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.