I've been busy-busy-busy knitting this baby blanket lately. My sister's due date was this past Saturday, and I was no where near finished then. However, the due date came and went, and still no new nephew. But at least the blanket's done now.
This is really my sisters FO rather than mine, but I promised to show you photos once my nephew's dragon costume was done, so here you go :-) My darling dangerous dragon (who has an incredibly clever mother!!!)
I've gotten the hat back though, because my nephew asked if I could knit it longer so he could use it for winter, and not just as part of a costume. This is the first time I've tried to unravel something from the middle, and knitting on without a definite pattern, so I'm a bit hesitant to start, but I'll have to get my act together soon so I can finish while it's still winter! I was thinking of removing the bottom ribbing, doing a few more rows of increases in straight stockingette and then adding ribbing again for proper flexibility around the ears. Those of you who've knitted this kind of thing before, how does that sound?
I haven't had time for much knitting lately, but Sunday night I felt like something really easy and fast. I had a lot of scraps left over from Henni's Beekeeper's Rug, and figured they would do quite nicely for something to add a bit of colour to my new library.
My first attempt was the hue squares, but unfortunately that turned out much too busy, so I unravelled it again. Instead I decided to go for a small version of the 10 stitch blanket, which I think is coming along rather nicely :D
I still have yellow, orange, pink and beige to go... we'll see how it ends up.
Haven't gotten too much knitting done this past week - I've been too busy with our new house ;) But I did manage to get about an octave done on the piano scarf. It's turning out quite nicely I think :)
But like I said, we've been busy in the house :) Lars has filled in all the holes left behind, I've been washing out all the cupboards and shelves, and tomorrow I'll be going through the place to cover edges with tape so we're now ready to start painting this weekend! We're renting a car Friday to go buy paint, so the 'only' thing remaining is to actually pick out the colours! ;)
Fortunately I've discovered that our local paint chain has a terrific colour-picker app which I've had a lot of fun playing around with. Its best features:
A complete colour card of their selection of colours.
Take a photo of a colour and have the app determine the colour code.
Take a photo of a room and use the app to colour the walls from the colour card.
The last one especially has been very handy, and I've had a lot of fun playing around with the various colours. I'm not very brave when it comes to wall colours though, so we'll generally be sticking to the pastals.
We've only been considering the first floor for now. The basement will come later, but likely we'll have quite a bit of a repeat in colours. I tend to like a larger varity of colours than Lars does, but at the same time I worry about it being too much... I just have to keep reminding myself that paint isn't permanent ;)
But here's what we've come up with so far.
The hallway will just be white. As all the rooms ajoining the hallway will be different colours, we thought that would be a nice way to seque from one to another.
The bathroom will be white as well. Mostly because it's white already, and nice enough that we don't have to paint it ;) Laziness FTW!
The 3 living rooms (lounge, dining room, library) will be a sandy yellowy-brown. That's the colour our current living room is, and we both really like it. It's warmer than a plain white, while still neutral enough to go with pretty much everything.
The kitchen will be more of a yellow colour. Not bright yellow, but darker than the living rooms. Again, it's the same colour as we have currently, and we like the way it looks together with white cupboards and wooden counters.
We originally considered having the bedroom the same yellowy-brown as well, but I managed to convince Lars to try something else here instead :) We considered various blues and greens, but ended up agreeing that this was by far the nicest :)
My hobby room was the hardest room to decide the colour for, as we agreed that Lars picked the colour for his hobby room and I picked for mine, so I only had to make up my own mind, and apparently that's more difficult than making up both his and mine ;) I'd like it to be a bit more vivid than the other rooms, while still not too overwhelming. I'm still not entirely sure. I think I'd like a purple colour, but haven't yet decided how dark. I think I've narrowed it down to these three though :)
The gloves are done, and just in time for winter :) It was 0C when I woke up this morning, so perfect timing.
The back of the hands are a bit too big, but according to other knitters, that's pretty common for first-time gloves, and otherwise they fit fine, so I'm just not going to worry about that. Besides, I tend to go through gloves at record speeds, because I'll get warm hands when I bike, take them off and put them in my basket, and eventually arrive at my destination to discover that one has fallen out.
This has happened more often than I care to admit ;)
I made slits in the thumbs so I can use my iPhone without having to take them off. Hopefully that won't leave my thumbs too cold.
Pattern: Classic gloves. Yarn: 5ply, 100% Acrylic. Alterations: Slits in thumbs to make them smartphone friendly.
After realizing just how many WIPs I have going, I figured I'd better get a move on some of them, so right now I'm back at knitting the piano scarf. It's slightly slow going, because the way I've decided to do the purl rows (knitting backwards, rather than turning the darn thing back and forth all the time, getting the skeins all twisted) makes both the purling and the knitting go slower than it would otherwise. I'm contemplating just going back to my normal way of purling and then just dealing with the twisted yarn every couple of rows... we'll see.
I love the way it's turning out though, and the yarn is SO nice and soft. It's a wool/cotton blend and will be a treat to wear :-D
And I adore it! I can't believe how well it turned out. The colours, the style, the fit - it couldn't have been better :) I love the way it looks on me :) It was a pretty easy knit - the hardest part was picking up stitches for the sleeves and having it look nice - and FAST! Only took me 10 days to knit. Of course it did help that I hardly touched any of my other projects at all during those ten days ;) What can I say... it was a whirlwind romance ;)
(my apologies about the state of the photo - it was the best I could do at the time).
Binding off did turn out to be a bit of a hassle though. I'd used a 'regular' bind off for the sleeves, and that was fine, so I figured I could do the same for the hem. Not so. It ended up being waaaaay too tight! I could get it on, but it was literally skin tight - I couldn't move at all. Sigh. Nothing to do but to rip it back. Google came to the rescue, and using Jenny's Super-Stretchy Bind Off I tried again - success! This bind off was just as stretchy as the ribbing itself and looked great too :)
Pattern:$5 in Paris Yarn:Mayflower, Easy Care Big. A tad on the itchy side, but I think it'll be okay. Modifications: The bottom ribbing was supposed to be 5". That's a LOT of ribbing! After about 3.5" I decided to call it quits. I actually think it looks better that way too.
I've only been working on two WIPs this past week. I was supposed to work on the Haruni at the knitting circle Sunday (majorly cozy BtW. I can't remember when I've last laughed so much and had such a great time together with people I know so little ;) ), but managed to leave the chart part of the pattern behind!!!! Yeah, well done there, myself!
Fortunately I had brought my gloves along in case I got tired with the Haruni, or needed something simpler, so I wasn't left without a project entirely and got quite a bit done on the left glove. Good thing too, I'll need them soon! I'll bring them along to Bible study on Thursday and hope to get more done there - perhaps even finish?
But the project that stole both my soul and all my free time this past week has been the $5 in Paris KAL. I honestly don't think I've opened a book since Saturday because I just want to knit this all the time! And anybody who knows me will know how much that is saying! The yarn is a tad on the itchy side, but I think it will be okay, and I adore the way it looks! If this keeps up, I'll have it done in no time!
I'm loving the $5 Paris KAL I'm doing together with Pandabearofdoom. It's turning out to be such a pleasant knit, I'm enjoying it much more than I had expected. Unfortunately I can see the effects of knitting tired - yesterday I had to rip out two rounds of one sleeve because I had turned it the wrong way around so was purling instead of knitting, and today I had to rip out another two rounds because I had started the ribbing one round too early, and it just looked... strange! Ah well, I'm getting there, and at least I now fear ripping back and fixing mistakes much less than I used to.
I'm about halfway done with the body, but decided to finish the sleeves before I went any further. I want to make it longer than the pattern calls for (I like tunica-like tops), and need to know how much yarn I have available. I'm glad I decided to do it this way, because the sleeves are a LOT more fiddly than the main body, so it'll be nice to have them over and done with. The rest will be a breeze once the sleeves are done.
Hmmm.... it would seem that I'm as bad at starting new knitting projects as I am at starting new books! I currently have 10 books on my currently-reading list (yes, still - although a different 10 from last week! ;) ), and while my number of WIPs isn't quite that bad, it's getting up there.
Funnily enough they also fall in the same categories...
The New Romance
The book/knitting project that I only just got my hands on, but which I just couldn't stop myself from starting right away. My parents gave me "The Casual Vacancy" for my birthday, and of course I had to start that very same evening even though I already had a pile of other books on the go. Similarly, I recently started a $5 Paris KAL together with Pandabearofdoom on Ravelry, and now that seems to be the only thing I want to knit! I've come just below the armpits now, although I'm slightly worried it'll turn out to be too small (I'm knitting the medium size which usually fits, but it seems... small). I'm not entirely sure though, so I've added a life line so that I can easily rip back if it turns out to be necessary.
The Long Haul
The book/knitting project that seems to go on forever but which you're sure will be well worth the effort once you're done. "Giants of the Fall" is a great read and the Piano Scarf a delight to knit, but both show so little progress from each sitting that I hardly feel like I'm getting anywhere.
That does not mean I'm about to give up on either though! I'm in for the long haul :)
The book/knitting project that I could really finish if I just sat down and put my mind to it for a couple of hours. I only have 200 pages to go of "Fire Study" and my classic gloves is only missing half of the left glove. I would have been further if I hadn't made a rookie mistake last week. I was happily knitting along for 10 rounds after the cuff when I discovered that, DOH! I was knitting the right-hand glove again rather than switching to the left. I promptly ripped out the 10 rounds, and then started knitting the hand again... only to realize that since the cuff is completely symmetrical, I could just have moved the 'start of the round' 10 stitches to the right, and I'd have been right on track again. You live, you learn... I really should finish it though. It's almost glove-cold in the mornings now.
The book/knitting project where I'm deliberately limiting myself to small doses, because I just don't want it to finish! "Happier at Home" is such a book and the Haruni such a project. Both things are doled out as small treats.
As you can see, I've managed to cast on a number of new things :) But it's autumn, and I love sitting with the warm yarn.
First there's the piano scarf which is still going strong. I've gotten a little over 2 octaves done now. I might end up not doing all eight if I decide the scarf is long enough before then. I'll take that as it comes.
After having knitted the iPhone friendly mittens for Mixi, I decided I really needed some myself too. I don't do too well with knitting the same thing over and over again though, so I figured I'd try to see if I could manage my way around a pair of gloves, and finally found this rather simple design for Classic Gloves. I was slightly worried about the fingers, but it turned out a lot easier than I had feared. The first one just needs the ends weaved in now
and the second one is just getting started
I decided to only make slits on the thumb instead of both thumb and first finger, but I'm contemplating making slits on both thumbs as I tend to use both quite a bit. I've got a while before I need to make that decision though.
Finally I gave in to temptation and cast on for the Haruni... and immediately fell in love. The pattern is fortunately a lot easier than I originally had feared, and after the first 32 rows I found myself able to look at my work and see what came next, which spared me for a lot of counting and a LOT of mistakes to pick up! I still tend to forget the first and last yarn-over of each repeat, but that's easily fixed. I haven't quite memorized the pattern, but it's easy enough that I can memorize one line at a time ;)
And it's turning out more gorgeous than I had ever hoped :)
Close-up of the details
I want to wear this shawl for my sisters wedding in March which should give me plenty of time to get it done :)
The yarn is Grignasco Champagne which is a merino/silk blend. It cost a pretty penny, but is turning out to be WELL worth the expense! It's so soft and yummy to work with :)
I've discovered that I love knitting for other people! Which is fortunate, because so far most of what I have knitted has been for my sisters or friends ;) I guess it seems less selfish to use so much time on it that way... or perhaps I just get a kick out of their reactions. (Or both!)
Anyway, the finished objects this week are for my sisters. I see them next week, so it seemed the right time to get them finished.
Most of my knitting this past week has been of the portable variety which means the piano scarf hasn't seen much progress (only another 3 white keys), but I don't mind because I've out and about knitting with friends, which is always a good thing :)
So a few photos of my progress...
The piano scarf (after all, I didn't abandon it completely :) )
iPhone-friendly mittens for my sister
(the left one won't have those holes but will just be a 'regular' mitten.
Aaaand I've gotten a few more puzzle pieces done :)
And once again my dangerous dragon! My sister has been out to purchase the fabric for the rest of his costume, so I'm sure I'll post yet another photo of him eventually ;)
Finally, the FO you've all been waiting for... well, the FO I've been waiting for anyway - the Beekeeper's Rug I finished knitting the last hexipuff on September 8th (in fact, it turned out I had miscalculated and knitted 7 too many!!! Don't know how that happened!), and brought them all over to Henni. She spent the next week or so trying out various arrangements of them, and finally found one she liked. Tuesday evening I came over to her place to sew them together (she bribed me with sushi ;) ), but 3+ hours only got me half-way, so I ended up also coming by on Wednesday evening to finish it off.
So without further ado...
According to the pattern it's only necessary to sew the corners together. However, since this was supposed to be a rug and not a quilt I figured I'd better play it safe, so I ended up stitching all the edges togther, which took FOREVER. It was well worth it in the end though :) I loved the finished result, and even more importantly, Henni loves it as well :)
I don't see myself making one of these again in a rush though ;)
I have a couple of things on my needles at the moment - mainly because I got started on something rather complicated and needed something portable as well ;)
So for the portable, I'm making the Holy Cowl for my sister. I hope to have this finished by October 6th when I see her next.
It's a fun knit, but I'm having problems finding the best method for casting on the stitches above the holes. So far I've been using the 'reverse loop' but it's not quite as neat as I would like it. I've tried the knitted cast on but can't quite make it work. Do you have any recommendations?
The other project is much more elaborate and MUCH more fiddly - but I'm loving it! Ever since I saw Shadow Byrd's Piano Scarf I knew I HAD to make it! In fact, this was what got me started on my knitting again. Last week I finally got hold of the yarn and was ready to cast on and by yesterday evening I had gotten the first octave done.
I actually love the way the back looks as well!
Buuuuut... it uses 4 skeins at a time (actually the pattern calls for 5, but I decided there was no reason to make it worse ;) ), so this is why I don't bring it anyway... this is the result of just 2 rows knitted...
Knitting this just makes me SO thankful that I've learned the knitting backwards method of purling - it makes it a LOT easier to keep the skeins straight!
I'm using Hjertegarn Woolcott, which is a wool-cotton blend and SO lovely soft. Can't wait to wear it :) I chose an off-white instead of a plain white though, as I think I'll like that more in the long run.
Funny story about buying the yarn (funny to me anyway). I went down to my local yarn shop Thursday before last to get hold of the yarn. It needs quite a lot though, so they only had half the amount of white yarn that I needed. The owner asked if a different dye-lot would be okay, or if I needed to go with another type of yarn instead. I answered that I thought a different dye-lot would be okay, as I was making piano keys, so they had black separating the different colours anyway.
Her: "You're making a piano?"
Me: "Yes, I've got the photo right here" and I showed her the photo on Ravelry (I love my smartphone ;) ).
She oohed and aahed appreciatively, and we arranged that I should give her a call the following week, as they were getting a new shipment of the yarn in.
Life interviened, and I didn't get around to calling her until yesterday.
Me: "Hi, my name is Maria. I'm calling about a shipment of Hjertegarn Woolcott you should have received?"
Her: "Ah yes, the off-white for the piano, right? Yes, we've received some more."
Marvelling at her memory I asked her to set aside 4 skeins for her, and told her that I would be by that afternoon to pick it up, traffic permitting.
I arrived shortly before closing, and another person was behind the counter. She didn't really know what I was talking about, but fortunately the owner came out from the back just at that moment.
Her: "Excellent, you made it! I've got the skeins for you here. Oh, did you bring the pattern? I wanted to show my colleague!"
Fortunately I had brought my iPad with me, so I was able to show off a larger photo of the finished scarf, and they both commented that it would be a lot of fun to knit. I told them that I'd gotten it on Ravelry, so who knows Shadow, you might make some more sales now ;) In any case I have to go by to show off the finished scarf once I'm done... whenever that may be ;)
No less than three finished objects today! I know this will probably backfire on me and I should leave some for weeks where I don't finish anything, but I love all of them and am eager to get them posted, so there! ;)
My cousin and his wife had their first child last week - a girl whom they'll name Ida. Fortunately I got the chance to go see her last Monday and wanted to bring something along for her. I didn't get much notice, so time was limited, but in the end I figured out how to make a hexipuffy "I" for her, and don't think it turned out too bad :)
I'm afraid she didn't care too much, but her parents loved it, so that's always something ;)
Since I'll be seeing my sister tonight, I finished the dragon mitts for my nephew.
And finally my favourite - Tuesday evening I bound off the last stitch of the Wingspan. To begin with I'd been unsure about how the colours knitted up, but the further I got, the more I loved it! This will be PERFECT for my friend's birthday! I loved the pattern as well - a lovely fun, quick and easy knit.
I have the exact same yarn in a blue colourway as well, so I'm contemplating making another one after all... ;)