Wednesday, February 8, 2017

WIP Wednesday - So, I cast off a bajillion stitches!

Same two things on my needles as last week. I haven't even touched anything else, but am dividing my time fairly evenly between the two.

The weekend was spent mostly on the Path to Wonderland shawl to get a decent chunk done on that for the test-knit. I'm still not entirely sure about the colours, but it's certainly going to be very vibrant! The red of the background played havoc with the camera's settings though - it's more green in real life.

I put down the test-knit Sunday evening and picked the Penstrip scarf back up, as I want to make sure it's done in time for Dad to use this winter. I spent last night in front of the TV and got all the horizontal stripes done! Took forever to cast off all those stitches, but now I just have a mere 20cm left to do in each end and I'm DONE! If I'm diligent, I might even finish by next week :-D

Thursday, February 2, 2017

WIP Wednesday - Yet another shawl

I'm really bad at remembering to take photos at the moment, so once again you get WIP Wednesday on a Thursday.

Dad's scarf is coming along nicely :) I reached the 180cm over the weekend, and got to pick up somewhere between 480-500 stitches (I didn't count, but with 2-3 sts per cm it seems like a fair estimate) so I could start the loooooong stripes along the length of the scarf. Each row takes about 15-20 minutes to knit, so this part may take almost as long as the first part did! I need to tighten it up a bit though - I picked up just slightly too many stitches, but have come to far to rip it back out again, so I'm going to decrease a bit over the next row to even it out a bit.
The photo is darker than I would have liked, but I didn't fully realize that until it came to upload here. Oh well.

I haven't touched my butterfly shawl at all, because I came across a testknit last week that I just HAD to sign up for. It's an awesome two-colour shawl with a fun spiral construction and it took me about an HOUR last Wednesday to pick out a colour combination, as I have so many awesome hand-dyed yarns that would be perfect for it ;) The combination I ended up picking is VERY loud, but I think I'll love it :) Besides, yarn as colourful as this contrast colour almost HAS to be used for a scarf ;)
I haven't come quite as far as I would like, as I'm prioritizing Dad's shawl, but I'm greatly enjoying the process.

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

WIP Wednesday - Oh look! A Sock!

I'm more or less knitting the exact same things as last week, although I did add a pair of socks to the mix. I had a long meeting at work on Friday, and as it was a large general status update for everybody at work (so ~800 people) nobody minds if I bring along my knitting, so yay :-) Knitting in the (relative) dark did mean that I messed up on the twisted stitches now and then, but who cares - nobody's going to look that closely at my socks anyway!

The scarf is now at 130cm. I need another 50cm lengthwise, and then I get to pick up a ton of stitches and start on the horizontal stripes :) Fortunately I have FINALLY gotten the hang of picking up stitches (at least in even knitting), so I no longer dread that as much as I used to ;)
I LOVE the yarn. It's a cashmere-merino-acrylic blend and so soft :-)

Another 2 coloured stripes have been added to the butterfly shawl. I'm starting to worry I might not have enough coloured yarn for a full-size shawl, so am considering alternatives. I could either switch to other colours (I have another green, blue and purple of the right weight - though not the same brand) - or I could go drastic and change to a solid black (same brand as the white I'm currently using) to add sort of a border. We'll see - I'll decide once I know how far I get with the colours I have.
It's a very enjoyable knit, even if it does leave me with a ton of ends to weave in! ;-)

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

WIP Thursday

The butterfly shawl hasn't seen much love this past week, as I've been too busy with other things, but I did add a few new stripes at least.

But most of my time was spent on Dad's scarf. I'm about halfway length-wise now. It'll be fun to see how it changes appearance once I start adding the vertical strips as well :)

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

WIP Wednesday - Another Butterfly Shawl

I finally found something to use my handspun for! I'd originally thought to use it for a cowl or a scarf, but never quite found something that worked. All I knew was that I wanted to use all of it, but none of the scarves or cowls I'd found patterns for really appealed to me.

But as I was browsing around Ravelry for ideas, I came across this pillow case. I'd never really considered pillow-cases before for my handspun, as I'd somehow gotten fixed on the accessory idea, but suddenly it clicked, and I knew I had found the right pattern :) Weirdly enough the pattern was written to be knit in pieces! but that was easily remedied, and I decided to use the three-needle bind off for the end, so I only have to seam one side together :) I originally wanted to make some handy closure so I can get the pillow out again, but couldn't quite figure out a way that'd look nice, so I ended up just sewing it together with the pillow inside ;-)

I've wanted to knit a new version of the Butterfly shawl pretty much ever since I finished my last one last January. This weekend I finally cast on using SEVEN different colours :-D I love how vibrant it looks... although I am less thrilled with the 10500 ends I'll have to weave in ;) It'll be worth it though, and I'm trying to weave them in whenever I finish a colour-repeat (i.e. 12 ends), so I don't end up with having the weave them all in at the end.

Last week I offered to knit Dad a new scarf, to replace the one I knit earlier in my knitting career and which I suddenly realized was awfully thin and more of an autumn scarf than a proper winter one. I sent off a few patterns for him to choose between (scarves get boring - I wanted to make sure it was something I'd enjoy knitting) and without the slightest bit of a hint, he chose my favourite one! I went out to buy yarn on Monday, and have since gotten the first few stripes of the Penstripe scarf done.
It's wonderfully soft :) I think he'll like it.

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Knitting/Crochet Statistics 2016

Assuming I've remembered to list everything on Ravelry AND remembered to include the 2016 tag on all finished objects, here are my stats for the year. Probably interesting to nobody other than me, but oh well ;)

# Items finished this year: 44 (down from 50 in 2015)
# Meters of yarn knit: 13.706 (down almost 4K compared to 2015 - haven't been knitting nearly as many sweaters for myself this year)
# WIPs at the start of 2016: 9 (1 of those got frogged, three are still in progress, and the rest got done sometime during the year :) )

Socks: 18 / 41% (+)
Garments for adults: 2 / 5% (-)
Garments for children: 5 / 11% (+)
Scarves / Shawls: 3 / 7% (-)
Cowls: 0 (-)
Blankets: 4 / 9% (+)
Hats: 4 / 9% (+)
Toys: 6 / 14% (+)
Gloves: 1 / 2% (=)
Misc: 1 / 2% (-) (legwarmers)

Gifts/Commissions: 29 / 66%! (+) Wow! I hadn't realized! But I'm lucky to have so many knitworthy people in my life :)
Test-knits: 3 / 7% (-) With so much gift-knitting to do, I was very hesitant to take on any more obligation knitting. I did test-knit a really cool hat for tincanknits though! Would love to do more testing for them :)

Frogged items: Only one FO: My Monocromatic $5 in Paris. I thought long and hard about this, as I really love the pattern and wanted to make it work, but I'd gotten gauge totally wrong, and it just sat weird. Better luck next time. But I've had a few "project reconsiderations" (some socks, a cowl) where I never got more than half-way before frogging.
Current Semi-Active WIPs: 8 - 2 tops for myself, 2 pairs of socks, 1 pair of legwarmers and 3 blankets that are designated long-term projects (I do hope to finish at least one of them in 2017 though).

Most Challenging Project: Though it was a lot less difficult than I had expected, I think I still have to go with the HamilKnit Hat as it was my first foray into two-handed knitting.

Best Gift / Commission: A toss between the security blankets I've knit Nora and the two sets of doll clothes (here and here) I knit for Miriam's doll. Mixi tells me Nora carries those blankets around with her everywhere, and Miriam obviously loved the clothes, as she kept changing the doll's clothes from one set to the another :) See what I mean by having knit-worthy people around? :)

Most Satisfying Project: The Baby-Surprise Jacket. I've wanted to knit this since I first heard of it, and the construction is so clever! It goes from being this odd blob, to being a really cute baby jacket :)

Project I was the Happiest to Finish: The Professor McGonagall Blanket. The end result made it all worth it, but it was a bit of a slog at times (which is probably why it took me 6 months to finish!)

Favourite Project of the Year: My Swirl Tee. I love the way it looks on me :) ... although the Butterfly Shawl comes in at a very close second. I love the construction, but wish I'd chosen better colours. I definitely need to knit another one of those!

WIP Wednesday: Finished my December socks!

I finished my December socks shortly after Christmas, and thus completed Just One More Row's 12 in 16 challenge :-) (that doesn't mean I've only knit 12 socks in 2016 though, but the last 6 didn't count for various reasons). It's been a fun but demanding challenge, that I don't think I'll do again. Knitting 12 socks in a year isn't a problem, nor did I mind the prompts or that each pair had to weigh at least 50 grams (makes perfect sense, to make the challenge fair), but I found it very limiting that instead of knitting 12 socks in a year, I had to knit 1 sock in 1 month 12 times. There were SO many times I wanted to start a sock early, or have two going at the same time. So obviously that specific requirement isn't for me. Good to know :)
This last pair has a zig-zag pattern out of my own head. I'm fairly happy with how it turned out, so have jotted down the instructions in my project notes on Ravelry.

Since then I've been doing a little bit of swatching and knitting on my cozy memories blanket, but mostly I've been wrapped up in a scrappy Tee I've been wanting to knit for ages. I have so much gorgeous yarn left over from socks, shawls etc - too much to use up in my cozy memories blanket, too little for any proper project on its own, and SO soft that it would be a crime not to wear it next to skin. I'm using the Swirl tee pattern for inspiration, as I love the fit of that one, and am playing along with colours as I go. The only problem is that I'm starting to run out of different colours now, and am not too keen on repeating some... so now I have to figure out whether I want to put it in hibernation until I get some more leftovers, or what...