WIPs 2016-01-27

I’ve been making progress this week – I should finish my hitchhiker and my child’s socks in a few days. I turned the heels on my socks this weekend and the recipient doesn’t want her socks to go to far up her leg, so almost done! I’ve also finished chart 3 on my Evenstar, and am now casting off with beads!!

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Hitchhiker Shawl

 

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Evenstar Shawl
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Child’s Socks

FOs 2016-01-26

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FO Report: Insulate! Hat

Pattern: Insulate! Hat by Amy van de Laar (Baroque Purls)
Yarn: madeleinetosh tosh dk 56 yards Spectrum (blue) and 84 yards Maple Leaf (yellow)
Needles: 4 mm
Yardage: 68.5 g / 140 yards

I knit this for my Whovian 10 year old son, who loves it. It was really tight around his head before blocking, but thankfully, blocking did the trick. The yarn is just lovely, silky 100% merino with just a perfect barely there amount of drape.

I knit the medium size, and I followed the pattern, though I did use the It’s not About the Hat pattern‘s colour-work technique. The standard Fair Isle technique of carrying yarn behind the work has never worked out for me, my tension is too uneven, and not even blocking can save the FO. I really love this new-to-me colour-work technique; it’s actually very simple, though there are very detailed instructions in the It’s not About the Hat pattern. I may even use it to substitute intarsia one day.

Next time I knit this hat, I would do about twice as many rounds of ribbing at the beginning, as there is barely enough ear coverage for truly cold days (say, -25C and below).

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FO Report: Insulate! Mittens

Pattern: Insulate! Mittens by Amy van de Laar (Baroque Purls)
Yarn: madeleinetosh tosh dk 97 yards Spectrum (blue) and 49 yards Maple Leaf (yellow)
Needles: 3.75 mm & 4 mm
Yardage: 70 g / 146 yards

I made these to match the Dalek hat above (actually, I made the mittens first then the hat). I inverted the colours to make sure that I would have enough to make the entire hat/mittens set.

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As you can see in the photo, these mittens are getting a lot of use, especially being snow-covered, jammed into coat pockets while soaking wet, a lot of friction while damp, etc.. etc… And they are holding up really well. I am very impressed. Tosh DK is not the princess-y kind of expensive yarn I was worried it might be. They also dry very fast; my son hasn’t had to deal with trying to keep warm by pulling on wet, soggy, somehow-even-colder-than-outside slush blocks (aka ‘mittens’).

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Insulate! Mittens

I didn’t quite follow the pattern. I changed the patterning on the palm – the yellow just completely overpowered the blue, it was very unbalanced (with my colour selections). So I just did the simplest pattern I could think of – y,b to end, next round b,y to end, repeat these 2 rounds. The thumbs are knit in the background colour, then the contrast colour is duplicate stitched in. I didn’t quite finish the duplicate stitch chart; I did just enough so that pattern flowed from the hand. Duplicate stitch is just not my thing, but it’s a good idea for the thumbs, obviously.

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All in all, I loved knitting the hat and mittens, and I am so happy my son loves them too!

WIPs 2016-01-21

I finished a WIP from last week, the Insulate! mittens, so as one does, I immediately cast on for two more projects. The Insulate! hat is actually done, I finished it last night. The photo was taken yesterday afternoon; immediately after taking its picture, I decided that I had to work on this hat. I pushed everything else aside, including this post, which should have been written and posted yesterday. It’s super cute, though a little small (did I check gauge? no, of course not) but I haven’t blocked it yet, so fingers crossed it will get larger.

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Insulate! hat

I cast on a Hitchhiker as well, I’m using Hedgehog Fibres Twist Sock, which is 80% BFL wool and 20% nylon. I love the yarn, and the colours are amazing. I find knitted speckled yarn gives a lovely gentle overall effect, but can still use many wild colours, while variegated can be hit or miss when it knits up. This shawl’s construction is fun to knit, since it goes so fast at the beginning.

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Hitchhiker Shawl

I am so close to being done with Chart Three on my Evenstar. Only 1.5 rows of patterning, and 5 rows of plain knitting, left. I can’t wait to start the bind off/Chart Four. I haven’t worked on any of my other WIPs this week, though the socks are bugging me. My daughter hates the toe seams in commercial socks; the guilt of not being a consistent sock knitter (e.g. my Monkey Socks took me just over three years to complete) is really getting to me.

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Evenstar Shawl

And yes, I did put an overturned box on my back porch to use a table / snow protector to take these photos. On a sunny day, the snow outside (it is everywhere) works almost like a light-box. The colours are accurate for once. Oh! and that overturned box was used to ship an Ashford bottom whorl spindle to me. I plan to learn how to spin, but for now I just want to get my feet wet;  I want to master the spindle and enjoy it before jumping into the spinning pool.

WIPs 2016-01-13

I recently cast on these mittens, they are a blast to knit. I’m trying traditional colourwork for the right hand (which is finished), and a new colourwork technique for the left (in progress). So far loving the new technique, but I have to wait for the left mitten to be done before I know the final result. Yes, I am knitting mittens with Daleks on them. Pattern here. This also my first time knitting with tosh dk, so love it, but I have to wait and see how it wears in real life. The blue is spectrum and the yellow is maple leaf.

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Insulate! Mittens

I’ve also made a little progress on this old friend from 2014, my Evenstar. I should finish the 3rd chart very soon. I will be using beads for the 4th and final chart. This shawl and In Dreams are part of my detention o.w.l. for hpkchc, so hopefully they will both be done by April.

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Evenstar
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In Dreams

These are the WIPs that I’m not consistently working on, though I should be:

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Bat’leth Scarf
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Daphne Socks
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Amagi Jumper
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Luke

Seriously, there is no reason (other than time) that I’m not working on them / that they aren’t finished already.

FO Report: Aestlight

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Pattern: Aestlight Shawl by Gudrun Johnston
Yarn: Jamieson’s Shetland Spindrift in 429 Old Gold and 230 Yellow Ochre
Needles: 3.75 mm
Yardage: 72 g / 335 yards

I had a few skeins of Old Gold in my stash and I wanted to knit it up because it’s really not a ‘me’ colour. (Yup, I’m the kind of person who eats the cake before the icing, most of the time). The yellow ochre is a much happier colour, but I only had one skein so I decided to use them together on this shawl to make the Old Gold less painful. Yes, colour can affect my emotions. It may be crazy but it’s true for me. The honeycomb pattern is ridiculously simple, so simple that I underestimated the amount of attention I needed to use to not screw it up. I was tinking back regularly, but I always caught my mistake before starting the next row. I do love the honeycomb stitch pattern.

Because I used a contrast colour for the garter bands, there was a small ridge along the top edge of the shawl at the colour joins. This bugged me, and since I noticed it while I was doing the knitted edging bind off, when I was done with the bind off I continued with a kind of standard bind off along the top edge of the shawl. What I did (I think) is pick up and knit one stitch from the edge of the shawl, then bound off the first stitch (that was the last stitch of the knitted bind off), then picked up one stitch again, and bound it off, etc.. until I got to the other end of the shawl. This made a nice finished effect, HOWEVER, I used a 3.75 mm needle, which made the bind off too tight along the honeycomb edge. I should have used at least a 5 mm needle. I got into real trouble at blocking because I couldn’t open the honeycomb pattern up at the top ends of the shawl. Evidence:

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It was too tight and looked horrible. So I undid that bit of trim(?) and reblocked it:

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Still a little tight at the top ends, but better than before.  Ideally, I’ll make this one again soon in a colour I can truly appreciate, especially to see if I still get tightening of the honeycomb pattern at the top ends if I use just one skein to knit it.

FO Report: Celestarium

Project: Celestarium
Pattern: Celestarium by Audry Nicklin
Yarn: BMFA Seduction in Star Sapphire
Needles: 3.75 mm
Yardage: 309 g / 1097.2 yards

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This was actually a simple knit, despite the fact of not having a memorizable pattern until the cast-off edging. It only took me about 5 points or so to memorise the cast-off edging, so that helped, but the edging took seemingly forever. I was knitting 2 rows (8 to 20 or sts each) for every 1 stitch cast off. Beautiful, elegant result though. I was also casting off in the same way at the same time for my Aestlight shawl (completed) and my full Hansel (almost!). The Seduction yarn is very, very slick, smooth and shiny. I loved it. It’s also resistant to pilling; I tend to knit on the go, and I often don’t have the time to be princess-y with my projects. That is, sometimes I just shove everything into my purse as I’m running out the door. No project bag or even a plastic grocery bag to protect my work from the chaos of crap that can be found in my bag. For example, I have a metal seashell and small stuffed giraffe in my bag. No particular reason, they just ended up in my bag and decided to move in. So I’ve dealt with pilling before, and if a project doesn’t pill on me, that yarn is extremely resistant to pilling. This is also the first project using beads that I have completed. My first beaded project is In Dreams, which is still on the needles. I wasn’t daunted by the beads themselves, but it is difficult to work with so many beads with a 4 year-old running around. The 4 year-old in question is now almost 5 and about to begin kindergarten so I’m really hoping to pick it up this fall.

WIP Wednesday 26 August 2015

What I am working on right now:

1. Cast-off/edging for my full Hansel – I have less than 10 points left to do.

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2. Princess Bubblegum (I am using Astrid the Viking pattern)  I have only the crown left to do, but it is i-cord so I am avoiding this, of course.

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3. Luke Skywalker. I started him last week, while avoiding PB’s hair (so much hair), I’m only a few rounds in. Yet again, I am using the Astrid Viking pattern as a base.

What I should be working on:

1. Evenstar. It’s been well over a year since I started chart one. I haven’t worked on it meaningfully since last fall.

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2. In Dreams. So many beads. I haven’t picked it up since last fall either.

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