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Monday, January 5, 2015

Clean up, Clean up, Everybody Everywhere

Can you name that song? I'll send the first person to comment free pattern (of your choosing from my self-published patterns) if you can name where this song is from. I'm trusting you to not rush to google it.  Test your memory.


As part of my clean out this year, I went through every box, basket, bag, and pile to clear out what is no longer pertinent.

In no particular order, this is what I found.


Some of these I wrote about in my Scoreboard post, this sweater was frogged. I still like the yarn and pattern, just not together.  I think the slight variegated nature of the yarn obscures the pattern stitch. What pattern stitch you say?  Exactly.


 Does everyone have piles of patterns that interest them?


 This was a hat design that I didn't publish.


  Ahh, memories.  I knit this garter stitch Ruana when I taught my oldest to drive.  Once, her girlfriend asked me, "Are you knitting because you want to or have to?" It was "have to", kept me calm. ;)


 Something I purchased to maybe design, and never did.


A capelet that needs a tighter neckline.  A round or two of crochet should do it.  I just have to find the leftover yarn.  (Ha! That'll sit there till next year.)


The prototype for Stria Slouch hat in One + One Hats.


 I have no idea what this was, it was broken. Chucked it.


Crocheted sweater, perfectly fine.  No idea why it was put in time out.


One lonely golf club cover.  No clue.


Frogged this sweater.  Love the yarn, hated the sweater on me.  It was a ballet wrap. Note to self, ties that fall at the midsection are a fashion no-no for me.


 Slipper socks I made for Joe at least 2 years ago, they needed soles.  Watch for the same picture next year.



This I know was packed away for safe keeping; a fair isle, steeked sweater that my mother knit in her 20's.  She was model thin, so I doubt this will fit me.  I love it all the same. She even sewed a zipper along the shoulder.


 A sweater coat that was huge.  I tried felting it (it worked with another sweater coat).  It did not work this time.  Chucked it.


An unpublished design that Michelle test knit.  Returned it to her.


Tucker came to offer moral support.


This is a bag skeleton where you pick up stitches in the grommets and knit down.  I've had this for at least 6 plus years.  I gave this away.


From my fascination with felting days.  I think it was more about the colored roving than anything else.  I gave this away to my sister.

I (think) I have left no box, bag or bin unopened.  The stacks of patterns, on the other hand, will take longer.

What's in your closet?






















 This is the sweater that will sit in perpetuity unless someone decides they want it.



Friday, January 2, 2015

Project Scoreboard

2014 Statistics:
Started in 2014: 29
Finished in 2014: 26
Frogged: 1

8 sweaters
6 baby gifts
5 holiday gifts
9 accessories
4 new designs
(The math doesn't add up here, in case you were trying.  Some of the stats were in two categories.)

Reflecting on 2013's New Year's State of the Knitting (clearly I didn't make any resolutions for 2014).


1. I frogged my Lima Top Down Sweater - started September 2011, in favor of reworking it in a CustomFit design. I am much happier with the results.  This marks my third CustomFit sweater. Rowan Lima (Worsted: 84% Alpaca, 8% Merino, 8% Nylon, 120 yards).

2. The Striped Cardigan a/k/a Shore - started March 2010 (curse you Ravelry for that lovely bit of information) remains high up on a shelf where it will stay indefinitely. It is as much work (if not more) to rip it out as it would be to finish it.  Anyone who wants it, is welcome to it. 


3. Frogged these socks.


4. Color Block Mohair Scarf - started December 2011, still on the needles. Rowan Kidsilk Haze (Lace: 70% Mohair, 30% Silk, 229 yards).


5. Mystery Shawl 2012: Rockefeller still hibernating.


6. Frogged Rhinebeck Cardigan a/k/a Vine Yoke Cardigan - started January 2011. I still like both the yarn and the pattern, just not together.


Of those 6, only 3 need to be finished. That being said, I still like to (mostly) abide by my 2013 resolutions:

4 projects at a time seemed manageable and kept my attention and I actually finished things.

1 project from stash yarns. 
1 project that's been hibernating: fix, frog or finish.
1 project with new yarn.  Let's face it, there are always going to be new tempting yarns.
1 project that is a store sample, design or class prep.

So, here I am at the starting gate with the following projects:

1. Stash: Lima CustomFit sweater (nearly done)


2. Stash: Marlene Socks with Cephalopod Bugga (Sport: 70% Merino, 20% Cashmere, 10% Nylon, 400 yards).


3. Stash: Turkish Bed Socks with Koigu PPPM (Fingering: 100% Merino, 175 yards). Cute little socks that claim to only use one skein.


4. New: Reverse Psychology with Dragonfly Fibers Gradient Sock Kit (Fingering: 100% Merino, 585 yards).

In the queue:
New: Hitchiker with madelinetosh tosh merino light (Fingering: 100% Merino, 420 yards).
Hibernating: Color block scarf
Stash: to be determined
Design: Either the hat I made Joe for the holidays or a baby hat e-book.

Have a Happy New Year!

Monday, December 29, 2014

TV Compliant Knitting

All the deadline knitting is done and gifted.  I have two projects that are on the needles.  Both of which are not TV knitting compliant.

When we sat down to watch tv, I was at a total loss for something to knit.  It was a quiet agony, I tell you.  I couldn't mention it to my family, for sure they would mock me.

I tried sitting and just watching tv - not comfortable.  As a knitter or crocheter, you know we get the "heebie jeebies" if we are not working on something while watching tv.

I was going to swatch for VivaLou, but the designer has no gauge listed.  If I want to knit it, which I do, I'll have to wing it.  Since it calls for a true Moebius cast on, we were back to the "not TV compliant" issue.

Finally, at a commercial I ran up to Yarnia and looked at the mess I had left there. I'm in the midst of organizing and putting projects into my Ravelry queue if they have yarn and are "bagged and ready to knit/crochet".  I'm organizing for just this reason!  To simplify. I'm not there yet, so it was a scramble.

I found Picabeau, which had been in my favorites for years after seeing someone wearing it  somewhere.  It's TV compliant.  Big sigh of relief.  Now I could watch TV in peace. The yarn is Zen Yarn Garden Serenity 20 (Fingering: 70% Merino, 20% Cashmere, 10% Nylon, 400 yards). I think one of the tags I'm going to add when I discover patterns is if it is TV compliant. 

Pre-blocking it measured 7.5" X 46". 


After wet-blocking, it measured 9.5" x 65".  This is one of those patterns, that if you weigh your yarn, you can knit through to half the weight (and at the end of a pattern repeat) and then begin the decreasing section.

Saturday, December 27, 2014

The Gift Report

I am happy to report that I finished my gifts with a day to spare. I even got them all wrapped with the exception of Joe's hat which was a spontaneous gift.


A. loved her hat and cowl set. It was exactly what she wanted. She wore them for the rest of the evening, always a good sign. The pattern is Super Cupcake and the yarn is Plymouth Select Superwash Merino (Worsted: 100% Merino, 218 yards). I would definitely make this again. It went quickly and I really like the yarn.


I knit Joe pair of socks out of Berroco Comfort Worsted (Worsted: 50% Nylon, 50% Acrylic, 210 yards). He liked the color combination: grey with black heel/toe.  He was gracious about the hat, but felt it was a bit too tight.  Ah well, best laid plans.  I'll take it off his hands. I LOVE this yarn (which I've since learned is being discontinued) Swans Island Organic Washable Aran (Aran: 100% Merino, 100 yards).  Both the socks and hat are personal patterns.  If you're interested in testing the hat, send me a comment.


Thing #2 wanted unadorned dorm socks with very specific fit instructions.  I modified Up North Slippers. Considering the source and the use, I used Loops & Thread yarn (Super Bulky: 50% Wool, 50% Acrylic, 90 yards).  These socks are going to get beaten up (hopefully).  I bought soles to sew on the soles.  Here's hoping I'll actually sew them on.



I made golf club covers for my daughter's boyfriend.  Also out of Berroco Comfort Worsted (Worsted: 50% Nylon, 50% Acrylic, 210 yards).

 

Thing #1 originally didn't want anything.  Then she saw a picture of a scarf she wanted me to make.


I think I did a pretty decent job of replicating it.  She was pleased. 

All in all my gift knitting was well received and that makes me happy. 

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Wednesday Stitch and Chat


Lois knit up the Angelito with Rasta (Super Bulky: 100% Merino, 90 yards) in a week and loved it.  I'm telling you, there is nothing like Super Bulky yarn for instant (knitting) gratification.  


She also decided to go down two needle sizes on the Marshmallow Fluff Cowl, knit with Twinkle Handknit Soft Chunky (Super Bulky: 100% Wool, 83 yards), because the stitch definition just wasn't looking right. 


Mary (a different Mary) knit up several of these braided cowls. 


She came to class to get assistance putting them together, the strips are knit separately - then join at one end and braid.  They are really cool, each strip has a different texture. The pattern is from an old booklet.  I'm going to play around with the idea to come up with a pattern.


Mary continues to make progress on her strip of the sampler blanket. 



Friday, December 5, 2014

A whole weekend off!

Last weekend was a "fifth weekend".  I don't work this weekend and when it comes up I'm always happily surprised.

For starters, I (mostly) stayed in pj's.  Always a deliciously decadent thing to do.

I made sure I had some moderately productive moments like putting away all the Thanksgiving paraphernalia and cleaning out a shelving unit full of books.

On the knitting front...

I began in earnest to finish this Cupcake scarf.  Joe said he might wear it.  Yay!  Another gift for him.  This was great tv knitting and I caught up on season 3 of the Game of Thrones.


I started the Superior Poncho on Thanksgiving day, the perfect project for in between basting the turkey and other Thanksgiving Day details. Superior is a lovely cashmere silk yarn. We have a sample at the shop that I wear constantly, I figured it was time to knit my own.


Then there was Not Just Plain Jane's Super Crescent Renaissance Shawlette.  After Jane helped me the other day, I applied myself to finishing it.  There is a crocheted bind off and I am THREE STITCHES SHORT.  I am not happy about this. I took it to work to compare it to the store sample and have decided to live dangerously and block it as is.


Looking through my knitting bag, I found the Koigu Fairisle Cowl that has been hibernating while I've been knitting deadline gifts.  I've set a goal to knit at least one motif a day. It would be a shame and embarrassment not to finish this in time to wear it this winter season considering I started it at the end of last winter.


Lastly, after finishing the front on my Lima CustomFit sweater, I considered how I wanted to handle the sleeves.  I didn't feel like knitting them at the same time.  Even though it's a useful method, I didn't feel like it.  Plain and simple.

I decided to try picking up the stitches from the shoulder/armholes and work the cap in reverse.  It took two tries to get the numbers right.  Using this formula for picking up stitches, I got the stitch count even on both sides:
 1 stitch for every bound-off stitch

 3 out of every 4 stitches along the diagonal

 2 out of every 3 stitches along vertical sections.


Since I'm knitting it from the top down, I got to try on the sweater and I was pleased with how the cap looks.


It was a thoroughly enjoyable, 


knitterly weekend


 complete with dog cuddles.