Monday, March 3, 2014

New month, new progress

I actually have some FOs to show off again.

First and most exciting (for me anyway) - the sample pair of mittens for my pattern!

I had wanted a picture of them in the snow, but then it rained all through the night after I finished them. I think I might almost like this picture better than what I had planned though. The leaves peeking through kind of set off the cream and brown.

Now I just need to finish knitting the grey and red pair, so I can add my photos to the pattern. I still have to wait until my testers are done before I call it complete, but I'm one step closer!


Also finished - the cowl I knit for the Ravellenic games. I got imaginary awards for cross cowling, lace luge, single skein speed skate, and stash skeleton. First 'real' project I've done using yarn I spun, and I love it.

Here it is all laid out for blocking-


My other project photo was an awful awkward angled selfie, since I didn't have anyone handy to take it for me. Instead of sharing that I'll hold out and hope for better future pics!


I also attempted a rainbow of hexis for my Beekeeper's blanket, but finished just after the cutoff time (darn it)



Still, this was enough to push me to nearly 60 hexis (let's not talk about how many I have left to go, alright?)


So that's me for this month. Looking forward to finishing a couple things before next post...and hopefully casting on one new project. I've been good, I think I deserve it :)


Thursday, February 6, 2014

Working on getting stuff done - including my pattern!

Just last month, I posted about talking myself into some bravery and submitting my mitten pattern to Knit picks for the independent designer program (IDP). Well I did it, and heard back incredibly quickly with an acceptance. So exciting!

I am still finishing up on knitting the sample for pattern photography, but once I got my yarn support from KP I almost immediately cast on for the sample pair. The yarn was so gorgeous, I couldn't help it.


So now I have one and a half mittens in the original yarn, and a thumb shy of a full mitten in the new yarn. Since I can't resist showing off a little bit, here is a quick peek at the back of the mitten -

(Just pretend the lighting caught the colors as nicely as the pic above, please - it was the best I could do with the weather today!)



Right now the pattern itself is going through testing with some helpful knitter friends, and I'm pretty excited to see how it looks with the different yarn choices.

As scary as it is to 'put myself out there' the process is pretty fun too. I'm glad that, after holding on to this idea for over year, I'm finally doing it.


Other things I'm finally getting to? That big list of WIPs of course!

The washcloth is done -

Nice and big, I think this will be a repeated pattern.


The cotton double knit trivet didn't fair as well though. After a year if letting it sit in the basket, I decided to frog it. It was going to be too small anyway and I wasn't liking the design much either.


My Sherlock blanket is coming along nicely, and has three new squares.

Two of them are inspired by the latest season's first episode

An underground square, using a chart from Jennie Claver


And a bonfire square, which was a pattern I wrote up (and added to the other ones I had already posted here)


The other is more book-related (although there's been a bee reference thrown in the bbc series too) it's the bee square from Rav user ambrrr modified from the Apis Dorsata pattern


With all the squares I still want to knit (plus the ones I'm sure will be designed by others in the future) I'm thinking this blanket may be king sized before I'm ready to call it done!


For a while though, I'm going to be pretty busy with the mitten knitting. Between them and the cowl I'm starting for the Rav games tomorrow, there probably be much progress in the other WIPs until next month.


Saturday, January 11, 2014

Any post is better than no post, right?

And the winner for most inconsistent and unreliable posting schedule goes to ... Drumroll please ... Me!


If procrastination earned you a trophy, I'm pretty sure I'd have a cabinet full of them. Then again, maybe not. I'd have to get my act together and pick them up from procrastination headquarters, and when would I ever find the time with all my bouts of ... not really doing anything?



Instead of giving a project by project accounting of all I've been doing in the past four months - Has it been that long? Really self?? Really??? - I decided to go with a quick stat rundown of projects since my last post

Existing WIPs finished - ummmmm ... none. And I had been doing so well!


Existing WIPs worked on (which is half the battle!) - 4 - most happy that my Sherlock blanket has one new square and I'm halfway through a pattern I worked up for another.

WIPs frogged - 1 - one of the secret bag projects. It was a sock with a really cool looking beaded pattern, but when I finished knitting the first one I realized it was just Not Comfortable. I may adapt the pattern for a hat band or something though.

New projects started AND finished - 5 - it really helped that Christmas fell during my blog silence. Even with only knitting for a handful of special people, it did give me a firm deadline for those projects.

New projects started and then wandered off from - 1 - and I don't reeeeally count it. It's just a washcloth, and I needed something to grab and work on while sitting around waiting. It'll be there next time I need to sit around and wait to. Washcloths are good that way, they don't judge.

New hobbies picked up - 1 - got a pin loom for Christmas (to me, from me, with all the love in the world - me) I wanted to play at weaving and make some placemats/coasters whatever, but not get as serious as Actual Weaving with the giant loom and all. It's pretty fun, and like those washcloths is easy to pick up and put down so that's always nice to have waiting for you.



And that's basically it. I'm afraid I haven't been all that exciting lately, which made updating here easier and easier to push off. In keeping with the whole procrastination deal, I have made a couple craft related resolutions. A couple weeks late, of course.

First - to update here at least once a month. Even if no one is reading, it helps keep me on track. Plus, how hard can it be to find a little time once a month, right?

Second - to actually finish the giant playmat that I had hoped to this year. It is soooo far from done. This might be a strain, but I really would like to have it done for my nieces before they are grown and have kids of their own

Third - and this is more me being brave and putting myself out there, than actually being difficult - remember the mittens I made for a swap over a year ago? This year I am going to actually finish writing up that pattern with the tweaks I still want to make, and submit it to the Knit picks IDP program. Washington's screwy sales tax laws make it confusing to try and sell a pattern on my own, but if I go through KP they deal with that bit. I don't know if they'll take it, but it can't hurt to try.

Forth and final - end the year with under a dozen WIPs. You'd think this would be easy for me. You'd be wrong. Yes a dozen is a lot, but I am almost always above that. Even now - with the fourteen I have going right now - there are still a handful of patterns I am having to work really hard to resist casting on immediately.

So there are my, hopefully attainable, resolutions for the year. Wish me luck!



And it feels weird to have a post with no pictures, so I'll share one of the Christmas presents. The one I. Was most happy with - the dinosaur picked out by BFs nephew (pattern from Huge and Hugable Mochimochi)


As you can see, I had a little fun playing around with and posing with this guy before gifting. Even made him that pretend library book to go along with his look of terror -


Don't worry, he doesn't always look that scared! When his tongue sticks out he looks positively silly, and he can even smile a little -
And look at his funny fat tail, cute as can be
The first picture has been uploaded to the designers flickr group, so with any luck I'll be back here linking and asking for votes in next year's photo contest. Hopefully - I think he's cute enough to have a chance!


Monday, September 16, 2013

Three for three!

That's right, I have managed to make it three weeks running with a finished project to show and tell. And I didn't even have to cheat and wait until like Thursday or Friday to post - IT'S MONDAY PEOPLE! I'm a day earlier than last week, go me!


My FO of the week is the first of two Ripley hats that I'm making for a coworker's daughter. This one is the slouchier version knit with Tosh Chunky in Cousteau -

Admittedly not the best shot, being a crappy cell phone selfie (and the fact my head is a smidge bigger than hers is thought to be) BUT proof positive I managed to start and finish something all in the same week.

I'm happy with the hat too, and am confident it'll be well appreciated by its new owner (and maybe I can get a much better picture of it then) The only issue with finishing a project so far ahead of the holiday deadline, is that I have to wait all that time for her to see it. Patience is not my best quality these days. Still, I'm very proud of myself that I actually accomplished something, and didn't end up adding to my pile of WIPs. A nice change from usual!


I like when I get to use nice yarn, but this is also a little dangerous because now I want more of the nice yarn for myself! My first Mad Tosh yarn was what I used for those pink armwarmers, and is one of my favorite things I've knit. The fingering weight yarn was great to work with, and the heavier weight yarn I picked for this hat didn't disappoint either. You see, the catch to me making the hats was that I got to pick the kind of yarn and then I just had to run the colors by her. I LOVED the blue/ green variations in this color. The pic above doesn't do it justice, but this gets a bit closer -

Beautiful yarn

I have a little yarn left over, maybe just enough for that cup cozy I'm always promising to knit for myself. I also will definitely be keeping this yarn in mind for next time I want to splurge on an actual project for myself.


My other accomplishment of the week was adding a good amount of knitting onto my (Green) Blue Day Socks. I'm almost to the heel now, but here's another one of those crappy cell pics from a little bit further back when I stopped to check the fit -

Unlike my picture, the sock itself is perfect. These are going to be super comfortable, I can already tell.


So that was my week, and now it's time to head back to my knitting.

Four for four in my next week's post? Maybe? A girl can dream!


Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Fabulous Flow-y Lace Scarf DONE!

Another finished project to report, the gypsy lace scarf I started just after Christmas.

I've wanted a scarf like this almost since I started knitting, so it's about time I made one for myself!


While I can't deny that I love the magic of blocking - taking a rumpled mess of stitches and transforming it to a fancy-pants wearable item - the process itself is not one of my favorites. Sure, blocking doilies, the blanket squares and small things like that are no big deal, but this scarf? Much larger than I wanted to tackle with my mats and a billionty pins!

Here it was, preblocking -

Pretty, flowy and colorful. The lace already surprisingly open, but it was still more rumpled than I wanted.

Since I don't have blocking wires (yet) I decided to tackle it with the help of some string. I threaded a some crochet cotton string through the bottom along both sides.

After a quick soak, it was time for the blocking mats. I put pins in each of the four corners, and into the points on the short sides. Then I pulled the strings as tightly as I could and anchored them around extra pins at the corners.

Extra pins were placed inside the string line to try and keep the edges as straight as possible.



Not exactly perfect, but enough to make me happy ... Well I did figit with the edges a little more (okay a lot more) after this photo, but you get the basic idea. The string blocking did work out in a pinch but I fully intend to DIY a set of blocking wires before I have to do this again.

If I could have anchored the strings better, then the edges would have been straighter. I'm not too worried though, because I am very happy with the end result. Here it is close-up -


Finished well before the cool fall days get here, so I am a happy knitter.


Current WIP getting some love are my (green) Blue Day Socks, and I'm happy to report they're coming along wonderfully (well the first sock anyway, no two at a time for this girl!) -


The pattern is playing nicely with my yarn (Cascade Heritage Paints), and I'm loving that the pattern has an easy to remember repeat, without being monotonous. This is a Very Good Thing, especially when dealing with issues staying focused and wanting a good portable project.

The fact I got perfect gauge with needles I already had free was just icing on the cake. You might look at my giant needle collection and laugh when I say that, but with my habit of collecting WIPs, having the needles I want free is not always a sure thing!

While I don't expect that I'll go three for three weeks and have these as finished objects by next time I post, I do expect that I'll have some good progress to show for them.


Monday, September 2, 2013

Look - I actually can remember how to finish knitting things!

I just finished the Baby Merry Jane Booties for Scott and Ry's baby girl. Like I said in my last post, there really wasn't a rush because in addition to being a surprise gift, they also turned out much larger than expected. I ended up with what works out to be a size 4 (9-12 months) and so it's going to be a little while for she's rocking her new kicks!

No denying that they are cute though -

(Sneaky photo trick - stuffing with plastic sacks helps shape them, even if it is a bit more uneven than if they were being worn)


It seems that I wasn't the only one having a little trouble on the size, despite getting gauge. In fact, one knitter commented they must be designed for a baby Sasquatch. Maybe they aren't quite that bad, but still...I knit the smaller of the sizes AND went down a needle size on the shoe portion, and ended up with a definitely non-newborn size.

No matter, I strongly expect this and the other two patterns in the set will be my new go to baby gifts. They are just too cute! The only thing I plan to change for next time is that I will either knit it all with fingering weight or use the mods from Rav user evajae to try and make them actual newborn size.

I could have frogged and reknit as soon as I realized the sizing issues, but in this case I finished and am giving as is. I know the mom has a bunch of cute baby things already, and this will give the baby something cute for when she's starting to outgrow all of that.


Saturday, August 31, 2013

Too Many Projects!


This is the post where I haul them all out of their bags, boxes and cubbies and see the ridiculous number of knitting projects I have going. I did think about linking to all the patterns, but then I'd be here for hours and never get any knitting done! If you want to know any any though, just drop a comment and I'll link you. Otherwise I will just promise to link better as they get their celebratory "all done!!!" posts.
Starting at the top left and working clockwise -
Beekeeper's Quilt - This one is no rush, and it's a good thing. I am perfectly content with the thought this may continue forever, as I will be accumulating scraps for just as long.
Cria Sweater - a recentish start, and one I do regularly put a few rows into. Wanting to be able to wear it is all the motivation I need to keep at it, but I could keep at it a little more often and with some more speed.
Winter Twilight fingerless gloves - I really want to wear these too, so why do I never want to work on them?? It's a mystery. I have only most of one finished, hoping maybe once it gets cold again that will motivate me. Since I insist on keeping both my hands, I will need to get knitting on a second one eventually.
Blanket of Unusual Size - I go in spurts on this one, from lots of work to neglecting horribly. I don't think it helps that being a circular blanket that the rows keep getting longer. I also only work on it during cold weather, because a balled up blanket on the lap is just not pleasant in the heat! I expect this will make it's way back into rotation around November.
My poor first real embroidery project - I found it good for when helping Bfs nephew with homework, because I could put it down and not worry about my place. I just don't seem to touch it other than then. School has started back up though, so before long it might be called back into service!
The Sherlock Blanket - No real end in sight on this project, especially with a new season coming. I imagine there will be even more square ideas to join what I've done so far! I would like to have another few of the already designed ones done though, especially the "Beeeeees" one I started ages ago.
Two bags with two projects that I still can't talk about because of Secrets - They should be finished, but are only half done. Shame on me! One will for sure make it to fully complete, the other I'm just not quite sure aout practicality-wise. And that's all I can say about them, because Secrets.
Double knit trivet - Having a different design on both sides sounded incredibly cool. The reality of keeping it all straight in my head? Less cool. Saving this for when I have some seriously good focus!
Tiny Octopus - I forgot all about this guy. I don't even know when I started it, because I never even made a project page. He only has one tentacle, so it's barely a start as it is. Save him for my next bout of startitis?
Towel - Larger version of the granny's fav dishcloth, to go with the two of those I finished. They were going to be a gift, but I thought better of it. Now they sit waiting for a new intended home and then I'll finish. Probably.
Hoodie vest - You'd think a sleeveless sweater with bulky yarn would be a no-time-flat project. You would be wrong.
Lace scarf - Just knitting till I'm out of yarn on this one, almost there. A few good days of knitting, and I'll be done. Then will come the magic of blocking.
Baby booties - For BFs great niece - he hates when I call her that, because it makes him feel old - Surprise gift that won't fit her until closer to winter like the sweater I gave her. I don't need to put a rush on it, but since I'm so close I will. Plus that baby's mom has shown herself quite knitworthy (so many times she and Bfs nephew have brought up that sweater and thanked me!) and I want to see how much she likes them :D
Blue day sock KAL - except mine are Green Day Socks (heee!) - I had started these last year, and through no fault of their own they got derailed by those secret bags. Picked them back up, and apparently my feet shrunk a little (IDEK it's weird) soooo I'm starting over with the support of a group knit along.
The last three projects currently have top priority. Some of the others are back to hang out in the time-out-hamper and a couple are in line for next-of-importance.
The only queue jumpers I'm anticipating are the two hats that a coworker commissioned me to make. The deadline isn't until Christmas, but I have no intention of putting them off and ending up stressed and rushed at the last minute. I do enough of that as it is! As soon as the yarn arrives, I'll be casting on the first of them.
OH! And while they, like the embroidery, are not technically knitting I also have those two playmates going still. Can't forget about them (no matter how hard I sometimes try. They almost didn't make this post!)
Mine to keep is STILL missing the pond and a couple fields. The giant one for gifting is missing ... Just about everything. Eek! The chances of a Christmas finish there are NOT looking good. Not for the mat, and definitely not for all the buildings/people/animals that go with it. I miiiiiight have gotten in over my head in this one.


Now that I've totally freaked myself out over how much I have in the works, I'm off to actually accomplish something. Or at least try!