Thursday, December 19, 2013

FO Fridays - Two Toddler Sweaters

There is something seriously wrong with the socks from last WIP post! I got gauge, so I was feeling confident. I knit the foot, knit the gusset, knit the heel, started the decreases for the leg, and as I was almost done with those, decided to just try it on to admire it before putting it away for the night... I should REALLY have done that after finishing the gusset instead of waiting so long, because these had suddenly turned into monster socks! I have NO idea how this happened, but the heel didn't start until long after my actual heel had ended!
I don't get it... either the pattern is way off, or my knitting is way off, or my feet just aren't compatible with these socks. Or perhaps I am just NOT good friends with toe-up socks! In any case, there was NO way these could be made to work.
I ripped out the heel, and after sleeping on it, ripped out the gusset as well. I'm pretty sure I knit the heel exactly as the pattern described, so I don't feel confident about just doing it all over again (would be different if I'd spotted an error along the way - then it would have been worth trying again). Instead I think I might try the afterthought heel. Even while knitting the heel the first time (a reversed Dutch heel, I think it's called) I was thinking how this was a hassle and a half to knit, so it might turn out to be for the best! :)

But the sock is lucky that the pattern and yarn are so gorgeous! Otherwise I think I might just have given up and frogged it :-P

In happier news I can finally show off some of my finished objects on their intended recipients! Last Saturday we had my family over for a pre-Christmas celebration, and my sister showed herself entirely knitworthy by making sure my nephew was dressed in his "Trains on the Track" sweater! I'd given it to him while he was still way too young for it, so this was the first time I'd seen it on :)
He didn't wear it for long, though, because my present for him was a Christmas sweater, which my sister admired...
...and then immediately put on him!
This is the sweater I attempted sweater surgery on in order to make it longer, and I'm happy to say that it worked perfectly! It fits him just right, and doesn't crawl up when he crawls around. Excellent! :)

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

WIP Wednesday - Chocolate is Back!

I'm finally done with all the Christmas knitting (don't be so impressed - the presents were all handed out last Saturday, I HAD to finish!) and I'm now back at knitting the Red Chocolate.

I finished the second sleeve and am now knitting the very last piece - the left side/front. I even remembered to replicate the error... pardon me, design feature... of the right side, and twisted one cable the wrong way... only to then promptly do the same with the other cable as well! I did consider ripping it back, but fortunately that error is on the wrong side, so you only see the back of the cable, and from that side I honestly can't tell the difference. So it's been left 'as is' :)
I was very pleased to realize I still remember the cable pattern off by heart, so the left side is going MUCH faster than the right did... not to mention that I don't have to measure all the time, but can just count ridges or cables instead to make sure it'll end up being the same size as the right side :)

I hope to finish the knitting by the end of the year - that should be feasible as long as I don't get too side-tracked... but I'm good at getting side-tracked ;) Then I can hopefully seam it up in January, and pass it on to my friend while it's still cold enough to use it!

But speaking of getting side-tracked... I've had an urge to knit fancy socks for ages. Not entirely sure why, as I don't really consider myself a sock person, but they keep popping up on podcasts, on blogs etc, and the idea of knitting fancy socks just really appealed to me... if only then because it seems like something accomplished knitters do, so if I wanted to consider myself accomplished, I should give it a go ;) I'd found a pattern I really liked (Bilberry, from The Knitter, #56) and yesterday I bit the bullet and cast on! :)
2 hours got me about 25 rows into the first sock. It was supposed to be the Turkish cast on, but I couldn't really make sense of it (didn't try too hard either, I must admit), so I used the Magic Cast On instead. I'm knitting a size M, but I do have a feeling it's going to be a tiny bit too big, so I've just decreased one in both sides and might adjust accordingly for the leg.... or I'll increase one in both sides in another 15 rows when I realize it's not going to be too big after all ;)

The pattern isn't as difficult as I'd originally thought. I love the faux cables on either side, and after just one repeat I've been able to memorize it and read the knitting to see where I'm at :) The yarn is from Candy Skein and is just as awesome to work with as always.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

WIP Wednesday - Honey Cowl

I'm almost done with the red! Only another 8-9 rows to go, and it's time to switch back to the purple :)
Quite frankly, I'll be very happy once I'm done with this thing, and not just because I can't wait to get to wear it. The colours are gorgeous, and the yarn so amazingly soft you wouldn't believe it (it's 100% bamboo), but it is also extremely splitty which means I have to take more care and can't knit as fast as I'd like. It's very good for social knitting though, as I don't have to consult a pattern, take measurements or anything (my Red Chocolate has suffered quite a bit because of this. I need to get a move on!) so fortunately I do get to knit on it quite a bit.

In different news I just saw these amazing Christmas decorations on my way to work. I immediately snapped a photo and sent off to my husband... unfortuantely he wasn't convinced ;)

Friday, December 6, 2013

FO Friday - When Knitting Attacks!

Well, I finally had a case of "when knitting attacks", to quote the Knitmore Girls (looove them, BTW! One of my very favourite podcasts :) ), and I'm not amused! Especially since I've got nobody to blame but myself. Hate it when that happens!

Ever since I finished the Candy Affection shawl, I knew I wanted to knit a hat with the left-over yarns. I'd been looking around for a good pattern, and really loved the Rikke hat, which Emily of the Whatcha Swatching Podcast has been plugging. Like her, I decided to knit it flat, as it's just plain garter stitch - and it would kinda defeat the purpose of knitting it in the round if that meant I had to purl every second round!!! (not to mention the most common complaint on this pattern on Ravelry was "I hate garter stitch in the round!). I cast it on Wednesday evening, and finished sewing it up tonight, just in time for a late contender to this week's FO Friday! (Hey, it's not Saturday until I've gone to sleep Friday evening! ;) )

First the good things. I love the way it feels, and I love the way it's all matchy-matchy with my scarf :)
I do NOT love the fact that even though I knit this in a fingering weight yarn, and the pattern calls for DK, I can still very easily do this...
It doesn't quite happen of its own accord just from me jumping up and down, but it feels like it might eventually.

I'll try to wear it for a few days, and see how it actually feels on, and if it's completely awful, I might attempt to take it in an inch or two using mattress stitch. Don't know if it'll work, but if not I can always rip it out again.

But I do NOT have a hat head... this hat looked awesome on Emily. On me... not so much ;) Ah well - it doesn't need to look good - it just needs to keep my ears warm! :)

New techniques learned: The twisted German cast on. I don't think it would have been necessarly - the long tail method would probably be fine - but I found a video on YouTube that explained it really well, and quickly got the hang of it, so I figured I might as well give it a try :)

Wednesday, December 4, 2013


Neither the Red Chocolate nor the cowl has seen all that much progress since last week, as I've been busy with a Secret Project :) It'll all be revealed shortly, but in the meanwhile I FINALLY got my act together and frogged (rip-it, rip-it) a project that's been in hibernation for about 2.5 years. It's taken me forever to admit defeat, but I finally felt ready to do it.

I fell in love with this project in the spring of 2011. It was a gorgeous red top with beautiful lacework up and down the body. I felt sure it was way beyond me knit-wise, but couldn't resist the lure of it, so bought the yarn one afternoon, and cast on immediately after coming home (didn't even stop to knit a swatch first - silly me... although funnily enough that's not even part of the reason why I'm frogging!). I knit about 20-25cm and while it was indeed difficult, it was no worse than I could make it work - something I was very proud to realize. However, I put it down temporarily in the summer of 2011 in favour of another project, and just never picked it back up again.

Two years later I've gotten a number of tops under my belt (eh...) and done a fair bit of lacework as well, and no longer feel like there's any reason why this top should be beyond me... Which is probably why I am now finally ready to frog the entire thing. I no longer "have" to finish it to prove anything to myself. And now that those blinders are out of the way, I see other things about the top that I couldn't spot before...

Firstly and most importantly - it's really not my style. I love the colour of the yarn, but while the pattern is really beautiful, it's just not me. It'll look beautiful on somebody else, but not on me. This is my main reason for frogging - if it had been perfect for me, I'd probably have chosen to deal with the rest of its issues.

Secondly I have to pick up like a million stitches for the two hems at the front... and I hate picking up stitches!

Thirdly: Buttons! This thing has 8 buttons to sew in at the end. I hate sewing in buttons! I'll do it if there are just a few, or if it's for a piece I otherwise love (like the Lady Bug Sweater. Those 9 buttons were a labour of love, I tell you that!), but when I'm already having doubts? Forget it!

Forthly - and related to both #1 and #3 - a top closed by buttons? What was I thinking?! Certain... uhm... 'assets' of mine make sure that those never fit me right, and though knitting my own clothes should be a way to fix that, I think going beyond as elaborate pattern as this one to adapt it to my own needs is still slightly out of reach.

Fifthly - I've come to realize that I don't really enjoy knitting garments in cotton... which is a bit of an issue, as it means I now have no idea what to use this yarn for instead. It IS gorgeous though, so I'm sure I'll figure something out.

So hi-ho, hi-ho, it's off to frog I go.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

WIP Wednesday - More Sleeves!

The Red Chocolate is still coming along nicely. Getting tired of seeing in these posts yet? I know I'd be happy to post it in a FO Friday post sometime soon ;) Probably won't happen on this side of Christmas, but I'm starting to believe it might be in January :)
I'm about 20-25% through the second sleeve, and as it's just plain stockinette it should fly off my needles quickly enough. The biggest problem is that I have to increase every 3cm, so I keep having to measure it all the time. I sort of know how many rows make 3cm, but it's not a whole number, so I keep having to fudge it a bit. But it's growing, and that's the important thing :)

I've also had some time to get back on working on my Honey Cowl. I love the colours and the way they work together, but while the yarn (Vinnis Colours Serena - 100% bamboo) is gorgeous and lovely soft to work with, it's not very tightly wound and Just. Keeps. Splitting!!! So it's not quite as mindless knitting as I would have liked.
I still enjoy the way it's turning out though. It's going to be GORGEOUS once it's finished :) I'm just under half-way. I've only used half of each skein, so I need to track back through the colours again.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Pattern: Summer Top by Gerd Auestad

English translation of Gerd Auestad's "Summer Top", published for free at FamilieJournalen here.

All rights belong to the designer - I'm just providing the translation. All errors are mine.

Summer Top

Sizes: (XXS) XS (S) M (L) XL (XXL).
Bust (of work): (78) 84 (89) 95 (100) 106 (112) cm.
Length: (52) 53 (55) 56 (57) 58 (60) cm.
Materials: ”Mandarin Classic” (100% cotton. 50 g = 110 meter): (5) 6 (6) 7 (7) 7 (8) skeins
(7) 7 (8) 8 (8) 9 (9) buttons
Needles: 3mm and 3.5mm or size necessary to obtain gauge.
Gauge: 22sts = 10 cm in sts on needle 3.5mm.

Charts: Found here. (See below for translations)
skpsso = slip 1, knit 1, pass slipped stitch over
k2tog = knit 2 together
yo = yarn over
pm = place marker
sm = slip marker

Chart translations:
Start = Start
Slut = End
Gtg = Repeat
Midt på ærmet = Middle of sleeve
1. omgang med int. = 1st row with decreases

Symbols, from the top down:
K on RS, P on WS
P on RS, K on WS

Back and front pieces: Cast on (190) 203 (216) 229 (242) 255 (268) sts on needle 3.0mm and knit 6 rows in garter stitch. Change to 3.5mm needle and knit pattern described in chart A until work measures 10cm.

Knit chart B (note that the number of stitches automatically decreases on the first row to (176) 188 (200) 212 (224) 236 (248) sts). Continue in pattern (Chart B) until work measures (38) 39 (40) 40 (41) 41 (42) cm.

Cast off for sleeves on the next row, knitting in pattern: Knit (40) 43 (46) 49 (52) 55 (58) sts, cast off 10 sts, knit (76) 82 (88) 94 (100) 106 (112) sts, cast off 10 sts, knit (40) 43 (46) 49 (52) 55 (58) sts.

Finish knitting each piece separately

Right front: Knit in pattern as before and begin raglan decrease from RS-row.
Row 1 (RS): Knit until there are 3 sts left, skpsso, knit 1.
Row 2 (WS): Knit in pattern.
Repeat these two rows a total of 3 times. Transfer stitches to waste yarn or stitchholder.

Left front:: Knit in pattern as before and begin raglan decrease from RS-row.
Row 1 (RS): K1, k2tog, knit to end of row.
Row 2 (WS): Knit in pattern.
Repeat these two rows a total of 3 times. Transfer stitches to waste yarn or stitchholder.

Back: Do raglan decreases in both sides a total of 3 times as on the front pieces.

Yoke: Next row (RS) cast on sts for sleeves - place marker midway through sleeves: Knit (37) 40 (43) 46 (49) 52 (55) sts (= front), pm, cast on (46) 50 (54) 58 (62) 66 (70) sts (= sleeve), pm, knit (70) 76 (82) 88 (94) 100 (106) sts (= back), pm, cast on (46) 50 (54) 58 (62) 66 (70) sts = (sleeve), pm, knit (37) 40 (43) 46 (49) 52 (55) sts (= front). (236) 256 (276) 296 (316) 336 (356) sts total.

(Use markers of a different colour for the midway point of the sleeves. These do not count when "knitting to marker" in the following).

Knit in pattern as before. Sleeves are knit using Chart C. Count from the middle of the sleeve where the pattern begins.

Continue with raglan decreases on the next RS row:
Row 1 (RS) *Knit until 2 sts before marker, sm, skpsso, k2tog* knit to end of row (8 sts decreased)
Row 2 (WS) Knit in pattern

Repeat these two rows a total of (11) 11 (12) 13 (14) 15 (16) times.

Change to smaller needle and knit 5 rows in garter stitch, continuing the raglan-decreases on every RS row.

Cast off knit-wise on WS-row

Left Button Band: Pick up sts with the smaller needle along the left front. Pick up 3 sts for every 4 rows. Knit 6 rows in garter stitch. Cast off knit-wise on WS-row.

Right Button Band: Pick up sts as for the left side. Knit 4 rows in garter stitch, then make (7) 7 (8) 8 (8) 9 (9) buttonholes evenly distributed along the front.

Buttonhole: Cast off 2 sts which are then cast on again on the next row.

Designer: Gerd Auestad

Friday, November 22, 2013

FO Fridays - Candy Affection

I finished my shawl :) Still need to block it, but since it's all garter stitch, I don't expect it to make a big difference. It does have some crinks that I hope it will straighten out though.

But I love it! It's awesome :-D The colours look terrific together - I love how the dark colours of the Madelinetosh really make the the Candy Skein pop :) It took me exactly 2 weeks to complete - I just couldn't put it down :)
I did manage to drop a couple of stitches while binding off though! That's never happened to me before. I didn't realize until I'd finished, and as it was at the very start (of a 417'ish sts row) I wasn't about to tink back through all 400 stitches, so I ended up just using the Yarn Harlot's crotchet bind off and then sewing the last stitch closed. I think it worked well enough. Sure, I can tell where it happened, but only because I know, and only if I'm really looking, so I'm happy :)

Close-ups of the colours.

It doesn't use up nearly as much yarn as the pattern states though. I ended up using 260m MC, 194m C1, 242m C2.

Pattern: Color Affection
Yarn: MC - Madelinetosh tosh sock (Laurel). C1 - Candy Skein Savory Fingering (Rainbow Fruit Chews). C2 - Madelinetosh tosh merino light (Ink?)
Modifications: I changed the ml's to kfb and added a YO before the last stitch which I dropped on the following row. It was a recommendation from other ravellers, and I'm glad I followed it - the edging would have been REALLY tight otherwise.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

WIP Wednesday: Falling in Love

Red Chocolate
I finished the first sleeve!!! Wooo :) Compared to the two other parts of the sweater it just flew past! Probably because there were no cables here ;) So another two parts left to knit, and I'm ready to start seaming!
I'm getting kinda worried about the seaming though - I can't quite figure out how the different parts are supposed to go together, and don't think the drawings in the pattern are altogether clear. I'm hoping it'll all come together once I have all parts though - everything else in this pattern has! And if not, I have a mischievious plan of inviting my friend and my Mum over for dinner one day, so my friend can model and my mum can help me figure out the seaming! I've talked to my friend about it already, but this is the first Mum hears about it... Hi Mum!!! :)

Candy Affection
And here's the main reason why I've only finished the one sleeve and haven't even cast on to anything else. I started the Color Affection just over a week ago, and I love it, love it, love it! Love the yarn (Candy Skein and Madelinetosh), love the colours and love how everything works together. The only thing I don't love is that each row is now 400+ stitches long and takes forever to knit ;)
I'm kinda surprised by the amount of yarn I've used so far though. The pattern calls for just over 350 meters of each colour. I'm done with MC and C1 and only used 260 meters of MC and a mere 194 meters of C1!!! Not too sure about C2 yet. Had I known this in advance I think I would have made the shawl larger. Now I'm wondering whether to use the remains of C1 (Candy Skein Savory Fingering in the Rainbow Fruit Chews colourway) for another Color Affection, or see how much I have left of the two other colours and make a matching hat for this one!!! I think I'm currently leaning towards the latter, but we'll see :)

(I keep having to correct my own spelling! I've learned British spelling so colour... but this is an American pattern so the name is Color... I keep adding the "U" and then have to go back and correct myself.)

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

WIP Wednesday - It's Starting to Look a Lot Like a Sweater

I finally got around to picking the Red Chocolate up again, and - as it seems always happens - I fell in love with it all over again. It is such a cool knit! I'm ever so slightly worried about sewing it all together at the end though - as far as I can puzzle out, it's not quite as straight-forward as I would like... and I have practically NO experience with seaming up sweaters. I'll probably as my Mum for help when that time comes.

But I'm now almost half-way through! Got the back and the right front sorted, and am 66% through the first sleeve :) I love the colour of the yarn, but must admit I wouldn't have chosen the type of yarn myself - it's a tad scratchy! My friend keeps assuring me that's not a problem for her though, so I'm going to trust her judgement - it would be too, too frustrating to knit a sweater as complex as this one and then it ending up not being worn!
But I do love the way it looks - even if it does need a thorough blocking to get some of the stitches evened out.

However, the Red Chocolate currently has to compete with my Candy Colour Affection. I've been wanting to knit the Color Affection for ages, but couldn't find the proper yarn for it. But when I received Candy Skein's Rainbow Fruit Chews I knew this was it! ... At least, if I could find some properly subdued contrasting colours to use with it. Madelinetosh came to the rescue (and now I totally understand the hype about Madelinetosh - it knits up SO lovely!) and I'm speeding through the short rows. Still got a while to go yet, but I couldn't be happier with the way it knits up, the way the colours work together and the Rainbow Fruit Chews pools, and how squishy it's going to end up being. A love affair from the word go :)

This baby is all mine! Can't wait to use it! :)

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

WIP Wednesday - Minions!

I've been knitting a lot of different things this past week, but only two things that have shown any real progress, so I'll limit myself to those two :)

Say hello to Bruce, the Despicable Minion :)
Sorry about the shadow - it's getting too dark to take photos in the mornings these days. I'm just under half-way through the second arm... then I have the eyes left to knit, and the top of the overalls to stitch on. Still awhile to go, and I keep putting this aside for other WIPs, but I finally got some real progress on this.

This second WIP is my first real attempt at making something without a pattern. It's starting to get real cold biking in the mornings, and I can't find any of my gloves from last year (I'm just like a child - loosing one or both constantly. I only ever buy the cheap ones, because I go through 2-3 pairs a year), so I figured I'd knit myself a pair. Couldn't be bothered with gloves though, so I've stuck with mittens, and got the first one done while in London :)
It looks a bit odd, but it fits me well, so that's the most important part :) I've knit it top down so I could try it on as I went along. It's knit on 2.5mm rather than the 3 or 3.5mm needles the yarn calls for in order to make it as dense and warm as possible. I haven't cast on for the second one yet, but am planning to do so tonight :)

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

WIP: Sweater Surgery

Last week I'd pretty much finished the Christmas sweater for my youngest nephew... but I did think it looked awfully small! I knew that he'd only be able to fit it this winter as it was, but it would be such a shame to knit a sweater that was too small before he even got it! So I decided not to weave in the ends until after I'd tried it on him.

Turned out not to matter, because while it was too small for him, it was too small lengthwise (I'd mostly been worried about the tightness of the bind-off) so I needed to knit another 5-10 cm before the bottom ribbing. As this yarn was easy to knit with and had wonderful stitch definition, I figured this was as good a time as any for my to attempt Sweater Surgery... especially because this sweater was small enough that no real harm was done if the sweater surgery failed and I had to knit the ribbing again after all ;)

Sweater prior to Sweater Surgery

Taking a scissor to the yarn... that was kinda intimidating. I haven't tried steaking yet, so in my books knitting and scissors don't mix!

Slowly unravelling the cut yarn, catching the stitches as I go along.

Leaving a gaping whole and two sets of live stitches.

And finally the ribbing completely separated from the rest of the sweater.

After having knit another 8cm in the round it was time to combine the two again...

Using kitchener stitch to graft them together.

Getting a seam that's practically invisible... should be completely after blocking.

The purple stitch maker shows the place of the original ribbing.

And all done!
Granted, the tree looks kinda small compared to the full size of the sweater now, so I probably ought to have unravelled further and done another set of branches there, but what's done is done. Now I just need to weave in all the ends, and it's ready to give to my nephew for his birthday next month! I'm still contemplating whether to use coloured yarn to embroider ornaments on the tree... On one hand I think it looks good as it is, on the other, the added colours could give a neat effect as well. I might just try a couple and see how it works out.

Lessons Learned
1. Always get measurements of the person you're knitting for! Especially if you're knitting something time sensitive for a growing person! I've knit other sweaters for my nephew in the past, but there I deliberately chose a size 1-2 larger than I knew he used so he could grow into it. This sweater he'd be using within a couple of weeks of me finishing it, so I should just have asked my sister for measurements right away.

2. When cutting and then grafting remember to check all your stitches are facing the right direction before starting to sew them up. I didn't, so some of my stitches came out crooked. As it's the first round after the ribbing it's not too noticeable, so I don't really mind, but if it had been in the middle of a longer sts section it would have been VERY obvious.

3. Using kitchener stitch to graft 80-odd stitches together takes FOREVER!!! Time-wise I'm pretty sure it was still faster than just re-knitting the ribbing, but it felt slower, so for another time - when it's such a narrow ribbing at least - I think I mind just unravel entirely and reknit instead.

4. I need to be more careful not to pull the yarn too tight when grafting. The ribbing turns up some, but I'm hoping to fix that with a good blocking.

5. While it took awhile, and was it somewhat daunting to start cutting into my knitting - I managed!!! Yay! A new technique learned :D :D :D

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

WIP Wednesday - Squishy yarn!!

Of the four WIPs I showed you last week, one is done already! Yay :) It probably won't show up this Friday though, as I want to wait until it has reached its intended recipient.

I've been doing quite a bit of knitting this past week, and have made good progress on several WIPs, so that's all good :)

Garter Stitch Wristlets - one down, one to go :) I really adore this yarn - it's Posh Yarn Pamela Sock in the "That Don't Impress Me Much" colourway. The colours are awesome, and I love the squishiness of the yarn - especially in the garter stitch section.

I've just cast on for the second one this morning. This first one took me about 4 hours to knit, so it's possible - even if not particularly likely - that I might finish the second one by the time I see my sister this weekend :)

Honey Cowl - I've just gotten started on the purple, so 25% through. I LOVE how this is turning out. The yarn is amazingly soft, and the colours work perfectly together! Despite the simplicity of it, this is currently my favourite thing to knit, because I just can't wait to use the finished product. It's dedicated travel knitting though, so I'm trying to limit myself ;)

Red Chocolate - yes, I finally returned to the Red Chocolate ;) The bobbin pin shows my progress since the last photo - that's only the work of one evening though, so I'm satisfied :) Another 6 rows to go and then I'm ready to bind off for the armholes. I'm a tad worried about this project just now, I have to admit. For the back piece I measured the length at the cabled section rather than the garter section, as the cabled section was the longest part and I figured I didn't want to squish anything together when sewing it up. Now the side piece tells me to measure "on the short side" = the garter stitch section! Doing that would mean that the decreases/bind off of the back and side wouldn't match up! On the other hand, I'm afraid that NOT doing that would make the sweater too short :-/ I think I've decided to just discount measuring altogether and counting garter stitch rows instead to make sure I have the same number for back and sides... and then just keeping my fingers crossed that the drape will make it long enough anyway.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

FO Fridays - Boticelli Blue

I have a finished object! :) And one that's been on the needles for quite awhile too :)

I finally finished the Boticelli Blue week before last, and got to give it to my sister last Saturday. I had been a tad worried about it, because I'd tried it on post seaming (to check that the neckline was good) and it really did not look good on me - at all. However, my sister and I have quite different frames, so I figured there was still a chance it would look good on her. I handed it over to her Saturday, she put it on right away... and it looked PERFECT on her!!! Just suited her to a T. I think I may have started to jump up and down because I was so thrilled by how good it looked on her :) Yay! So that is ALL good.

Now my other sister is making noises about wanting me to make her one as well... we'll see ;)

Please forgive the HORRIBLE lighting in this photo. It was the best I could do at the time. My iPhone camera is going out I think. Still, it shows off how the blouse suits her well enough :)
Pattern: Boticelli Red
Yarn: Hjertegarn Blend Bamboo 70% bamboo, 30% cotton. Had a tendency to split, but was SO soft and wonderful to work with!
Moderations: Knit in a completely different gauge than the pattern originally called for, but did the maths to make the rows/stitches fit anyway. Also spotted a couple of errors in the original English translation of the pattern. You can see both my calculations and the errata on my project page.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

WIP Wednesday - Cast-on-itis

Before I start with the WIPs, I had a lovely time with my niece yesterday! After work she and I met up in Lyngby where I took her to the biggest yarn store around. I think she was slightly overwhelmed by the large selection, but she ended up finding some gorgeously soft yarn in hot pink-yellow-blue-purple. It's very loud and very cool! We took the bus back to my place, and after we'd gotten dinner started, I took her to my hobby room and showed her how to use the swift so we could get the yarn wound up, and the knitting started :)

I cast on for her, (and knit the first round as I discovered too late that I'd cast on WAY too tight for her), and after that she was flying. She immediately got the hang of knitting in the round ("This isn't difficult at ALL, aunt Maria!" No, nor should it be :) ), and had gotten another two rounds knit between dinner and the time my sister came to pick her up. I had such a great time just hanging out with her, each doing our own knitting, and according to her mother, she'd enjoyed herself too - so that's all good :) I'm looking forward to seeing how her cowl will turn out :)

I have cast-on-itis :-/ Don't know why I'm surprised, because the same goes for my reading, so.... Should have seen this coming ;)

Of course this means that the chances of me participating in NaKniSweaMo are looking slim at the moment. I'm okay with that - my main reason for setting that as a goal for 2013 was because I wanted to push myself to knit a sweater, and as I've already knit 3 and am half-way through a third I've completed the spirit of the goal even if perhaps not the letter of it :) And the Moyen Age isn't going anywhere ;)

Anyway, this means I have no fewer than four WIPs to show off to you today. Unfortunately the Red Chocolate isn't one of them. I haven't touched that one for almost two weeks - which I'm slightly embarrassed about. But it's really not travel-knitting, so it has to wait for my evenings at home.

In fact, one of the reasons why I've cast on so many new things is that after I'd finished the Boticelli Blue, I had no travel-knitting! I love to knit on my commute, so obviously this just wasn't good enough! At the same time I was hit by a request and an adorable test-knit I just couldn't refuse, and now I have more WIPs than ever!

First, my sister asked if I'd knit her some fingerless mittens. She'd seen some at the woman's conference we went on last month, but figured I could just as well knit some for her ;) She wanted the yarn to be varigated in earthly tones, and fortunately I already had just the thing in my stash, so I could get started on those right away.
I've only made it through 1 repeat of the cable pattern so far (out of 4), but that only took me 1 hour, so it's going well. The yarn is very different from my usual stock, but I love it - very soft and squishy, especially in the garter stitch :)

Next, I've finally got started on the Wombat blanket. I absolutely LOVE the idea of this reading/knitting blanket and have been wanting to knit it ever since I first saw it (... ever since I got far enough with my knitting that I believed I could actually do it anyway ;) ). I'm almost finished with the pouch and getting ready to knit flat.

Then there's a test-knit that jumped up and attacked me on Friday. I wasn't going to sign up for any more test-knits until I'd limited the number of my WIPs, but this was an absolutely adorable Christmas sweater for toddlers. Fun without being tacky :) And at size 12mo I figured I could get it done quickly enough. So once again I have stolen one of my nieblings to knit for ;)

But amazingly enough none of these WIPs will work as travel-knits! The Wombat blanket is too big, and the two others require constant checking in with the pattern. Travel-knitting - at least on my train commutes - needs to be small('ish) and easily memorized. So... of course I had to cast on one more project before I was satisfied. I ended up picking the Honey Cowl, so I would finally have the chance to use this terrifically soft bamboo yarn that I bought last summer, but never oculd figure out what to use for! Haven't come very far yet, but I'll post this photo anyway to show off the colours! ;)

That's all for me this week... more than enough, really ;)

Thursday, October 3, 2013

FO Friday: Take 2

This FO was so quick it didn't even make it to a WIP post!!

I wanted something to knit during the seminars at the women's conference last weekend. I'd originally brought the Boticelli Blue, but it turned out that it was less than ideal because of the yarn's tendency to split (=I needed to pay more attention than I was willing to give it, and the small stitches didn't mesh well with the low light), so for the second day I brought along some lovely bulky yarn for another pair of super-chunky socks as my sister had mentioned she'd like a pair.

This pair was even faster to knit up than the first pair, so I'm glad I thought to bring yarn for both socks. Altogether they can't have taken me more than 4-5 hours to knit :)

I didn't realize until afterwards that the yarn had been wound in opposite directions in the two skeins I'd brought, but I actually think it looks quite cool :-)

By the way, this aunt is very proud :) My oldest niece wants to learn how to knit in the round and has asked ME to teach her! I think that's all kind of awesome :)

So I sent her some samples of things I thought she'd be able to make, and she settled on a lovely cowl that's all in the knit stitch - great idea to start with just one new thing rather than learning purl at the same time too - and her mother and I have arranged that when they're in Copenhagen next I'll take niece out to go yarn shopping (on my dime of course - niece was very concerned whether she'd be able to earn enough money on chores beforehand which also touched my heartstrings. Brilliant girl not to just expect her aunt to buy her some yarn, even if that is, in fact, what I'll be doing!) and then she'll come over for dinner at our place afterwards so I can cast on for her and teach her how to knit in the round.

Awesome :)

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

WIP Wednesday - I'm Blue...

I've been working almost non-stop on the Boticelli Blue this past week (interrupted briefly by a new FO) and have now knit 156 of the 197 rows of the front of the sweater. My goal is to finish by October 13th when I see my sister next. We'll see if I manage...
Missing 41 rows of the front, seaming and knitting the cuffs... should be doable.

Friday, September 27, 2013

FO Friday - Super Chunky Socks

Finally another FO Friday post! :) I managed to replicate my weird adaptions to the super-chunky sock, and finished the last one on Monday :) After I'd finished I realized it looked like one was a round or two shorter than the other, but they're just for puttering around with in the house anyway, so nobody but me will notice ;)

I think they're super-cool, and will definitely be making more of this pattern... possibly next time actually sticking to the pattern rather than misreading and being too lazy to rip back, so adapting instead ;) I hadn't tried knitting with such thick yarn before - it was kind of a weird feeling, but the socks knit up really fast (think the second one took me less than 3 hours), so I'm all for it :)

Pattern: Super-Bulky Socks by KnitFreedom
Yarn: Katia Fabula - 100% merino
Adaptions: MANY due to a misread. I accidentally increased to 22sts rather than just 16sts in the guesset and had to adjust the heel accordingly. I think it turned out well though :)

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

WIP Wednesday: Same Old, Same Old

I fear you guys are going to tired of seeing photos of these sweaters waaay before I finish them!

A bit of progress has been made on both again this week. Not much to say about them, as it really is starting to be "same old, same old".

Doesn't look like much progress has been made on my sister's sweater, but I've actually managed to knit almost 30 rows, which puts me at just about 25% of the front done. I get to see her this weekend, so I can see how the back measures up against her.

I've finished the short rows on the right edging of the Red Chocolate.
I brought it to show my friend last Saturday, and she couldn't spot the error even when I told her which part of the pattern it was in. When I finally just pointed it out to her, her reaction was, "Oh! I thought that was on purpose! Yeah, definitely just replicate it for the other side - I love it :)" So now we've agreed that her sweater will have a design error a'la Maria ;-)