Friday, January 31, 2014

FO Fridays - TADA!!!!

Fortunately my super-bulky hat stopped teasing me, and I managed to finish it Wednesday evening. I ripped back 6 rows, decreased back dow to 58 sts, knit those 6 rows in k1p1 ribbing and on the final row decreased another 3 sts. So guess the 48 sts hat wasn't as "much" too small as I had originally thought. Never mind, I'm really happy with the end result, and like the extra space for my hair.
I think it's super-cute :) Even if DH did photobomb me ;)

Regarding my subject line - I am FINALLY able to show you the finished Red Chocolate!!! The pieces had finished blocking last weekend, so I sat down Saturday evening to try to see if I could figure out how to combine the pieces of the puzzle. Fortunately that turned out to be a LOT easier than I had first feared, and that first evening I managed to finish everything but the second sleeve. Unfortunately at that point I could see I would have to unpick and redo the first sleeve, so I decided to call it a night and continue at a time when I was more awake.

That was Sunday morning, so by the time my husband got home from work, I could get him to take these photos of me modelling it! :) :) :)
Isn't it gorgeous? I just love the colour! Part of me is slightly sad that I won't get to keep this myself, but the largest part of me can't WAIT to hand it over to my friend! She's going to love it! Besides, I'm pretty sure I would never have dared attempt it if it hadn't been for her asking me to, so it's all for the best. (Also, it's a tiiiiny bit too small for me, which would have been SUCH a disappointment! Ought to fit my friend perfectly though).

But I'm definitely happy with my accomplishment :) AND I now know how to make cables without a cable-needle :) All good. I'll be seeing my friend tomorrow and hope to get some shots of her in it then.

Pattern: Chocolate Passion from Drops.
Yarn: Hjertegarn Superwash Vital, 100% wool.
Modifications: Turned two cables the wrong way on the fronts. One by accident, the other as a "design feature" ;) If I were to make this again, I'd make greater use of provisional cast on and three needle bind off in order to limit the amount of seaming necessary.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

WIP Wednesday - Lots and lots of accessories!

I'm not quite sure how it's happened, but I ended up working on 5 different WIPs this week! Only took photos of 4 of them, so I'll limit myself to talking about those.

I've finally gotten back to working on the eternal honey cowl. I really loved this when I started it, and would pick it up all the time, but recently it's turned into a real slog. I'm sure I'll love it once it's finished though, so I'm prodding onwards. Only another 30-40 rows to go now, so I can see the light at the end of the tunnel, but with every row being 220 stitches in very splicey yarn, it still feels a long way away.
I'm about half-way through the blue, and then just have the final green to go :) I should probably just get stubborn and dedicate an evening to finish it off. But it's difficult when I have so many other WIPs I also want to work on ;)

One of those is the Facade Socks. I've finished the first one, which means I've completed the test, so I'm taking a bit of a break before casting on for the second one. Especially as I can't quite make up my mind whether to make them identical or fraternal twins.
I do love the first sock though, so I definitely want the full pair! I'll probably cast on once I've finished one or both of these two next projects.

Saturday I was going to a friend's birthday brunch. She lives quite far away, so that meant a 1+hr train ride each way. I probably should have brought one of my already-in-progress-WIPs, but instead I decided to make headway on the cowl I'd promised to knit my sister, so it could be ready for when she comes over next month. 2 hours made for a LOT of knitting time, and was plenty of time for me to fall completely in love with the yarn.
The yarn is Rowan's silk twist which I got at half-price as it's being discontinued. I wish I had bought more, because it is SO soft and lovely! I sent a photo to Nina and commented that I wish it was possible to send texture as well, because it's yummy! Looks like there may be a bit left over, so hopefully there'll be enough for a headband for myself after all ;)

And finally - something I thought would be an FO but which foiled me at the very end. This last week I've frogged one hat and lost another, so I figured it was time to knit one out of some super-chunky yarn I had left over. Unfortunately I did not have much luck with the patterns I found. I wanted to knit top-down so I could make use of as much yarn as possible. The first pattern had me increase to 48sts - much too small. The second pattern had me increase to 72sts - much too big! Rather than starting all over again, I've decided to rip back 6-8 rows decrease back down to 58sts and then try with a k1p1 brim... hopefully that'll do the trick.
Because I do love the yarn :)

Friday, January 24, 2014

FO Fridays - Trifector of FOs

No fewer than 3 FOs today! But one has been finished for quite awhile, and just waited for the intended recipient to see it, before I could post it here :)

First a cover for my new iPhone. It's slightly differently shaped than my old one, so I can't reuse the old cover. I do want a "proper" cover at some point, but until I buy one of those, I still wanted a bit of protection for it. I know that yarn won't protect all that much, but figure that it's better than nothing :)
The cover is heavily inspired by the iCozy, but I didn't care for the decorative apple, and wanted a cushier cover than simple stockinette would give, so I did a mix of 2x2 rib, 3x1 rib and stockinette. I'm fairly happy with the end result, but it's definitely not a long-term solution.

The closing is very clever though, and feels very secure :)

My second FO was a present for Dad. When I went to visit my parents just after Christmas, Mum told me that Dad needed a nice scarf to wear with his winter coat. I had some suitable yarn that I was eager to try out, so I immediately agreed to knit him one. The result was a nice and soft 2-meter scarf in garter stitch. So nice and cushy, but not the most challenging knit ever ;) Perfect TV-knitting though, and the yarn had enough of a gradient that it was fun to see it change.
After blocking it ended up being approx. 20cm x 2m.
Pattern: Diagonal Garter Stitch
Yarn: Schoppel Wolle Zauberball in green. 100% Merino.
Mods: For increases and decreases I did one in-/decrease in every row instead of two in-/decreases every second row. Less thinking that way ;)

Finally, a loooooong overdue FO. My 80s sweater is finally D-O-N-E DONE! I signed up for the "Clean Slate Challenge" started by the "Just One More Row" podcast, and figured this was the perfect opportunity to get this old WIP out of the way. The really ridiculous thing is that I'd put it aside with just 15 rows left to knit and then the seaming. Once I got it out it took me all of 2 hours to finish, and I'm so happy with the result :)
Sorry about the poor quality photo. I'll try to get my DH to take some in natural light over the weekend.
It's 100% cotton and slightly heavy, but wonderfully warm!!! The yarn sheds a bit though, which I didn't think cotton did! but I assume it'll get better after the first washing.

I am SO happy with it :) It turned out exactly as I had hoped.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

WIP Wednesday - Almost Done!

My Facade sock is coming along swimmingly. The pattern is challenging enough to keep me focused, but not so challanging that I can't (mostly) learn it off by heart. I did forget to measure it before bringing it along with me to work today though, so I don't know how much further I have left to go before starting on the toe... really don't want to have to rip this baby out, so I think I may just have to find something else to do on the trainride home.
(This photo is about 10-15 rounds old.)

This other WIP is SO CLOSE to becoming an FO, and I'm so thrilled about showing it off, so with no further ado...
Yes, It's the Red Chocolate!!! After goofing up majorly and doing the short rows the wrong way, I finally cast off the last piece this weekend! They're now blocking and mostly dry, so I should be able to start seaming them up this weekend! I'm a bit worried that they grew too much while blocking through, but time will show I guess.

I have a feeling that seaming it will take forever, but hopefully it won't be too difficult. Otherwise I'll follow up on my threat and have Mum and the friend I'm knitting this for over to help me out ;)

Friday, January 17, 2014

FO Fridays - Simple Beret

The beret is done! :) It was a much faster knit than I had expected - only took me about 5-6 hours all in all - and I love the result. May just have to make one for myself too :)

Sorry about the quality of the photo - I had to take it way too early this morning in order to have it ready for this post ;)

Pattern: Simple Beret with a Cable Brim
Yarn: Cabrice Color from Lane Cervinia - 100% acrylic.
Mods: There is a small error in the pattern, so fixed that, but otherwise none.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

WIP Wednesday - Startitis

I never can seem to help myself when people ask if I'll knit them something - I cast on right away, even though I have loads of other WIPs I ought to be working on... But the same thing happened this weekend. My sister asked if I'd knit her a sparkly beret, and of course I had to get on it right away. I found some suitable yarn, she found a pattern she liked that would fit the yarn, and I was off!
This is a really quick knit, so I should be able to finish before I see her next.

I've also started another testknit. I'm on a sock-knitting craze these days, so when I found a testknit for a relaunch of Facade Socks I knew I had to sign up. I only started last night, so I'm pretty satisfied with my progress so far :)

Finally I've been working a bit on my existing WIPs - the Red Chocolate, the Haruni (after not having touched it for a year!), the puzzle pieces and the honey cowl. Only the latter has really seen enough progress to warrent a progress photo though.

I REALLY need to finish the Red Chocolate sometime soon though! I'm starting to feel guilty about it... mostly because I know that if I just sat down and got to it, I could finish the knitting in an evening or two. Then I'd just have the seaming up to do. Perhaps this weekend...

Friday, January 10, 2014

FO Fridays - In-Out-Up-Down Socks

Another pair of socks! I've discovered that I really like knitting socks... although the dreaded Second Sock Syndrome does occasionally rear its ugly head. Not with these socks though! They had so many different parts to them that they were challenging enough to be fun to knit - even twice!

It's the first time I've really tried stranded knitting - I've done bits of it before, but never anything like this. It was fun, but I'm glad I'd tried double knitting first, so I'd gotten the hang of holding two strands at once. I'm still not great at it, but it works alright.

This was a test-knit, so no pattern to link to yet.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

WIP Wednesday - Puzzle Pieces

After a far too long hiatus I've returned to knitting puzzle pieces again :) I've managed to get 3 done and sew all of them together! I'm especially proud of the latter as I tend to procrastinate terribly on sewing :)
So that's 12 done so far. Still a looooong way to go yet. This is my "waste fingering yarn" project though, so I have no plans of finishing any time soon, but because of my long break I'd gotten an awful backlog of yarn. It'll be nice to get a bit caught up.

Love the pattern, but unfortunately it's too complicated for me to learn off by heart... I think I'd be knitting these a lot more if I could do so without having to have the pattern next to me at all times.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

FO Fridays - It's All in the Accessories

I skipped FO Friday last week, so I have two finished projects to show off today :)

First my lovely New Years Eve socks! So named because I made sure to finish them in time to wear them for New Years Eve ;)
These are the socks where the heel as written gave me such problems and ended up making the socks 3-4 sizes too big! I'm still not sure what went wrong there. But fortunately the afterthought heel went well :) It's a tiiiny bit too big (think I started the heel too late), but fits me well enough, and the socks are SUPER comfy :) And lovely warm too! I ended up having to exchange my winter slippers for my summer slippers. Hadn't seen that one coming, as, though merino wool, the yarn is really thin. I'm not complaining though :)

Pattern: Bilberry from The Knitter, Issue 56.
Yarn: Candy Skein Yummy Fingering in the Robin Egg Malt colourway.
Mods: Jenny's Magic Cast On instead of the Turkish Cast On. Afterthought heel instead of the reverse Dutch heel.

Secondly a pair of iPhone gloves for my sister. She'd asked if I'd knit her a pair awhile back, and I figured I'd better make sure to get them done while it was still winter and she could actually use them ;)
Quick and easy knit, but so many ends to weave in on gloves! ;) The thumb turned out a bit wonky - not sure if that's on me or the pattern ;) Still, they should keep her hands nice and warm.

Pattern: Basic Glove Pattern.
Yarn: Acrylic yarn, sportsweight.
Mods: Slits for thumb and first finger on the right glove.