Sunday, July 27, 2014

Year of Projects - Week 4

I finished my first stashbuster project!!! Tuesday afternoon I realized I only had another 2-3 hours to go on the Elfe, so decided to just go for it and finish up! I'm so glad I did, because I absolutely ADORE the end result. It surpassed my wildest imagination. I couldn't be happier with the colours (even if there was a weird form of pooling near the end) and I'm really glad I decided to go from purple to green instead of the other way - I think it'll look so much better on me this way.
I've blocked it gently (mostly just to get the edges to stop rolling) and now just have to stay patient until it's actually cool enough to wear it! I'd hoped to bring it along on vacation with me, but I'm not entirely sure that 30C and a 80/20 Merino/Nylon blend go together all that well ;) Perhaps I can at least wear it on the flight! :)

But I love it - fantastic colours, fantastic yarn and this pattern is SUCH an easy, yet extremely flattering, knit :)

But with this done, I needed a new pattern for travel knitting, so cast on my August socks a week earlier than expected! Just simple vanilla toe-up socks this time. I considered a simple pattern (e.g. the Skyp socks), but realized that the self-striping yarn was so detailed in its own right that I thought it would be doing both yarn and pattern a disservice to attempt anything other than just plain vanilla. Besides, my main reason for wanting a pair of toe-up socks was to check out how the fish-lips-kiss heel works for those, and for that vanilla socks will do just fine :) It's my goal to eventually learn this heel off by heart, so I won't have to refer to the pattern all the time.
The only problem right now is that I'm not altogether sure what I think of the yarn. It looked awesome in the skein, but I think I'm slowly coming to terms with the fact that I'm actually not that keen on self-striping yarn... Apparently I prefer semi-solid when it comes to knitting socks (or perhaps completely varigated... haven't tried that yet.)

Never mind, I'm still learning :)

Haven't yet decided what my next stashbusting project will be - first I have two cardigans to knit for friends of mine... that'll keep me plenty occupied for a couple of months yet!

July Sock (Braided Swirl Socks)
Stashbuster #1 (Dragonfly Elfe)
August Sock
September Sock
October Sock
Stashbuster #2
November Sock
December Sock
Stashbuster #3
Stashbuster #4
(Stashbuster #5)
(Stashbuster #6)

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Year of Projects - Week 3

I've been completely monogamous this past week - knitting nothing but the Elfe. I really, really, really want to finish it before I leave for vacation, which means I have another 9 days to knit ~80 rounds. Should be doable as long as I don't allow myself to get too sidetracked. The only problem is that we're having a really warm July this year, and knitting with wool in 28+C gets interesting from time to time.

Still, I'm making decent progress, and I absolutely LOVE the way it's knitting up. The colours are gorgeous and the yarn wonderfully soft. Can't wait to see it finished :)

Thursday, July 17, 2014

FO Friday - Trifecta

No fewer than 3 finished objects this week, since I forgot to post last week :) So let's get right on it.

I finally managed to finish the Wombat blanket by Paula Berman. She describes it thusly:
There are blankets made to sleep under, blankets to picnic on, and blankets made to cuddle up with someone you love. This is not any of those; this is the blanket you want when you're sitting on the sofa reading, and your feet get cold. It goes especially well with a favorite book, a cup of tea, and maybe a bowl of popcorn.
I loved that idea, and thought it would go very well with my knitting as well ;) I started it October of last year, and have no clue why it took me until now to finish! It's an easy knit that can be adapted to your liking.
I just used some cheap acrylic yarn, but even so it's wonderfully soft :) I substituted the cables of the original pattern for a braided cable and a faux cable. My original plan was to try out lots of different cables to see how it worked out, but in the end I liked this one enough that I just kept it all the way through. The red is because I was afraid I'd run out of the black ;) I wouldn't have, but by the time I realized that I was SO not going to rip back! It comes to just over my knees when I sit on the couch, so I'm sure it will be very useful come winter :)

I've also finished two pairs of socks since my last FO Friday post! I'm attempting to do a pair a month in 2014, so these are my June socks and my July socks (or July and June rather, if seen from left to right).
The June socks are the No Purl Monkey Socks by Cookie A and CraftyPancakes. I'm not a huge fan of purling, so this was perfect for me. They are SO potato-chipy! And for once actually the leg of the sock more than the foot. See, it's the wedges that make me go "just one more!" and there are only half as many of those on the foot! ;) I will definitely be making more of these - it's an awesome pattern!
I modified it further to use the fish-lips-kiss heel by Sox Therapist. It's my first attempt at a short row heel, and I think I like it :) It's easier than the heel flap and doesn't have any extra ends to weave in like the afterthought heel. I'll definitely be using this again too.
The yarn used is the Vivacious 4 ply from Fyberspates which is LOVELY! I will definitely have to buy more of that!

The July socks is a test-knit for Dogwood13 on Ravelry. They're the Braided Swirl Socks and I love them :) The pattern was really easy to memorize, and lots of fun to knit. Although I would recommend learing how to cable without a needle - makes it a lot easier! I kinda had to... didn't have any cable needle small enough! Guess I could just have used a toothpick or something, but thought I might as well practice going without :) The right sock is the mirror image of the left sock, which I think makes for a really cool look :)
The yarn used is Meilenweit 100 Cotton Holiday Stretch from Lana Grossa. Not very soft to the touch, but I think it'll hold up very well for socks :)

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

WIP Wednesday - On the Needles and Between the Pages

On the Needles
I've been working hard on my newest Elfe this past week, and am loving the way it's turning out :) The colour-changes are a lot more muted or subtle in real life (closer to the right side of the photo than the left side), and I think it's going to look absolutely awesome once it's done! I'm about 80 rows into it now (out of a total of 183) and really, really, really want to finish before the end of the month. Not a totally unrealistic goal I think :)

The yarn is from Fibre Optics in the "Dusty Plum to Olive" colourway. I bought two sets and it should be just enough for this top :)

Between the Pages
I finished the newest Outlander book over the weekend (and LOVED it!) and was in the mood for some true comfort reading. I know that this is my third read-through of this trilogy in a year, but I absolutely adore it, and it hits the spot perfectly :)

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Year of Projects, week 2

There's been a good deal of progress on my projects this past week, and I even finished one of them! Of course, it was a test knit with a deadline on Tuesday, so I kinda had to finish, but still - it's nice to be able to strike something off the list :)

I've just weaved in the last ends, and the Braided Swirl Socks are done. There's no pattern page yet, but I hope it will come soon :) It's an awesome pattern that I definitely recommend :)
The yarn is Lana Grossa Meilenweit Holiday Stretch which isn't all that soft to the touch, but seems like it'll wear very well :)

As for the Dragonfly Elfe, I've managed to get enough done there, that I'm feeling more confident about the gauge. I've tried to compare it to the other Elfe I did last year, and it seems to be spot on, so that's all good :) I LOVE the yarn! The colourchanges aren't quite as obvious in real life - something weird happened to the lighting in the photograph.

July Sock (Braided Swirl Socks)
Stashbuster #1 (Dragonfly Elfe)
August Sock
September Sock
October Sock
Stashbuster #2
November Sock
December Sock
Stashbuster #3
Stashbuster #4
(Stashbuster #5)
(Stashbuster #6)

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

WIP Wednesday - On the Needles and Between the Pages

On the Needles
I've finished 4 ornaments for the "Christmas in July" CAL so far :) Think I still want to do another 2-3, but we'll see. The baubles are inspired by Christmas Baubles by Mona Schmidt. The hearts are my own invention :)
The hearts are based on traditional Danish Christmas hearts - we usually make them out of paper, but I've been wanting to try to knit some! The red/white heart was my prototype, which is why the white side looks kind of wonky, but I'm really happy with how the red side turned out.
The red/green heart was to try to make one with 3 stripes of each colour instead of just two. That was a bit of a hassle to fold (SO much easier in paper!) so I don't think I'll try to make them any larger just now.

I've tried to type up the pattern, and am thinking of publishing it, so send me a note if you want to give it a trial run :)

Other than that, I've been knitting a bit on my Braided Swirl Socks - I need to finish this by next Tuesday, so I should get a move on! Fortunately I have a knitting event planned on Saturday, so at least I'll have plenty of knitting time then :)
The photo is a couple of days old. I think I've added another 10-20 rounds. Still loving the pattern!

I finally finished the first sleeve on the Terra Linda Cardigan! I entered the big black hole of sleeve knitting, so it felt like it took forever! But just when I was about to put it away in disgust, I remembered that it was just half-sleeves and not full sleeves, and I was almost done!
Haven't picked up the stitches for the second sleeve yet though, as the needle tip fell out of the metal holder, and I had to glue them back together again. I'm not getting that tip anywhere near my project until I know for sure that it's dry!

Instead I cast on for my second Elfe - this time using a long gradient and ignoring the stripes of the original pattern. I'm only 20 rows into it, so only one colourchange so far, but I think it'll be awesome :)

Between the Pages
Back to reading the newest book in the Outlander series. For some reason I'd put it on the back burner, but I realized I really wanted to finish it before going on vacation. So I picked it back up again this weekend and am now flying through it. Gabaldon is still up to her old tricks, and I had to put it down once or twice because I just got SO frustrated by it, but the woman does know how to write, so I'm trying to trust her and just go along for the ride.

Stash Stories
Week before last I happened to bike past my local yarn store and discovered they were still having their 50% going out of business sale. The shelves were a lot more empty now though! Anyway, as can be expected, I fell down again :-P And came back up with another 4 50g skeins of sockyarn, 2 skeins of so-called "art yarn" and 3 skeins of the most amazingly soft cashmere-baby alpaca-merino blend. No clue what I'm going to use it for, but I just had to have it :)
I also went out to purchase some more of the Järbo Yarn Mio, as I've been commissioned to knit another "Sleeves" (by Martina Behm) for a friend of mine. I realized this would be perfect travel-knitting as it's knit in parts up until the back, so will be easy enough to carry around with me. Plus I've already knit it once, so I know the pattern :)

Monday, July 7, 2014

Year of Projects Week 4.1

July started just one week ago, and with it the Year of Projects. You can find my list here.

The start of YoP coincided with Just One More Row's "Christmas in July" CAL, so I haven't been doing all that much dedicated knitting, as I kinda fell into an ornament hole ;) I did manage to cast on for my first top though, and have knit the first 8 rounds. I decided to start with the Elfe top, using the Fiber Optics yarn as I figured this would give me a chance to actually have it done so I can wear it this summer! :)
It's knitting up rather loose, which I find somewhat strange, as my swatch didn't, but I'll give it a few more rounds and then re-check my gauge. I did swatch in the round, so it shouldn't be too different.

The July sock is going a bit better. I knit on it quite a bit Saturday, and am about halfway done with the leg. It's a quick knit and super-easy to memorize, so I should have this done by the end of the week (well, I kinda have to - it's a test-knit that's due next Tuesday!)

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Year of Projects - Year 4

No WIP Wednesday this week, because I completely forgot to take photos of my projects :-P So instead, my YoP introduction post :)

The Year of Projects challenge is hosted on Ravelry, and the rules are very simple: come up with a list - as short or as long as you'd like - of projects that you would like to knit between July 1st, 2014 and June 30th, 2015. You can focus on stash-busting, emptying out your queue, working your way through a book, or anything else that catches your fancy.

I had originally considered working my way through "Knitting on the Road: Sock Patterns for the Travelling Knitter" by Nancy Bush, but I think that for my first attempt at YoP I need a slightly more flexible goal. I may change my mind for next year though ;)

So this year, my goal for the Year of Projects is two-fold... never do anything halfway is my motto ;) Both goals are focused on stash-busting though.

Goal the First
Without really planning to, I've managed to knit a pair of socks every month so far in 2014. That seems like an awesome trend to continue, so my first goal for the YoP is to knit another 6 pairs of socks this year. I have enough yarn for 4 of those for sure, and may be able to get the last two as well, if I stick with creative use of left-overs and/or ankle socks! :)

Goal the Second
When I last organized my stash I suddenly realized I have no fewer than TWELVE different sweater quantities of yarn - bought with the intention of knitting a sweater (or just a top) for myself right away, and then disappearing into the depths of my stash when I couldn't decide which sweater to use the yarn for after all.

So! My goal for the Year of Projects is to get something done with four of these - 6 if I'm really ambitious. That's one every two/three months, which should be a manageable goal... even when combined with the other one.

The yarn in question:

10 skeins of fonty Angora - DK weight (possible use: Adiago Tunic vest)

5 skeins of Garn Supersoft - fingering weight (possible use: Ink)

30 mini-skeins of Fiber Optic Yarn - fingering weight (possible use: Elfe)

2 skeins of Candy Skein Yummy Fingering - fingering weight (possible use: Elfe)

10 skeins Katia Tobago - aran weight (possible use: Lanesplitter skirt)

8 skeins of Katia cotton 100% - DK weight (possible use: Iris tee)

10 skeins of Katia Eden - aran weight (possible use: Miami Vice)

16 skeins of Easy Care Big - aran weight (possible use: $5 in Paris) (I was attacked by a 50%-off sale, so bought enough for 2, as I really love this pattern!)

And finally 4 yarns I still have no clue what to use for... not that I can't find anything I like, I can find TOO MUCH that I like! And can't make up my mind.

8 skeins of Hjertegarn Ciao Trunte - fingering weight

10 skeins of Järbo Garn Mio - fingering weight

5 skeins of Lagun from almedahl - sports weight

8 skeins of Grignasco Flavia Baby - fingering weight

But still, that's 8 of them sorted - a pretty good place to start. Although I'm sure I'd change my mind a thousand times yet if I allowed myself to keep looking on Ravelry! So I won't... for now, anyway ;)

July Sock (Braided Twist Sock)
First Sweater
August Sock
September Sock
October Sock
Second Sweater
November Sock
December Sock
Third Sweater
Fourth Sweater
(Fifth Sweater)
(Sixth Sweater)