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 Current Projects, Knit Ramblings

Progress… or something.

March flew right on by. I can’t believe it’s April already! I feel so behind with my blogging. I was off work last week (stayed home, just took some time off) and had planned to blog, but instead I mostly stayed off the computer and spent time knitting, watching TV, hanging out with Matt, and trying out recipes from America’s Test Kitchen’s Pasta Revolution. Ah well, it was a nice week off from work and I managed to get in quite a bit of knitting time. 🙂

Stashing down: I posted my stash totals for the first quarter and I wish I could say I did a little better. Speaking of which, I totally forgot to post my stash totals for February, so here’s an update on how it’s going in numbers.

February 2012: -950 yards. Total yards out – 6,965. Total yards in – 6,015. New Stash Total – 112,139.3 yards/63.72 miles

March 2012: +2,374 yards. Yards out – 1,540, Yards in – 3,914, New Stash Total – 114,513.3 yards/65.06 miles

For the quarter I’m up. I’m not shocked by this because initially I had a bunch of acrylic that I thought was entered into my stash, but actually wasn’t. Then I bought yarn. Wollmeise Lace (lots of yardage), other various skeins, club yarns, and yarn for a gift project that I didn’t have yarn for in stash. Plus I spun some yarn, too, which added to my totals.

First Quarter 2012: +19,058.1 yards/10.83 miles. Beginning total: 95,455.2 yards/54.24 miles. Ending total: 114,513.3 yards/65.06 miles

I think I’m going the wrong way!! Haha. Ah well. In looking at my stash, overall there’s not really anything I want to destash at the moment. That can change and has over the years, but I’m pretty happy with my stash right now. The thing I’ve tried to focus on the most is using stash yarn FIRST and really thinking about new purchases (Will I use it right away? do I have a plan for it? Will it just sit until I figure out something to do with it? etc). I’ve definitely seen some changes in my buying habits since the beginning of the year. For me, that’s progress! 🙂

————————————–

I spent most of last week working on a blanket, which I will show when I post my March FO’s. Made a lot of progress on that, but since finishing the blanket, I seem to be going backwards in terms of progress (and stash looking at the above totals!). This week I picked my Rocky Coast Cardigan back up.

Rocky Coast Cardigan
Rocky Coast Cardigan in Malabrigo Twist

But… there’s a problem. Since that picture was taken, I’ve had to join a new skein of yarn. I’ve tried multiple times, but every new skein doesn’t match up very well with the last skein used and creates a visible line right at the most unflattering part – the bust. Sigh. I really didn’t want to alternate skeins every two rows. Looks like I definitely need to, so I will be ripping it all out and starting over. 😦 I know I’ll be so much happier with it by doing this, but it makes me sad to have to rip it out and start over!

Seems like I’m on a roll with ripping things out this week because I ripped out something else, too.

Honey Badger Sock
Honey Badger Sock

After getting part of the way down the foot of the sock, I tried it on and decided it was coming out too tight for my liking. Bummer! I do like the yarn and pattern combo, though, so I’ll be restarting it on a larger needle at some point.

I hope to update on spinning and other WIPs soon. So much I want to share and never enough time! Until next time… happy knitting!

Posted in Completed Projects

FO Friday – Two Berets and a Sweater

It’s Friday and that means it’s time to share some FOs!

First I finally have some pictures of the Wussypillows Beret I finished back in January. Overall I felt a little “meh” about this project, which is why it took me so long to take pictures of it. I like the pattern. I like the yarn well enough and glad I finally have SOMETHING out of it after trying so many times to knit something with it and it not working out. I think the latter might have more to do with why I feel “meh” about the FO. Anyhow, it’s done and here’s the pictures and details!

Wussypillows Beret (Crown)
Wussypillows Beret (Crown)

Pattern: Wussypillows Beret by Anne Hanson (My Ravelry project page.)
Started: January 8, 2012
Completed: January 17, 2012
Yarn: Bigmouth Yarns Buxom Sock in Violet! You’re turning violet, Violet!, approx .5 skein/150 yards
Needle: US 1.5 (2.5 mm) circular and US 3 (3.25 mm) bamboo circular and DPNs
Notes: I knit the 17″ size. Had I been paying more attention to the pattern and sizing, I would have knit the larger 19″ size to better accommodate my 21.5″ head. It fits okay, but a big snug for all my thick, curly hair. I made no modifications to the pattern and it was well written.

Wussypillows Beret (Brim)
Wussypillows Beret (Brim)

After finishing the Wussypillows Beret, I finished Toy the Toy-Box Monster and the Greer scarf. I started making a good amount of progress on Vonica and decided I would work on it until it was done (mostly because I wanted to start other things, but wanted Voinca off the needles first). Didn’t take long to get it done once I made it my primary project!

This was my first time using Rowan Felted Tweed and I have to say, I find that it sheds. A lot. I like it, but not sure I’d use it again. It does make for a very nice FO aside from the shedding. Pattern was well written with clear instructions. I found the lace pattern easy to memorize and over all thought it was a pretty simple knit with a unique construction.

Vonica
Vonica

Pattern: Vonica by Bonne Marie Burns (My Ravelry project page.)
Started: January 15, 2012
Completed: February 22, 2012
Yarn: Rowan Felted Tweed DK in color SH162, 5 skeins
Needle: US 7 HiyaHiya Stainless Steel circular
Notes: I knit the 36″ size, but my gauge was just a tiny bit off stitch wise (1 stitch every 4″), so it ended up slightly bigger then that. I’m really happy with the fit overall, though next time I would make the 3/4 length sleeves shorter to better fit my short arms. I had only a few yards left when I finished the sweater and thought I may have had to rip out the swatch to finish it! I cut it really close, but glad I don’t have any left over to use up. The pattern was quite interesting to knit. Different type of construction that I haven’t done in a sweater before. Thinking I might knit another using some yarn I have in stash and possibly making the sleeves full length on it. We’ll see! Always so many things I want to get around to. 🙂

Vonica
Vonica (Side)

Vonica
Vonica (Back)

Once Vonica was finished, I quickly finished up the Nouveau Bohemia beret, which I just love!

Nouveau Bohemia (Front)
Nouveau Bohemia

Pattern: Nouveau Bohemia (Rav link) by Carolina Carvalho-Cross (My Ravelry project page.)
Started: February 14, 2012
Completed: February 24, 2012
Yarn: Malabrigo Rios in Archangel, 1 skein
Needle: US 6 bamboo circular and US 8 bamboo circular and DPNs
Notes: I knit the 19″ size for this one. I learned from my mistake on the Wussypillows Beret and made sure to double check on the sizing! There are 3 versions included in the pattern: beanie, beret, and extra slouchy beret. I chose to knit the beret. I loved knitting with Rios and love this colorway. The beret turned out great and I’ve actually worn it, which is rare for me as I almost never wear hats of any sort (squishes the curls too much). I find that it’s loose enough that it doesn’t flatten my hair. I plan to make another at some point, likely the beanie version, though I might possibly knit another beret sometime, too. Pattern is well written and I didn’t make any modifications.

Nouveau Bohemia (Back)
Nouveau Bohemia (Back)

I do have one FO that doesn’t have pictures of it being an FO yet. I finished the Cadence Socks this past Monday! So glad to have those done. I think I’ll knit a pair for myself sometime (these are going to be a gift). It was a fun pattern to knit. I’ll share that FO once I get some pictures. 🙂

Have a good weekend everyone!

Posted in Current Projects

My WIPs, Let Me Show You Them

I can’t believe how many WIPs I have right now. It’s more than usual since I typically try to limit myself to 4 at a time. For almost 2 months I’ve been resisting casting on every new project or KAL that comes along. Finally I decided to throw caution to the wind and just cast on some new things despite all the things I currently had on the needles.

I’m still working on the Bonnie & Clyde stripey socks. I’m past the heel on the first sock now.

Bonnie & Clyde Stripey Socks
Bad Amy Stripey Sock in Bonnie & Clyde

Shortly after finishing up Vonica, I cast on for another sweater. I wanted something basic with this black yarn, but Estelle didn’t work out. I spent some time looking at patterns that would fit the gauge I had. I knew I wanted a cardigan and that it should be primarily stockinette (after all, it’s black yarn). After searching on Ravelry, I decided on Shapely Boyfriend by Stefanie Japel. I’ve knit her patterns before and felt good about my choice for this yarn. So far the pattern is pretty simple and it’s shaping up to be exactly what I was looking for. I’m just past where you separate the sleeves.

Shapely Boyfriend Cardigan
Shapely Boyfriend Cardigan

In browsing the forums on Ravelry just before March began, I found myself looking at what KALs were coming up in the groups I’m part of. I was drawn to the KAL the Solid Socks group is doing for March. The color for the month is brown. I don’t often find myself knitting with brown, but I did have a skein I received as part of the Little Red Bicycle club that would work and I had no plans for. I noticed some people mentioned that they would be “double dipping” and knitting cables for the KAL that Sock Knitters Anonymous is doing. At first I was a little unsure about doing cables on socks because I usually get stalled out on them (so fiddly on small needles!). I browsed cabled sock patterns anyhow and actually found a few that I would like to knit that I didn’t think I’d get stalled out on. I settled on Stalagmite by Cookie A.. The yarn is Little Red Bicycle Tandem Sock in the colorway Them! THEM!!! THEM!!! I’s working up nicely with the pattern so far even though I haven’t made too much progress yet.

Stalagmite Sock
Stalagmite

Before committing to that double KAL, I had already commit to joining the KAL that Year of Stash Socks is doing for the Honey Badger socks (free pattern on Ravelry). I decided not to start until I had the Cadence Socks done, then realized I didn’t even have the right needle available. I picked one up last weekend at the LYS and started the Honey Badger socks using Stitches ‘n Rows Happy Soles Sock in the colorway Mai Tai. Loving this yarn and how it’s knitting up with this pattern!

Honey Badger
Honey Badger Socks

Speaking of the LYS… while I was there, they had Malabrigo Twist on sale for 25% off. I’d had my eye on this yarn every time I went there for a while now. Particularly the color Sealing Wax. I kept resisting the urge to get a sweaters worth. This time, I couldn’t resist. I had to have it and I finally knew what I was going to make with it: Rocky Coast Cardigan. I’d been itching to knit up this sweater, but didn’t have anything in stash that would work. The LYS had exactly the amount I needed – 6 skeins. I figured it was meant to come home with me, so I purchased it! I knit up a swatch right away, got gauge on the first shot, and started it on Tuesday of this week. I don’t have a progress picture yet. I’ve knit a few repeats of the chart and have made a few adjustments to the pattern after reading project notes on Ravelry. This yarn is SO squishy. It’s going to make an awesome cardigan!

Rocky Coast Cardigan
Getting ready to start the Rocky Coast Cardigan

This last WIP, I (partially) blame on Hillary. This week on Plurk she mentioned starting a Pretty Thing (Rav link), which has been in my queue forever. I decided to knit along with her and started my own today using Great Northern Yarn’s 70% mink/30% cashmere that I had leftover from when I knit Juneberry. I think it’s going to turn out really cozy and should be a pretty quick knit.

Pretty Thing
Getting ready to start Pretty Thing

What have you been working on lately? Even with all these projects going, I have plans for a few more. One that I want to get started on very soon. Seems like my list of things to knit is always a long one. 🙂

Posted in Current Projects, Spinning

WIPs and Spinning

I think I’m a little backwards this week. Wednesday I posted finished projects and today (Friday) I’m posting works-in-progress! Not that I really keep up with WIP Wednesday or FO Friday. At any rate… today’s post is all about WIPs! (And spinning, too. 😉 )

I’ve been keeping up with the Vonica KAL at Lambikin’s Hideaway, though I think I may be a bit ahead of everyone else since I’ve worked on it quite a bit in-between the meetings for it. This past Sunday, I did the bind off for the body. Just the sleeves left now! I took this before going to the KAL on Sunday. I didn’t think I’d get quite that far along while at the shop, but happy with the progress I’ve made on it. I’ve been just a little worried about fit. Right now it seems a bit big, but I’m putting trust in my swatch that the sweater will shrink up when I wash it.

Vonica
Vonica

A few weeks ago when we went out with friends, I realized none of the projects I was working on were that portable for knitting in public and I had no plain vanilla socks on my needles. I pulled out my skein of Bad Amy Stripey Sock in Bonnie & Clyde (December club shipment) and cast on. I love this colorway and how it’s knitting up!

Bonnie & Clyde Sock
Plain vanilla sock using Bad Amy in Bonnie & Clyde

I’ve been working on the Cadence sock here and there. I got a little stalled on the foot. It felt like it was taking FOREVER to finish! I picked it up earlier this week, determined to finish it. Tuesday I finished the first sock. Don’t have a good picture of the first one, so here’s where I was on Sunday, nearly to where I started the toe.

Cadence Sock
Cadence Sock

Ever feel like you’re not really making progress on your current projects? I’ve been feeling that way lately and despite my recent FO’s, I wanted something that would work up a little faster. I went to my 12 in 2012 box looking for something that would work up fairly quickly. Sitting right on top was a skein of Malabrigo Rios in Archangel along with the Nouveau Bohemia pattern. This colorway is gorgeous and I’ve wanted to knit this hat/beret (option for both in the pattern) since it came out. Hats always seem to go quickly for me, so it seemed like a good choice for a quick project. I’ve got the ribbing and one repeat of the pattern done. The yarn is great to work with and the pattern is well written. I think this may actually be a beret I’ll wear quite a bit! That’s saying something since I rarely wear hats of any kind. 🙂

Nouveau Bohemia Beret
Nouveau Bohemia Beret

I did quite a bit of spinning in January after not touching my wheel for most of 2011. I finished up two bumps of fiber and started on my club shipment from Zarzuela’s Fibers (BFL/Silk in the colorway January Haze). Last week I finished spinning the second half of the club shipment and did my first ever Navajo ply. My singles weren’t as even as I hoped they were. For some reason I had a hard time getting in a good rhythm with my wheel for this fiber and ended up with a few thicker spots in the finished yarn. I’m still quite happy with how it turned out, though. It still needs to be washed, then I’ll figure out my yardage and WPI. Planning on knitting a cowl with it – hope I’ll have enough!

Zarzuela's Fibers BFL/Silk - January Haze
Zarzuela’s Fibers January Club Shipment
75% BFL/25% Silk in January Haze

The Knit Girllls are doing a spin-a-long this year called Expand Your Horizons which focuses on a different fiber every other month. You can find all the info for the spin-a-long in The Knit Girllls Ravelry group. I thought this would be a great way to try out fibers I might not otherwise spin, plus I’m learning more about the fiber through the SAL then I likely would have just trying the various fibers on my own. February’s fiber is Shetland, so I purchased 3.9 oz of Moorit Shetland in Midsummer Night’s Dream from Unwind Yarn Company. Here’s the fiber before I started spinning it (some of it has been pre-drafted).

Unwind Yarn Company Shetland
Unwind Yarn Company Moorit Shetland in Midsummer Night’s Dream

Last night I started spinning it up. This is my first time spinning with Shetland and it’s a bit different then other fibers I’ve tried. Seems a bit more coarse, but it drafts very well and I think it’s pretty easy to spin with. Not sure yet how (or if) I’ll ply it or what I’ll do with it once it’s done. I like the subtle colors of the dye on the darker fiber.

That’s everything that I’ve been spinning the last few weeks. Not a whole lot since I’ve been knitting more then spinning recently, but I’m having fun working through the fiber in my stash and the new fiber as well. I think once I’ve finished the Shetland I’ll spin up one of my fiber club shipments from Hello Yarn.

Looking forward to my upcoming mini-vacation. Matt and I have the next four days off work! No real plans to do much, just looking forward to a few days off together. 🙂 Hope everyone has a good weekend!

Posted in Completed Projects, Current Projects

Finished Mittens and Current Projects

It’s Friday and I have my first FO of 2012 to share!

Wood Hollow Mittens
Wood Hollow Mittens

Pattern: Wood Hollow Mittensl by Kristen Kapur (My Ravelry project page.)
Started: December 19, 2011
Completed: January 2, 2012
Yarn: Fibernymph Dye Works Cozy in Violet, 1 skein (220 yards)
Needle: US 5 Boye DPNs
Notes: Followed the pattern and made no changes. Well written pattern that I enjoyed knitting. Especially enjoyed the yarn!

Wood Hollow Mittens
Wood Hollow Mittens

I really need to do a post of my current projects, but I feel like every time I want to blog, I end up not getting to it, then the projects all look different or I’m working on different things that I don’t have pictures of. Doesn’t help that it’s difficult to get photographs of my current projects because it’s dark out by the time I get home.

This week I’ve mostly been working on a hat for Matt’s brother, Andrew. Around Christmas he asked me if I could make him a hat in dark colors. How could I say no? I went out to the LYS as soon as I could to get a nice washable wool in dark colors. Once the Wood Hollow mittens were finished, I cast on for Turn A Square by Jared Flood. I lengthened the ribbing, but thinking I should have made it even longer so it could fold over. I was a bit worried about having enough yarn, so I stopped after 20 rows. Now I feel like it definitely needs more ribbing and I will be ripping back tonight and adding more ribbing. If I run out, I’ll just use more blue at the top. I’m using Liberty Wool from Classic Elite. It’s really soft! I’d knit a sweater out of this if I didn’t have multiple sweater sets in my stash to get through first.

Turn A Square
Turn A Square

I’ve been working on a pair of Endpaper Mitts on and off since December. They require a lot of concentration when I work on them, so they’re progressing very slowly, but I do love the colors I’m using. The yarn is Yarntini from the semi-soild sock club she did a while back. I though the purple and green made a great combination for these.

Endpaper Mitts
Endpaper Mitts

I ripped out the Legwarmer Socks again and will be restarting them in 2×2 ribbing. I didn’t like the 1×1 rib and how stretched out it looked. The Cadence Socks are moving along nicely, but have been set aside for the moment so I can get the hat done. Here’s a not so great phone picture of my progress on them. I’m a little further along then the picture shows. I think I have one more repeat of Chart C before I start the heel.

Cadence Socks
Cadence Socks

I think it’s been a while since I mentioned Estelle. After finishing the first sleeve and half of the second, I’ve decided to frog it. The sleeves are just too narrow for my liking and I really don’t think that blocking will fix this. Planning on frogging it this weekend and will be casting on for Aereon sometime soon. Here’s what it looks like currently.

Estelle
Estelle

I feel like I’m fighting casting on new things left and right lately. I try to limit my WIPs to 4-5, which means I won’t cast on anything new until something is finished or frogged. Just seems like there’s so many new patterns and KALs begging to be started! What are you working on this week? Start something new? Finish something up? Always curious what others are working on even though it often makes my queue grow. 🙂

Have a good weekend 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 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! 🙂

Posted in Completed Projects

Eadon

It’s Friday and I have an FO to share! 🙂

I finished Eadon yesterday and on time! After seaming it, I felt the sleeves were just too long. They covered a good portion of my hands! I was worried about this when I was knitting the sleeves, but I couldn’t figure out a good way to shorten them or figure out if they even needed to be shortened since the construction of it was throwing me off. Turns out I have short arms and they did need to be shortened after all. Since I had some time yesterday, I too my scissors to the sleeves, cut where I wanted the new end to be, and did the bind off at that point. They are just a bit short when I stretch my arms up, but they fall right to my wrists when worn with my hands at my sides. Overall I’m really happy with how it turned out!

Eadon - Front
Eadon

Pattern: Eadon by Susanna IC (My Ravelry project page.)
Started: August 15, 2011
Completed: September 15, 2011
Yarn: MadelineTosh Vintage, colorway Mrs Taylor, 8 skeins
Needle: US 8 ChiaoGoo circular
Notes: Took off 5 inches in the length of the body and ended up shortening the sleeves. RAN OUT OF YARN. If you make this and want it to be the length of the pattern buy extra yarn. Despite getting gauge and taking off 5 inches in length, I ran out of yarn. The extra skein I ordered ended up being darker and more solid then the rest of the skeins, but I don’t think it’s too noticeable on the sweater. It did end up a little bigger then I expected, but I think that’s because of the ribbing adding so much stretch to it. I think this is a great sweater to wear around the house or office when it’s chilly or to throw on over layers when fall comes. I can see wearing it quite a bit!

Eadon - Sides
Eadon – Sides

You can see more pictures of the sweater on my project page.

Now that Eadon is completely finished, I feel almost at a loss for what to knit. I have things on the needles and I’ve even started new things, but it seems my knitting mojo is down at the moment. Perhaps I got a little used to all the deadline knitting with Camp Loopy this summer and now I have no deadlines for anything I’m currently working on (well, sort of, if I count the hat and gloves for Rhinebeck). What do you do when your knitting mojo seems to have gone on vacation?

Posted in Current Projects, Life

Sweaters, Weight Loss, and Rhinebeck

There’s good news, bad news, and an annoying thing that happened with Eadon.

The good news is that the yarn arrived on Thursday to finish Eadon, I’m now done with all the knitting of it, and it’s been blocking since Saturday morning. The bad news is that the skein of yarn that arrived for me to finish it was a tiny bit darker and much more of a solid then the rest of the yarn. I’m hoping once it’s all sewn up it won’t look horrible. The annoying thing that happened when I started working on the shoulder seam part of the second sleeve was that I realized I didn’t bind off enough stitches on the first sleeve and I had to rip it back Friday night to fix it. At least I realized it, wasn’t too bad to fix, and didn’t take long! I started seaming Eadon Monday night, but it’s taking me a while to do. The way the prices go together is different from every other sweater I’ve seamed up until now. I’ve started seaming parts of it only to not like the way it’s going and starting over again. I’ll get it done tonight, though. Only one more sleeve to sew in!

Eadon Blocking
Eadon – blocking!

Since I finished knitting Eadon Saturday morning just before we went out of town for the weekend, I decided to try and work on the socks I have on the needles. Sadly, that hasn’t really worked out very well (I’m glad I brought a non-small-needle project with me, more on that below). Small needles still really bother my wrists and I can only knit a few rows before having to put it aside. No real progress on socks to show right now. Knitting Eadon didn’t bother my hands or wrists at all which makes me think it’s the needle size that’s doing it. I want to get at least one of the pairs off the needles, but after that I think I’ll take a break from knitting anything on small needles for a while. At least there’s always plenty of other things I can knit!

Last week sometime I got this idea in my head that I needed to knit a Rhinebeck sweater. Yes, I’ve got a sweater I’m nearly done with, but it wasn’t knit with Rhinebeck specifically in mind, so my brain reasoned that I should start something new with about a month to go until Rhinebeck. I was looking at DK and sport weight patterns initially. Even decided on two to pick from. One out of the yarn I bought at Rhinebeck last year and one out of the yarn I bought at the Spring Fling last year. Then I realized this was all rather crazy talk. I’d be stressing myself out trying to do this on a deadline when I’ve spent the summer working on deadline projects for Camp Loopy and haven’t really enjoyed it. So, I took a step back to think about it.

I looked at my stash. No worsted or bulky weight of yarn in a sweater quantity. I looked at sweaters I’ve knit that no longer fit me since I’ve lost over 60 lbs since I knit some of them. Even after I lost about half of the weight, I think I was still knitting to those heavier measurements and some things ended up not fitting that well. The difference in measurements wasn’t that big. I think I was just sizing up the way I did before and ending up with oversized sweaters rather than ones that were fitted. Anyhow, I now have a pile of sweaters that look like I’m swimming in them when I put them on and it makes me sad. While looking at my stash and my finished sweaters, I saw Seneca. I knit this earlier this year. When I finished it, it did end up a little too big. I loved the yarn and the pattern, though, and when I started losing more weight, I decided I would re-knit it later.

I’m still about 20 lbs from my goal, but it’s later enough and I decided I’m close enough to goal that I can reasonably start re-knitting Seneca with Rhinebeck in mind. Last week after deciding this, I frogged the Seneca I finished in February. After finishing Eadon on Saturday, I started Seneca. I’m knitting a smaller size, still adjusting for the gauge like I did the first time around. This time it should end up about 40″ across the chest, which is a bit less then my current chest measurement. It gives me some room to “shrink” into it! Even if I don’t end up losing any inches in my bust, I think it will still fit well with a bit of negative ease. I’ve managed to make my way through the cable on the bottom of the body and I’m currently working on the waist decreases.

Seneca Take 2
Seneca Take 2

The last two years I’ve gone I’ve had a new sweater to wear, one that was finished with the intention of wearing it to Rhinebeck. Earlier this year I had planned to not knit a sweater for Rhinebeck because I had taken a break from sweaters since I was losing weight (and still have a way to go, so I still am). I may or may not have Seneca done and if I don’t, I’ll probably wear Eadon along with the hat and mittens I plan on making. I think it’s kind of fun to have something new to wear that was made/bought just to wear at Rhinebeck, though I know a lot of people don’t bother with new things and wear things they’ve knit/crocheted without Rhinebeck specifically in mind.

Planning on going to Rhinebeck this year? Knitting or crocheting anything specifically for it?