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.

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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Simmer Dim

I made this pattern a few years ago with Socks that Rock Lightweight in Thraven. It is the only knitwear that I’ve made that I lost. I’m not even sure how I lost it, to be honest. But it really ate at me. So I decided to replace it, this one is made with Socks that Rock Mediumweight in Monroe Blutbad.  Super comfy, I love to wear it around the house and as a scarf when I go out. I don’t normally go in for variegated yarn, but since it is a Grimm colourway I had to try it. I really love the result, though I find it hard to photograph. I’ve since joined the Rockin’ Sock Club for this year and I’m going to make myself some mittens out of variegated yarn soon.
P1030194After Blocking

P1030192 Blocking with phone for size.

P1030187Right after cast off, no blocking.

Autumn is here!

It is very chilly here this morning. So very refreshing and invigorating. I have been knitting; I put my Evenstar to the side this month, but I did finish a hat, and I started another shawl for a KAL that started last weekend. I used Blue Moon Single Silk for the hat, it is so soft, I just love it.

Completed 13 September 2014
Elven Cloche Hat

I joined a KAL for the In Dreams Shawl, another Tolkien inspired shawl by the same designer as Evenstar. It is my first time using beads, and there are just so many of them! I got a beadle needle, super easy to use and an awesome time saver for beaded projects.
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I am only going to do 8 rows per day, to avoid mistakes. I love charts so much, I forget to check the written instructions, which contain the chart notes. So I have already made my first mistake, and I’ve had to frog back 4 rows. Not as bad as my Evenstar gaffe, but aargh.

Lastly, I am still plugging away on my Shalder. I started the sleeves, it is great to work on at the end of the day.
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Progress despite avoidance

I was making great progress on 海丰’s Ryuu-ko Sweater, started the sleeves aaannnddd put it down. Picked up the Unicorn Sleeper again, which is good, because I should be further along already. Figuring out the details of an original pattern is hard enough, but writing them down so that they make sense to others is really something else. True to form, I was avoiding it. Come to think of it, I haven’t been working on the Sutton Hoo Hat either. I also realised that 海纳’s Aviatrix Hat from last year was too small, so I made her a Conch Hat by Elizabeth Zimmermann.

海纳’s Conch Hat

I really love that pattern, I made another one last August from the same yarn for my friend’s baby. Now to choose between my two adversaries of the moment: sleeves or pattern writing.

At long last, I’ll be talking about other projects soon

It’s done! The steek cutting went well, but Felted Tweed doesn’t steek as well as Lopi does. It’s too light and cobweb-y.

Middle-Earthscape 01

I’m really happy about the way it turned out, and the pattern for the sweater is incredible. It’s an amazing pattern for a generic cardigan, I could make this sweater over and over again, just changing the yoke patt to make it different from the last.

Middle-Earthscape 02

I’ve been knitting up a storm (for me, anyway), but I put the Sutton Hoo hat on the backburner because I found my husband’s missing hat from last year and my son doesn’t have a single knitted sweater that fits. I’m already nearly half-way through the Ryuu-ko sweater.

Middle-Earthscape 03

Oh, and happy (Canadian) Thanksgiving!

How to cut a steek. Or perhaps how not to cut a steek.

Cityscape: sleeves, yoke, collar, all done!! I thought I’d post some pictures showing how I plan to cut the steek. I’ve never had a problem with steeking, but all my experience with steeks involves lopi, which is a very sticky wool yarn. Felted Tweed is part merino, alpaca, and rayon, and the knit fabric is very light, so long story short I don’t want to cut the steek until after the buttonbands are complete.  The pictues below show the steek ready to be cut. I will cut the sweater along the orange yarn, gently pulling it out as I go. I sewed through the knit stitches on either side of the orange yarn, using yellow and blue. Once I cut the steek, I will sew the edges to the inside of the sweater, using sewing thread. Hopefully, I will have pictures of the completed cardie very soon!

cityscape yoke showing where steek is to be cut
Cityscape with steek ready to be cut