Knitty Keen

Knitting, knitting, and some more knitting

WIP’s and an FO January 28, 2015

I’ve been flitting from project to project these past few weeks.  Some of them aren’t portable so I can only work on them at home, other’s only get worked on while I’m riding the bus on Thursdays and Fridays.  Here’s what’s doing.

 

Flirty v 1.0

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Finally wove in the ends on this tonight and got some pictures to post.  This is the first version I did of Flirty way back in December of ’13.  The wing span is 62″ and the depth is 18″.  I’m hoping to get a bit more width out of it by going up a needle size and I also did a garter tab at the top so it looks neater.  Here’s where I am with version 1.1.

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I’m using Madelinetosh Tosh Merino Light in Georgia O’Keefe.  When I first looked at the skein I thought it was a dark blue, but knit up it’s definitely more green.  I have one more eyelet repeat to finish before I start the short rows that will add to the wing span, then onto the ruffled edging.  I’m hoping to have the knitting on this done by the end of the weekend.

Monkey Jacobus

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He has a face now and most of an arm.  I’ve been dragging my feet on this one since doing it it fingering is such a PITA, but it needs to get finished so I can gift it at long last to my nephew next weekend.

Earth and Sea Socks (aka Pomatomus)

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These really only get worked on during my commute to appointments on Thursdays and Fridays.  We’ll see how much progress I can make this week.

Grass and Bubble Gum Shawl (aka Color Affection)

Tosh Merino Light Color Affection Colors

 

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I’ve been able to add a couple of more stripes since I started it on the 14th considering I’ve had the yarn for almost a year.  The colors in Madelinetosh Tosh Merino Light are Jade, Lepidoptra, and Clematis.   It’s getting time to switch to a longer cable so I can stretch it out.  It’s reached the point where it’s not really portable knitting any more so it will probably only get worked on on Wednesdays during Thing 1’s appointment where there is a nice couch in the waiting room where I can arrange the yarn balls around me.  I’d like to get this finished sooner than later but there are other things ahead of it in the queue.

That’s all for this week.  I still have gloves that I’d like to finish before the cold weather is gone, but that’s another at-home project so we’ll see what happens with those.  There’s also a sweater but again I don’t know if I’ll have the time to finish it before winter ends.  Maybe if I can manage my knitting time better I’ll be able to start cranking out some projects.  TTFN!

 

Action Shot and Flirting January 12, 2015

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Color Affection in action.

Way back last Christmas, my husband got me a skein of Madelinetosh Tosh Merino Light in Coquette (he was supposed to get sock yarn but the clerk told him sock yarn wasn’t for socks and steered him to the TML, definitely someone who shouldn’t be working in a yarn store, he goes to the other LYS in town now).  A day or two after Christmas I had an idea of recreating a shawlette that I had knit ages ago and of course wrote down no notes on how I made it.  I knew I used US size 8 (5.0mm) on the original and Noro Silk Garden Sock, but I chose to cast on with US size 6 (4.0mm) instead because I wanted to see how it worked out.  It’s a simple garter stitch triangle shawl with an eyelet row spaced every so often, then I added in short rows to make the wings longer without adding to the depth, and after a couple of days of crunching numbers and frogging back a time or two I added a ruffled edge and Flirty was born.  Illness and other stuff happened so I never got a chance to write up the pattern properly and publish it.  I just now got around to blocking it.

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I should have used my wires, but I will when I do the next one.  Firstly, I want to do a garter tab rather then casting on seven stitches because it looks neater that way.  Secondly, I’m on the fence about going up a needle size to get more width out of it — I’m going to have to wait and see how this one drapes before deciding if I’m going to try it on US size 7 (4.5mm) needles.  I had about 100 yards of yarn left from knitting this and I think going up to an eight will eat up too much of that but I may be able to squeak by with a seven.  You can wear Flirty like a kerchief with the point in front and the ends wrapped around your neck, you can knot it loosely in the front to give your neck a little bit of warmth, or you can pin it on your shoulder with a shawl pin.  The ruffled edge turns it from a staid triangle shawl to something much more feminine.  Look for the pattern some time in February.

 

What’s in the works January 8, 2015

Haven’t done one of these in an age in a half.  I’ve been posting Work in Progress Wednesday pics on my Facebook page but I haven’t taken the time to write up what I’ve been doing.

Color Affection

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I started this way back on October 17th.  Started off with Madelinetosh Tosh Merino Light in Oak, Nutmeg, and Golden Hickory.  Finished the first section only to find out that I had read the instructions wrong and had to frog the whole thing.  Got through the second section and started the third when I realized the Golden Hickory had too much green in it and blended in with the Oak, so I ordered a skein of Sequoia and that did the trick.  I finished the knitting on it about two weeks ago and am only now getting a chance to block it so I can gift it on Sunday.  Once I got into the rhythm of it it was a great watching/listening to TV knit.  Not super portable once you get to three colors, I had to arrange the balls around me in a certain way so I didn’t get tangles.  I have yarn to make myself one which I’ll most likely be starting next month.

 

No Purl Monkey Socks

 

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These were started about the same time as Color Affection, but they were finished on the Sunday before Christmas.  No real problems with these except for my needle bending which made them painful to knit.  The yarn is Dream in Color Smooshy with Cashmere in Deep Sea Flower.  Despite the painful knitting, the yarn was a dream to work with.  I was worried that they would be too small for their intended recipient since the pattern called to start the toe 1.5″ from the length of foot and I’ve always done 2″, this was one of the first times I was working directly from a pattern and not just a lace chart and my own measurements.  I went with the 2″ and they fit her perfectly.

 

Snowmen

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These were the bane of my existence this holiday season.  The plan was to have the pattern go live the beginning of November with a stock of finished ornaments and kits to make them to sell in my Etsy Shop.  Illness got in the way and that launch date got pushed further and further back until I just decided it wasn’t happening this year and I’ll try for next year.  I managed to get 4 bodies done but only finished two of them to give as teacher gifts.

 

Neck Warmer

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This was a quick and dirty knit for my son who needed something to keep his neck and face warm.  I used my Neck Warmer pattern but instead of the pattern stitch I did 2×2 ribbing since it was for a child.  It does look nicer than this in person since the ends have been woven in and it’s been blocked.  Only problem is that Thing 1 declared that it’s too itchy so he hasn’t worn it.  This is some Patons Classic Wool I had in my stash so next time I’ll have to go with something softer since he does have sensitive skin.  It’ll be a good back up for my husband.

 

Pomatomus

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I call these my Earth and Sea socks.  They are knit from River City Yarn’s Adam & Eve, a merino, cashmere, and nylon blend in a color way called Walnut.  The yarn was a gift from a friend in Canada and the yarn made exclusively for the yarn shop.  I have always loved Pomatomus, but I was afraid that the sock would be too tight on my big feet so I used the advice in Cookie A’s Sock Innovation to alter the leg chart to a 14st repeat and altered the instep chart accordingly.  I was a bit nervous about the instep chart since it has those two bits on either side, but when it came time for me to do the second instep repeat it worked!  I probably could have done another half a repeat before starting the toe, but it still looks good.

 

Monkey Jacobus

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This is the head and neck of Monkey Jacobus.  The first snag came when the Knit Picks Bare Merino Fingering (which they don’t make any more) I was planning to use for the face was moth eaten, so I had to use Knit Picks Palette instead which is a different base from the Knit Picks Stroll Hand Painted Sock in Carnival (a discontinued color) that I was using for the body.  Second snag is that knitting this pattern in fingering is a study in frustration.  I’m supposed to gift it on Sunday and I don’t have any real worries about finishing it on time but weaving in ends and using new techniques are that much harder when using US Size 2 (2.75mm) needles.  I’m sorely tempted to see what I have in stash to do this in worsted weight, but I’ve already come so far that I’m going to see it through to the end.

 

Gloves

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This is actually my third go round with this pattern.  The yarn in Three Irish Girls Glenhaven Cashmerino Sock in Kathmandu that I bought last January.  After some searching for a pattern for my larger than average hands, I settled on Ann Budd’s basic glove pattern from her book, The Knitter’s Handy Book of Patterns.  I decided to start out with a woman’s large at 8sts/inch.  Turns out that I get 7sts/inch on my US Size 2.5 (3.0mm) needles, so I frogged and decided to try the women’s large at the proper gauge.  When I got to the finger I knew that this wasn’t going to work since I could barely slide it on.  I’ve decided to go back to my original 8sts/inch women’s large (basically a men’s medium) knowing everything will be a bit larger because of the gauge difference but I’m sure I’ll get a better fit.

 

There’s a lot coming up – a sweater for me, a shawlette pattern that I need to do one more time before I have it tested and published, two shawls to finish and one to start, and stockings to make.  Due to illness, I didn’t get much knitting done in 2014, but 2015 will be different.  TTFN!

 

The best laid plans December 27, 2013

I was so ready to get my snowman pattern together to publish it at long last but it was not meant to be this year.  A mix of life, school and illness saw to that and by the time I was ready it really was too late to do it for this season.  I’m thinking of doing a Christmas in July thing this year and publishing it then but we’ll see.  Regardless, it’ll be ready to go up by the beginning of November next year for sure.

My needles haven’t been completely idle this season even though I didn’t get as much knitting done as I’d have liked to.  Here’s what did happen.

Dunloe Hat

Dunloe Hat 1 Dunloe Hat 2

This is a very nifty pattern designed by one of the ladies on my Facebook knitting group.  Dunloe is a slouch hat knit with fingering weight yarn.  I’ve had this skein of Dream in Color Smooshy from Hidden River Yarns in my stash since last winter, thinking I’d knit myself some socks from it when I decided I needed a new hat and used it for Dunloe instead.  It’s hard to see in my pictures, but there’s a six-stranded braid that grows out of the ribbing at the brim.  I haven’t blocked it yet to make the cables stand out more because it’s huge on my ginormous head already.  I followed the advice of the ladies on my board and used the regular size, but doing the body of the hat on US Size 3 (3.25mm) needles instead of the US Size 2 (2.75mm) needles called for in the pattern.  It’s more than roomy enough to accommodate my hair clip, which is nice and the brim is snug enough that it isn’t going anywhere unlike my Noro Slouch Hat that I made last year that always feels like it’s going to fall off.  It was a fun knit, easy to do without a cable needle, and took me a week to make.

Swallow Tail Shawl

Swallow Tail Shawl

 

I knit this the summer when my youngest was about 6 months old in between nursing sessions five years ago.  I’d always intended to give it to my mom but this year I actually dug it out and got it blocked so I could give it to her for Christmas.  It was a major miracle that the moths hadn’t gotten to it, the worst that happened was the yarn yellowed a bit.  It’s the Swallow Tail Shawl done in some merino/alpaca/silk blend lace weight for which I’ve long since lost the ball band for.  I remember it being a fun knit and it gave me my first taste of Estonian lace with the lily of the valley pattern at the bottom of the shawl.  It’s also reminded me that I need to get blocking wires if I’m going to be doing any more lace knitting (which I hope I shall since I have a whole cone of lace weight from my trip to NYC).

Aviatrix Hat

Aviatrix Hat

 

This is the Aviatrix Hat knit in Madelinetosh Tosh Vintage in Plaid Blanket in the 3-6 month size.  It was an incredibly easy knit, only taking me two days to finish which probably would have only been one it I worked on it more.  I really like the pattern and the way the yarn looks in it.  I didn’t do a gauge swatch but winged it with US size 6 (4.0mm) and US Size 7 (4.5mm) needles.  This yarn grows a lot when it’s blocked and I definitely hit gauge after I blocked it.

Snowman Ornament

Snowman Ornament

 

This was the only one I actually got finished this year because I just ran out of steam once OI realized the pattern wasn’t going to be published this year.  I actually knit the hat and scarf Christmas morning, because it isn’t Christmas unless you are still knitting an hour before you are supposed to be somewhere.

I hope everyone had a happy holiday.  I have to weave in the ends of the Oaklet Shawl this weekend so I can add that to my list of 2013 knitting before the year ends.  All in all it wasn’t a bad year.  I have definitely been more productive in the past, but considering what I’ve been dealing with I’m happy I got done what I did.

 

 

Radio Silence November 27, 2013

I’ve been working on school and house stuff so I haven’t been making the time to knit.  Here’s what’s in the works.  For those following me on Facebook some of this is old news but there’s something new at the end.

Rainbow Sock Yarn Baby Blanket of DOOM action shot

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It took me a while to muster up the courage to try and patch the blanket again, but I finally did it and it doesn’t look too bad.  The back is going to be messy after it’s washed because of the way I wove in the ends but it shouldn’t be too bad.

Rainbow Baby Surprise Jacket

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I did the pattern as written and didn’t extend the arms although in hindsight I wish I had (truth be told I forgot how I did it with the last BSJ I mad e for my now five year-old).  I did an I-cord bind off and I should have gone up a needle size so the fit is a bit better.  I’ll remember for next time.

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Snowmen!  I’ve been sitting on this pattern for five years now and it’s finally going to go public next week.  Here’s an in progress shot.

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School is almost over and I’ll be plugging away this weekend so I can get good pictures and put up some finished ornaments in my Etsy shop.  I’m also planning on selling this as a kit to make two snowmen including fiber fill so keep a look out for that as well.

That’s all that’s doing at the moment.  I’ll be posting more as Christmas knitting kicks into high gear.

 

Blanket Woes October 4, 2013

Now that it’s been gifted I can finally let the cat out of the bag and reveal two parts of the sooper seekrit project.  The main project, a rainbow sock yarn blanket, has been in the works for four months.  Here’s a pic of it pre-washing and blocking.

sock yarn blanket

I’ve been calling it the Sock Yarn Rainbow Baby Blanket of DOOM these past few months.  If you’ve ever made one of these before, it’s not a task for the faint of heart, each one of those squares takes 30-40 minutes to knit.  The first snafu happened when Thing 1 decided he would help me out by trimming all of the ends from the top squares and the beginning and end pieces of the crochet border, all waiting to be woven in.  I got some good advice on one of my knitting boards and reinforced the top of each square with a new piece of yarn.  With baited breath, I put it in the washing machine and prayed that my fixes would hold.  When it came out of the wash, a corner of one of the internal squares had come unraveled due to what I can only guess was a weak spot in the yarn.  I was devastated.  The morning of the shower had me looking up instructions on how to darn a hole and I made a passable patch, one that was glaringly obvious to me but something everyone else had to look for.  I took the blanket home with me after the shower so I could put it through the wash again to make sure the patch held.  You can see where this is going — it separated on one side.  I must not have gone in deep enough on that side so now I have to fix it again.  It’s currently drying on my banister and I’m hoping I can do the fix tonight.

On a happier note, part two of the project did turn out all right.

pumpkin hat

The green vine lost some of its spring in washing, but that’s an easy fix.  She loved both of the gifts and part three is waiting to have ends sewn in and to be blocked and washed.  Once that’s been gifted, I’ll post pics.

I seem to have some bad knitting mojo going on right now.  Between the hole in the blanket, the almost three inches of shawl I had to frog because I was going to run out of yarn before I finished it to a ladder – yes a ladder – in a sock I’ve been playing around with since the summer it has not been a good couple of weeks in knitting.  Here’s hoping things will get better.

 

Finished Objects and Fluffy Mail May 3, 2013

I finally have some FOs to post.  First off are a pair of socks.

Black Magic SocksOriginal pattern

Great Adirondack Yarn Co Caribou, Black Magic II

US Size 2.5 (3.0mm) Needles

They were my, “knit when I have five minutes to spare project,” which is why they took so long to complete.  I ran into a couple of snafus in the second sock where I had more stitches on my bottom needle than my top needle.  I of course found this out as I was half way through kitchnering the toe.  I just frogged back to the bottom of the foot and added another pair of decreases because I was not going to add in more yarn to do another two rounds so I could decrease properly.  A few years ago, that is what I would have done, but now it’s not like anyone is going to be looking that closely at my toes.  I did do something a little bit different, I did the heel flap 3.25″ rather than the 3″ I usually use.  I’ll have to wait and see if that makes any difference in how they fit.

Another project that’s finally finished after much frogging and gnashing of teeth is my Saroyan Scarf.

Saroyan Scarf stretched out

Saroyan Scarf detailSaroyan

Madelinetosh Pashmina Sport, Golden Hickory

US Size 8 (5.0mm) Needles

I ran into all sorts of trouble with this one, but it’s finally done.  The skein was definitely more than 100g — I weighed the scarf for the yarn marathon and it came in at 101 grams and I still have some left over.  I couldn’t get a good shot of the whole thing, but it’s just a bit more than the length of my sofa.  It grew a lot when I blocked it and it still curls despite the garter edge which I find annoying.  My main complaint with the pattern and something which would have made it so much easier for me to do was she charted the leaf pattern but didn’t include the increases and decreases on the chart.  As it turned out I ended up only doing 4 increases per repeat as opposed to five because I was having such problems following the written instructions.  I put in the decreases on the chart myself and when I was done after only five repeats (I used 8 in the increase section) I knew I was in trouble somewhere.  I had to frog back to the straight section and start all over again with four decreases per repeat.  I also changed where the decreases went.  In the increase section she has the MILs right before you started the leaf pattern but on the decrease section she has you do a k2tog, k1 before the leaf pattern.  I changed it so it would be even but if I were to make it again I’s do MIL, K1 and K2tog, K1 so there would be a solid edge running next to the leaf pattern.

All in all the leaf pattern is pretty and the yarn is so soft and warm so it’ll make a nice addition to my winter wear next year.  I ended up with 8 pattern repeats in the increase and decrease section and ten repeats in the straight section.

Now onto fluffy mail!

Knitpicks Stroll Tonal

This is for a sooper seekrit project so I can’t say more.

On the needles right now (aside from the green sweater I keep saying I’m going to start working on again) is a sock I’m knitting up using instructions from Socks From the Toe Up: Essential Techniques and Patterns from Wendy Knits by Wendy Johnson.

Toe-up Sock

The good news is that the stitch count she uses for her size large socks is just about what I use for myself when I knit with my US size 2.5 (3.00mm) needles, so I don’t have to change anything on that count.  This means I can knit all of the socks in the book without having to muss with the pattern repeats.  I’m doing the heel flap sample sock and the annoying thing is that I have to figure out myself how to accommodate my high instep.  I think I’m just about at the point where I would begin the gusset increases so I’m going to have to break out the book and figure out how to make the change for a larger gusset.

One thing this reminds me about toe-up socks — how much I hate M1Rs, especially with a blunt tip needle.  I have to say I’m very disappointed with my Knitpicks size 2.5 needle because it’s barely pointier than my Addi Turbo needle.  It is a bit pointier, which makes a M1R a bit easier, but it’s still a PITA.

I’m woefully behind on the yarn marathon, but I’m still not up to speed on my knitting.  If I can ever get than damned sweater finished, it will bump me up considerably, but as it is I’m lagging behind at not quite a mile.  So here’s hoping for getting my knitting mojo back.