Knitty Keen

Knitting, knitting, and some more knitting

I still aten’t dead November 4, 2015

Filed under: Knitting,Shawl — knittykeen @ 8:18 pm
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Long time no see!  I haven’t been doing much knitting at all these past few months except for a spurt here or there.  A few weeks ago I picked up my Grass and Bubblegum shawl (Color Affection) and my Follow Your Arrow 2 shawl.

Follow Your Arrow 2 shawl

Follow Your Arrow 2, almost done

Well I’m two and a half rows from binding off Follow Your Arrow and if you check out my Facebook page you can see my progress on the Grass and Bubblegum shawl I posted a few weeks ago.  Don’t have much time for a long catch-up chat right now, but I’ll be back soon and will be posting Work In Progress Wednesday pics on the Facebook page and more regular posts here.  Alas (or not so alas), there is to be no Christmas knitting this year as I’ve gone back to school and I don’t have the time to do it this year. TTFN!

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It’s not like riding a bike October 21, 2014

If you don’t use a skill, you start to forget things.  I used to knit all the time, 2 hours a stretch and then some most days, and my work showed it: nice even stitches and nary a mistake to be seen.  Then I got sick at the beginning of the year.  The first project I knit, one of the prototypes for a soon to be released pattern, confounded me until I finally figured out what the problem was.  It’s still not perfect, I have to play around with gauge, but I got through it.  The second project I knit, the Follow Your Arrow Mystery Knit Along Shawl, went fairly well.  The charts weren’t complicated and I probably had to fix a few mistakes but all in all I was satisfied with the end result (it still has yet to be blocked).  The third project I worked on was the Desolation of Smaug Mystery Knit Along.  With this one all hell broke loose.  I had to use multiple life lines because I kept making mistakes on the charts.  I had to use a highlighter so I could keep track of where I was in the chart.  Right now it’s sleeping because I have to frog four rows to correct a mistake I made.  There was at least one aborted attempt at knitting a sock that I just couldn’t concentrate on.

I decided I liked the look of a shawl that someone in my knitting group made and offered to test it for her.  I read what I thought were the important parts of the instructions and got to the last section of knitting the shawl before I realized I had done it completely wrong.  I frogged it and started over but kept making simple mistakes so it’s just as well she didn’t use it in her pattern launch.  That brings us up to Christmas knitting and my first project on the needles, Color Affection.  After reading through all the mods people made to the shawl, I decided that I was going to use yarn overs in the borders and knit front and back rather than the make one left and right that the pattern called for.  I set to work, got a few rows in, screwed up and frogged it.  Started again thinking I had the pattern in my mind and things seemed to be going well except that my gauge was all over the place.  I’m a tight knitter usually and was trying to knit loosely so there were these patches of really loose stitches all over the place.  It’ll come out in blocking I told myself.  I was two rows away from finishing the first section when I thought it would be a good time to count my stitches.  My count came out to be 29 too many stitches and an even number to boot.  I reread the instructions and found out I was supposed to be doing double increases on one row and single increases on the next three rows.  I just finished frogging it.  I am using Tosh Merino Light and if you’ve ever had to frog it you know what a PITA it is.

Up until I stopped to count stitches I thought I was doing really well.  The gauge differences would work out a bit in blocking and it’s intended recipient probably wouldn’t notice them anyway.  I was happy.  I was finally knitting something and enjoying it.  Having to frog all that work has been a huge blow to me.  I’m going to have to dig out my row counter or keep a note pad near by so I can keep track of the increases.  My concentration is shot now and it will probably take me a few days to really get back into knitting it again.  This is not a complicated pattern.  I posses all the skills necessary to complete it and complete it well, it’s just that I keep making simple mistakes with big consequences.  I have a sock swatch that I have to measure and I’m almost afraid to do it wondering that even if I got gauge could I maintain it?

I know I should count myself lucky that I had that time when all things knitting went well for me.  I’ve had legitimate reasons for why I haven’t been able to knit much this past year but those reasons aren’t gone yet and I’m going to have to resort to using tools I thought I had completely outgrown.  It’ll get done and to the best of my ability, but it’s going to take a while for me to get back to where I was in my prime.  Thus endeth my, “Oh woe with me,” post and my hubris that I could just pick up where I left off.

 

Long Time No See March 12, 2014

It has indeed been a while since I’ve posted anything.  I have actually been knitting, but not nearly as much as I’d like to be.  I have two shawls waiting to be blocked, another one on the needles, a sock that I’ve barely started and as soon as I get my replacement size 6 needle, I’m going to be casting on for Color Affection.

The first shawl that is waiting to be blocked is an original design called Flirty.  My husband got me a beautiful skein of Madelinetosh Tosh Merino Light in Coquette for Christmas.  I had made a little shawlette out of some Noro Silk Garden Sock (surprisingly in the colorway that comes up when you click the link) years ago.  I played yardage chicken with it and finished it with only six inches to spare.  I always intended to do something with it but I never actually wrote down a pattern.  When I opened my Christmas present I knew exactly what I wanted to make with it.

tosh merino light cocquette

Flirty is a wide but short shawl with a ruffled edge, just long enough to tie at your throat to keep your neck warm.  I’m planning on getting some blocking done in the beginning of next week so I’ll post pics then.

The second shawl I’ve been working on is Follow Your Arrow Mystery Knit-a-long.  A Mystery knit-a-long is one where you get individual “clues” or pieces of the pattern and you have no idea how the pattern is actually going to turn out.  My knitting board was doing it as a knit-a-long so I decided to jump in.  I was worried about making gauge for some reason so I knit it on US Size 5 (4.25mm) needles instead of the recommended US Size 6 (4.5mm) needles.  I went to my LYS and found the most wonderful color of Tosh Merino Light, Whiskey Barrel.  Here’s an in progress shot.

DSCF2779

I actually ordered blocking wires which just came this week to block this one since I really want it to come out looking right.

The third shawl which is currently on the needles is the Desolation of Smaug Mystery Knit-a-long.  Well, it was The Desolation of Smaug Mystery Knit-a-long.  I was getting ready to link the project page on Ravelry and the first thing I noticed is that the price was only $3.00 and I was a bit miffed because I paid $7.00 since the knit-a-long had already started when I jumped in.  There’s a lengthy explanation and I don’t know if my original pattern is any good any more.  I’m going to have to do some digging on the Ravelry forums to find out what is going on.  I bought the new pattern, but I don’t know if I want to do it any more.  This is incredibly annoying.  Here’s the in-progress shot (and this week’s WIP Wednesday) from the original pattern.  I’m going to have to do a lot of thinking about this*(see update below).

Desolation of Smaug Clue 1

The yarn is Tosh Merino Light in the Envy colorway — my birthday present from my husband.  He’s done a great job picking out yarn colors for me this year.  Interesting story about the yarn.  I told him I wanted sock yarn for my birthday.  He went to one of the LYS’s in the area and asked the clerk to show him some sock yarn.  The clerk went on to tell him that sock yarn wasn’t really for socks and steered him towards the Tosh Merino Light.  Now, I love Tosh Merino Light, but sock yarn it isn’t.  Who ever this person was she has no business working in a yarn store.  I’ve told him to go to the other LYS from now on since their staff seems more knowledgeable.

There’s the sock, but that’s really waiting room and bus knitting so it’ll get done when it gets done.  The next big thing on the agenda is Color Affection.

Color Affection Shawl

In these colors…

Tosh Merino Light Color Affection Colors

This is my, “I quit smoking for a month.” (it’s now two!) present to myself.  I love the colors and as soon as I get my replacement needle for Knit Picks, I’m going to cast on.  It’s all done in garter stitch so it’s perfect for doing at night when the kids are in bed and I’m watching TV with my husband.

That’s about it for now.  I should have two finished objects the beginning of next week so keep an eye out for the next post.  TTFN!

UPDATE:  It turns out there are TWO Desolation of Smaug Mystery Knit-a-longs.  Here’s the link to the one I’m doing — The Desolation of Smaug.  So now I own both patterns and I don’t have to frog again.