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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Dotted Rays

Project: Dotted Rays
Pattern: Dotted Rays by Stephen West
Yarn: BMFA STR Mediumweight in Feelin’ Groovy, BMFA STR Lightweight in Hobbit Garden and Fleece Artist Nova Wool in Forest
Needles: 4 mm
Yardage: 243 g / 612 yards

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This was a really fun knit, the simple garter stitch made it a really relaxing and enjoyable knit. The cheerful colours helped, too. I had to rip it out and start over after the first 2 wedges. I was just following the instructions, but I couldn’t ‘see’ where the instructions were taking me; usually when I read instructions I can see the results in my head, but not this time. The first two wedges were a little goofy so I frogged it and started over. This was my first time making an i-cord edged shawl, a little confusing a first but a beautiful, modern, and simple result. In the past three months, I’ve made 4 shawls and three of them had knitted-on edgings. I’ve finished two of those edgings (Celestarium and Aestlight) but I’m still plodding through my third (Hansel). One thing I noticed when knitting this shawl is yarn twist and what a difference it makes. All the yarns I used are sock yarns, the pinky/purple/yellow and the bluesy/purple yarns are BMFA, but the green that I knit the last wedge out of is Fleece Artist. The BMFA yarns have a high twist and the fabric is a lot more firm (but still soft!) than the drapey result I got from the lower twist Fleece Artist. I don’t mind the last wedge being drapey, I find it interesting. I think I would have been really bothered it was in the middle wedges. It almost makes an additional edging to the shawl.  The bold colours of my Dotted Rays are really going to get me through winter, I foresee a lot of use out of this comfy shawl.

Completed 12 July 2015

Carbuncles pt. 2

Project: Linga
Pattern: Linga by Gudrun Johnston
Yarn: Rowan Felted Tweed DK, colour 157 Camel
Needles: 3.5 & 4.5 mm
Yardage: 41 g / 156 yards

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It’s fitting that I finished this hat right after my Shalder cardigan. I put this pattern in my queue at the same time that I put Shalder in my queue; I was fascinated by the carbuncle/diamond motifs used for dwarven objects in The Hobbit movie. I love how it turned out; I think it will be my main hat this winter even if there is an openwork / lace motif. I originally meant to make the hat and the cardigan as a matching set because of the carbuncle design feature, but they are knit at different tensions and knitting them in the same yarn would be boring. The carbuncle lacework shows up more clearly in lighter coloured yarn, too. Now if I could just finish an idea in less than a year, instead of the nearly three years this one took me to complete.

My Blue Carbuncle

Project: Shalder
Pattern: Shalder by Gudrun Johnston
Yarn: Cascade 220 Navy Blue
Needles: 4.5 mm

Completed 29 March 2015
Completed 29 March 2015

I love this sweater, the fit and especially the lace yoke. I originally chose this pattern way back when the first Hobbit movie was released. I loved all the dwarves’ costumes, and I noticed that there were a lot of geometric shapes. Shalder’s yoke pattern reminded me of that. It was in my queue since then, I only started working seriously on it this year. I think I had done about 7 cm of the body in 2013, I picked it up a little bit last summer but really got down to business this year. There’s a bit of a dye lot issue – one sleeve appears to be made from a different lot, so there is a bit of a colour line at the yoke, but it’s not too bad. I have no idea how it happened. I’ll put it down as some sort of punishment for letting projects linger for no good reason.

Sweet Vanilla Tea

Project: Vanilla Tea
Pattern: Sweet Vanilla Tunic by Veera Valmaki
Yarn: Blue Moon Fiber Arts BFL Sport in Raspberry Moose and Blue Moon Fiber Arts STR Mediumweight in Monroe Blutbad
Needles: 3.75 mm and 2.5 mm

Completed 21 March 2015
Completed 21 March 2015

I love knitting with this yarn, it is so soft and light and airy. It’s pretty strong as well, I didn’t break any while knitting this tunic. I love the simplicity of this design, I know this something I will wear a lot.

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A Joining of Two Patterns

Project: Idlewood Fjorgyn
Pattern: Idlewood by Cecily Glowik MacDonald and Fjorgyn Jacket by Elsebeth Lavold.
Yarn: Rowan Rowanspun Chunky in Cardamom
Needles: 6.5 mm and 6 mm

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I have been trying to knit Fjorgyn Jacket pattern for years, but I’ve never actually finished any of those projects. Until now. I am not very tall, so I haven’t ever followed the instructions for the body in all the iterations of this pattern I’ve knit. I started to make a slimmed down version of the jacket with the Rowanspun Chunky back in 2013 but I put it aside when I began to sense that I didn’t have enough yarn to finish it. But I loved the way the cables popped with the yarn. What to do. What to do.

I knit Idlewood back in 2011 using Blue Moon Fiber Arts Lucious Single Silk, and wanted another tunic.

And so Idlewood Fjorgyn was born. I simply placed the cable pattern from the Fjorgyn jacket in the middle of the tunic body, went a size up to account for the cables narrowing my fabric, and voila.

Completed 12 March 2015

I really love how it turned out, and I love wearing it. The only problem I have is getting the cowl to fit inside my winter jacket when I zip it up. But spring is finally here so no worries.

Toe-Up Sock Mittens

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Project: Toe-Up Sock Hobbit Mittens

Pattern: My own, with gusset help from Frankenfingers and English Fern Lace

Yarn: Socks that Rock Lightweight Hobbit Garden

I felt like making mittens, but I wondered why are patterns always written from wrist to fingertip? What if you knit from fingertips to wrist, and if so, how would you do that? So I used a magic toe-up sock cast on, two at a time on 2.5 mm needles, increased 4 sts per mitten every row just like I would for a toe. When I got to 64 sts per mitten, I continued knitting straight until I got to the thumb. For each mitten, I cast off 4 sts on the palm, 2 on the back of the hand. On the next round when I got to the thumb (where I just cast off 6 sts) I cast on 20 sts. As I continued, I decreased at the thumb, sort of a reverse thumb gusset. I used Frankenfingers as a gusset guide.

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I kept decreasing every few rounds until each mitten was 60 sts. I got kinda bored at the end, I added some lace as a border. I still don’t like lace in variegated yarn, I can barely see the pattern, but then again I only did one repeat. Then I picked up stitches for the thumb, decreasing drastically when I was almost at my thumb tip.

I’ve been wearing them regularly the past couple of weeks, and I like them but next time I’d knit them smaller, both in length (of the hand, from finger tips to thumb) and circumference (again, my hand from the fingertips to the thumb), and in a thicker wool. We’ve had a very harsh, bitterly cold winter this year and my hands get cold easily, the lightweight just doesn’t stand up to -20 C. But I love the colours so much, the way they play off each other, it’s delicious. And the pooling matches. Love it.

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