Wednesday, May 27, 2020

WIP Wednesday 22

... and suddenly 2 months went by without me making a single WIP post! I've been pretty low-key with my knitting, so nothing really fancy to show off, but at least I have a few finished objects by now.

First a pink cardigan for Nora! Michala sent me a video of her asking kindly when it would be finished... I hadn't even cast on yet!!! :-O Of course that was just not good enough, so I immediately made sure to remedy that (fortunately I HAD swatched at least), and sent her regular updates. Despite being tiny it took a LONG time to knit, as it's knit on a really small gauge. I'd changed the pattern to have buttons all the way down (instead of just closing at the neck), but forgot to adjust the body accordingly, so unfortunately it's a tad too tight if all buttons are closed :-P That's easily remedied by a larger button band though, so I'll probably do that at some point.

But fortunately Nora loves it :-D - she picked out the buttons herself!

I finally finished the Turtle Trail shawlette I started last year. It's knit from some mystery lace yarn Liz gave me, which absolutely, positively has some NZ possum in it! It is so AMAZINGLY soft! It will be a firm favourite come winter for sure!
Oh, and can I just say that I love applied edgings? They're so much fun to knit! :-D

With these things cast off, I've started another cardigan for Nina, as she asked for one for her birthday. It's slow going as it has a LOT of lace, but I'm really loving the way it's turning out. It's made from cotton, which isn't my usual fare, but very soft cotton, so it doesn't hurt my hands :)

Wednesday, April 1, 2020

WIP Wednesday - Week 14

It's been weird lately... I've had heaps of time to knit, but haven't really felt much like it. I needed something that required quite a bit of focus, as most of my knitting was just too mindless. At the same time it had to be something fairly small, as I did not feel up to the task of tackling a large sweater or shawl, so both of the WIPs from the last post were out too.

Instead I had quite a few days with no knitting at all, and then just finally decided to cast on something new. I'd discovered that the level of focus that e.g. solving a difficult sudoku takes was perfect! It required almost all my attention but in a very limited space, and thus seemed approachable. So I set my mind on finding the crafting equivalent of sudoku! I knew it would probably have to be crochet, as I'm still very much a beginner there, so searched through ravelry for something suitable, and finally came across the Fiesta Square - basically it starts as a mandala and grows into a small blanket. Lots of stitches I'd never seen before, lots of techniques I had to google - Perfect!
And it really was. The first 3-4 rounds took me about 2 hours to complete as I had to google everything and check out tutorial videos. Alas... apparently I'm a quick learner, and now it's not nearly as difficult any longer :-P I know - I know, that sounds like such a humble brag, but it did kinda defeat the purpose. Ah well - I'm still loving the way it's turning out, and am having lots of fun making it regardless.

I also turned to my spinning wheel for awhile, and actually managed to finish a small skein! I'd love to take a class at some point, and get some pointers. I'm 100% self-taught and KNOW I'm making a ton of mistakes :-P

Now that I'm feeling better and have gotten more used to the situation, I've been able to pick up a few older WIPs as well - still nothing mindless and nothing too big, but at least things suitable for TV knitting.

I've finally reached the applied edging for the Turtle Trail Shawlette :-D I still have quite a ways to go yet, as applied edgings take FOREVER, but I don't mind as I actually really love working with this yarn! It's a mystery yarn that Liz gave me last year sometime, but I'm absolutely certain that it's got at least some possum in the mix. It's got that delicious softness that makes it so instantly recognizable! Unfortunately it didn't turn out quite as big as I'd hoped, but blocking should give me enough added length that it'll still be useful. Of course I'll finish it just in time for summer, but at least I can look forward to wearing it next winter :)

After a break of probably a few years(!!!) I also pulled my Vivid blanket back out again. The lace is detailed enough to keep my focus, while each square is small enough that it doesn't feel like too huge an undertaking, and I actually finished three more squares over the weekend! So that's put me just over half-way through and strangely keen to FINALLY finish it :-P I have enough for 30 - perhaps 36 squares, so that should make quite a nice lap blanket.

Wednesday, February 26, 2020

WIP Wednesday - Week 9

Since my last post I finished the Twylem Cardigan and I absolutely LOVE it! It turned out exactly like I'd hoped it would, and I'll be wearing the crap out of it the rest of this winter. All my mods worked, and there isn't a single thing I'd change about it :-D

With that finished, I decided it was high time that I got started on the Adventurous Cardigan as Mum and Dad gave me the yarn for it for my birthday. I cast on last week and am just over half-way with the back collar. SO MANY CABLES!!! ❤️ It's going to take forever to knit, and chances are I won't have it done until 2021 sometime, but it will be WELL worth it.

I've also picked up the Starflake shawl once again. The yarn isn't quite as nice to work with as I'd hoped (two really thin strands held together), but it's lovely soft, so the finished item will be lovely :-) For the sake of my own sanity I decided against the brioche version, and am just doing the plain garter stitch version instead.

Finally, I finished a lovey for a friend of mine, who's due in April sometime. I used the leftover cotton from Nora's mermaid's tail, and just change colours as I ran out. It was a really, really quick piece and I love the way it turned out :-D

Wednesday, February 5, 2020

WIP Wednesday - Week 6

First WIP post of the year! Aaand it's taken me more than a month to actually get around to writing one... go figure. Of course this means that I have quite a bit to show off, but I'll try to keep it fairly short.

Finished objects
Apparently there's a baby-boom at work at the moment, with 4 colleagues/partners of colleagues being pregnant and due within the next few months, so I've been knitting baby stuff like crazy. So far I've finished 2 baby surprise jackets and (almost) 3 pairs of booties.

I love knitting the BSJs, but have yet to find a good way to seam up the sleeves, so though the knitting itself is really easy, the making up (including buttons) does turn it into a bit of a hassle after all.

... They are ridiculously cute though :-P

I finally finished my Jillian sweater :-D I was a bit worried about it, as it had a bit of a weird fit prior to blocking, and I wasn't quite sure if it would work. Fortunately it mostly evened out while blocking, and though the fit isn't quite right, it's still perfectly serviceable, and I'm happy with how it turned out.

I've also finished the Aranami Shawl - playing a SERIOUS game of yarn chicken near the end, and ended up finishing my cast off with less than 1 gram remaining! It was a surprisingly dull knit, strangely enough, so I don't see myself making any more of those.

On the needles
With all the finished items, I actually only have one active WIP at the moment. I'm working on a(nother) blanket for myself, and have finished the first quartet of squares. It's slow going, but I think it'll look good when done.

Wednesday, December 11, 2019

WIP Wednesday - Week 50

FINALLY I can show off one of the things I've been working on the most for the past few weeks. BG: ever since I made my first Happy Hippo, Nina exclaimed over it, and mentioned that she had to have one once they got a permanent place of residence again. Well, this summer they moved back to Denmark, so I knew I had to get started on one, but had several other things I wanted to knit her first. Those all got done, and at the start of November I arranged to come visit them weekend before last... that would give me just 3 weeks to make a Happy Hippo for her... would I be able to do it? I looked at the two others I'd made and saw they had taken 2 and 6 weeks respectively, so I figured - yes, I would!

So since then I've been working pretty much exclusively on that (well - that and the owl puffs I made for my colleagues) finishing FRIDAY as I was heading off to visit them Saturday! I was in such a rush that I forgot all about the safety eyes until AFTER the last hexagon had been put in place! Ah well... it's not like Nina's in much danger of pulling them out and swallowing them, so I figured I'd take the risk of not undoing all that stitching ;-)
Fortunately she LOVED it! I'd packed it in my backpack and just let the head peak out, and she literally squealed when she saw it. She had had no idea I was even working on it. Awesome!!! :-D

I also got to hand off Jordan's hat, and fortunately it fit :-)

I'd brought the owl puffs to work with me Friday before last... I felt a bit silly about passing them out to my colleagues, as I didn't really know how they would react, but fortunately they liked them... or at least pretended to while I was around ;-)
I posted this photo on Facebook that evening, and a friend of mine wrote to ask if I'd make some to sell!!! They're fun to make, so I was happy to agree as long as she didn't want too many too soon. In the end she asked for another four by Christmas - that I can manage, and in fact finished the last one yesterday!

With those things out of the way, I have had time to knit some more on existing projects... for the first time in about a MONTH! The Jillian sweater has seen quite a bit of progress, and I'm just about finished with the hip increases.

I've gotten quite a bit more done on the Aranami shawl as the pattern's really easy to learn off by heart, so I tend to bring it along with me when I go out. I'm almost done with the fourth colour :-)

I'm also working on a blanket. I've been wanting a knitted throw for ages, but my cozy memories blanket is still YEARS away from being finished (which is fine!), so I found some cheap yarn and decided to just go for it! In my head I knew exactly what I wanted (a 'sampler afghan' of sorts), but I couldn't find anything quite right on ravelry, and my first attempt turned out a mess, so I'm just going for simple mitered squares again instead :-D At least with all the garter, it'll be nice and squishy!

Wednesday, November 20, 2019

WIP Wednesday: Week 47

Last time I posted a WIP post I'd recently cast on 3 new things. Since then, I haven't touched either of those things AT ALL, but have cast on a bunch of new things instead! Go figure...

I still really want to finish at least one of the two sweaters for this winter, but I have some gift knitting that I want to get out of the way first. Fortunately that means I have 2 1/2 finished objects to show off this time :-)

I finished the Margrathea shawl for Nina while I was in Exeter... playing a SERIOUS case of yarn chicken for my bind off! I ended up with less than 2 grams remaining. But it's bound off and blocked and absolutely gorgeous :-D Can't wait to give it to her!

Weekend before last, Nina wrote me to say that Jordan could really use a new winter hat if I didn't mind knitting one for him. Of course I didn't! I love knitting hats, but don't often wear them myself, so I was glad to get this chance to get one on the needles anyway. I wrote him to ask what he wanted: "Blue and black - something with diamonds, squares and stripes!" Immediately as he said that, I knew exactly what he meant... but utterly failed to find anything along those lines on Ravelry!!! What's a doting auntie to do? She makes up the pattern herself, of course! As it turned out, it was a super-quick knit, and I finished it in just a day... and I'm actually kinda proud enough of the hat, that I'm thinking of putting it up on Ravelry myself :-P

As for the half-finished object... I've been wanting to knit something for my team at work for quite awhile. They're really awesome people and have all commented positively on my knitting at some point or the other (we have a weekly internal status meeting where I've been allowed to sit and knit for the past few years :-D ) Besides, they're pretty much the best colleagues ever. When I stumbled across the pattern for some super cute owl puffs, I knew I had to make them for them! They each take about 1.5hrs to make, so I should be able to finish before Christmas... otherwise it'll just be a New Years gift instead ;-)
6 down - 6 to go.

Wednesday, October 30, 2019

WIP Wednesday: Week 44

I've had a "slight" case of castonitis this past month, so I have quite a bit to show off this time around :-D

The finished objects first - I finished the Katia sweater earlier this month, so Nina could get it when I saw her on October 12th. I am SO happy with how it turned out, and it fits her perfectly :-D It's not a colour combo I'd necessarily have chosen myself, but it worked really well and is SO right for her. And of course - being the ridiculously knitworthy person she is - Nina made sure to coordinate her makeup to it!

I recently discovered a group on FB that makes "pocket friends" for Danish ambulances. "Pocket friends" are small 7x13cm stuffed toys that EMTs can give to sick/injured children to offer a bit of comfort. Of course I had to join, and I've finished 4 so far, and am planning to make more.

Yesterday I finished the socks I'm making for a colleague of mine. I'm glad she said she likes bright colours, because it is LOUD!! But she squees every time she sees it, so I'm taking that as a good sign.

As for my works in progress, I decided to have a birthday cast on (i.e. a guilt-free cast on because it's my birthday. "Unlike 'a guilt-free cast on because it's Friday?" Nina asked... Hush, sis!) this year, and after a LOT of wavering back and forth I ended up with a modified version of the Jillian pullover. I knew I wanted something with stripes, but couldn't find a stripy project with the neckline I desired. This one had EXACTLY the right neckline, but wasn't stripy... very easily changed! I've just reached the waist decreases, although I've moved those further in towards the center of the sweater - Amy Herzog-style.

It's a quick knit, and I would have been much further along, if it hadn't been for me casting on yet ANOTHER sweater :-D One of my colleagues has this amazing green knitted sweater that she wears all the time. I complimented it the other week, and she immediately told me that a friend of hers had knit it for her - if I'd like the pattern? Uhm... yes, please!! I bought the yarn a few days later, and cast on that same evening (after doing only a cursory swatch... schhh... I'm living on the edge!). It's thick yarn held double on huge needles, so should knit up really fast! And the yarn is AMAZINGLY soft, so I can't wait to get to wear it!

And finally - because all of the above obviously isn't enough! - I decided to cast on Stephen West's newest Mystery shawl - the Starflake. I usually stay away from MKALs as I prefer to know what the finished product looks like before I commit to a knit, but I'd seen the two first clues and LOVED the way it looked, so couldn't help myself any longer. I didn't have any suitable fingering weight yarn in my stash, but loads and loads of lace-weight, so I frogged a long-languishing sweater that has been on the needles since 2015, so I'm obviously never going to finish that one and am using that yarn held double instead.