Wednesday, October 22, 2014

WIP Wednesday, sort of - and a FO

Hi! Wow, it's been a long time since I last blogged. Oops.

My main project right now is a striped scarf in two colors of Malabrigo Rios (Azul Profundo and Pearl Ten) for my husband. He picked the colors. The pattern is the Seeded Rib Easy Reversible Scarf. I'm about halfway done. It was supposed to be his birthday present, but his birthday was October 19 and I (obviously) didn't finish it on time. I wanted to, but my neck and shoulders have been hurting a lot, which hinders my knitting progress.

Anyway, I don't have a picture of the scarf just yet, so I will entertain you with things I am not currently working on but which are WIPs that I will get back to when I finish the scarf.

Here is my Clapotis:

That one's not a great picture of the colors, but here's a close-up that is:

I've gotten to some of the dropped stitch rows! So exciting! This is going to look so cool.

You may have noticed that I ditched the stitch markers (much as I love them) in favor of purl stitches. It really does make this pattern easier - I just had no idea where the purl stitches (which become the dropped stitches) were supposed to go when I started this. Once I figured it out, this technique started to make sense.

And here is another WIP, my Dew Drop Cowl:
It's just a few rows away from being finished in this picture...and now it's actually just 1 row away, 2 if you count the bind-off. I will finish and block this and then post more pics when I'm done. Here's a close-up:
A little messy-looking in some places, but hey, if I wanted only perfect stuff I'd go buy a cowl at a department store or something.

Now for that FO. I kept this one a secret because it was a wedding present for my cousin and his wife:
It's a super cuddly giant Granny square blanket made with Lion Homespun in a bunch of different colors. I'm really pleased with the way it turned out - I hope they are enjoying it. My husband helped me pick the colors. Here's a picture of it folded:
And that's it for today! Scarf pictures next time, I promise!

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

WIP Wednesday (Clapotis!) and FOs, too!

Yep, I'm finally making a Clapotis. I've only wanted to make one of these puppies since...well, since I first started knitting. ;-) It sat in my Ravelry queue forever. I was scared by its seemingly complicated instructions and unsure of what yarn to use.

I eventually decided to use my Wool in the Woods Cameo, which I've had in the stash for even longer than I've wanted to make the Clapotis! It's a DK-weight rayon yarn. I'd originally purchased it with a plan of crocheting a sweater with it (in hindsight, a sweater made with this yarn would've been more of a blouse, but whatever), so I have a large quantity. This means I won't have to worry about running out of yarn for the Clapotis, which uses quite a bit of yarn. The original Clapotis pattern calls for worsted weight yarn and size 8 needles, and I'm using 7s since that's what's recommended for the yarn, so mine will be a bit smaller but I don't mind that at all.

Here she is:
The colorway is called Jackpot. It's a little more purple and a little less dark than this picture suggests. The dropped stitches, which make the Clapotis so open and airy, will be incorporated later. (See where those holes are (from yarnovers)? That's where the dropped stitches will eventually go down to. Neat, eh?)

I started working on this with some trepidation - after all, the instructions were long and I didn't know how to knit or purl through the back loop. I found spreadsheets to help me with the pattern but they were long too and quite intimidating. I finally settled on the spreadsheet with the most color, since we have a color printer and I like color-coded things.

And you know what? Much like other things I've knitted, it's not nearly as complicated as I'd thought it would be. Lots of repetition, which is OK by me since I don't like to have to look at a pattern every 5 seconds. I learned how to knit and purl through the back loops from one of the books I have, and it's not hard.

By the way, you could knit this on straight needles, and a lot of people probably do. I just don't like straight needles much (in fact, I despise the longer ones) so I am using my trusty circulars.

Also, lots of people advise to purl the stitches to be dropped instead of using stitch markers. However, when I started the pattern, I didn't have a clue which stitches would be dropped or how that would work. Now I know, but I've already started with the stitch markers and I love using my handmade ones. The butterflies and flowers look so sweet with the colors of the yarn! You have to use a total of 18 stitch markers for this, but of course I have plenty. :-)

Now on to those FOs! Unfortunately, I can only go into detail about one right now, because the other one is a secret. (Shhh!) The one I can discuss here is, of course, the Croeso! Drumroll please...

On the blocking board! This thing was really hard to pin out. I wet blocked it with some Soak wash and then used literally all of my T-pins on it.

 Hangin' out on the couch.

 Outside, by our favorite tree.


 Front view.

Back view with my hair out of the way so you can see the branching cables.

I am so pleased with this. I especially love how the green yarn looks on the last few rows - what a gorgeous border that turned out to be! I am almost glad I ran out of yarn! Many thanks to a dear friend (you know who you are! Love you!) for the green yarn.

I am thinking about adding a small button to the front of this because it doesn't have a long enough wingspan to use a shawl pin without my wrapping the shawlette around my neck, and I can't do that because of my wool allergy. Also, I don't want it to be wrinkled up at all - I want to show off the whole darn thing when I wear it!

Measurements turned out to be: 41" wingspan and 21" from top to bottom at lowest point. The one gripe I have about this pattern is that no finished measurements or gauge were given, so I had no idea how big it would turn out to be. The finished size of mine is a little unwieldy. It is so beautiful, though! I'm really proud of it, in case you couldn't tell!

I will post about my other FO once I am sure it has been received. Rest assured that lots of pictures were taken.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

WIP Wednesday: Croeso progress, Dew Drop Cowl, and a non-knitting FO

Hi all! Happy WIP Wednesday! Here is my latest Croeso progress update picture:
Oh I love this shawlette so much. You might notice, though, that in the top left corner is a little ball of yarn...that's all I have left of this colorway. I'm trying desperately on Ravelry to get a small amount of coordinating yarn to finish with since I am pretty sure that little ball doesn't contain enough yardage.

I know it's a stretch, but does anyone reading this have a small amount of any sport weight wool that might go well with this, that I could buy from you? I can't get another full skein of JDMS Mohonk anytime soon - it's very pricey. It's well worth it, but I just can't do it right now.

Edited to add: Yarn problem solved! Hooray!!!

Also, while I'm asking questions, here's one for anyone who has knit a clapotis: any idea why those who have made it on Ravelry have used such drastically different yardage? I've checked out several projects using just 1 specific yarn, and people have used anywhere between 4 and 10 skeins. I'm having trouble figuring out how much yarn I actually need for the pattern, since the pattern itself says I'll need more than I have but the projects would have me believe otherwise.

On another note, I've realized that the smaller size needles I use, the more my hands hurt when I knit. Right now I am also working on a Dew Drop Cowl - here I am posing with it at the latest Stitch & Bitch:
I'm using size 10 needles for the cowl. My Croeso shawlette is knit on size 4 needles. The difference is crazy - I don't need my wrist braces while working on the cowl and I have almost no hand and wrist pain. When working on the shawlette, I need the braces and I need to pace myself much more and stretch a lot.

Anyway, I'm not in a hurry to finish the cowl because it's a great project to bring to Stitch & Bitch! It's just stockinette except for a few eyelet rows. Great mindless knitting. I still managed to mess up the first eyelet row while working on it at S&B, so I have to make sure to do the eyelets at home! LOL! Most knitting is not truly mindless enough for me to work on it while talking, but straight stockinette or garter I can do.

And here, as promised, is an FO:

I made the little mookaite heart earrings on the left to go with the "Angel Pig" on the right. These were gifts for my second-oldest niece's birthday, which just passed (ohmygosh she's 10 - where does the time go?!). I hope she likes them. We weren't able to give the gifts in person because my sister and her family are camping, so we had to mail them. My hubby picked out the piggy and helped me choose the heart beads. The earrings are sterling silver (posts, headpins and little round beads - all sterling). I like to use the good stuff. ;-)

Not sure if my niece ever wears dangly earrings. These are very short dangles, so maybe she will wear them. She is very athletic, so I didn't think big dangles would be such a great idea! I made sure to use post earring findings so they'd be less likely to fall out of her ears.

I am almost finished with a secret crochet gift project. More on that in 2 or 3 weeks when it's been finished and received...

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

WIP Wednesday - more Croeso, a knitting pain update, and Clapotis thoughts

Hi! I don't have any pretty pictures for you today, but I hope you'll bear with me anyway.

My wrists and thumbs are doing a little better lately. I took 2 days off from knitting, and I got wrist braces (nothing fancy, just OTC stuff) from the drugstore and a wrist rest for my mousepad. All these things together seem to be helping. I've also been trying for better posture while knitting.

I can still really only do 2 rows on the Croeso at a time, but they're pretty long rows at this point so I do feel like I've made progress even after just doing that much. I've finished section 4 and started section 5. This is the last section! In the next row, I'll be starting a few more cables.

I've been obsessing a little about a certain section of cable that I accidentally twisted. It looks weird and is somewhat noticeable, but it's way back toward the beginning and there's no way I'm going back to fix it now, so I've just got to learn to live with it. Whoops. Checking my cables a lot more carefully now.

I've been thinking a lot today about knitting a Clapotis. I have 2 different yarns I could use - one is Berroco Cotton Twist (worsted cotton blend) in a brown/white/teal multi and the other is Wool in the Woods Cameo (100% rayon DK) in a green/blue/pink/purple multi. Leaning toward the latter only because I have more of it. I've only got 595 yards of the Cotton Twist. Of the others on Ravelry who have made it with the Cotton Twist, some have used more than this and some have used less. I can't figure out why the amount of yarn used varies so widely. (If you know, please leave a comment!) :-)

Thursday, July 17, 2014

A little more Croeso

Here's my WIP Wednesday post, a day late. Oops. I'm into the lace section on the Croeso.

Many people on Ravelry say this shawlette is a quick, easy knit. I will not say that.

Up until the lace part, I was doing OK (well, except that some of my cables came out a little weird and I don't know why, but...whatever). But all these SSKs and yarnovers are killing me, as is getting the right number of stitches. I've had to pick up yarnovers from the row below sometimes because I left them out. I've been making mistakes and having to fix them. Luckily, I usually realize it before too long.

I love this shawlette and I want to finish it now now now, but I have been having a lot of hand and wrist pain from knitting lately. This pattern requires intense concentration and as a result I've been tensing up, which has led me to hurt myself. Now that I'm aware of it, it shouldn't be as much of a problem. I just can't do a lot at a time. Ordinarily, I can only knit for an hour or 2 tops, due to other physical problems. Now I can only knit about a row of this at a time (which takes maybe half an hour if I'm good and slow about it), and then the next row (a purl row - all the even numbered rows are purl rows) after taking a break.

I already do lots of hands and wrist stretches, and am thinking about getting some support gloves to wear while knitting. My hands have been freezing lately, so ice is out of the question because I just wouldn't be able to take it for very long - but I tried wrapping a heating pad around my right wrist the other night for a while and that seemed to help.

I probably also need to get a wrist rest for my mouse pad. Maybe my keyboard too, but I feel like my wrist especially hurts when I use the mouse.

I've taken a brief look at page 6 of this pattern and I'm trying not to let it freak me out too much! The bind off seems really complicated! It comes out looking very pretty, though. You can see it fairly well in this picture of the original by the pattern's author, Camille Coizy:

Wish me luck! ;-) I'll keep posting about this here...

Sunday, July 13, 2014

What's cookin'

I know this isn't really a cooking blog, and I generally don't consider myself much of a cook. However, recently I've baked up a few things I'm proud of, so I thought I'd share.

First up: lasagna. I've made this twice since my husband's back surgery 6 weeks ago, and it feeds us well (and it's so yummy!).

This is made from this recipe from the De Boles website. It's gluten free, since I can't eat wheat (I just have a sensitivity to wheat in particular, not a gluten allergy - wheat does very bad things to my stomach but I can handle lower-gluten grains such as spelt). I love this recipe and have been using it for a long time but hadn't made it for a while. We use our own "Nomato" sauce (sub for tomato sauce - mostly carrots and beets and some spices, good stuff). Again, this is because of my picky stomach, which doesn't do so well with tomato sauce.

Bonus: since I'm on Weight Watchers right now, I appreciate this healthy recipe even more - it's 8 Points Plus per serving, and a serving is enough for dinner in and of itself, no extras needed unless you want to make some more veggies or something. Not bad Points-wise!

Next, I'd like to share the blueberry muffins I made today. I used King Arthur gluten-free muffin mix. Here they are:

Oh my goodness these came out well. Not hard to make at all, either. In case any WW-type people are interested, 5 Points Plus per muffin. I used fresh blueberries courtesy of a certain grocery store that recently had a sale of 6 1-pint boxes for $6.99. Could not pass that up! I made blueberry pancakes yesterday, too!

And finally, some knitting! Here's my latest Croeso pic:

This pattern is great. I am loving the cables. I'm actually a bit farther along than this pic shows; the middle now has 3 cables and I've just started the lace sections in between them. This yarn is creating a stripey effect which I absolutely love.

And that's it for now! Hope you've all had a great weekend!

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

WIP Wednesday: Winterfell Croeso

Hello! It's that time of the week again, and I have a WIP to show off. I am working on a Croeso, Lace & Cable Shawlette (pattern by Camille Coizy) in Jill Draper Makes Stuff Mohonk yarn in the Winterfell colorway. I had originally started making a cowl with this yarn, but I was thinking about the shawlette the other day and how I really wanted to make it and didn't have the right yarn - and all of a sudden, I realized I did have the right yarn! ;-) So the cowl was frogged and a shawlette was born.
I am done with "Part 1" of the shawlette and have inserted my 2nd lifeline (the lifelines are the bits of pink yarn, which will come out when I'm done but in the meantime will prevent me from having to rip the whole thing out if I make a mistake, in theory anyway...). Totally excited about this project. It is by far the most complicated thing I've ever tried to make. Thin yarn (sport weight) on a size 4 (3.5mm) needle with cables and lace, and it started out with a garter tab cast-on, which was totally new to me.

Here's a close-up of the cables so far:

Next section involves me learning how to M1 (I've done it before but not enough that I remember how without looking at a book for instruction). Yay?

Still loving my coffee bean stitch markers, as you can see.

I'm also still working away on a secret crochet project, and I've started making a Dew Drop Cowl with some fuchsia Queensland Sugar Rush yarn I've had around for a while. It's for the monthly KAL (Knit-Along) with the "Cowls" group on Ravelry. Fun.

I finished my Woods and Water cowl, which came out great. Here's a pic of that one:

I've already worn it once. It is so amazingly soft. I am in love with Malabrigo Rios yarn now. It is beautiful and cuddly and working with it was a joy. I hope I'll get some more soon.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

WIP Wednesday - Woods and Water

How's that for alliteration? Heehee, couldn't resist. I am currently working on a Woods and Water Cowl (that's a Rav link) in Malabrigo Rios in the Indiecita colorway. I am in love with this superwash wool yarn - it is so soft and squishy and the colors are amazing. Unfortunately, it is a little splitty (as I've found out with the k2togs in this pattern - and there are a lot of them), but the end result will definitely be worth it!
I have also started a Dew Drop Cowl in Jill Draper Makes Stuff Mohonk yarn in the Winterfell colorway. The yarn is a beautiful mix of muted grays, greens and blues. No pic because I've only done about 3 rows and it doesn't look like much!

My Stitch & Bitch has been making squares for Knit-A-Square. I've only made 2 so far (and am in the middle of a third), but I feel good knowing they will be parts of warm baby blankets. I highly recommend this charity - all you have to do is make a square! How easy can you get?! One woman in the group crocheted 29 squares by the time it took me to make 2. LOL. Not that I'm comparing. I've been really busy both with other projects and with other life stuff, and they say knitting takes longer than crochet (though I'm convinced it doesn't in my case, I just don't get as bored with garter stitch as I do with simple crochet stitches that don't make pretty shells or the like).

I'm also working on a secret crochet project...can't give any further details now but I will post about it once it has been given to the recipient. 

As for the projects I posted about last time I posted in this blog, the Curvy Knits Flare Top is in time-out for now because I got really frustrated with it, and the Liwen Jacket is hibernating at the moment but I hope I will feel motivated to take it out again soon.

A local yarn store is closing (boooo!), but I did get there and though I still couldn't afford the yarn with 25% off, I was able to get a row counter and some jumbo stitch markers I really needed. I am so happy to finally have a row counter.

Oh, more big yarn-y news: I have a swift!

Here's my setup with the yarn ball winder and tabletop swift. The swift is unfinished wood and was the cheapest I could get, and I am very happy with it. My only problem is that the dowels are difficult for me to get into and out of the holes (you can adjust them for different size yarn hanks), but for the price I paid, that's not such a big deal. The lovely creation on the ball winder is the aforementioned Jill Draper Mohonk yarn.

In other news entirely, my husband just had back surgery and seems to be recovering well! Hooray!

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Block Party!

OK, really it's a Blocking Party. I mean, come on, this is a craft blog. Today I finally blocked some knitting projects that I hadn't had a chance to before. I wet blocked most of them (using my Soak wash for the first time ever) and spray blocked one cowl (my Honey made with Lorna's Laces Honor - it's alpaca and silk and I don't have the label, so I wanted to be safe). Everything's still drying on the blocking board.
See? Party! That's my Gallatin Scarf (free pattern!) on the bottom, which I haven't posted about before. It was a quick knit and very enjoyable. Here's what it looked like before weaving in ends and blocking:
The colors are gorgeous. I mean, they look even better in person. I love it. And it was quick and easy! Well, it was easy after I had to rip it out the first time because I messed up the lace and hadn't made lifelines. You can bet I'll be using lifelines with all of my lace knitting from now on. The yarn is Yarntopia Treasures Cotton Boucle.

I think I managed to stretch the Ritalin cowl out sufficiently. It's 17" in diameter now (which gives it a 34" length all around), and that should do nicely. More about the Ritalin to come in another post.

I also washed my 2nd Honey cowl, which I hadn't blocked before but which I have worn a few times already! I laid it out flat to dry. Not sure if it's increased in length or width. It still looks great, though.

My current knitting project is a Curvy Knits Flare Top for myself in Spa yarn (acrylic and bamboo) in a pretty coral color. I am also still working on Design Three/Liwen, but I wanted to make something to wear in the warmer weather. I may be done knitting it by winter. ;-P

I have a few rows done, but nothing picture-worthy yet. I will say, I DO NOT like those k3tog or p3tog that are used to decrease the wedges at the bottom. They drive me crazy and they don't look neat when they're done. I hope the final effect will be worth it.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

WIP Wednesday - Ritalin and sweater edition

WIP Wednesday again! I had to re-start my Ritalin cowl. I realized that I don't have enough of the teal yarn to make the cowl as long as the pattern calls for. I'm disappointed because I really wanted a long cowl. Maybe I'll do it again sometime with more yarn. Anyway, I'm making it half the size now - I cast on 126 stitches, on 24" circular needles. I think I'll like it as long as it's long enough for me - about 30" or so. (The yarn is cotton, viscose, and silk. This is a warm weather cowl. I don't want it to be snug at all.) If it comes out too short, I will give it away. Here it is so far:
The eyelet row surprised me. I wasn't expecting the holes to be so big! It looks cool, though. It's a quick knit at this length. After the raspberry color, I'll do the teal, and then mint green. These colors look so great together. The photo really doesn't do them justice.

I really love Debbie Bliss Cathay. It's one of my favorite yarns. It's also been discontinued. I wish I could stock up on it via Ravelry - lots of people "de-stashing" it - but financially, now is not the time. I also used this yarn for my Cranberry Cowl, pictured in this blog post (it's the #09 Cowl pattern). It's a little splitty, but the texture is delicious and the colors are amazing.

After last week's post, I finished the left front piece of my Liwen (or Design Three or whatever the heck it's called) jacket/sweater:
Yay! I finished a piece of a sweater! Ha. Now I just have the right front, back, sleeves, and neckline/border to go, and then I'll have to block it and sew it all together. What a daunting project. Fun, though! I haven't started on the right front yet since I've wanted to knit fairly mindless stuff for the past week, but I'll start it soon. I really hope the finished sweater will fit me. It's hard to tell, but the yarn is very stretchy. We'll see. It's definitely not going to be oversize, but I knew that when I started.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

It's WIP Wednesday again!

Yes, it's that time again. Sorry for not posting last week, but I really didn't have much to post. This time, I've made a little more progress on my sweater:

Again, this is the left front panel. I've done some armhole shaping and neckline shaping, as well as more cabling (woohoo!). I haven't done more only because this pattern involves some serious work keeping track of which row you're supposed to do what. It's not the best pattern ever, but I'm pushing through it because I want the finished result. Others have done it successfully - so can I! (Right? I sure hope so.) Anyway, in order to work on this I have to really concentrate, and I've been on some painkillers lately for a medical condition and have been a little afraid to work on the sweater while dopey.

Here's a cable close-up:

I have also started a Ritalin Cowl which has been somewhat disastrous so far. I twisted the beginning row by accident and tried to fix it and wound up with some weird-looking stitches that I've decided not to go back and fix (it's such a long cowl that I doubt anyone will notice a few wonky stitches on the seam, though of course you might now - oops). The cowl starts with 6 rows of moss stitch. Easy, right? So I sat down to work on it last night (when I was also doped up on painkillers). Bad idea. I picked it up in the middle of a row, and wound up working in the wrong direction! D'oh!! Thankfully, I noticed what I was doing fairly quickly. I still have to undo the damage, but it shouldn't be so bad. It's just discouraging. And here I was looking for an easy knit.

I'm using these colors:

I think it's all Debbie Bliss Cathay yarn, but the gray and teal were both given to me without labels. Anyway, I've started with the gray and am going to use the colors in this order (left to right). Should be very pretty, if I can manage without totally screwing it up. Haha. I do find it funny that I'm working on 2 projects and of the 2 of them, I screw up the easy one and not the complicated one. I'd better stop laughing about it before I mess up the other one, too! ;-)

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

WIP Wednesday - sweater progress

I thought I'd give an update on my Liwen/Design Three project, seeing as how it's WIP Wednesday and all.

I've been working hard since last week! Again, this is the left front portion of the sweater. I got through the moss stitch with some mistakes, but mostly OK. (Decreases look better when you finally figure out which way they should slant.) Got through the ribbing portion and on to...

CABLES! I have been dying to do cables ever since I started knitting a few years ago. I just thought it would be so complicated. Guess what? It's not. It's fun. And the results? Woohoo, pretty twisty things! I am totally smitten.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

FO from Summer 2013 - Purple Gossypium

Last summer, I discovered the Gossypium (that's a pattern link that will take you to a pdf). It's a gorgeous cowl that looks cabled but isn't, and has a beautiful "leaf" pattern. It was my first venture into lace knitting. Once I got the hang of it, it was so much fun to make! I decided to make several as gifts, but I only managed to finish one other one and I still haven't given it to its recipient. (This purple one is mine, all mine!) More about the gifty things later. Here's my Gossypium (or, as I called it on Ravelry, Gossipy-YUM) blocking:

I am totally in love with it. It's made from Blue Sky Alpacas Worsted Cotton, which is so soft and pretty. The pictures don't do this cowl justice.
There it is on me. The photo is a pretty bad selfie and I'm wearing a really casual t-shirt with the cowl, and the color is so much more vibrant in person. Someday I will have someone (probably my husband) take a good picture of me wearing it!

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

WIP Wednesday

I'm currently working on my very own Liwen Jacket (aka Design Three) by Jenny Watson. From the moment I first saw the pattern picture, I knew I had to have one.
I am a big fan of moss stitch - I love the texture it makes. This sweater involves a whole bunch of things I've never done before - ribbing, cables, picking up stitches. It's very exciting. I really, really hope it turns out OK! But I'm getting way ahead of myself. So far, I'm on Row 20 of the Left Front Panel. (The pic below was taken a few rows ago.)
I got gauge with my Knitters Pride Trendz acrylic interchangeable circs in size 11. Acrylic would not have been my first choice, but my other size 11s - Knit Picks interchangeables - are in use for a blanket I've been making for a while. Besides, the acrylics work fine with this yarn, and they're PURPLE! Love me some purple.

I'm using Araucania Tepa yarn in colorway 1781, which is mainly turquoise but also contains a rainbow of other colors. I'm completely in love with it. It's exquisite. A birthday present (WEBS gift card) from my best friend paid for about half the cost of the yarn, and I splurged on the rest. I could never, ever wear it against my skin, but it's a jacket - meant to be worn over a shirt anyway.

Here's the Tepa when I first got it, brand new in its bag. Now, before you go and say, "That's a lot of yarn!" you might want to think for a second. When you tell a knitter the amount of yarn for a sweater she's making for herself is a lot, you are, in effect, telling her she's fat (or maybe just that she's making a really oversize sweater - which I'm not). Am I thin? No. Am I plus size? Yes. Do I want to be reminded about that by people saying "Wow, that's a lot of yarn!"? NO. And that's the end of that rant.

(Yes, this is something that happened fairly recently. Facebook drama, woohoo.)

This sweater/jacket was started Monday night, then frogged and re-started twice! I'm sure there will be more frogging ahead, but I will be brave! I can do this!

I really hope it'll fit well. The finished bust size is the same size as most of my sweaters, but it decreases in places where my body doesn't really decrease (ahem, waist), so we'll see. If it doesn't fit well, maybe I can alter it somehow.

About that blanket I'm making:
It's also still a WIP, so there it is. Sorry about the messy not-woven-in ends there in the middle. They'll be fixed eventually. It's straight garter stitch in a bulky cotton chenille. I know I posted about it in this blog before (probably last year). I'll be working on it for a while yet.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

FO alert!

Finally, a finished object to post about that was finished this year! For the past month or so, I've been working away on a Honey cowl using Jill Draper Makes Stuff's amazing Hudson Superwash Merino yarn. The colorway is called Coleopterist's Cabinet.
Believe it or not, this was my first time working with superwash merino. I don't know if it's usually this deliciously sproingy, or if that's Jill Draper's yarn in particular, but I love it so much - and it doesn't seem to bother my neck. This is the first animal fiber I've ever met that doesn't make my neck itch. (I hope. I still haven't worn this cowl for any particularly long length of time.)

The yarn was expensive. It was a splurge when I was away with girlfriends in New Paltz, NY, and we stopped in to the White Barn Farm Sheep and Wool yarn store. (And then we stopped in there again the next day! Heehee. Yes, it is that good a store. And cute, too - see pic below. Yes, that's me by the door.)

I highly recommend a visit if you're a fiber fan and happen to be in New Paltz at some point. Anyway, I adore that Hudson yarn. The colors are amazing and a camera can't really do them justice, but I took plenty of project pictures anyway, and then my husband took some pictures of the finished cowl on me. This Honey cowl is a size Large, but I didn't knit it to the full width of 12 inches, I only did 8 inches. (As you'll see, that was plenty!) I also haven't blocked it yet. Not sure what superwash merino will block out like (anyone have any answers for me?). I'm happy with it unblocked, though! And I would never, ever put this in the washing machine, even though I could, in theory.
That last one is of the cowl wrapped around twice. It is warm and squishy and comfortable. I give the yarn most of the credit, but I guess I have to give myself some, too. The cowl didn't make itself. ;) This is the second Honey I've made - the first was a size small with Lorna's Laces Honor yarn (pic below). It is an alpaca and silk blend, and it feels heavenly to the touch - until I put it against my neck. Sigh. Itchy. Heck, cashmere makes my neck itch. I'm keeping my first Honey for now with the thought that I might wear it sometime with a turtleneck underneath.

I messed up quite a bit with the stitching on that first one (it's actually sort of obvious if you know what to look for), so for the second one, I placed stitch markers every 20 stitches so that I'd know whether to purl or slip the next stitch. It worked great!

This is a very repetitive pattern, but it makes for a beautiful cowl if you can stick with it. (Ugh...honey...stick...see what I did there?)

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Let's play catch-up...2012 FO's

Um, holy wow. It's been a very long time since I last posted here. I didn't mean to neglect my blog! Honest! I have a lot of projects I haven't posted here yet (all of these are from back in 2012, and of course I have stuff from 2013, too), so I'll have to pick and choose. Without further ado:

Here's a duck in an apple hat (the hat comes off), pattern from Ana Paula Rimoli's book Amigurumi Toy Box. She's the mommy duck from the Mom & Baby Duck pattern. First and only amigurumi I've made (so far). I gave her to my best friend for her birthday - in July 2012!

I have to say, I love amigurumi (so cute!) but I don't really like making them, or at least I didn't really enjoy making this one. They involve using small-ish hooks so there aren't holes for the stuffing to come through, which makes for some fiddly, fussy work. (I pretty much reserve the words "fiddly" and "fussy" for crochet. Heh.) My main issue with this ducky, though, was the sewing. You have to sew the limbs on, but there are no specific instructions in the book as to how to do that. I searched the Internet and found no further information on the best way to sew amigurumi limbs, so I just went ahead and did it however I thought I should. In my opinion, the beak didn't come out quite right because of it. Oh well. I'd like to try one of Stacey Trock's patterns sometime; maybe that'd be easier? Anyone know?

Oh great...I'd written a whole long blog entry with photos, and then Firefox crashed. Apparently I didn't save the rest of it, so here we go again. I don't have time to rewrite the whole thing, but I'll do what I can.

And I tried again, and it got "eaten" again, this time by Blogger. OK...third time's a charm, right? *sigh*

Here's the finished Seraphina I made for my mom. Unfortunately, she thought it was too she decided to steal my grandmother's instead. I know that sounds awful, but it's not so awful considering that Grams wasn't using hers and has dementia and doesn't even really know what to do with a shawl now. (I mean, the dementia thing is awful, my mom's taking the shawl - not so much.)

This beautiful creation is the #09 Cowl by Kazekobo from the 2012 issue of Vogue Knitting Crochet magazine. Love it. Used my Debbie Bliss Cathay, and the yarn was perfect for the design.

And here is my finished Wingspan:
 Here's a bad mirror selfie of me wearing it:

I'm just going to end this blog post here because I'm afraid of losing it again. More to come soon, unless I procrastinate again, which I hope I won't!