Knitty Keen

Knitting, knitting, and some more knitting

Should auld acquaintance be forgot… December 30, 2015

It’s the end of the year and while I haven’t knit nearly as much as I would have liked, I did manage to get a few things done.  Here’s what’s been doing recently.

 

The Doodler

This was definitely been a challenge for me.  The cables nearly killed me, I think the biggest one had 34 stitches in it.  Then on clue three I kept messing up my count and having to frog and start all over again.  There was the running out of yarn in clue one and again in clue three I was afraid of it happening again, so I did the fourth wedge in Color A rather than Color C.  Here’s how it’s grown…

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The Doodler Clue 1

the doodler clue 2

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Here’s a pic of it blocking.  I’m still working on weaving in the ends.

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I’m really pleased with the results.  It fits over my shoulders perfectly and I look forward to wearing it in the hopefully chilly days to come.  Sweet Georgia Yarns Tough Love Sock in Honey Fig, Saffron, and Pistachio on US size 4 (3.5mm) needles.

 

Follow Your Arrow 2 Shawl

This one took me quite a long time to get done.  I started out well but then it just sat for a while without being touched.  I still have yet to block it, but here’s a pic of it off the needles.

Follow Your Arrow 2 Shawl

Madelinetosh Tosh Merino Light in Baroque Violet and Grasshopper with US Size 6 (4.0mm) needles.

 

Monkey Jacobus

This one was a year in the making.  Looking back on my project page on Ravelry, I started it on the 23rd of December planning on gifting it on the 25th.  Yeah, right.  Well this year saw me finishing it on Christmas Eve to gift this year.  It was a hit for my nephew who loves monkeys.  Here’s the finished object.

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KnitPicks Stroll Handpainted in Carnival (discontinued color), Palette in Cream and Red, and Stroll Sock Yarn in Black on US size 2 (2.75mm) needles.

 

Grass and Bubblegum Shawl (Color Affection)

This has been languishing in UFO (unfinished object) territory for a while.  I’m going to starting to work on it in earnest again this weekend.  Here’s the most recent in progress pic where you can see how my gauge has changed.  I’m a little afraid to pick it back up again for fear of what my gauge will be this time.

grass and bubblegum shawl

 

Crazy Zauberball Socks

Compared to my other projects, these are practically flying off the needles.  Just finished the gusset on the second sock, so there’s not much left to do before the toe and finishing it off.  Here’s today’s Work in Progress Wednesday picture…

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I’m not taking classes this semester so I really want to buckle down and get some knitting done.  I have two sweaters I want to make, two shawls to finish, and I’m aiming for one pair of socks a month this year (although I’m not sure I’ll be able to keep that up come fall with school).  Coming up I’ll be revisiting my review of Chiaogoo needles once I’ve finished my second sock on them and I’m finally going to put in the work and get some patterns published.  Check out the Knittykeen Facebook page to keep up with Work in Progress Wednesday pictures.  I think that’s enough to be working with for now, TTFN!

 

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Doodling along December 9, 2015

The big project I’ve been working on the past few weeks is Stephen West’s The Doodler mystery knit along.  First snag I hit was running out of color A before I was finished clue 1, so I had to order another skein.

The Doodler Clue 1

Then I went on to clue 2 and all of those cables which took me forever to do because the number of stitches in the cable kept increasing and I’ve never done this type of cable before.

the doodler clue 2

After I finished with the cables I moved on to clue 3.  I had finished 3 wedges of clue 3 and was afraid that I was going to run out of yarn for the last one so I switched to color A for that one.

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I’m about halfway through the last wedge in Clue 3 and then onto the last clue and I’m done.  I’m so looking forward to finishing this and getting it blocked.

While I was waiting for the yarn to arrive to finish clue 1, I found an unopened Jimmy Bean’s package and there was a ball of Crazy Zauberball inside it so I cast on for a sock.

crazy zauberball sock

I’m about 3/4 the way through the heel flap and I have to find my copy of Sock Innovation so I can get the numbers to turn the heel.  I tend to keep this one in my bag so I only work on it in fits and spurts.  Once I’m done The Doodler I’ll work on it in earnest since I really want some wool socks now that the cold weather is here.  I only have another two weeks of school left then I’ll have my days free and I can work on the socks and my hibernating Grass and Bubblegum Shawl.  The only Christmas knitting I’m doing this year is finishing up the second leg of Monkey Jacobus for my nephew which was supposed to be gifted last year.  Not knitting for Christmas this year is liberating in a way, I don’t have to worry about deadlines and whether or not the recipient is going to like it.  If I do Christmas knitting for next year, I’m going to try and be sensible and start in July so I’m not going crazy in the fall since I’ll be in school again.

That’s it for what’s going on at the moment.  TTFN!

 

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.

 

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.

 

Sock Woes July 1, 2013

Filed under: Knitting,Socks,sooper seekrit project — knittykeen @ 7:53 pm
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I just finished frogging about 2.5″ of sock – a nearly completed gusset and a bit more.  Turns out I should have read the pattern for the slip stitch heel basic socks from Socks from the Toe Up more carefully before starting the gusset since she suggests 3″ less than the length of your foot and I was using 2.5″ as my measurement for everything.  This would have resulted in a sock about 1/2″ too big for me.  I almost decided to say the hell with it and continue on with just a few extra gusset stitches, but I want a workable pattern that’s going to fit my foot not something that kind of fits, especially since I want to knit several of the socks in the book.

Some of this yarn has been frogged twice now but it seems to be holding up well.  It’s the Manos Alegria I got back in February. With some luck I won’t be frogging it a third time.  I won’t get to work on it again until next week anyway since I’m still plugging away at the sooper seekrit project.  Just a reminder you can check out my progress by taking a look at my Facebook page.  I’m in the home stretch now so it shouldn’t be too much longer if I can make the time to work on it consistently.

 

Sock Break June 12, 2013

I’ve had an epiphany about the sooper seekrit project and it’s going to be smaller and much more manageable than I originally intended.  As such, I’ve lessened the pace at which I’m working on it so I’m not posting a WIP Wednesday picture of it on my Facebook page.  Instead, I pulled out a hibernating WIP, my toe-up heel-flap sock.

Toe-up sock

 

If it doesn’t look that much different from the last picture I posted of it, it’s because it isn’t.  I took it with me to work on while the kids were playing in the park tonight, so I only got a few rounds done.  I think I’ve figured out how I’m going to alter it to accommodate my high instep.  I need about an extra half inch of heel flap, which would translate to an extra inch of gusset so instead of starting the gusset at 7.5″ for my foot as recommended in Socks from the Toe Up, I’m going to start my gusset at 6.5″ and place a life line before I turn the heel.  It will still probably take a while before I get there since this is my park and doctor’s office knitting, but when I do I’ll post the changes I made to Wendy’s pattern.

So it’s sock knitting for tonight then back to seekrit projects tomorrow.

 

And now a word from our sponsors… May 15, 2013

Filed under: Knitting,Misc.,Socks,sooper seekrit project,Sweater,UFO's,WIP's — knittykeen @ 8:13 pm
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Not really, but the sooper seekrit project is going to be taking up almost all of my knitting time for the next two months or so.  If you want to keep up with it, you can check out my Facebook page for WIP Wednesday pics of my progress.  I haven’t given up on my toe-up sock, but I’m falling behind on this project and I can’t start fiddling with that until I get caught up.  The green sweater has now fallen into UFO limbo from which it will hopefully emerge one day.

Note: The husband said, “You know how I said I would never leave you?  You’re putting that to the test,” in response to my use of sooper seekrit.  😛 to him.