Wednesday, February 26, 2014

WIP Wednesday

Three active WIPs this week... I'm not very good at this monogamous knitting thing ;)

I'm close to being done with the socks for my nephew. Finished both tubes, and have now started on one afterthought heel. Should be able to finish this week so I can get them off to him :)

Next up is the very colourful Hitchhiker :) I've just finished the 27th tip, so am slightly over half-way tipwise, but most definitely not knit-wise! That's the problem with rows that get longer and longer for each row! Still, I'm enjoying the knitting. It's relatively mindless, so perfect for TV-viewing or to bring along to bible study, but has just enough of a pattern not to be completely boring.

Finally, my newest project :) I recently got hold of some Lana Tweed on sale and had found the perfect cardigan for it... or so I thought. Because when I started actually knitting the swatch for it, I discovered that I do NOT like purling with this yarn at all, and that for the sake of my own sanity I needed to find a sweater knit in the round instead.

Fortunately Emily / Oohfancypants of the Whatchaswatching podcast had just finished off the September Morn pullover which had inspired me to put it on my Ravelry queue, and I figured that would work quite nicely. Granted, it wouldn't be a nice cardigan suitable for work, but it would be a nice, comfy sweater for weekends and lounging around the house. I cast on this weekend, and so far it's coming along quite nicely :)
Still don't think I'll be purchasing yarn like this again any time soon though.

Friday, February 21, 2014

FO Fridays - It's time to play the music

Two finished objects this week, and especially one I'm really thrilled about having finished :)

But let's start with the other one - my Facade socks. I finally finished the second one, and they fit me perfectly :)
They did turn out slightly more fraternal than I had expected though... I thought the colourway ran dark red-pink-dark red-pink-.... Turns out it runs dark red-pink-dark red-orange-dark red-pink... I do have enough yarn for another sock, but I'm not entirely sure I feel up to knitting it ;) At least not just yet. It's a lovely pattern, and looks awesome, but it's rather complex and difficult to learn off by heart. Not to mention it's knit on 2.25mm needles, and I kept worrying I'd break them when attempting to do the occasional k3tog!!!

But they do look awesome :)
Pattern: Facade Socks
Yarn: Schoppel Wolle Zauberball 100, 100% merino
Mods: None.

For my second FO, I finally finished another project that had been in hibernation for almost all of 2013. My piano scarf!!!

Once again, I'm not sure why I put it into hibernation, because once I picked it back up it only took a couple of days to finish, but on the other hand, once again I'm kinda glad I put it into hibernation, because my purling has gotten SO much more even in the year that has passed since I knit on it last, so the last few octaves are a lot prettier than the first ones. It evened out nicely after blocking though, so I'm not too fussed :)
Now I need to get around to the yarn shop where I bought the yarn for it, as the owner asked to see it once it was done ;) Not sure if she'll still remember, but I'll give it a shot.
Pattern: Piano Scarf
Yarn: Hjertegarn Woolcott. A wool-cotton blend.
Mods: I decided not to make it the full 8 octaves, as that would make it too long for me to wear, so stopped after 6 :)

For once two FOs both for me! Totally unheard of! ;)

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

WIP Wednesday: It's all in the details

Just a few small things this week. My biggest projects are both done and will feature in my FO post on Friday :)

When I visited my sister last month and brought her the newest pair of socks I'd knit, my nephew asked me to please knit him a pair as well. My sister and I weren't quite sure whether he really meant it, or it was just the novelty of it, but as it was brought up again a month later, and he'd still like a pair, I figured I'd be the doting aunt and knit some for him :) He picked out the yarn himself, and it's definitely very much him :) I started the socks last weekend, and am about one third through the second one.

They're my own design, just plain-vanilla with an afterthought heel.
It's my first attempt at knitting a pair of socks without having the recipient try it on as I knit to make adjustments, so I HOPE they fit. However, they're more likely to be too big rather than too small, and fortunately socks are forgiving like that ;)

Not entirely happy with the toes - should probably have started the decreases every row instead of every second to make them less "steep", but I realized that too late to want to rip back and start over again.

The only question now is whether it'll get cold enough again this winter to wear them! ;)

My other WIP is my Hitchhikers, where I've gotten another 5 tips done.
It's going to be very colourful indeed! ;)

I've also been knitting some more puzzle pieces for the Ravellenic Games, but haven't gotten around to adding them to the blanket yet.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

FO Friday - Haruni

I love most everything I knit, but once in a blue moon I end up with an FO where I can't believe that my hands made something that turned out that awesome :)

I first started the Haruni in September 2012. I'd bought some amazing yarn and wanted to use it for an amazing project. I knew that the Haruni would probably be a bit of a challenge, but decided to give it a go.

Honestly, it wasn't as difficult as I had feared, but the move came up and I got sidetracked. For some reason I didn't pick it up at all in all of 2013. So this year - with the Ravellenics and the Clean Slate Challenge coinciding, I decided to go ahead and get it done.

To my great surprise it took less than a week to finish! I had thought I had ages to go yet, but obviously the fact that I now have quite a bit of experience with lace made a significant difference, and last Monday - I was done!
I blocked it out that same evening (and sent off photos to Nina to brag ;) )
Extreme close up
And last night it was finally dry and I could take my final FO photos :)
(less accurate colour rendition than the other photos)
I LOVE it! Too bad I never go places where this would be suitable to wear ;) I'll pretend I do and wear it anyway.

I forgot to take meassurements of the pre-blocking wingspan unfortunately, but post-blocking measurments put it at 127cm x 67cm.

Pattern: Haruni
Yarn: Grignasco Champagne, 100% merino
Mods: None.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Fo Fridays - Cowls, Cowls, Cowls, Wonderful Cowls

To be honest, I never really understood the point of cowls. Didn't plain ole scarfs do the trick perfectly well? But then my sister asked me to knit one for her, and I tried it on to model it for the FO photo... and suddenly I got it. Sure, scarfs would work too, but with cowls I wouldn't constantly have to worry about it coming loose and dropping one end in my food or whatever. And besides, they were fun to knit :)

So when my sister asked me to knit her another cowl, I was happy to oblige... Especially when I found the most amazingly soft yarn to use for it :) The colour in the photo is a tad dark - it's more blue IRL. It's a blue/black twist with a silk shine that makes it just gorgeous.
I knit until I ran out of yarn, and then used a plain black for the bind off to make sure I used every inch of the yarn. I actually think it makes for a nice finish - it even looks planned! ;) But binding off took FOREVER! There were 352 stitches to bind off at the end!
Pattern: Mochi Collar Cowl
Yarn: Rowan Silk Twist
Mods: Used another yarn to bind off, but that's about it :)

The second cowl has been much, much, MUCH longer underway! I found the yarn last summer and bought it with no real purpose in mind, but thinking I might use it to knit an afghan of some kind as it was so incredibly soft (yes, I have a weakness for soft yarn ;) ). I bought the pattern for Vivid, but gave up after knitting just one square. The yarn was much too loosely spun, and split like nobody's business. It would be okay for knitting straight, but lace work? Not so much.

So I frogged it, and instead cast on for the Honey Cowl. It went swimmingly to start with, and I really enjoyed the project, but as I got half way through I just got bogged down. It's a pretty straight-forward knit, and just got boring after awhile. I'd do a row here and a row there, but it was taking forever. Finally I realized I probably only had another 3 hours' work to do if I sat down and focused, so I put on a movie and got stubborn.

The result was worth every minute of the fight! The effect of the colours turned out exactly as I had hoped, it's lovely soft against my neck, and I love the way it looks both at full length and folded double. So an annoying WIP turned into a terrific FO :)

... I'm NOT in any rush to be using that yarn again any time soon though!
Pattern: Honey Cowl
Yarn: Serina by Vinnis Colours, 100% bamboo.
Mods: None.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

WIP Wednesday - Potato-chip-y scarf

Still have a lot of WIPs on my needles. What can I say? The minute I bind something off, I want to cast on something new... despite the fact that I already have a bunch of active WIPs. At least this clean slate challenge is spurring me on to use old yarn rather than the new I still can't seem to stop myself from buying...

First of all, I cast on for the second Facade sock. Only got 6 rows past the ribbing, but at least now it's started and will hopefully tempt me to pick it up again soon.

However, I was going to a friend's place to play games last Saturday, and didn't really feel like bringing along a WIP where I'd have to stop and look at the pattern all the time, and instead of bringing along the cowl I was already working on (don't ask me why...) I decided to cast on for the hitchhiker! Granted, I HAVE been wanting to knit this for ages, and have even had the specific yarn for several months too, so I figure it was just about time to get started on it. I can fully see how knitting this could get addictive. It's very potato-chip'y.
I absolutely LOVE the way the yarn is pooling right now, but I'm a tad worried that as the rows get longer and longer, it'll stop looking as orderly and start looking... well, just messy! Not quite worried enough to actually rip it out, because it may turn out to be a moot point, but we'll see.

But mostly, I've been knitting on the Wombat blanket that I started this fall. I had all kinds of crazy plans that I wanted to have it ready for this winter, but then put it aside for some reason (can't even remember why any longer) and just never got around to picking it back up again! Well, I decided to remedy that, and am now well past the pouch for my feet and actually probably only have another 30cm or so to go before it'll be long enough. But I do think I'll like it more if rather than going for "long enough" I go for "as long as I can get it before I run out of yarn, so we'll see.