Posted in Completed Projects, Cooking, Current Projects, Sewing

OppAtt Socks, Little Christmas Tree, and Juneberry

It’s a week from Christmas and this year I have zero “must finish this by December 25th” things on my needles. It’s kind of nice, though it’s a little sad, too. I didn’t knit anyone a thing for Christmas. Last year, I knit things for 3 family members, but this year nothing really jumped out as me as things I should knit for so-and-so. I didn’t feel stressed about last year’s gift knitting since I started pretty early, so it wasn’t even that holding me back. I looked and looked at patterns. Thought about what those I’m giving gifts to might like from me (handknit or otherwise). The one thing I really kept coming back to is this: I don’t get asked for handknits from people I would knit for. That makes it hard to think of things they might like that I could knit and they’re all a bit difficult to buy gifts for (I realize I’m hard to buy gifts for, too). Ultimately I concluded that store-bought gifts would be what I would be giving this year.

So… that means I’ve been knitting merrily away on some things for myself since I last posted! I even finished two things.

First thing I finished was the Opposites Attract Mystery KAL Socks. Didn’t take me long to finish the socks after I finished the commissioned knits I did.

Side note about that: everything worked out well. I think it was a misunderstanding on my part about price or maybe I misheard what was said, but regardless, things turned out well. I have been thanked repeatedly and was told many times over that they knew they were getting a huge discount and the items are “worth hundreds!” I feel a bit bad for complaining and getting worked up about it. I’m just relieved that it all worked out well in the end and wasn’t as uncomfortable as I thought it might be.

Anyhow, back to the socks! I like how they turned out and I’m very pleased with the fit. I don’t often do mystery sock KALs and usually end up frogging them. This one kept my interest and as the design came out one clue at a time, I continued to like the pattern and kept on knitting.

OA Mystery Socks
Opposites Attract Mystery KAL Socks

Pattern: OppAtt Mystery KAL for Barking Dog Yarns by Jeannie Cartmel (My Ravelry project page.)
Started: November 3, 2010
Completed: December 12, 2010
Yarn: Barking Dog Opposites Attract, colorway George & Gracie, one skein
Needles: US 1 (2.25 mm) Knit Picks circular
Notes: No modifications to the pattern, knit as written for the 72 stitch sock.

OA Mystery Socks (Front)
Opposites Attract Mystery KAL Socks – Front

OA Mystery Socks (Back)
Opposites Attract Mystery KAL Socks – Back

The other item I finished was a little crocheted Christmas tree. It was pretty simple to do, though it did take some fiddling to get the leaves how I liked them due to me misreading part of the tutorial. Took just a little more then a day to finish. I still need to add ornaments to it, so I’m not calling it completely finished yet. Once I add ornaments, I’ll do an FO post for it. The tutorial for it can be found here.

Crochet Christmas Tree
Little Christmas Tree

A few posts ago, I mentioned wanting to crochet the Boteh Scarf. After finishing the Opposite Attract socks, I immediately started this, then lost a bit of interest when the I found the tree pattern above. It’s a pretty easy pattern and the first scarf I’ve ever attempted crocheting. It’s even helping me get the hang of crochet charts a bit. Not completely, but it is at least making some sense for a change. The yarn I’m using is Bigmouth Yarns Buxom Sock in “You’re Turning Violet, Violet!”

Boteh Scarf
Boteh Scarf

Around the same time that I started the scarf and crochet the tree, Sairy posted about buying yarn for the Juneberry Triangle, which I immediately went to queue and realized I already had! Suddenly I needed to knit it NOW, so I looked through my stash and found that the DK weight mink/cashmere yarn I bought from Great Northern Yarns a while ago had enough yardage and would work for the shawl. Didn’t take long before I had cast on and found myself not working on any other projects.

Juneberry
Juneberry Triangle

Juneberry
Juneberry Triangle – Close

I’m now halfway through chart D, which is the one with bobbles. I rarely pick projects that have bobbles, but I have no real reason for that or aversion to them. Just haven’t really knit many things with them. I was actually surprised to realize there were bobbles in the pattern. I either didn’t pay enough attention to the photos of the shawl or just chose to ignore the fact that they were there. I find them to be a bit fiddly and they usually don’t appeal to me in a pattern. I will say that being able to knit backwards really comes in handy when knitting bobbles. None of that turn, turn, turn stuff, which got on my nerves after the first row with bobbles. I can only do the knit stitch well backwards, but I am very thankful I learned that when I took my first knitting class at Knitter’s Connection a few years ago.

I’m hoping to do a year end wrap up post like I have the last two years with all my FO’s, though I’ll likely wait until after Christmas to do that to see if I can sneak in another FO before the year is out. In preparation, I’ve been browsing through some old posts, looking at the projects I’ve completed this year, and even re-reading the goals I set for myself at the beginning of this year. If I don’t get a chance to post again before Christmas, I hope everyone has a lovely holiday! ๐Ÿ™‚

Posted in Spinning

Tour de Fleece Wrap Up and Daybreak FO

Tour de Fleece ended yesterday, so it’s wrap up time!

I started out by finishing up the All Spun Up Superwash Merino. I think I had maybe 2 ounces left to do, then had to ply it. It was nice to get that done and out of the way quickly since it’s been sitting around untouched for MONTHS now. After that was done, I moved on to Corridale in the TDF colorway from Zarzuela’s Fibers. 8 WHOLE OUNCES. I’ve never spun 8 ounces of any one fiber before, so this was quite an experience for me. That took up most of my tour, especially since I had some days where I didn’t spin at all, but only did fiber prep because my spinning mojo had suddenly disappeared. By Day 21 of the Tour, though, I had spun and plied all 8 ounces. Still too lazy to figure out my yardage or WPI on that, though. On Day 22, I realized that it wasn’t the last day and I still had one more day to get in spinning, so I broke out the Cheviot from Zarzuela’s Fibers in a colorway called DC Sunrise. It’s really pretty. I managed to get a little over an ounce spun up before I had to call it quits yesterday.

TDF Wrap Up

Overall, I’m quite pleased with how I did this year. The biggest improvement I think I made was in plying. I think I’ve finally got the proper hang of it and yarns aren’t turning out to be a bit loosely plied now.

The last week of the Tour, I may have overdone it a bit. My left hip and lower back have been feeling sore off and on during the entire Tour (which I chalked up to all the rain we’ve been getting), but yesterday I was in quite a bit of pain. I’m sure the amount of sitting we ended up doing this past weekend didn’t help, but I think it’s time to listen to my body and take a break from spinning for a while. When I do get back to spinning, I’ll make sure to take more breaks when I do spin.

Last time I posted, I mentioned finishing Daybreak, but that it still needed a wash and block before it was really “done.” It’s been washed and blocked and now I have pictures to share!

Daybreak (Full)
Daybreak, fully laid out

Pattern: Daybreak (My Ravelry project page.)
Started: May 28, 2010
Completed: July 17, 2010
Yarn: Dream in Color Starry in Happy Forrest and Punky Fuchsia, 1 skein of each
Needles: US 5 bamboo circular needle
Notes: From end to end, this shawl is roughly 64 inches. I did the “medium” size with 16 stripes. Followed the pattern completely and made no changes to it. Easy knit and I probably would have been done long ago, but I frogged it at one point because I’d dropped a stitch pretty far down and the spot was bothering me, so I frogged it nearly to the beginning where the dropped stitch was. My only real issue with the pattern was the way the increases were done in the first solid color section. There is an increase done at the halfway point between the first marker and the center marker (and the center marker and the last marker), which changes every row because there are increases at the beginning and end on the WS rows and the beginning, center, and end on the RS rows. You couldn’t even place a stitch marker in the middle for that reason since the increases would be uneven on one side of the marker. It’s a total pain to try and keep track of. I feel like there could have been a much easier way to do that part other then constantly keeping track of your stitch count. I did manage to use stitch markers to keep track of where to do them, but they had to be moved on each halfway point increase row to keep it in the right place. I’m not sure I can even explain it properly! That was definitely my least favorite part of the pattern. The rest was simple, though.

Daybreak (Chair)
Daybreak

Daybreak (On Me)
Best picture I could get of the sparkle in the yarn.

I’ve started a new project and want to update on other projects I’ve been working on and planning, but I’ll leave that for next time. ๐Ÿ™‚

Posted in Completed Projects, Current Projects, Spinning

Tour de Fleece and Project Updates

The Tour de Fleece is going pretty good. On Day 11 (last Tuesday), I finished plying the first 4 ounces of the Corridale from Zarzuela’s Fibers.

TDF Day 9 & 11
TDF Corridale, Plied

Wednesday was a day of rest, so I didn’t do any spinning. Thursday, Friday, and Saturday I did some fiber prep, but no spinning. I think I may have lost my spinning mojo after that day of rest on Wednesday! ๐Ÿ˜ฆ I think I’ve been a bit distracted by knitting. I’ve been itching to finish some things that I’ve been working on, so I’ve been picking knitting over spinning almost any time I have the chance to do one or the other. I’ve also felt rather busy this past week and kind of worn out when I get to the point in the day that I can finally relax. Still, I’m pretty pleased with all I’ve done up to this point! Hopefully I can get my spinning mojo a kick today and get some spinning time in.

I’ve been busily knitting away on Daybreak in an effort to get it off the needles. I decided that I couldn’t start any new projects (anything besides socks) until it was done and since I have a few projects in mind that I’d like to start, I wanted it done. Last night I finished up the last few rows and did the bind off!

Daybreak (Pre-blocking)
Daybreak, Pre-blocking

I have no idea how many stitches I had when I did the bind off, but it took me almost an hour to do. SO. MANY. STITCHES. I’m pleased it’s done and quite happy with how it turned out. I’m glad I decided to only do 16 stripes and not 20 because it would have been absolutely huge on me if I had. It’s just the right size with 16 stripes. Now it just needs a wash and block before being completely done.

I’m participating in this year’s Summer of Socks (though I’ve been lacking in my posts in the Ravelry group), so I’ve been working on my fair share of socks. It seems like I’ve started and frogged more socks then anything else so far, but I finally have a finished sock! Tuesday I finished up the first Maelstrom sock. I think this might be one of my favorite patterns I’ve knit. I may need to knit a second pair after this! It’s just enough to keep my interest, but not too much that it needs a lot of concentration. I haven’t started the second sock, yet. I figured I’d make myself wait until Daybreak was done to go back to this project.

Maelstrom Sock (left)
Maelstrom Sock #1

In between finishing this sock and trying to finish Daybreak, I caved and started another sock. I saw someone’s Jaywalkers recently and suddenly needed to make another pair RIGHT NOW. I pulled out the MacKnitosh Skye Sock yarn in Camo Girl that I attempted to knit KawKawEsque out of. Turns out the Jaywalker pattern makes this yarn stripe!

Jaywalker
Jaywalker Sock

Here’s the part where I make a confession… I have totally been taken by knitting socks using the Magic Loop method. I used to hate it. I even blogged about how much I loved DPNs. Then I did one project using a long circular and “magic looping.” It wasn’t so bad. I tried a pair of socks after that, also done Magic Loop. Then another… and another… and now? I really want to do this sock Magic Loop, but I don’t have the proper needle to do it! I never thought I’d be into it and even after the first two projects I did, I wasn’t totally convinced I liked it. After the Maelstrom sock, though, I really like it. It definitely makes knitting socks a bit faster for me and I feel incredibly slow going back to DPNs now. Looks like I need to make a Knit Picks order for some circulars in sock sizes very soon!

I’ve got some projects that I’m thinking about working on, but swatching must commence first. Sweater season is not that far off and I’m already thinking about what to knit for Rhinebeck. Next time I’ll talk a little about what I’d like to knit in the upcoming months.

In a little while I’m headed off to knit with some friends at a local cafe. Should be fun! I love being able to spend time with other knitters. ๐Ÿ™‚

Posted in Completed Projects, Current Projects

Diagonal Lace Socks and Daybreak

Yesterday was busy, but in that good way where I feel like I got a lot accomplished. I planted my potatoes finally (in containers), cleaned up around the house, had dinner at Dewey’s Pizza (YUM), went grocery shopping, and managed to take, edit and upload pictures. I can now show off my finished Diagonal Lace Socks! This color with the green walls in our dining room seem like such a perfect color combination to me. ๐Ÿ™‚

Diagonal Lace Socks (Front)
Diagonal Lace Socks

Pattern: Diagonal Lace Socks by Wendy D. Johnson from Socks From the Toe Up (My Ravelry project page.)
Started: June 1, 2010
Completed: June 16, 2010
Yarn: Wollmeise 80/20 Twin in Campari Piccolo
Needles: Knit Picks Nickel US 1 (2.25mm) 40″ circular
Notes: I worked this smaller then the smallest size listed in the book (medium). I removed one stitch and one row from the pattern repeat and had a 59 stitch sock. Adjusted the heel to accommodate the smaller sock I was making. It fits great, was a quick and interesting knit, and this yarn? I really love it for socks. It makes the most solid, squishy, and just dense enough fabric. As always, a fabulous pattern from Wendy! (BTW, this is available as a free download on Wendy’s blog under Free Patterns.)

Diagonal Lace Socks (Heel)
Diagonal Lace Socks – Heel

Diagonal Lace Socks (Crossed)
Diagonal Lace Socks

Since I was in a picture taking kind of mood, here’s what Daybreak currently looks like.

Daybreak
Daybreak

I did end up ripping out part of Sweet Tea and going back to where I joined the two top pieces. I had put them together with one wrong side on the outside, which was causing one row to look different then the rest. It’s all fixed now and looks a lot better. Can’t wait to get it done and wear it!

TGIF everyone! I’m ready for a weekend that is less busy then the last. ๐Ÿ™‚

Posted in Completed Projects, Cooking, Current Projects, Sewing

Walden Shawl and Project Updates

This month has been flying by! I can’t believe it’s already the middle of June. This month has been pretty busy both at work and home, but I have been busy knitting and *gasp* CROCHETING. In fact, last week I finished a crocheted shawl!

I’ve been wanting to branch out and learn more crochet for a while. I’ve been especially interested in being able to read and follow crochet patterns. When I asked on Plurk what crochet pattern I should try, Leslie (of The Knit Girllls) suggested Walden. It seemed like a good pattern to get started with, so I started it right away and was finished a few days later.

Walden Shawl
Walden Shawl

Pattern: Walden (My Ravelry project page.)
Started: June 7, 2010
Completed: June 11, 2010
Yarn: 1 skein Scarlet Fleece It’s Tubular x2 colorway Coffee & Raspberry Pie
Needles: 5.0mm/H hook
Notes: I worked as many pattern repeats as I could before working the border, trying to use up as much yarn as possible. The skein was 420 yards and I think I had about 20 yards left. I probably could have added another row or two before the border, but I would have cut it pretty close I think! For a first crochet project that follows a pattern and isn’t a toy, I think this is a good one. It turned out bigger then I thought it would based on it’s pre-blocked size (it stretched a LOT) and it’s a decent sized small shawl. I would totally crochet this pattern again.

Walden Shawl
Walden Shawl – Front

Walden Shawl
Walden Shawl – Side

Walden Shawl
Walden Shawl – Back

On June 1st, I ended up casting on for the Diagonal Lace socks using the Campari Piccolo Wollmeise. I finished the first sock on June 5th and had knit the the foot of the second sock before I put it aside to work on Walden, but once that was finished, I picked it back up and finished the second sock last night. I don’t have a finished picture yet, but here’s what they looked like Sunday night.

Diagonal Lace Socks
Diagonal Lace Socks

After finishing Walden, I wanted to try another crochet pattern. I looked through Ravelry at all the patterns for tops/sweaters and decided on the Sweet Tea tank top from Everyday Crochet by Doris Chan. Luckily my library had an available copy, so Friday I picked it up from the library and started it in NatruallyCaron.com Spa (side note, why would a yarn be called “whatever.com”?). The yarn is a bit splitty to work with at first, but it’s getting easier as I go. I thought I had the whole crochet gauge thing worked out and thought that I had gauge. When I joined the top front and back pieces and worked a few rows, I quickly figured out that I didn’t have gauge and the top was going to be HUGE on me. When I’d finished the top back/front pieces and held them up to see if it would fit, they did (quite well actually), but when I had added the stitches between the pieces, it added 8 inches or so. Since I knew that without those extra stitches it seemed to fit, I ripped back to where I had joined the pieces and added the extra stitches and rejoined them without adding any stitches between. When I tried it on after crocheting a few rows, it fit! Now I’m sort of winging the rest of the body. Since I’m not doing any bust shaping, I’m not worried about having to adjust anything further in the pattern and it seems to be working out pretty good. I think I may have joined the two pieces with one on the wrong side, so there is a row that looks different/weird. I’ll probably rip it back to the join again tonight and fix it. The picture below is from when I joined it the first time with the extra stitches.

Sweet Tea Tank
Sweet Tea

I’ve been working on Daybreak and have 9 stripes done so far. This is what it looked like just after doing the first few stripes.

Daybreak
Daybreak

The Damsel Vesper socks have been put to the side. I’ll finish them eventually, but I think the colorway just doesn’t appeal to me when I knit it, so they keep getting put aside for other projects. I’ve at least started the second sock, though!

Damsel Sock 2
Vesper socks in Damsel

After finishing up the Diagonal Lace socks, I haven’t decided on a new pair to start, so I think I might try and finish these up before starting another pair of socks.

The weather has finally cooled off a bit and not been super humid and miserable outside. Last night we rode our bikes to music on the commons near our house and there was a nice breeze. They do music on the commons on Wednesday and Thursday, so I think I may ride down again tonight. It was nice to be outside, riding bikes, and listening to music. They even had a vendor with funnel cake! YUM!

Any fun weekend plans? We’ll be going to see the Cincinnati Roller Girls on Saturday night and probably working on cleaning up the basement the rest of the weekend. Oh and yard work. It definitely needs some attention. Needs a good mow and some weed whacking and pulling. Might finally try and get my raised beds set up, too. We’ll see. Right now all I want to do is just relax and knit all weekend! ๐Ÿ˜‰

Posted in Completed Projects, Current Projects, Knit Ramblings

Pattern Update, Finished Ishbel, and New Projects

I have plenty of project things to share today, but first I wanted to give an update about the the pattern I blogged about last week.

I did decide to write the designer an email. I think I was nice and offered constructive criticism, but really wrote to ask for an updated version of the pattern (which I was willing to wait for) or a refund. In all honesty I didn’t expect a reply, let alone a refund for a digital pattern. (I did let the designer know that I had deleted the file and will not be re-downloading it.) So, much to my surprise, the next day after sending the email, I received a reply letting me know she’s refunded me and the PayPal notification of the refund. I think that was probably the best outcome I could have hoped for and I’m glad that the designer stepped up and did issue the refund. I think secretly I was hoping for an updated pattern, but knew that was unlikely and not an immediate solution that could happen.

Since I have no plans to knit this pattern and in interest of full disclosure since the designer did step up and “do the right thing” here, the pattern I wrote about is the Lamb’s Lace Cardi (Ravelry link). There are a few finished projects in Ravelry, so obviously my concerns aren’t the same as everyone’s, which I am well aware of. Others may have different expectations about patterns and can certainly decide if this is a pattern they want to knit for themselves. It is a lovely sweater and if there ever is an updated version of it fixing my biggest issues of no stitch counts and no schematic, I will purchase it again. I definitely think there’s more room for improvement then that, but those were my two biggest hang ups with it and if those two things were present, I likely would have knit it anyway, not emailed the designer, and just mentioned the other issues in my project comments. (I still feel that it’s a bit high of a price for the pattern without the other improvements, but I digress.)

Now that I’ve said my final piece on that, I have an FO to share!

Ishbel (Full)
Ishbel

Pattern: Ishbel by Ysolda (My Ravelry project page.)
Started: April 19, 2010
Completed: May 28, 2010
Yarn: 1 skein Handmadien Fine Yarn Sea Silk 150 (larger skein) in Sangria
Needles: US 5 bamboo circular
Notes: Since I had the larger skein of Sea Silk, I knit the largest size. My gauge was slightly smaller then the pattern called for, but since I was knitting with silk, I knew it wouldn’t bloom much in blocking and only stretch out, so I figured a little smaller would be better. It still ended up rather large even with the smaller gauge. I haven’t weighed it, but I have quite a bit of yarn leftover. I probably could have added an additional repeat of Chart A and B. Of course then it would have been even bigger, so I’m glad I didn’t do that! Like all of the Ysolda patterns I’ve knit, it was very well written and I’d knit it again.

Ishbel (Front)
Ishbel – Front

Ishbel (Back)
Ishbel – Back

And of course, one on my lovely model, Matt!

Ishbel (Matt)
Ishbel on my lovely model

In my last post, I mentioned frogging the Labyrinth Socks and that I was still working on the Ampersand socks. Well on Friday I frogged the Ampersand socks, too. I just didn’t love them and was rather bored with the pattern (plus the leg was a bit tight). Since I finished Ishbel Friday, that left me with one project on the needles – my Spring Fling Vesper socks. Actually, that project wasn’t even really ON the needles then because I’d finished the first sock and never cast on for the second one. I looked through my stash and my queue and decided on two projects: Daybreak and Cubist.

I cast on for Daybreak first, using Dream In Color Starry in Punky Fuchsia and Happy Forest.

Daybreak
Daybreak Shawl

Last night I made it up to the stripes. It’s a bit out of the range of “portable” now, though. It no longer fits in my large Oh Snap bag from Namaste because of the two balls of yarn, so it no longer fits in my purse. Since I figured that was going to happen and because it’s been so hot out that it may not make the best outdoor knitting, I cast on for Cubist on Sunday. I decided on using Wollmeise in Campari Piccolo. I was through to the heel yesterday, when I noticed that on the front leg of the sock there was a double decrease where I’d not picked up all the plies of the yarn. I tried to correct it (a full repeat back), but I couldn’t get it back to looking right after 4 attempts. This wasn’t the first time I’d have ripped back (more like the 5th) and I was having a lot more trouble with the pattern then is normal for me, so I gave up and frogged the whole sock. The problems I was having were mostly me not reading the directions or chart correctly. I don’t blame the pattern for that!

I totally forgot to take pictures before frogging, likely due to being so frustrated with it. The sock does look great in a solid/semi-solid yarn, though. I think the pattern is a bit obscured with the variegated sock yarn used in the sample photo. The double decreases do pull the yarn in, which was making the leg a bit difficult to get over my heel. I’ll likely knit it again sometime, but probably on larger needles and with slightly thicker yarn to make up for the double decreases pulling it in.

With that sock being frogged, I decided it was time to get back to my Spring Fling Vesper sock. I started the second sock this morning and I don’t think it will take me long to finish, so I’ll hold out on starting a new one until after that. Maybe. The Diagonal Lace Socks are tempting me. I plan on using the yarn I tried to use for Cubist. This will be the FOURTH project with this yarn and I’m determined to make it work for something! ๐Ÿ™‚

Posted in Completed Projects, Current Projects

The Bugga Sweater and Project Updates

Look what has buttons, has been blocked, and is ready for wear! Just in time for 80 degree F temps this week.

Tempest (Modified) - Side
Tempest (Modified)

Pattern: Modified version of Tempest (My Ravelry project page.)
Started: May 1, 2010
Completed: May 18, 2010
Yarn: The Sanguine Gryphon Bugga! in Ruby-Tailed Wasp and Faithful Beauty
Needles: US 4 and US 6 bamboo circulars and DPNs
Notes: There are extensive notes on my Ravelry project page. Essentially what I wanted was a sweater with the Tempest stripe patterning, but a v-neck collar and knit in one piece. I used about 1.5 skeins (maybe a little more for the MC, Faithful Beauty) of each color. The modifications were pretty simple to make after looking at a few patterns with v-neck shaping and using the knowledge I learned from the sweater class I took with Jared Flood. I’m very please with how this turned out. The first blocking didn’t go good. It stretched out a ton and I was really worried! After a trip through the washer and dryer (on gentle cycle and low heat), it shrank back up to the size it was pre-blocking. It’s soft and comfortable to wear. I definitely need more cardigans like this!

Tempest (Modified) - Front
Tempest (Modified) – Front

Tempest (Modified) - Back
Tempest (Modified) – Back

Tempest (Modified) - Neckline
Tempest (Modified) – Neckline

Tempest (Modified) - Buttons
Tempest (Modified) – Buttons

I started the Jali Cardigan in Knit Picks Cotlin last weekend. After getting through the first half of the chart I realized something. The cables were pulling the sweater inwards in a way I wasn’t sure would block out and look okay on the finished sweater.

Jali Cardigan
Jali Cardigan

I figured I need to stop knitting the sweater and knit another swatch using the chart pattern this time.

Jali Swatch
Jali Swatch

After I knit, washed and blocked the swatch, I noticed something in the pictures of the pattern. Right near the cable, the stitches are stretched out. If you look at the swatch you can see this there, too. It pulls it in and because cotton and linen (or even the cotton and bamboo blend the pattern calls for) has no stretch to it. I hadn’t thought much about the cables in this yarn until this point, probably because I’ve never knit cables in a non-wool yarn before, so I didn’t think too much about how the yarn and cables would react. I’ve decided that the way the swatch turned out with the stretched stitches near the cable isn’t something I want to see on my finished sweater. I’m glad I noticed this now instead of halfway through the body or something! I’m debating on what to do now. Frog it completely and use the yarn for something else, use a different stitch pattern in place of the cable/lace one, or just knit it with no patterning at all. Anyone have thoughts or suggestions on what to do?

Since I’ve put this aside, I picked Ishbel back up. I like how the Handmadien Sea Silk is knitting up and have been sucked into finishing it before working on something else. I’m enjoying seeing the lace part grow and shape up, but the yarn itself can be a bit difficult to work with since it has no give to it and is a bit sticky if it’s humid or hot while I’m knitting it. I think the finished shawl will be lovely, though!

Ishbel
Ishbel

I’m up to Chart C, but this photo was taken before I’d finished Chart B for the second time and Chart A for the third time (knitting the largest size).

Remember the Labyrinth sock I was working on? I decided to frog it. After getting past the heel and trying it on I decided that the stitches were stretching too much and I should have knit the larger size sock (more stitches around). I may attempt it again down the road using the larger size, but for now, the sock is no more.

I’m still working on Ampersand here and there. No new photos yet, but I’m getting close to starting the cuff of the sock. My Spring Fling Vesper sock in Damsel is on hold. I haven’t started the second sock yet. Thinking I may finish up Ampersand before starting the second one of that pair. I feel like I don’t have many projects going on right now, though I don’t think that’s a bad thing! It’s kind of a nice change. ๐Ÿ™‚

Posted in Current Projects, Fiber Events

Project Updats and KY Fiber Festival

After finishing up the Camber Cardigan, I was bit by the cast-on bug. I initially decided I wouldn’t let myself cast anything on until I finished the Summer Breeze Vesper socks, but since I didn’t have much on the needles, I cast on for Ishbel in Handmaiden Sea Silk to bring to the Spring Fling with me.

Ishbel
Ishbel

I did work on it a little bit while at the Fling, though since I’ve been home it hasn’t seen much progress. While I was at the Fling, I finished up the Summer Breeze socks, so I decided to cast on my Spring Fling socks. A number of people going to the Fling decided to all knit Vesper socks and take a picture at the Fling, so I decided to use Damsel for mine. By the time I got home after the Fling, I had one sock finished.

Spring Fling Socks
Spring Fling Socks (Vesper in Damsel colorway)

Just before the Fling, I started another sock. I thought it would be good to have something with a little bit of a pattern that was interesting, but simple enough to work on while socializing. I decided on doing the toe-up version of Ampersand using Socks That Rock Lightweight in Farmhouse. I didn’t end up working on it much while at the Fling, but I’ve made it up past the heel and onto the leg (the photo below shows just before I turned the heel). After getting back from the Fling, I worked on this sock while figuring out the details for another project I’m working on.

Ampersand
Ampersand

The big project I’m working on right now and the one that has been getting all my attention is a modified version of the Tempest cardigan. Recently Adrienne (in my knit group) knit Tempest in three colors of Wollmeise and I really like how it turned out. It had been in my queue for a long time, so I decided I needed to make this sweater. I kept trying to decide on three colors of Wollmeise to use, but didn’t think any of the colors I had really went together that well. I had two skeins of Bugga in Faithful Beauty in my stash (which I bought thinking I’d make a shrug or shawl with it), then I caught a Bugga update and got two skeins of Ruby-Tailed Wasp. Once I got the colors together, I knew I had to make Tempest with this yarn. I had the yarn just before the Spring Fling, so I decided I wanted to wait until I took Jared’s sweater class before casting on since there were a few things about Tempest I wasn’t totally in love with: the neckline, that it is knit in pieces and sewn together, and that it didn’t have much of a border/edging.

After an excellent class with Jared where I learned a lot about sweaters, I decided to use the striping pattern of Tempest, go with a gauge I liked that is slightly different then the pattern, add a garter stitch edge to the bottom, change the neckline to be a v-neck shape, and knit it in one piece. I started it on May 1st and it’s been the only thing I’ve worked on. I really love working with this yarn and these colors! It’s been exciting to figure it all out and see it coming together. I’m up to the yoke now and I think I’ll be done with the body of it this week. After the body is done, I’ll do the button band, then the sleeves.

Bugga Sweater
Tempest – Modified

Now that the sweater is getting too big to be portable and I’ve been wanting to jump back in the Socks from the Toe Up KAL, I decided to cast on the Labyrinth socks Monday. I’m using Bigmouth Yarns Buxom Sock in “You’re Turning Violet, Violet”, which is a sock club colorway from the Willy Wonka Sock Club. I like how it’s working up in this yarn. It really shows the pattern well.

Labyrinth Socks
Labyrinth Socks

Even though I’ve got a number of projects on the needles, I’m already thinking about what I’m going to knit once I finish up Tempest. I bought a number of sleeveless summer dresses recently, so I’ve been looking at patterns for shrugs and cropped cardigans. What’s your favorite shrug or cropped cardigan pattern? I’m still undecided on what to knit that will be versatile and go with at least a few of my dresses. I’ll likely need yarn, too, since I don’t have any colors that would match well with any of the dresses I have. What’s your favorite summer yarn? I’m thinking maybe cotton or a cotton blend. I don’t want anything keeping me too warm during the already hot summer months!

This weekend is the First Annual Kentucky Sheep and Fiber Festival. Looks like I’ll be headed down with some of the gals in my knit group on Sunday. I’m looking forward to going and hoping it’ll stay as nice as the forecast is predicting! If you’re going, leave a comment and maybe we can meet up while there. ๐Ÿ™‚

Posted in Cooking, Current Projects

Mmmm, Tamales (Oh and knitting, too!)

Tamales last night turned out to be a success! I think next time I need to use just a bit more liquid in the dough because they stuck to the husks a bit. I noticed that when I added more liquid about halfway through, the dough was easier to spread on the husks and didn’t stick nearly as much. Another thing I would do a bit differently, is to roll them within the husk before sealing up. I didn’t realize I should have been doing that until after. Oops! The recipe I used was Grandma Salazar’s Tamales from Delicious Days blog. Even only making a half of a batch, I ended up with enough leftovers to freeze for three more meals. They are a bit labor intensive if you’re doing it by yourself like I was, but totally worth it, I think! There’s some more pictures of the whole process here.

All Cooked
Tamales. Yum!

I was worried Matt wouldn’t like the tamales because they weren’t flavorful enough or something (a common complaint with him and Mexican food), but much to my surprise, he really enjoyed them! ๐Ÿ™‚

AND ENJOY!
Matt Approves

I took a picture of my Brandywine Shawl last night to share. It hasn’t seen much progress since I started it this past weekend, but I think I can get it done by the end of the SAL/KAL. The Camber Cardigan has been my #1 priority, so I’ve put things aside to work on that for the most part. I do break it up and knit a few rows here and there on other projects, though. Gotta have a little knitting variety. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Brandywine Shawl
Brandywine Shawl

I may have fibbed that I put aside the Textured Circle Shrug yesterday. I ended up going home and working a few more rows of it. Knitting with bigger needles after so long of using US size 4 and below was strange! My hands seemed a bit more tense when I started on it, but loosened up a bit after a few rows. Still, they felt better when I put it aside to work on the Camber Cardigan on US 4’s.

Textured Circle Shrug
Textured Circle Shrug

Nothing interesting for dinner. Thinking the last two brats and pasta salad are on the menu. Nice and easy for the lovely weather we’re having today. Tonight is knit night! Yay ๐Ÿ˜€

Posted in Completed Projects

Hardenburgia Shawl

I’ve been putting off this post for so long. I think I was just so over this project I no longer wanted to talk about it again. So… here goes. The Hardenburgia Shawl. This is a free pattern available on Ravelry (here). My grandma received and loves it, so I’m glad I did push through and get this finished in time for her birthday. This was actually my first FO of the year!

10/365: Hardenburgia Shawl
Hardenburgia Shawl

Hardenburgia Shawl - Center
Shawl Center

Pattern: Hardenburgia Shawl (My Ravelry project page.)
Started: December 20, 2009
Completed: January 8, 2010
Yarn: Aslan Trends Invernal, 2 skeins
Needles: US 8 Addi Lace circular
Notes: Warning! These notes are VERY long. The longest I’ve ever had for any project. The pattern is written okay. There’s no written instructions for the charts. Normally this isn’t a problem as I have no problems working from only charts, but the edge chart was so very wrong that I was wishing there WERE written instructions. Thankfully, because of Ravelry, I found someone else who’d knit this shawl and ran into the same problem with the edge chart and wrote out the instructions.

This shawl should DEFINITELY be started with a provisional cast on. If you do start this with a long tail cast on, it can be picked out so you get live stitches on the edge where the border should be knit, but it’s definitely more of a pain to do. A knitted on border has to be worked with live stitches. I imagine you could make it work on the cast on edge, however I donโ€™t think it would lay as nice or flat this way and it doesn’t follow the instructions of a “knitted on border” that the pattern states to work for the edging.

The chart for the border is definitely wrong. It doesn’t take into account the adding and decreasing of stitches at all. Further, if you follow the chart, all the wrong side rows should be knit (based on photos the ws rows should be purled, but I havenโ€™t seen this mentioned in the pattern for the border), which would make purls on the front, which would make the pattern not turn out as picture at all and then thereโ€™s those two rows that say purl. Not sure what thatโ€™s all about (especially since the chart doesn’t indicate “knit on rs, purl on ws” or anything like that). There’s also the border stitches (along the edge of where the border is knitted on to the live stitches) that are worked in garter (as the pictures of the finished shawl show) that aren’t mentioned at all. I also think that there should be some ssk’s in places there are k2togs and instead of the “slip 1, k2tog, psso” I think it should be just a k3. Well, where I’ve made changes, I think it makes the whole thing flow better, even if it is wrong (which Iโ€™m pretty sure it is based on the pictures of the original, but Iโ€™m happier with it this way). Here’s my written instructions for the wave border:

1. (WS) k2, p9, k1, knit last stitch together with border stitch
2. (RS) sl1, k3, yo, k5, yo, ssk, yo, k2 (15 sts)
3. k2, p11, k1, knit last stitch together with border stitch
4. sl1, k4, k3tog, k2, yo, k2tog, yo, k2tog, k1 (13 sts)
5. k2, p9, k1, knit last stitch together with border stitch
6. sl1, k3, k2tog, k2, yo, k2tog, yo, k2tog, k1 (12 sts)
7. k2, p8, k1, knit last stitch together with border stitch
8. sl1, k2, k2tog, k2, yo, k2tog, yo, k2tog, k1 (11 sts)
9. k2, p7, k1, knit last stitch together with border stitch
10. sl1, k1, k2tog, k2, yo, k2tog, yo, k2tog, k1 (10 sts)
11. k2, p6, k1, knit last stitch together with border stitch
12. sl1, k2tog, k2, yo, k1, yo, ssk, yo, k2 (11 sts)
13. k2, k7, k1, knit last stitch together with border stitch
14. sl1, k3, yo, k3, yo, ssk, yo, k2 (13 sts)

Here’s a close up of the border so you can see how it looks:

Hardenburgia Shawl - Edging
Shawl Edging

When I finished this shawl, I had about 2 yards left. If I had more yarn, I probably would have made sure to end each piece with a wrong side row instead of a right side row, so that when it was grafted together it wouldnโ€™t be so obvious that they didnโ€™t line up perfectly. I used kitchener stitch to get the two pieces together.

If I were to do this shawl again (very unlikely), I would add 3 garter stitch border stitches to each side of the main piece. It doesnโ€™t curl a bunch, but enough that it kinda bothered me. If not a garter stitch border, then Iโ€™d add an extra stitch on each side that gets slipped at the beginning of every row to create an edging that lays better.

Next time I’ll update on all my current WIPs. ๐Ÿ™‚ Have a good weekend everyone!