Well May was a busy month filled with many fun events and a lot of knitting!! Two of my FO’s are from my 17 in 17 list which means I’m about halfway through the list with 7 months to go!!! Let’s dive right in!
First up, another Mermaid tail afghan that was actually finished in April but was given as a gift this May to my beautiful goddaughter. You may remember the Story of the Little Blue Sailor Coat that was knit for my friends’ foster daughter. I’m happy to report she is their adopted daughter now and I can’t stop knitting for her!!!
Pattern: Mermaid Tail Blanket for Children and Teens by Angie Hartley Yarn: Encore Worsted (held doubled) in an ombre of pinks
Next up is the Arrosa shawl by Jennifer Weissman which is in the spring 2017 issue of PomPom Quarterly. I got this done in time to wear to the baptism and had it on for all of 30 minutes. It turned out to be a warm and humid day and my goddaughter fell asleep on me before the service started so I know it’s soft and cozy. But babies are portable heaters so off it came! I was not able to block it to the specifications but I never checked gauge while knitting it so hard to say.
Pattern: Arrosa shawl by Jennifer Weissman Yarn: Hedgehog Skinny Singles in Ghost and Boom Box
I don’t know about you but when I finish something that I’ve been going all in on I kind of need a break. I picked up a second sock that had been hanging around, knit a few rows and realized it was time for the toe so I finished those up as well. These were just vanilla socks with a fish lips kiss heel. Yarn is Julianna’s Fiber in the I Smell Snow colorway.
And last, but certainly not least I finished my oldest WIP as part of the Graduate Your Stash KAL being hosted by Kino Knits. This is the Derecho shawl and it was on my needles for 3 years plus a few days. Remind me to never get sucked into another Kauni project again!!!
Pattern: Derecho by Laura Aylor Yarn: Kauni in ee and ET colorways
Whew! I think that’s enough so before I sign off I wanted to share a few bits of news. If you are interested in hearing more about tech editing check out the latest episode of the Kino Knits podcast. You will hear me talking with Mary about the process and how she and I work together.
And, finally, I wanted to let everyone know the blog will be taking a break for the month of June. It’s shaping up to be a very busy month so I’m sure I won’t be able to keep up with posting. But don’t worry, I’ll be back in July with some travel logs, a wrap up of the Great Lakes Fiber Show, thoughts on my afternoon with Bristol Ivy, and other knitty adventures.
Well, as much as I’m definitely not a monogamous knitter, months like this make me see there are benefits. I have 3 FO’s this month – two were WIP’s that were pretty close to done and 1 was my Ravellenics project and there’s nothing like the Ravellenics to make me focus on one project.
First up is my Juxtaposed Hat. This is a pattern by Sarah Shoo of the Cultivate & Create podcast and it’s free!!! The yarn is from Destination Yarns on her Postcard base which is 75% superwash and 25 % nylon in The Q colorway. This was some special yarn she dyed up right after the Cavs won the NBA championship. (Although, someone mentioned it was also Gryffindor colors from Harry Potter). My goddaughter is a huge Cavs fan so I ordered a skein and asked her mom what type of accessory she would prefer and hat was the winner. I loved this patter by Sarah. It’s a fun, quick knit and worked so well with the color changes in this yarn. My goddaughter loved it and even agreed to model it.
Next up is my Ravellenics project! I’m happy to report it won the bronze medal in my local Olympic gathering. For these socks I used the Prism pattern for the legs, the fish lips kiss heel and the round toe from Lara Neel’s Sock Architecture. The yarn is Fresh from the Cauldron Schoodic Sock in the Tea Party colorway. The colorway really read Halloween to me and I was lucky enough to find some leftover orange sock yarn in my stash to up the Halloween feel on the toes and heels.
And last (and the reason for the delay in today’s post) – my Little Purple Sailor Coat sweater. I’ll do a longer post on this in a couple of weeks as it definitely has it’s own story to tell but I’m so pleased with how it turned out. I’ll be blocking it tomorrow and sewing on a button. And, it will makes it way to a very special little girl very soon!
Obvious answer this week – my Ravellenics project!!! I love knitting and I love the Olympics so this is my favorite time of the year. I joined Team Sasquatch this year and it’s the first year I’ve joined a team so I’m not really sure what that means. But, I also have my local Olympics. One of my friends hosts a little event each Olympics and it’s so much fun. We meet on Opening night and cast on our projects in one of two categories – sprint or marathon. We have to be complete by closing ceremonies and then she brings in some non-knitters to judge the projects. I’m a two time medal winner so there’s a lot of pressure on me to three-peat!
I decided to use some of the yarn I bought at the Loopy Ewe last month. I cast on the Fresh from the Cauldron sock yarn in the Tea Party colorway. Although to me it’s more of a Halloween colorway. I solicited some pattern ideas on Instagram and ended up going with Prism. It’s a free pattern by Jaya Srikrishnan. It calls for two different yarns but it works perfectly well with one variegated skein. I started knitting and was thinking how it would be nice to have orange for the heels and toes but I’m not much of an orange person. I did have some orange in my stash but it has no nylon so I was not comfortable using for heels. Then I remembered I had some left over sock yarn from Susquehanna Yarn and it was sparkle orange and matched perfectly!!!
Good news – the Olympics are half over and I’m done with one sock and through the cuff on the second so I think I’m well on my way to finishing. I don’t have as much knitting time this weekend so we’ll see. Side note – headed to see Yarn: The Movie on Sunday so I’ll share more on that soon!!
Here are some pictures of the socks in progress!
Wow! I had a feeling July was going to be crazy and I was totally right!! I’m behind on my post writing and reading so I hope to get back into the swing of things soon. The good news is that I had many yarn adventures during my crazy month. I’m bursting with blog posts, but, I’m also bursting with new yarn and a severe bout of startitis and am trying to knit all the things NOW!!! I do know for the health of my wrists that I must take breaks to eat, do chores and blog and have managed to tear myself away from the knitting this morning. So, before I dive in with all the good stuff I’m going to do a quick round up of this month’s FO’s.
First, a pair of socks I started in April so not too bad. I used the Arithmophobia pattern which is by Lara Neel and found in Sock Architecture. I’m still playing around with heels and toes and finding the right sock recipe for me. This pair offered several challenges and while they are beautiful, they fit terribly which makes me sad but I’ll still try and stuff them in shoes this winter. The pattern uses a short row heel and I had the worst time working that out. I’m not sure what exactly my problem was but neither heel worked out right. The yarn is Indulgence 6-Ply by Knitting Fever (now discontinued) and is a DK weight so I think that threw off some of my usual measurements as well. I loved the yarn and have a ton left over so we’ll see if I revisit these at a later date. This was also the first pair that I tried 9 inch circulars. I learned quickly that I should use dpns for the cuff, heel and toes so the second sock went a bit smoother than the first. Overall, I did enjoy the tiny circulars for zooming down the leg and foot of the sock.
I had speaking engagements in western Kansas this month on consecutive weekends. In between, I took a little staycation at my cousin’s house in Denver. On my list of things to do was 12 hours of online continuing education for my day job and updating the Facebook page for the nonprofit I was speaking on behalf of (you can check out that page here – shameless plug, I know 🙂 ). But, translated, this meant a lot of knitting time. I will discuss in more detail my plan and how it worked, but for now the one finished item I got was my Verdure Shawlette.
As I mentioned in my last blog post, this was my own personal challenge for July. My Christmas knitting in July challenge as I was calling it. And, I did it!!! And, I was at my cousin’s house when I finished which gave me some great background for my FO photos. When I put it down it was because I decided the knit on border was going to be too much. But I have to say that once you get in a rhythm on it, it goes really fast. I loved the yarn, it has a bit of stelina in it which gives it just a little sparkle. The colors remind me of a Victorian Christmas and are really beautiful. It needs some serious blocking and I will get to that soon I hope, at least before December!
Both of these are part of my 12in2016 KAL (you can find more in the Ravelry group 12 Projects in 12 Months) but projects are WIPs or use stash yarn. The shawl was 7 so fingers crossed I get to 12 by December!
That’s it for finished projects but I have cast on 3 projects this week and have plans for the Ravellenic games starting on Friday so much more to come!
I started off the month is a crazy, finishing frenzy and it was all downhill after that. So, first off the needles this month were my Arne & Carlos socks, which I love!! I did plain vanilla socks with a fish lips kiss heel and a round toe. Of course, the fish lips kiss heel is a pattern by the Sox Therapist. I used the round toe which is included in Sock Architecture by Lara Neel. It was my first time for both of these heels and toes. I loved the heel but I did have a little issue with a weird bulge at the end of the heel so I’m guessing it’s something to do with my gauge but I’m just not sure. I’m going to t keep experimenting. I loved the round toe as I despise the kitchner stitch.
Next I finished the Girlfriend Cowls by Churchmouse Yarns. I cast this on right after the US Supreme Court decision regarding gay marriage was announced. Someone on Instagram had started a rainbow-along. I had this yarn in my stash – it’s America the Beautiful by Destination Yarns so on the needles it went! The patterns is pretty simple and really did some fun things with this yarn. I loved how, once I started knitting, it became apparent that as the skein went from primarily reds/yellows to blues/greens. Sadly, even though it’s April, I’ve worn it quite a bit 😦
The last FO of the month was a quick little test knit I did for Kino Knits. She happened to e-mail on a snowy Saturday so I cast it right on. It’s a free pattern on Ravelry which is so awesome. I had some troubles with Judy’s Magic cast on as I had never done that one before but otherwise it was a super quick knit. Mary has written it so you can use any yarn you have. She did hers in sock yarn and I used a worsted weight. It’s called Rybka (Wee Fishie) and if you are looking for a quick gift knit definitely check it out!
Confession – I knit the fish on April 9th and have finished nothing since 😦 Lots of fun stuff on the needles so here’s hoping I have something to talk about at the end of May!
On the good news front – I finally finished the socks (more on those in this month’s FO post) I had been working on since July which opened up my sock needles/bag. Oddly, I’m really starting to use up my sock yarn (not really, but sock yarn that I want to be socks is getting low) and I was trying to decide what socks to cast on next. I went into my yarn room and this sock yarn that I bought on clearance at my LYS last year jumped out at me.
Now, I have many sock issues which I will detail in a future post. For my next pair I decided to do a little reading of my Sock Architecture book and hope it would help correct those issues. The yarn I chose is Indulgence 6-Ply by Knitting Fever which has been (very sadly) discontinued. A few of us bought skeins when they migrated over to the clearance area and two of my friends made baby sweaters (the Sprinkle from Juju’s Loops which is adorable!) It’s a heavier, DK, yarn as compared to usual fingering weight sock yarn. That made it the perfect choice because I wanted to try using 9 inch circulars. And, the 9 inch circs that I have are size 2. I usually knit my socks on 1’s and with the DK weight would have needed to use a larger size anyway.
I settled on the Arithmophobia socks from Sock Architecture which uses a short row heel with no stitches to pick up (I hate picking up stitches). I’ve heard mixed reviews on the 9 inch circs so I was anxious to dive in. Casting on is a bit of a pain because there is not much to hold on to and the first couple of rows are a little difficult but after that the sock practically knits itself!!! A couple of people at knit night said they do not like them because they lack the dexterity to manipulate the tiny needles and you do need to be able to work the tiny needles. I love circular needles but hate magic loop because I can’t deal with all that cable so this is really the perfect solution for me. I’ve never knit socks as fast as these are knitting up. Of course, it probably helps the yarn is a bit thicker too but I don’t care because I love these socks so much and I can’t wait to wear them!
What’s on my podcast playlist this weekend, you ask??? Well, I saw on Instagram that Vickie Howell had started a new podcast and she released three episodes last week. They are all interviews and they include Rachael Herron (whose book I had just read a few weeks ago), Clara Parks (who has been on numerous podcasts but this interview is completely different) and the CEO of Spoonflower which was also very interesting. She’s going to be releasing new episodes every Tuesday for six weeks so check that one out!
Another new one that I’ve been enjoying is Cultivate and Create. It’s hosted by Sarah, or Mrs. Shoo and I love her format. The episodes are usually about 20-30 minutes and she talks about something she wants, something she needs, something to wear and something to read so it’s a lot of fun in a short time. She’s on Episode 10 so it’s easy to catch up with her, especially if you want to some good book recommendations to go with your knitting.
I always feel badly that I don’t use iTunes because apparently Apple really wants pressures prodcasters to get reviews to increase their visibility. I have all Android and Windows products here so I figure I can at least give them a shout out here! Check them out and if you use iTunes leave them a review from me!
As usual, the needles are full this weekend. I’ve spent most of the week working on a test knit (a cool poncho) and a commissioned piece (my 5th mermaid lapghan!). I’m not too far into the test knit so I will hold off talking about that until I get further in and I have nothing new to say about the mermaid lapghan, I can almost knit that in my sleep at this point!
The other project that I got some rounds in on this week was my purse socks. Over the last six weeks I’ve had quite a bit of dental work done, at least for me. Let’s just say I’m not a good patient (for any medical professional). The first appointment was supposed to be a quick check and ended up lasting 3 hours. I had not brought any knitting and by the end I think both me and the dentist needed a drink. So on Monday I went prepared – socks in bag. I knit in the waiting room and I knit once they took me back to start the work. They even let me knit while the Novocaine sunk in. Turned out my dentist got a learn how to crochet book for Christmas and was trying to teach herself crochet. And, yes, she did know the difference between knitting and crocheting!
I returned on Friday for the appointment. I had my trusty knitting bag in hand. And, I think it helped. I think I was much more relaxed on both of these visits (that’s not saying much but any improvement is a step in the right direction). Even just holding my knitting while they worked (if only I could have continued during all the drilling) seemed to help keep me calm. It kind of worked like a security blanket. My dentist caught on during Friday’s visit and talked about her efforts to learn crochet while she was drilling. Smart woman – keep me distracted!
There are so many articles that document the health benefits of knitting. I know when I read them I think – of course! But, it’s another thing to actually experience it firsthand. Bonus – got the cuff done on sock 2!
Here’s the other really cool part of this story. By the end of Friday’s appointment I was sharing the number to my LYS so my dentist could call and arrange a private crochet lesson. She was also showing me her Pinterest page and asking me to make her a hat for the baby she is expecting in August. She had found a picture of a baby who was wearing a hat shaped like a tooth with a big smile on it. It is adorable and perfect for a dentist’s baby! It was crocheted but she doubted she would get up both the skill and time to crochet it before the baby arrived.
I came home and checked Ravely and there were no knit tooth hats. So, I put the picture up on Facebook and asked my knitting friends if anyone had ideas on converting it to a knit pattern so I could make one for her. My friend who has the blog Wool Forward is a hat genius. If you check out her blog you will see her 30 hats in 30 days project which was amazing!! She is going to work on it for me which is awesome! The thing she pointed out (which I always wondered) is why so many of these cute, shaped hats (a lot of them are used as photo props) are crocheted. Marie explained that it is because the crochet fabric comes out stiffer than knitting. And that is the exact problem when I’ve tried knitting a hat that I originally saw in a crochet version. But she loves a challenge so stay tuned!
Wow, it’s the end of January already! I might be having a harder time with how fast this month went because we’ve had such a mild winter in the Great Lakes so I’m not quite as worn down by snow and cold as I usually am at this time of year. It’s a good thing because this is the first time in two years that I have not had a trip planned to a more tropical destination in February so thanks winter for working with me this year!
Either way, I’ve had plenty of knitting time this month but that will not necessarily show in my FO’s for the month. After all the Christmas mermaid blankets, I took a short break and then started work on a fourth one which was also a special order (yea for Knit Picks after Christmas sale!) As long as I was ordering, I decided to do a scrap mermaid blanket and donate it to our youth group raffle that is held during our Lenten fish frys. I needed a couple more full skeins and then used leftovers from the Christmas order to make a rainbow mermaid. Initially I started working on the private order but was told there was no rush and the first fish fry is February 19 (Easter is super early this year!) so I switched and cast on the rainbow mermaid which is why my actual number of finished items it low this month. Here’s a picture of the rainbow mermaid. As usual, I used the Mermaid Tail Lap Blanket for Children and Teens by Angie Hartley which you can find on Ravelry or her Etsy store and used Knit Picks Brava Worsted and held two skeins together.
I also can’t resist sharing this picture of the Christmas order I did for my friend’s little girls – they are too cute 🙂
The only other thing I finished is A Girl Thing by Joji Locatelli and it’s from her new Authentic Collection. I can’t say how much I love the Collection. There’s such a variety of patterns which is great for someone like me who is not much (okay, or at all) of a sweater knitter. As soon as I saw the hat I knew I had to make it from my leftover 3 Color Cashmere Cowl yarn because it had many of the same design elements and would make a lovely set. Recently, I saw on Instagram that Joji is now designing a 3 Color Cashmere Shawl so I’ll probably end up down that rabbit hole when it’s released…
Love my hat/cowl set!
Last I finished a sock and did cast on the second one (which was my only cast on for the month!!! Go me on finishing those wips!) This sock is with the Arne & Carlos yarn so I’m doing a vanilla sock and am trying out the Fish Lips Kiss Heel. I enjoyed the heel as it does not require picking up any stitches but I ended up with a weird pucker and I’m not sure if it was a sizing issue or the fact that halfway through the heel the stitches came off the needle and, perhaps, did not get put back on correctly. (By the way, anyone else notice that there are evil yarn demons that attack your purse knitting???)
The instructions for the heel only include the heel so I broke out my Sock Architecture book to find a new toe to try. Now, for some reason in all my knitting years no one ever told me that there are toes that do not require kitchner stitch – it was like a whole new world opened up to me!!! I did the Round Toe and love, love, love it!
So, let’s call this 2 1/2 FO’s for January. The 1/2 is a languishing WIP so a little bit of progress 🙂
Well Christmas knitting is in full swing in my house so some of my current projects will have to wait until after the holiday to be revealed. But, of course, there are always other projects to talk about! My current purse knitting is, of course, a pair of socks and this week it got a new bag so I think that’s what we’ll talk about today.
I’m using the Regia Arne & Carlos yarn I got while in Wisconsin this summer. I have the winter night colorway. I’ve decided to start experimenting with my sock construction to see what works best for me. This experimentation was inspired by many of the podcasts I listen to who talk about all these different socks and by the fact that while I love my hand knit socks I acknowledge they could fit me a bit better (and don’t even start that swatching may help with fit…)
There are two things I know about sock construction for me. 1. I prefer cuff down and 2. double points are the only way, don’t even talk to me about the sorcery that is magic loop or two circulars. So, let’s look at these points. First, cuff down – my first pair of socks was toe up on two circulars/two at a time. This pair nearly killed me and it took my first time in the Ravellenic Games to finish them. I think the main reason for this is I hate ribbing so ending the sock with endless knitting and then two inches of ribbing was like torture. I also enjoy my project getting smaller as it gets towards the end – it clearly goes faster! One of our group’s sock knitters convinced me to give socks another go by trying a pair with dpns and it worked! So far I’ve not been afflicted with Second Sock Syndrome.
All of my early socks have traditional heel flaps and/or short row heels. I am really the only sock knitter in my regular group so I don’t really have anyone to talk to about socks. Once I started listening to podcasts I started to realize how many things were to knit socks and so I started to investigate. My last pair I used the afterthought heel. Meh – here are my issues with it. When I kitchner that toe I want to be done with that sock. Having to go back and still do a heel was not making me happy. I also did not enjoy putting all the stitches back on the needles and still ended up with gaps. Also, kitchner, AGAIN… Ugh, I hate kitchner so anything that doubles the amount of kitchner stitches is not for me.
The Arne & Carlos yarn clearly only needs a vanilla sock so I could play with heel construction again. This time I’ve opted for the fish lips kiss heel. I had my mom come over and we made the cardboard cut out of my foot and I did all the measurements. I’m about halfway through the first heel and so far am enjoying it.
In the meantime, the folks over at Cooperative Press were having an awesome sale so I ordered Sock Architecture by Lara Neel and will explore those options with my next pair of socks.
The other exciting thing about this project is my new project bag!! I won it in the Turtles Journey KAL that was hosted by Heather Anderson during the month of September. You can learn more about Heather and her designs in her Ravely group Heather Anderson Designs. It’s beautiful and keeps everything inside it much better than the bag I had in my purse where needles often ended up rolling around everywhere. I also love the contrast of the inside and outside fabric.
What’s everyone else knitting this weekend????
Happy August everyone! A quick post as I’ve been on the road quite a bit these last few weeks (more on that later 🙂 ) I did want to share this month’s finished objects. First, my socks (which were featured in my #the100dayproject post)
Pattern: Afterthought Heel Socks by Laura Linneman
Yarn: ONline Supersocke Swing Color
My other finished object is this hood/cowl and I’ll write more about this one in the coming weeks.
Pattern: Wren Wolf Cowl by Heidi May
Yarn: Berroco Vintage Chunky (pink & grey) Cream was from stash (maybe Lion Brand)
So that’s it for this month – more on these projects and my recent travels in the upcoming weeks!