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.