made it into more of a shawlette.

LaLa's Simple Shawl
LaLa’s Simple Shawl

LaLa's Simple Shawl
LaLa’s Simple Shawl – Worn

I’m still working on Thin Ice out of Cephalopod Yarns Skinny Bugga! in the Leafy Seadragon colorway. Not a lot of progress lately, but here’s a much better picture of it.

Thin Ice
Thin Ice

I’ve made a bit of progress on Magrathea, which I’m using handspun for.

Magrathea
Handspun Magrathea

After receiving some new yarn, my fingers were itching to get it cast on, so I decided to get a head start on Christmas knitting and started the Foreign Correspondent’s Scarf (free pattern on Ravelry) out of Cephalopod Yarns Nautilace in the Rainbow Trout colorway.

Foreign Correspondent's Scarf
Foreign Correspondent’s Scarf

I frogged the stripey Jaywalker socks because they were coming out too tight. Need to go up another needle size, I think to US 1.5, for those. For now, they’re frogged and the yarn is wound back onto it’s cake.

I knit to the leg of the second of the Bonnie and Clyde stripey socks, but then found it to be too tight. This was after knitting the heel nearly 3 times because the stripes weren’t lining up right! Turns out my gauge on the second sock had changed. Guess I was doing a little too much pulling on my yarn as I knit. Oops. Frogged the whole sock and it’s in time out utnil I figure out what I want to do. I think I’ll likely go up a needle size for the second sock and hope that fixes the gauge issue.

Since I frogged that sock and the Jaywalker sock, I had no socks on the needles! GASP! I needed something more portable and less complicated then anything else on the needles, so I started a new sock. I decided on the Georgia on my Mind pattern (free pattern on Ravelry) and pulled out the SweetGeorgia Yarn in Hard Candy that I had. Great pairing, right? Not so much. The yarn at 64 stiches was striping for me and I ultimately decided I didn’t like it, so I frogged it and will be knitting something else with it soon enough.

Georgia On My Mind Socks
Georgia on my Mind pre frogging

So, I’m back to no socks on the needles! I figure Summer of Socks will be starting at the end of the month and I’ll cast on for a new pair then. In the mean time I’m focusing on my other WIPs. In fact, I’ve started back on a WIP that I was thinking I was going to frog – the Rocky Coast Cardigan.

I was going to frog this one because the skeins are not well matched. Ah, Malabrigo. How I love your softness, but dislike your non-matchy skeins. I think it’s getting better, but I got these on sale and while they all looked very similar and well matched when in the skeins, after I started knitting, I found that they were rather different from one another. Since I didn’t start out alternating skeins (because frankly I just don’t like to do that), I figured I had a few options: frog the whole thing and use it for something else, keep knitting despite the rather drastic and obvious changes in color and just live with it like that, or frog it all and over dye it to even things out, frog it and alternate between 3 skeins (I have 3 sets that match, so this would be the best way to even things out). I didn’t really like ANY of these options, but out of those, I thought frogging and using it for something else might be best. After that, I put it in the bag and set it aside until I could decided what it’s fate would be.

Then, as I was going through all my WIPs that are hibernating, I thought “What if I finish it, THEN dye it?” I hadn’t considered this option before and I’m still not sold on doing that, but I am working on the sweater again and ignoring the fact that the skeins aren’t all that well matched. Here is a terrible picture of the current state of it.

Rocky Coast Cardigan

I’ve finished the body and currently working on the collar. The color is not quite as bright as the photo suggests, but red is such a hard color to photograph, especially with my phone! Once I get finished with the collar, I just have the sleeves left. Shouldn’t take too long. After that, I plan on having my friend Karen dye up some of the leftover yarn (will probably swatch it first and have that dyed) to see if I want to dye it or not.

Next post, I’ll show you all some of the spinning I’m doing and talk a bit about my goal for Tour de Fleece which is coming up at the end of June.

Happy Friday everyone! Hope you all have a great weekend!

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Posted in Completed Projects

Finished Objects and Stashing Down

Ever feel like you’ve made a blog post when you haven’t? I get that feeling sometimes when I’ve spent a number of days going over a blog post in my head only to realize I never actually made one. Turns out that thinking about blogging isn’t the same as actually blogging! Who knew? 😉

I’ve got a few FO’s to share today and one that I really need to share soon since I finished it mid-January. I can’t believe I took photos this past weekend and forgot to take one of the finished (and blocked!) Wussypillows beret. I admit I’m not all that thrilled with the finished beret because it’s a bit snug on my head. I should have knit the next size up. Ah well, it is finished and blocked at least! I’ll try to get a photo of it soon so I can do a proper FO post for it.

After finishing up the beret, I got to work on the monster for the SSK KAL #3 that features Rebecca Danger patterns. I ended up not using the brown I had in stash and instead used handspun that I had done a long while back from Zarzuela’s Fibers. I thought it went really well with the Crayon box from Gale’s Art that I had spun for the body. I love how Tony the Toy-Box Monster turned out! He now lives on my desk, so I suppose he’s more of a Desk Monster then a Toy-Box one. 🙂

Tony the Handspun Toy-Box Monster
Tony the Handspun Toy-Box Monster

Pattern: Tony the Toy-Box Monster by Rebecca Danger (My Ravelry project page.)
Started: January 22, 2012
Completed: January 27, 2012
Yarn: Handspun – Gale’s Art Merino in Crayon Box for the body and Zarzuela’s Fibers Merino in Emerald City for the limbs
Needle: US 10.5 bamboo DPNs
Notes: Followed the pattern as written. The directions were a little unclear about how to stuff the limbs. I put stuffing in the feet and stitched it shut at the bottom of the leg so it wouldn’t shift around. For the hands/arms, I didn’t do that, just let a little of the stuffing travel up the arms a bit. Overall I’m really happy with how it turned out!

Since finishing up Tony, I feel like I’ve started and frogged projects and not really made a whole lot of progress. I started the Guernsey Wrap, then decided I’d likely never wear it, so I frogged it. I started a pair of fingerless mitts out of handspun, but they were too big and the gauge was tighter then I liked, so those got frogged too. With two socks on the needles, a blanket and a sweater, I just felt like nothing was moving along. Then, Friday before last, Berroco sent out their usual Friday email and I saw the Greer Scarf. I’m not a frilly kind of person usually, but something about this scarf just begged me to make one. I went to the LYS near work, Hank, A Yarn Boutique, and picked up a skein of Berroco Lacey. That evening, I whipped it up in about an hour and a half. Pretty easy project and definitely one that qualifies for instant gratification in my book!

Matt is fancy wearing my Greer scarf!
Matt is fancy wearing my Greer Scarf

Pattern: Greer Scarf (My Ravelry project page.)
Started: February 3, 2012
Completed: February 3, 2012
Yarn: Berroco Lacey, White, 1/2 skein
Hook: 5.0 mm/H hook
Notes: This pattern can be done knit or crochet. Personally I think it is MUCH easier to do crochet because of the yarn used. Much less fiddly then knitting would be. If you wanted to use up the full skein of yarn, you could easily double the size. The first length of yarn that is cut scrunches up a lot when you do the border, so if you wanted a longer scarf, you would just adjust the size of that first/center piece of yarn.

Update on my attempt at stashing down: I can’t really say it’s going well! Mid-January, I discovered a lot of acrylic and a few random skeins of yarn I thought was accounted for weren’t actually accounted for. On top of that I fell down at two Wollmeise updates at The Loopy Ewe. Club yarn and my Color Affection Kits arrived, too.

In numbers January looks like this: +17,634.1 yards. New stash total: 113,089.3 yards/64.26 miles.

Well shoot. That’s sort of the wrong direction isn’t it? It wasn’t all bad, though. I did get 1,990.5 yards out of stash. Compared to the 19,624.6 yards that came in, that’s not so great, but it’s still something! If I were to adjust the total for the yarn that wasn’t accounted for at the beginning that I thought was actually accounted for, my starting total would be 104,329.8 yards/59.28 miles (for reference my beginning total was 95,455.2 yards/54.24 miles). So, with the adjustment I’d be up 8,759.5 yards instead of 19,624.6 yards. That all gets rather confusing for tracking, though. Instead I’m cutting my losses for not double checking my stash at the start and January just doesn’t look that good. Ah well, such is life sometimes.

So far in February, 8 skeins of yarn have found their way home to me and 1 skein of WM Lace is off to a new home very soon. Still leaves me up for the month, but I’ve got time to adjust that. I already have plans to start two projects that would use up 3 skeins of yarn and the club yarn that just arrived came with a pattern I’m planning on starting soon, too. Add in the projects I plan to finish this month and I think this month will be better then January for stashing down.

Next time I’ll show you all the WIPs and spinning I’ve been working on. 🙂 Happy knitting/crocheting/spinning all!

Posted in Current Projects

All the FO’s

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

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

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

Matt and his scarf
Matt’s Striped Scarf

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

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

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

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

Sock Monkey - Newborn

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

Sock Monkey Hats
Sock Monkey Hats

Sock Monkey Hats
Sock Monkey Hats

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

Embossed Leaves
Embossed Leaves

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

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

Matt's Socks
Matt’s Ribbed Socks

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

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

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

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

Posted in Current Projects

Scarf of DOOOOM and Other WIPs

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

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

Matt's Scarf
Matt’s Scarf

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

Matt and his scarf
Matt and his new scarf!

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

Embossed Leaves
Embossed Leaves

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

Estelle Cardigan
Estelle Cardigan

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

Matt's House Socks
Matt’s House Socks

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

Posted in Current Projects

Frogged and in Progress

The other day I realized that I don’t often mention projects again if I end up frogging them. Often I start projects, find they don’t work or I don’t like them or I’m no longer interested in working on it, frog them and move on. Since I’ve moved on, if I’ve blogged about that project at all, I forget about it completely as if it never happened and never think to mention it here. There are sometimes projects I don’t mention on the blog at all and never make it into my Ravelry notebook. Frogged projects have a story that doesn’t get told on my blog. I don’t really have a reason for this, so I think I’ll try to mention when projects get frogged or don’t work out.

Back in September I was working on a pair of Ambroso mittens. Even after trying to turn them into fingerless gloves, I just wasn’t happy with the way they looked at all, so I frogged them. RIP mittens/fingerless gloves!

After finishing Eadon, I frogged the first Seneca I knit and started one in a smaller size. As you know, I took a class at Rhinebeck about sweater fit (Fit-to-Flatter with Amy Herzog). When I got home, I looked at Seneca and contemplated it with my new knowledge. I decided that it needed to be frogged because it was going to end up a bit too big. Since this is already re-claimed sweater yarn, I figured I should put it to good use to knit up a sweater I can wear that won’t be too big. I’m on the lookout for just the right pattern for the yarn. I’m thinking it’ll be a pullover, but I’m open to suggestions if anyone has a favorite sweater pattern for a worsted weight yarn.

Since I last talked about what I currently have on the needles, I’ve cast on for a new sock project: Luz Mojito (Ravelry link). My first two attempts to knit socks from the CIS series didn’t work out, but these have! I finished the first sock on Sunday and I’m now through the leg of the second sock (not pictured below). Hoping to have them done by the end of the week. The yarn is MadelineTosh Sport in the colorway Terra. Makes a very nice, squishy sock!

Luz Mojito (Sock 1)
Luz Mojito – Sock 1

Speaking of socks, since it is Socktober (though I haven’t been much of a participant this year), I finished another first sock. This is just a plain vanilla sock in Vesper colorway Venus In Furs. I like having a plain sock on the needles at all times in case I need an easy project for knitting in public. They often don’t progress very fast, but they are fun to knit up! I haven’t started the second one yet. I’m focusing on getting Luz Mojito done first.

Venus In Furs (Sock 1)
Venus In Furs – Sock 1

What are you working on this week? Something new? An old WIP you’ve pulled out to complete?

I have a few other projects on the needles, but they haven’t seen much noticeable progress recently. Matt’s scarf did see some love this past weekend. No new photograph because it’s not all that exciting – just imagine a few inches added to this picture of it. I may focus on getting that scarf done next so Matt’s neck is warmed with handknit love this winter.

I’m still working on the Embossed Leaves socks and Ashby. They’ve been set aside for other projects at the moment. Oh if only there was more time in my day to spend knitting!

Posted in Current Projects

WIP Wednesday!

It’s Wednesday and I still have WIPs I haven’t shared with you all yet, so I’m making it a WIP Wednesday!

After Saturday knit group on July 23rd, I went out with a few of my favorite people Lani, Lisa (who used to live here, but now lives in Indianapolis and was visiting us), and Karen. We went to lunch at Cock & Bull English Pub, then to the newest yarn shop in town, Hank. I had been to Hank once before on their opening day and this was the first chance I’d had to go back since then. They’ve received quite a lot of new things since they first opened! It’s such a gorgeous shop and the staff is incredibly nice and helpful. No yarn was screaming at me to take it home that day, but I didn’t leave empty handed! While I was there, I picked up a copy of Westknits Book Two.

Westknits Book Two
Westknits Book Two

Aside from wanting to knit just about everything in this book, one pattern in particular was calling to me: Bandwidth (Ravelry link). The first time I visited Hank, I bought two skeins of Malabrigo Rios in Solis. Initially I purchased it with the intention of making a crocheted hat, but the pattern turned out to be written poorly and I wasn’t sure how big it was supposed to be coming out since no information was provided in the pattern about how big the brim of the hat should be. So, the yarn had been sitting around, begging me to knit it into something, but I couldn’t find just the right thing for it to become. As soon as I saw this pattern, I knew the yarn needed to be turned into this hat. Instead of using two colors, though, I’m just using the one. It’s coming along quickly after casting on for it almost as soon as I got home that day. Those German Stockings have been the only thing I’ve worked on the last week because of the issues I’ve had, so the hat is only a little over half way done now. Any other time it would have been finished already! Ah well, at least it’s summer and I don’t need it right away. 😉

Bandwidth
Bandwidth

On July 11th, I finished the first sock of the Summer Spirals pair. I started this pattern as part of the KAL for Summer of Socks 2011, but put them aside after the completing the first sock. The pattern seems to go pretty quickly when I’m working on it and I think once I get back to them, they’ll be done in no time. These are a gift out of an unknown yarn and they will be over-dyed before heading to the recipient.

Summer Spirals
Summer Spirals

I’ve managed to finish the first German Stocking! It went so much faster once I finished all the calf decreases and the foot felt like it took no time at all. I’ve already started the second sock, slowly slogging my way through the ribbing.

German Stocking (One)
German Stocking

Finally remembered to take a picture of Matt’s Scarf I’ve been working on, so I’ll share that, too, even though it’s been around two weeks since it’s seen much progress. The black is Malabrigo and the green variegated is Dye Dreams Luster Sock. Both are being held double to get closer to a DK weight yarn.

Matt's Scarf
Matt’s Scarf

I have to confess that I haven’t started the Westknits KAL. After seeing photos of the first clue that some people had finished, I wasn’t completely sold on it. I’ve decided to wait until the next clue comes out on August 8th to see if I want to do it. I suppose that’s the risk with mystery knit-a-longs – you won’t always like what you end up with! Not the first time I’ve watched a mystery knit-a-long develop before casting on and I’m sure it won’t be my last, but I think it’s a good thing I’ve been busy with other projects and wasn’t able to start this one right away since I have other things that need my attention right now anyway.

What’s on your needles this week? Start anything new? 🙂

Posted in Crochet, Current Projects

Long Term WIPs

I feel like I have a lot more WIPs then I usually do. I currently have 7 things on the needles and will be starting another project Monday (Westknits Mystery KAL!). SEVEN WIPs! I usually like to keep it to 4 or less, but… well… I’ve been a joiner of things lately and it’s keeping my WIP count higher then usual.

Three of my WIPs are more like long term projects. Things that I work on occasionally, but don’t really get the majority of my knitting/crocheting time.

The first is Matt’s Scarf, which I started in 2009. I should take a better picture of it, but as a 1×1 ribbed scarf with two colors, it’s not really that interesting to see the progress as it gets longer! It has seen quite a bit of progress, though, and it’s a great project to work on while TV or movie watching when I don’t want to pay much attention to my project.

The second of my long term projects is the High Seas Shawl. I love how this is coming along, but with patterning on both right and wrong side rows, it’s a little slow going and it doesn’t make the best social or TV knitting. Right now it’s been set aside for other projects.

High Seas Shawl
High Seas Shawl

The third of my long term projects is the Spring Ripples Scarf. About two weeks ago now, I had to rip out all the progress I’d made because the gauge had changed from when I started to where I was. It was really obvious that even blocking wouldn’t save it. Ripped it all out, started over, and now I’ve worked back to where I was plus a little more. I like it better with the looser gauge I’m getting now then when I first started it.

Spring Ripples Scarf
Spring Ripples Scarf

I think of short term projects as things that keep my attention that I want to work on it constantly. Long term projects are things that mindless (plain sock, a scarf) or something complicated that takes a lot of brain power. I enjoy knitting these types of long term projects, but usually they aren’t holding my attention so much that I only want to work on it the way the short term projects do. I usually keep at least one long term project on the needles and it’s often something I consider mindless that doesn’t require me to look at it much. Those kind of projects also make for great social knitting or crocheting and since I often find myself knitting in public with non-knitters, these are great to have.

Do you have long term and short term projects that you work on? What sort of things are short and long term projects for you?

I’ll have the rest of my WIPs to show next time! 🙂

Posted in Completed Projects, Crochet

Almost August and a July FO

My how July has flown by! I can’t believe it’s been nearly a month since I last blogged. I had the best of intentions (as always), but I’ve been a bit lazy about photographing my WIPs and FOs and without pictures, I end up not blogging. The heat we’ve been having hasn’t helped much, either. The last thing I want to do when I get home is put on a handspun wool cowl and take pictures in the house on the 2nd floor which is all too often about the same temperature as outside. Heck, that makes me not want to even TAKE pictures most of the time. Sadly, that 2nd floor room with lots of light and white space is the best room to take photographs of yarn, WIPs and FOs. The 1st floor, with it’s lack of ceiling and natural lighting, makes good pictures difficult, so I end up not doing it. Definitely doesn’t help that Matt has been working a different schedule then usual (four 10 hour days vs five 8 hour days). Since he’s been working later, 2-3 times a week I’m going directly to the gym after work and getting home around the same time as he does. Time just seems scarce lately!

Anyhow… I have still been knitting, crocheting, and a little bit of spinning despite my lack of blogging about it.

Let’s see. Tour de Fleece is over and I ended up barely participating. I did get some spinning done in the early days of the tour, but I haven’t photographed what I’ve been spinning to share that with you (totally forgot to!). A few days in, the fiber prep and spinning started bothering my wrists and shoulders, so I set it aside and sadly didn’t really get back to it before I realized the tour was over! To be honest, I was having a hard time getting into it this year for some reason. Probably because of other things I’ve been working on that have been holding my interest more. Ah well. There’s always next year! 😉

Since I last updated, I finished my Granny Square cowl. I did end up getting 24 squares from the yarn and ran out of yarn while crocheting the squares together. Thankfully I had some other handspun in a similar color to use to finish crocheting everything together. I like how it turned out! It’s going to be squishy and warm to wear this winter.

Granny Square Cowl
Granny Square Cowl

Pattern: Granny Square Cowl (My Ravelry project page.)
Started: June 27, 2011
Completed: July 9, 2011
Yarn: Handspun, Zarzuela’s Fibers Hand Dyed Corriedale in the “Tour de Fleece” colorway
Hook: H/5.0 mm
Notes: This was inspired by Mary-Heather’s Granny Square Cowl. No real pattern other then granny squares. I crocheted 24 squares total, then randomly placed them together. Pretty easy to do and man are those squares addictive!

Granny Square Cowl
Granny Square Cowl (Worn)

Lots of other WIPs on the needles, though I think that will be a whole post or two for another day. I think I’ll be able to make one of those WIPs into an FO before July is out. Here’s hoping!

For those of you that are Westknits fans, you probably already know about the Mystery Shawl KAL he’s doing starting August 1st (Ravelry link), right? I heard about it right after the pattern went up on Ravelry and knew right away that, despite all the other things I’m working on including the one that is more or less deadline knitting, I wanted to join. I had a tough time picking out three colors for the shawl, but I knew I wanted it to be something I had in stash that I could use up. After a lot of pondering, I decided on using this color combo for it.

Westknits Mystery KAL Yarn
Westknits Mystery KAL Yarn

This is Yarntini Merino/Nylon Sock in Concord (top), Capirinha (bottom left), and Summer Sunset (bottom right). Not sure what color will be A, B, or C in the pattern yet. I’ll probably decided this weekend when I wind up my yarn or you can suggest which one should be my “main” color (C) in the comments! 🙂 If you’re doing this Mystery KAL, what colors and yarn are you using? Decided on which will be A, B, and C?

All of you suffering through this heatwave, stay cool and drink lots of water! All those that aren’t and are in cooler climates, man am I jealous – can I come stay with you until winter? 😀

Posted in Completed Projects, Current Projects

Dahlia Cowl, Gush Socks, and Clockwork

Oh, hey, I’ve got an FO to share! I was thinking I had already posted this, but it seems that it’s been over a week since I last posted and I hadn’t yet taken pictures of my finished Dahlia Cowl. Time sure has been getting away from me lately!

I love the colors of this cowl and it’ll be nice to wear come fall and winter. I have some other handspun that I might make into a scarf using this pattern (just adding more length and no buttons). I haven’t done it much, but I really do enjoy knitting with my handspun and need to do it more often!

Dahlia Cowl (Worn)
Dahlia Cowl

Pattern: Dahlia Cowl by Jessamyn Leib (My Ravelry project page.)
Started: June 4, 2011 (started spinning)
Completed: June 11, 2011 (finished knitting)
Fiber: Zarzuela’s Fibers Hand Dyed Polworth in Dahlia
Yarn: 95 yards of 2-ply handspun from above fiber (8 WPI)
Needles: US 10.5 bamboo straights
Notes: Followed pattern as written. Very easy to follow and memorize once I got going. With the bulkier yarn I spun, I used a larger needle and was still able to get 24″ in length out of it with some yarn left over. It’s super squishy and soft!

Dahlia Cowl (Flat)
Dahlia Cowl – Flat

I managed to make it through the second clue on both Gush socks shortly after the third clue came out.

Gush Socks - Clue 2
Gush – Clue 2

Gush Socks - Clue 2
Gush – Clue 2
You can see the pattern more “open” in this picture

The third clue was a lot shorter then the second and within about a day of knitting, I was through it on both socks.

Gush Socks - Clue 3
Gush – Clue 3

The forth and final clue came out yesterday. I’m roughly halfway through it on the first sock and hoping I can get these socks finished this weekend. It’s not the most portable project because of the chart, though I think I’ll definitely get them finished before the month is over.

My Camp Loopy project, Clockwork, has seen a lot of progress. Here it is on the first day of camp (June 15th).

Clockwork
Clockwork on the first day of camp!

Color is more accurate in the above photo, but here’s my current progress (taken with my phone camera).

Clockwork
Clockwork Currently

I’m two repeats into the second section. The rows are pretty long, so they take a while, but I think I’ll be finished with it soon enough. I have to say that I really like knitting with the MadeleineTosh Pashmina. It’s so soft! This will make a great shawl once it’s finished.

This week, Summer of Socks started! I had grand plans to cast on for the first featured sock pattern – Summer Spirals – on Tuesday, June 21st. Turns out the yarn I first wanted to use wasn’t going to work with the pattern and the pattern’s stitch counts. It was too small and going up a size would have made them too big. Frogged. Tried three other yarns and all had the same issue. Too big and if I went down a size, too small (twice) or too small and if I went up a size, too big (twice). I did the only thing I could think of: threw the pattern, yarn and needles in a corner to think about all they’ve done wrong!! Hahaha! Kidding! I set it all aside and decided I’d come back to it after finishing up the Gush socks. 😉

Are you participating in Summer of Socks this year? If so, what patterns are you going to knit? I have a few in mind, but like usual when it comes to socks, I’ll decide on the next pair once I get a pair finished. I’d like to get Maelstrom #2 done, so long as it doesn’t bother my hands again! (Speaking of which, things are back to normal knitting for me. Yay! 🙂 )

Posted in Crochet, Current Projects, Spinning

I’ve Been Crocheting, Spinning, and Knitting!

As the days go by, I find that I have less pain in my hands/wrists and can knit a little bit longer each time. I feel like I’m almost back to “normal,” though I am still getting a little pain now and then. I’m still a little slower then is normal for me, but I suppose that will come back in time.

Since I’ve been crocheting, knitting, AND spinning in the last week, I’ve got some progress to share!

The scarf is coming along nicely. I’m enjoying working on it and seeing the colors change. It seems a little slow going because I keep adding or skipping stitches, then realize it a row or two later. Ah well, I’m still enjoying it!

Spring Scarf
Spring Ripples

For June and July in the Soild Socks group on Ravelry, there is a mystery pattern from Yarnissima. Initially I wasn’t going to join in since I never finish mystery knit-a-longs, but there was this green Wollmeise in my stash that called out to me, so I wound up the skein into two (mostly equal) cakes of yarn and cast on! The pattern can be found on Ravelry here: GUSH – Solid Socks June 2011Mystery Sock. I’ll probably just refer to these as my GUSH socks or mystery socks, since that title is a bit long. 😉

This past weekend, I finished up the toes of both socks. The second clue came out yesterday and I’ve already started working on it.

Gush
GUSH Sock

Speaking of socks… I have tried to finish up Maelstrom and my stripey socks. I love the gauge I’m getting on Maelstrom, but it’s a little on the tighter side for Socks That Rock Mediumweight (I’m using US 1.5’s) and it really hurts my hands when I try to work on it. I have been knitting on my stripey socks and they’re moving along, slowly. I think the US 0’s are bothering my hands a little, so I’ve been limiting my time knitting on them. I’m hoping they’ll be done soon, though!

There has been spinning! I finished up the Cheviot I had on the wheel from Zarzuela’s Fibers in the DC Sunrise colorway a while ago, but I haven’t taken pictures of it yet since it still needs to be washed. After I finished that, I started on the Falkland I got from Stitches ‘n Rows in the Silver Age Joker colorway. I put it aside for a bit when my wrists got briefly worse, then the fiber for The Dahlia Cowl SAL/KAL that’s going on in Zarzuela’s Fiber Junkies group on Ravelry arrived.

When I was ready to give spinning a go after my wrists were feeling a bit better, the SAL/KAL had started, so I figured I should get going on it. In two days I had it spun, plied, and washed! That may be the fastest I’ve spun something up in a while. I love how squishy and soft it turned out. If I calculated it right, I ended up with 92 yards, which is a bit short of the 120 yards required for the pattern. I do have a small “leftover” skein that didn’t make it on the first bobbin that I didn’t measure, so I might have around 100 yards total.

Here’s a shot of before and after spinning up the fiber.

SAL/KAL Fiber
Dahlia Polworth Fiber

Dahlia SAL/KAL
Dahlia Polworth Fiber – Spun

I’ve been debating about what I want to cast on for next now that I’ve cleared a few sweaters off the needles. I think I’d like to do a shawl of some sort, but I can’t seem to decide on a pattern! There’s too many ones that I like out there. What shawls are on your list to knit or that you’re currently working on? Or is there something else (that isn’t a sweater) that you’ve got on your “must knit” list? I want to cast something on, but nothing in my queue or stash is really calling to me! What a problem to have! Hahaha 🙂