What’s on my Needles This Weekend

The alternate title of this post could be: All the Alongs.  Has anyone else noticed that with the new year there has been a rash of Alongs?  What’s a knitter to do??  So many to join, so little time.  This is especially true when you’ve committed to finishing all the WIPs in your Land of Forgotten Projects.  On the other hand, another goal was to continue to participate in various KAL’s and hashtag projects as I’ve found these to be fun and offer the opportunity to connect with other knitters.  I’ve decided to focus on just a few for right now.

This brings us to what’s on my needles this weekend.  One of the KALs that I’m participating in is the Wooly Wonka Fibers Handspun KAL.  Now, I don’t spin and I think I can pretty safely say that I will never spin.  I like my yarn already made for me. So how did I come into possession of this beautiful ball of handspun?

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If you are active on Instagram you will recall that in December knitters were posting and granting yarn wishes.  I did not post any wishes as I did not know exactly what I wanted to ask for.  And then I saw that Emily from the Knitting Butterflies podcast was offering a skein of her handspun to the first commenter on the post so I took her up on her offer. I decided that Handspun KAL was a great way to make sure I cast it on right away.  I did not want it to languish in my stash because it was such a kind gift.  It took me some time to figure out what to knit with it. I finally decided on the Shiny Penny Cowl by Lisa Ortale.  It’s $5 on Ravelry and is a great pattern. I found it last year when I was gifted random yarn without a label so I had no idea the fiber content or yardage.  This is the perfect pattern for these types of situations.  The pattern gives instructions for weighing the yarn as you go so you know how long to knit for and when you need to cast off.

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I’ve decided to join in on a few other Alongs as well.  Here’s a list and a brief description of each.  I’m sure I will go into more detail on each of them in future posts.

12 Projects in 12 Months: The goal is to complete 12 projects in 12 months and I’ve tagged all my current WIPs and have a few empty spots that will be filled with other projects I will cast on from stash yarn.  I’ve already completed one project so we’re off to a good start. This one was fun because I found out about it from my first Instagram friend.

The Maker’s Year: Over on A Playful Day Kate is hosting The Maker’s Year which is focusing on daily making. You can check out the posts on Instagram that have been tagged #themakersyear.

#366 Project:  On Instagram, I first saw Eskimimi participating in the #366 project. Sounds easy enough – post a a photo a day of creative pursuits.  I’m on it so far but it has been tougher than I thought.

GoalAlong: This is being hosted by Imagined Landscapes.  You can see the start of my goals page in the picture of my cowl.

For more information on all these alongs check out these pages:

Wooly Wonka Handspun KAL Ravelry Group: Handspun KAL

12 Projects in 12 Months: Ravelry Group

The Maker’s Year: A Playful Day

GoalAlong: Imagined Landscapes

Are you participating in a fun KAL that you want to share?  Let me know!

What a Difference a Weekend Makes!

So, last week I shared my February finished object but it need some blocking.  I took it into knit night and talked it over with the group.  It was decided I definitely needed blocking wires, lucky for me they had some in stock!  I looked up some tutorials on the internet.  I found this post on Craftsy.com which went step by step of using blocking wires.  My plan was to lay it out on my mostly unused futon in the craft room.  My first step was to soak it.

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This step is a little scary – putting all that wool into water, even cold water made me nervous.  It does not soothe the nerves when you pull it out and it smells like wet wool.  It had been suggested to me that I wrap the wet shawl in a towel and then ring it out (helps avoid any accidental felting) so I carefully wrapped and wrung it out.  And then I headed upstairs and spread it out, it was already bigger!

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That top edge was completely rolled over and as you can see the bottom “points” were all sorts of different shapes!  The thing I did not count on was how hard it was to stick pins through the futon mattress.  I thought it would be a perfect spot and the pins would go right through but not so much so I was not able to use the pins as well as I might have liked.

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But what a difference those wires made – look actual points!!!  It took about 24 hours for it to dry completely and I was nervous that it would shrink back up once I removed the wires but it held the shape and even the curled over top edging is now nice and straight and you can see all the different stitch patterns that were used in completing it.

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I can’t wait for it to warm up so I can wear it!!

February’s Finished Project

This month’s finished project*!!!

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Pattern: Follow Your Arrow 2 Yarn: Space Cadet Aurora in Colors of Cleveland January colorway Susquehanna Sparkle Sock in Trumpet

*it still needs to be blocked 🙂

This was my first knit-a-long and it was a mystery one so it was tons of fun!  I learned a lot of new stitches and got to use some fun yarn.  I would definitely partake in another mystery knit-a-long!  Now, to figure out the blocking issue.  I’m not a blocker and this thing needs some serious blocking.  I’ve seen the actual finished ones on Ravelry and they definitely make me want to figure it out!  Any tips or suggestions for blocking?