Friday, June 27, 2014

FO Friday - It's all for my sister!

Two finished objects this week, and both of them for my sister! What can I say, she's very knitworthy, and when she goes on and on about how much she loves something I knit for her, and then ask me to knit something else (really small)... I just can't say no ;)

Fortunately these slippers took me all of two days to knit - I think I timed it to 4hrs for the first one and 3 for the second. Very easily done :) The yarn was weirdly stiff to the touch, but I think that may actually mean that they'll hold out better.
Pattern: Seamless Salomas Slippers
Yarn: Katia Samoa, a cotton, acrylic, polyester blend.
Mods: Medium size, but knit the sole to 9cm instead of just the 7.5cm the pattern calls for.

I actually finished this second project last week, but as I was seeing my sister this week, I wanted to wait and not post the FO until she'd seen it in person, in the hopes that I could actually surprise her by having finished! Fortunately I succeeded :) She had wondered why I hadn't posted it in last week's WIP post, but hadn't thought more about it than that.

So with no further ado - this is what happens when I ask my sister to pose for my Ravelry page ;)
Pattern: Sleeves by Martina Behm
Yarn: Järbo Garn Mio, 100% merino.
Mods: None on purpose, but...

This very nearly turned into a "knitting attacks" project. As I neared the middle of the back, I thought I was running dangerously low on yarn, and couldn't understand it! I'd already bought a "buffer" skein, so while the pattern only called for 850 meters I'd bought 1050, but even so I was playing a SERIOUS game of yarn chicken! It was touch and go for awhile, and in the end I had less than a meter left over once I was done! I couldn't understand it. Sure, I get using a bit more yarn than the pattern calls for, but 200 meters (60g) extra??? That seemed absurd.

I simply couldn't understand it... the yarn was exactly the same weight as the pattern called for, I used the same sized needles and... oh! Since it was a Martina Behm pattern and thus automatically a "shawl" in my head, I hadn't done a gauge swatch before casting on. Now I went back to check the gauge on the stockinette part of the sleeves... sure enough, instead of getting 24sts / 10cm, I got 28!!! A difference significant enough to easily account for the extra yardage.
So I learned my lesson - if you want something to fit AND don't want to risk running out of yarn - always take the time to swatch.

The yarn was rather insanely saturated though... this is the water post-soaking
And even after that there was STILL enough dye left over to colour the towel as well (not sure if it shows all that well in this photo though...)
I've warned my sister accordingly...

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

WIP Wednesday - It's All About the Socks!

On the Needles
Not one, but TWO pairs of socks. First the No Purl Monkey Socks. I breezed through the leg - this is SUCH an easy and fun pattern! - but now I'm at the heel and it's only my second ever fish-lips-kiss heel, so I have to read the instructions carefully - meaning they've been reassigned from travel knitting to home knitting. I hope to get past the heel over the weekend though.
It's my ambition to actually finish them over the weekend, but we'll see.

The second pair of socks was a testknit I just couldn't resist! I love the braided cable and how it's otherwise quite simple. The pattern is really easy to learn off by heart making for a fast knit as well. I started Saturday morning and am already at the toe decreases :)

Between the Pages
I found myself craving a reread, so this Monday I started the Crystal Singer Omnibus by Anne McCaffrey. I'll probably just read the first novel, but who knows - I may get so caught up in the universe that I end up reading all three. It's happened before ;)

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

WIP Wednesday - Getting Ready for YoP

On the Needles
Still pluggin away on Martina Behm's Sleeves. I've finished both sleeves now, and it's time to join them together. Still love the yarn and the pattern. It's pretty ingenious the way it's written :)

Between the Pages
I had a rather large book haul arrive this past Monday, and among them was Diana Gabaldon's newest book, "Written in My Own Heart's Blood"! Of course I had to start it right away, but I must admit to some trepidation as I did so... While DG doesn't exactly "kill her darlings", she certainly does love to put them in very tight spots. Doesn't exactly make for all that comfortable reading, as I just want to see them happy and together.

Stash Stories
Books count as stash, right? Just a different type of stash ;) I'd ordered a bunch of books from last month, but since "Written in My Own Heart's Blood" wasn't released until June 10th, they didn't arrive until this week. 4 books I already own as ebooks, but love enough that I wat them physically present in my library as well (the WitchLight trilogy and "Saturday Night Widows"), and 4 brand new books where I either know and love the author/series (Gabaldon, Erica Bauermeister) or read a sample on my Kindle and liked what I read ("Bunheads", "Heads in Beds")

I happened to be home when the package arrived, and I think I may have squeeled when I heard the delivery man knock ;)

Events / Challenges / KALs
Unofficial signups for the Year of Projects have opened, and I'm very keen to get started on this. Have already begun winding the yarn for my first project, which is taking awhile as it's 30 mini-skeins in a Dragon Fly gradient. But doesn't it look awesome?
Can't wait to start knitting with this gorgeous yarn! Now I just need to decide whether to go from green to purple or from purple to green! (It's one long gradient, but I split it up into two to make it easier to handle.)

Thursday, June 12, 2014

FO Friday - Conwy Socks

Forgot to post this last week :-P But yes, I finished the Conwy socks in time for the Month of Socks KAL! :)
These socks were rather weird though... I didn't care terribly for neither the pattern nor the yarn while knitting them - in fact, made the leg quite a bit shorter than the pattern called for, just to make sure I'd actually get them done - but now that they're finished, I absolutely love them! They fit perfectly and the yarn feels like they'll wear well :) So yay for happy endings :)

Pattern: Conwy socks
Yarn: Lana Grossa Meilenweit - Gret Stretch
Mods: Cast on 60 sts instead of 72 and dropped the decreases. Only did 10 repeats of the pattern for the leg.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

WIP Wednesday - On the Needles and Between the Pages

On the Needles
"Sleeves" by Martina Behm. I've been more or less monogamous this past week, and have finished the first sleeve and started the second. The colours are a tad off - the third one is light blue, not white - but I actually think it looks pretty good either way :) It's an easy and mindless knit with awesome yarn, and I love it :)

Between the Pages
I've finally got my reading mojo back :) At least it definitely feels that way, since I managed to read 3 books over the weekend! (Long weekend, so 1 book per day). I've been rereading Tamora Pierce, and was in the mood for more fantasy once I finished that, so I dove into Maria V. Snyder's Glass-trilogy. It takes place in the same universe as the Study-trilogy (which I read in 2012 and loved!), and so far definitely lives up to my expectations! I'm about a quarter of the way through the last book in the trilogy.

Stash Stories
My stash has multiplied quite significantly over the past week, with no less than THREE new sweater-quantities entering the fold.

I've mentioned being completely enamoured by the Järbo Garn Mio that I'm using for "Sleeves" (100% merino, either fingering or light sport weight), and as it was a good price, I decided to get a bunch for myself too - despite not having any fixed ideas of what to use it for.

That was last Wednesday, then yesterday I biked past my local yarn shop to get some new needles, and discovered that they were having a 50% off everything sale! Unfortunately because they're closing the store, which saddens me :( But a 50% off sale is always worth utilizing, and as I've long been thinking I'd love to knit another "$5 in Paris" using the same Easy Care Big (100% merino, aran weight) as my existing one, I figured I might as well go for it. Unfortunately they didn't have enough skeins in the colour combination I most wanted (rust red and burgundy), but I did get enough for two other combinations I think will look nice :)

Events / Challenges / KALs
Two knitting KALs and one book challenge this time :)

The Just One More Row podcast are hosting the "Christmas in July" craft-along for July and August. The only rule is that the projects have to be started and finished in July/August (no WIPs) and the finished objects have to be either Christmas presents, Christmas ornaments or in other way Christmas related. Any craft counts and double-dipping is encouraged :) I found a bunch of Christmas ornaments I wanted to knit LAST year, but never got around to knitting any of them, so I'm definitely planning on jumping in on this one! Specifically I want to figure out a pattern for a knitted version of the Danish Christmas heart ever since I found a crocheted version last year. The CiJ CAL seems like a perfect opportunity to try my and at that!

The Year of Projects should be starting up soon too. I'm seriously considering joining that one this year as I want to challenge myself to actually use up some of the sweater-quantities worth of yarn I've discovered hiding in my stash... even before the three new ones were added this week ;)

And finally, a bookish event - the Books on the Nightstand are hosting a "Summer Bingo" on their Goodreads Group. You don't actually have to neither join the group or listen to their podcast to join in on the challenge - just go to BOTNS Bingo! and print out your bingo card! I've printed out two, because what's the fun in having just one bingo card?! ;) Each book can only count for one square on each card, but the same book can absolutely coun't for a square on multiple cards :) I started on June 1st and already have 7 squares on one card, and 6 on the other!

Will you be joining in on any of these? Let me know! :)

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

WIP Wednesday - #behmalong

I finished my first No Purl Monkey Sock :) Haven't cast on the second one yet though, as I needed a bit of a break from socks after rushing to finish the Conwy socks for the Month of Socks KAL.
I made the leg a tad too long - should have started the Fish-Lips-Kiss heel after 6 repeats instead of 7. Ah well. I'm not going to rip it back that far just to remedy that! I may add an extra couple of stitches for the other cuff though - just to make it slightly less tight.

I think I like the heel... it's certainly a lot easier to knit than the heel flap. Not as easy as the afterthought heel, but on the upside - no extra ends to weave in! The FLK-heel is my first attempt at a short row heel.

Now that I'm no longer knitting socks, I've returned to Martina Behm's Sleeves for my sister. I'm about 2/3s of the way through the first sleeve.
I had to fiddle a bit with the numbers in order to make the cuff tighter than the pattern called for and then add the flare later, which is why the sudden jump in numbers is more pronounced than it would otherwise have been. I think it works out well enough, and doubt it's something you'll notice when it's being worn
The yarn is SO lovely and soft that I may just have to buy some for a blouse for myself :)