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...

Thursday, December 22, 2016

WIP Thursday: Meet Bimbi

Haven't been doing much crafting this past week, but did manage to finish two things :-)

We celebrated "mini-Christmas" with Nina, Christian and the kids last Sunday, and since Miriam had seemed to love the other doll clothes I made her so much, I decided to make a few more ;-) Of course I figured this out Wednesday, as I needed to have them ready the following Sunday, so I suddenly got a tad busy ;-) Managed to finish them all in time though. So Rosita (the doll) now has two extra pairs of socks, a t-shirt and a skirt :-)

And after a 6 month hiatus I finally finished Bimbi the Elephant, and once again reminded myself that though crocheted animals are cute, sewing the pieces together is a hassle and a half! I somehow managed to get the head on crooked this time! Fortunately Lars talked some sense into me, and reminded me that it really didn't matter - it just meant he was looking to the side, rather than straight at you. And besides, it also meant the trunk was out of the way when you went to hug him! Good point...
I have a recipient in mind, but we'll see what happens ;-)

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

WIP Wednesday: A bit of w(h)ine...

I've been doing a bit of knitting on a lot of different things this week, so I'll refrain from spamming you, and just stick to posting the projects that have seen significant process of some kind or another.

First of all I finished an entire hat since last week! Rebekka asked for a Simple Beret like the one I'd knit Nina a few years back, and of course I was happy to oblige. She'd asked if I could add a bit of colour to it, so I played around a bit with pattens and ended up adding three rows of diamonds on the straight part :) I'm rather happy with how it turned out myself, but worry that it might be just a tad too large. We'll see when she gets it (Sunday, hopefully)

I finally, finally, FINALLY got my act together and stopped procrastinating on sewing in the grosgrain ribbon and buttons for my Paradise Cardigan. Once I got the hang of how to sew in the ribbon, I didn't mind that too much (although hand-sewing will never be my favourite), but I am NOT a fan of sewing in buttons :-P It does look a LOT nicer with both things done though!

One day I may even fix the two buttons that ended up a bit crooked compared to the button hole... that day is NOT today though.

My Skew Sock is coming along nicely :) It's a tad too big as I completely ignored gauge (usually not an issue with socks, but due to the unusual construction of this one... I should have known better), so I briefly considered passing them on to somebody else... but they're SO warm and comfy (and knit with NZ wool I'm not likely to get my hands on again), so I'm keeping them for myself after all ;)

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

WIP Wednesday: What's an Auntie to do?

I finished the HamilKnit Hat last Friday! I absolutely LOVED knitting it, although the star at the top was a bit of a hassle. But now it's done, and looking gooood :-) It gave me a really good introduction to two-handed fair isle. I still think it's faster to just keep both strands in one hand, but this way of doing it certainly made it a LOT easier to wrap the floats and made it look nice and even. I'm still not sure that I'm ready to start a full size fair isle sweater, but a few more of these and I might be ;) Besides, it was a FUN knit, and definitely something I want to do more of.

Saturday I had a good friend over for some "knit and chat" quality time. Always a pleasure to spend time with her, and I got quite a lot done on my Skew sock while she was here. I've been wanting to knit this pattern forever, and finally found the perfect yarn for it :) This is a merino, alpaca, possum nylon blend and will make for SUCH lovely warm socks once they're done.
Unfortunately I had a slight #whenknittingattacks that same evening, as I accidentally broke one of the needles! :-/ Fortunately I have a spare set, but still...

Last week sometime my 7-year-old niece sent me a text message asking me if I'd knit some clothes for her doll! Of course I said yes :) It was actually quite a fun challenge, as I had to design the patterns myself (the doll's an odd size, so I couldn't use any of the patterns I found on ravelry), and I ended up making a skirt, a cardigan, a dress and a pair of socks! The items are currently blocking, so I can get them dry and the ends weaved in by Saturday.