Wednesday, May 27, 2015

WIP Wednesday with a couple of FOs

Stash-Dash is well underway, and I've finished my first two projects already!

The Baby Memories Blanket was the first to get done, as I started the last square on that as soon as I got home from work on Friday. 45 minutes later I could weave in the last ends and I was DONE!
Despite some of the squares felting when washed, I actually really like the finished project. I'd been worried I'd find the multitude of colours jarring, but not so. In fact, I love the way it looks! Which is a happy sign for the cozy memories blanket I'm currently knitting myself! That one still has a loooooong way to go yet though.

Fortunately, Mixi didn't mind me having felted some of the squares - she was just glad that I'd pre-washed it, so that I had felted them, rather than leaving her to fear she'd done something wrong when she first washed it ;) And Nora seemed to like the blanket as well -- she was very fascinated by all the colours at least! I've told Mixi that I'm likely going to smother Nora in knitware and fortunately she doesn't mind ;) I

Next up are the Rainbow Latte socks out of Regia Stripemania in the Rainbow colourway which I finished Saturday morning. They are SO bright and cheerful!
They finished blocking yesterday, and were dropped off in the mail today! So keep an eye out for them sometime next week, . Hope they fits!

So that's just over 1300 meters done :) 5K is still a long way away, but I'm off to a good start :) Especially as I have a number of WIPs on the needles still.

One of those is the Avery Pullover by Nikki Van De Car. The body is all done, and right now I'm procrastinating on picking up stitches for the sleeves :-P I know they'll be finished in no time once I get past that though.
The yarn is Drops Extrafine Merino, which I know from experience stretches a bit in the wash, so I've knit it at a slightly tighter gauge than I would usually. Hope that will work as expected.

My Spotted Socks are coming along nicely as well. I'm almost out of the varigated yarn on one of them, so I've decided to catch up with the other one so I can end with the spots at exactly the same point. They make for a rather slow knitthough, so I think my next pair of socks will either be plain vanilla or with a VERY simple pattern.

And finally I've picked my 30 Valentine's Shawl back up. This is slooooooow going, but I'd really love to finish it this year... preferably for StashDash, but that might be pushing it somewhat. I'm currently on row 72 out of 138, so only just half-way.
As always the pattern is impossible to see pre-blocking. I have high hopes for it though.
I need to knit 6 rows a week on average to finish in time... not completely insane, but it'll be a bit of a push. Good thing I love goals ;)

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Almost Ready for StashDash!

StashDash is almost upon us! Which means that starting Friday I can start finishing projects again! :)

To explain, Stashdash is an event arranged by The KnitGirllls vid-cast that runs from Memorial Day weekend to Labour Day weekend (I think... this year it starts May 22nd and ends August 14th, both days inclusive). To enter, you set a goal of how many meters you intend to knit, crochet, spin or ply. This year they have a 3K, a 5K and a 10K event. I'm signing up for the 5K. So that's 5000 meters worth of knitting, spinning and crocheting. However, WIPs count! So as long as I have at least the bind-off to do, I can count all the yardage of that entire project!

So with that in mind, I'm getting all my WIPs in order so I have as little as possible to do on as many projects as possible :) So if you think some of these things have been underway for QUITE awhile, and I should just finish already... you'd be right! ;)

The first one is a new cast-on though :) I came across the Avery Pullover by Nikki Van De Car, and just couldn't resist it. Such cute cables! I'm knitting this out of Drops Extrafine Merino in the 18-24mo size. I don't have an intended recipient yet (although my youngest niece is a definite possibility ;) ), but I absolutely love the knitting, and it's going VERY quickly. Should be able to finish within the week, unless I start procrastinating on the sleeves ;)

Next up is the Conjunction Cowl by Susie White. I've finished the handspun rainbow yarn, and only have another repeat of the light blue to go before finishing! I miscalculated terribly and started the rainbow way too late - I'd hoped for it to be centered a bit more. But oh well - I still love the way it looks :) As does a friend of mine, who was so enamoured by it, that I may just have to give it to her once it's done ;)
Shouldn't take me more than an hour to finish, but I'm saving this for June 1st, so it'll be eligible for the AroundYourNeck-KAL as well :)

I haven't gotten nearly as far with my Spotted Socks as I'd hoped to - knitting with two yarns slows me down quite significantly - but I've finally made it past the first heel (the OMG heel... I think I like it better for toe-up socks than cuff-down) and am rushing down the foot... and then I 'just' have the other one to do ;)

Finally, and this is the biggie, I am ALMOST done with the Cozy Baby Blanket I'm knitting for my niece. In fact, I only have one square left to do!
Yes, this was supposed to be my "One a day in May" project, but as I got closer to the end they became extremely potatochip'y (=must have one more!), and Sunday I finished the second to last one, and threw it in the wash, so it'd be ready to finish on Friday, and hand over to my sister on Saturday!

Unfortunately, using scrap yarn came back to bite me here, as I'd lost the labels of some of them, but assumed they'd all be superwash. Yeah... I was wrong :-P The pink yarn especially felted something awful, which made for a rather interesting result. One of the whites and the light blue felted as well, although not quite as bad. I briefly considered cutting them out and exchanging the squares for something else, but honestly I'm afraid I'll just mess it up even further... and at least it's usable the way it is now! ... Even if slightly more asymmetrical than before I put it into the wash! ;)

So that's my lesson learned to check yarn before starting a project... coming hard on the heels of the felted swatch of last week, I hope it'll stick!

All put together, this should put me at about 2000-2200meters pretty quickly -- not a bad start to StashDash! :)

Thursday, May 14, 2015

WIP Wednesday

Only WIPs this week - not a single thing off my needles. That's on purpose though - I need to get ready for StashDash 2015 after all! ;)

Becca's Rainbow Latte socks are almost done! Just two more heels to go, and they'll be ready to go in the mail :) Hope they fit! :)

The baby blanket for Nora is coming along swimmingly as well! I'm enjoying it more than I thought I would, and am actually ahead of schedule! Woohoo :)
It's awfully colourful though! Hope Nora won't get nightmares from it ;)

Also the Conjunction Cowl has finally seen some action. This was actually supposed to be my London knitting, but I got sidetracked, and only really got knitting on it this week. I'm just about halfway, and love the way my homespun yarn is knitting up - it almost looks like stained glass windows!

When Knitting Attacks
But alas - all is not well in knitting land. I'd found a lovely summer top I wanted to knit out of lace weight, and used a couple of evenings this past week to swatch for it. The yarn was SO amazingly soft I already couldn't wait to wear the finished garment.

But that wasn't to be :-/ I'd learned from previous mistakes (!!) and decided to wash the swatch the same way I would wash the finished garment - i.e. machinewash cold in a mesh bag (I don't handwash clothes - not even my knitwear). Good thing I did too! As it came out of the wash completely felted, and had shrunk by about 10%!
I was SO disappointed! But not nearly as heartbroken as I would have been if it had been the finished garment. This is why you swatch, people! ... and treat the swatch like you would the finished garment. Lesson learned! And that yarn will now be saved for a shawl or another accessory, that doesn't require as frequent washings as a summer top, and that I therefore won't mind having to handwash.


Wednesday, May 6, 2015

May Challenge - I'm not crazy, really!

Well, my Rye Field Pullover finished blocking Thursday evening, and I was unfortunately right - it's too big :-/ No surprise too, as I tried measuring the gauge and it grew from the 25sts/10cm of the blocked swatch to 21.5sts / 10cm in the blocked garment! Maybe one of these days I will FINALLY learn that merino GROWS when blocked, and I need to make a large swatch instead of just rushing to get on with the project.

Ah well, it doesn't look too bad on me. Not what I had hoped for, but not bad enough that I'm going to reknit it either. Something to keep in mind if I ever knit it again though.

The Rainbow Vanilla socks have been my commute knitting this past week, and have seen quite significant progress as a a result. I have one done (but for the heel) and the other is almost at the point where I put the waste yarn in for the afterthought heel.
I really love knitting with this yarn - so colourful and cheerful! I can get almost 4 stripes done a day, just through travel knitting, so they should be done soon :) In fact, I may have to put them aside for a bit, and save the heels for StashDash (5K knitting from May 22nd to August something :-D )

Finally I put a serious dent into the baby blanket for Nora over the weekend. So significant, in fact, that I figured out that if I just knit one square per day for the rest of the month, I'll finish on May 31st! So that is now my stated goal - one square per day for the next 26 days. We'll see if I actually manage to keep it up (and if I have enough scrap yarn! That'd be a fun hurdle... ;) ).
Each square takes me about 45 minutes, so it's not an insane goal. Even if I miss a day here or there, it will be possible to catch up. In fact, right now I'm a day ahead! :-D