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.