Wednesday, September 30, 2015

WIP Wednesday - Almost done!

As expected, I got into the groove this past week, and ended up wanting to knit nothing but my Spring Showers... which meant that I managed to finish it over the weekend!! Not without the knitting attacking me first though :-P For the sleeves I had to pick up 84 stitches (really not a fan of picking up stitches, although I can definitely tell I'm getting better at it, so there is that :) ), decrease down to 64 on the first round, and then do a ton of short rows to make the sleeve cap. I had just reached the last few short rows on the second sleeve and could see the light at the end of the tunnel when I discovered that I had 11 unworked stitches on one side and only 7 on the other! Gah!

I could probably have fudged it, but this is my first time ever doing sleeve caps, so I wasn't entirely sure how visible it would be, and didn't want to risk having one shoulder that looked off when the other fit me perfectly. So I took a deep breath and ripped back almost to the start of the sleeve cap. *sigh*. Worth it though - the end result is awesome :) (And obvious in need of a block to get the hems to lie straight, as you can see.) In the end I had enough yarn for full sleeves (or what I expect will be full after blocking) and ended up with just 5 grams left!
It's currently blocking - will hopefully be dry tomorrow or the day after - and I can't wait to try it on! It looked so great prior to blocking, although a bit snug (as expected - I knew the fabric would grow when blocked), so now I'm just keeping my fingers crossed that it didn't end up growing too much and will fit even better post-blocking. Time will show. I'm trying my hardest to stay patient and not pick it up until it's completely dry.

And since I got that off my needles, obviously I had to cast on something new! Last weekend I frogged a carding I'd knit for my youngest niece as it just simply didn't fit. She was very intrigued by the process.
This is the repurposed yarn (which explains the wrinkles - it should be fine once it gets blocked) which I'm turning into another cardigan instead that'll hopefully fit better. I'm knitting the 2T size (the largest size I had enough yarn for) and it's coming along very nicely :)

Not much new to say about my Stitch Surfer socks. They take quite a bit longer to knit than socks usually do, but I love seeing the pattern unfold so I don't mind too much. I got the heel done over the weekend, so I just need to surf up the leg now.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

WIP - Fairly Monogamous

I've been relatively monogamous this past week, because I absolutely ADORE knitting on my Spring Showers, and can't wait for it to be done so I'll get to wear it :) So sock knitting has been commute knitting only, and every other minute spent knitting has been spent on the cardigan.

It shows too - I've gotten a LOT further and am almost done with the ribbing!
(~250sts on a 80cm needle - it looks like an odd vest at the moment ;) )

I have another 5 rows of ribbing to do plus the bind off, and then it's time to pick up stitches for the sleeves :) It's taking a bit more yarn than I had expected though, so I'm wondering if I'll have enough for the long sleeves I wanted... I'll weigh the yarn once I'm done with the ribbing and decide from there. I might put it aside and see if I can order more, but would worry that the new dye-lot would be close enough. I guess 3/4-sleeves would be okay, but I'll get a lot more use out of long ones. We'll see. With a bit of luck I'll have plenty of yarn, and am worrying for nothing.

My Stitch Surfer socks are going well. They're certainly not as quick a knit as socks usually are, but I'm having fun with them, so that's alright :) I've surfed right and am almost done surfing left.

I also cast on for the Hundred Acre Wood socks once again with thinner yarn, so I could knit the size medium. Haven't even finished the first repeat yet, and am still not quite sure what I think of the yarn and the pattern together, but I'll give it a shot for awhile longer. I don't think the yarn is too busy for the pattern, but we'll see.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

WIP Wednesday - #jojifallkal2015

Off the Needles!
I had an FO sneak up on me, so I have a total of THREE FOs to show off to you this week!

First I have the Up-and-Out socks as expected. They have shown me quite clearly that the afterthought heel is not my favourite to knit. They fit well enough, but I prefer being able to knit it all in one go, instead of having to go back and pick up the stitches for the heel. Also, I'd gladly having two extra ends to weave in. It definitely has its advantages, and I'll probably still use it in certain situations, but it'll never be my go-to heel, the way the Fish-Lips-Kiss heel is.

But ranting aside, I did end up liking the finished socks :) As usual, the same qualities that makes Lana Grossa Cotton Stretch a not-so-nice yarn to knit with, makes it perfect for durable socks. And I love Laura Linneman's pattern (inspired by "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory").

My second FO finally came off the blocking mats this Monday! Autumn has come with wet weather, so it has taken AGES for this to dry! But now I have finally weaved in the last ends of the Dansez Pullover, and I absolutely LOVE it! It fits much better than I'd feared, and the colour is perfect :) My only issue with it is that it's still too warm for me to wear it! I'm so glad I stepped out in faith and gave Amy Herzog's pattern a try... even if I did have to knit it in pieces rather than the round ;)

But getting this off the blocking mats made room for the "Knit Your Love" scarf by Martina Behm. I thought I had ages to go yet, but figured I'd better weigh the yarn, just to make sense. Turned out I only had enough yarn for 3 more hearts + the bind off! With the end that near in sight, I couldn't put it down :)
I had 14 grams left after binding off, so I could have fit in one last heart, but it felt like too risky a game of yarn chicken at the time, and I didn't feel like having to rip back. No matter - this way I have enough for a square or two on my Cozy Memories blanket instead! :)

On the Needles
Binding off one sock naturally means casting on another :) This caused a slight "When Knitting Attacks" moment though. I'd wanted to knit "Hundred Acre Woods" by Alice Yu, but it turned out that the smallest size didn't have the purl stitches that gave the leaves definition. It's still a nice pattern, but not what I wanted to knit, so after debating with myself for about half the foot, I finally just gave up and frogged it.
I tried a few other things, but nothing that really worked out the way I wanted it to, so in the end I just gave up and cast on for the Surf Stitches socks instead. That pattern is behaving quite nicely, and I think I'll really enjoy the finished project even if it does take me twice as long to knit as socks usually do because of all the purling.

I finally cast on for the Spring Showers Cardigan by Joji Locatelli. I decided to wait so I'd be able to double dip with the 2 Knit Lit Chicks' Sweater KAL :) I knit nothing else all day yesterday and am LOVING it!!! The yarn is amazingly soft, and the colours are just amazing! Definitely not the last time I treat myself to some Malabrigo Arrayo yarn! I'm alternating skeins, but don't think I really needed to - really can't tell the two skeins apart. I'll keep on doing so though, just for my own peace of heart.
I'm looking SO much forward for this to be finished! I can't wait to wear it :) I can't call it my Rhinebeck Sweater (one of these years...) but perhaps my New Zealand sweater? ;)
But amazing how different the colour looks in natural light!

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

WIP Wednesday - Two almost FOs!

I am SO close to having two finished objects! Next week, hopefully.

I've finished the majority of the knitting on the Dansez Pullover and have just finished seaming it together. All that remains (apart from weaving in a gazilion ends!) is to pick up stitches around the neckline and knit the collar :) I hate picking up stitches, but once that's done, the rest shouldn't take me too long :)
I really need more practise with seaming though! The straight seams went okay, but the sleeves were a hassle and a half! I'm still not completely happy with how they turned out, but have basically acknowledged that this is as good as it's gonna get until I get better at it. If anybody has recommendations of online tutorials for setting in sleeves, I'd be very interested!

Meanwhile I've swatched for the Spring Showers cardigan by Joji Locatelli for the #jojifallkal2015. I'm knitting it out of the Malabrigo Arrayo I bought in Hamburg, and even just after having swatched with it, I am TOTALLY in love with the yarn! This will be a delight to knit, and I can't wait to get started! I want to finish the Dansez Pullover first though, which is why I haven't cast on yet.

The Up and Out socks are almost done too now :) They're my commute knitting, which means they've seen quite a lot of progress since my returning to work. I've almost finished the second cuff, and then just have to do the afterthought heel. Should be done by next WIP post.

And of course I've also been working on Knit Your Love. I have almost memorized the pattern repeat, and just need a few reminders here and there, so it's going much faster now - even despite the longer rows. It's good for conversation knitting as most of it is completely mindless, so I'm up to 13 hearts now. The pattern is for 20 hearts, but as I don't have quite as much yarn as the pattern calls for, I'm just going to knit until I run out of yarn. I am still COMPLETELY in love with the yarn - both feel and colour - and wish I had enough for a full garment.

Friday, September 4, 2015

August Wrap-Up and September To-Read pile

Blackout - Connie Willis
The Vacationers - Emma Straub
Somebody Else's Kids - Torey Hayden
Sacred Marriage - Gary Thomas
Rising Strong - Brené Brown
Grounded & Derailed - Neta and Dave Jackson
Wonder - R.J. Palacio
Only Ever Yours - Louise O'Neill
Boom! - Mark Haddon
The Last Girlfriend on Earth - Simon Rich
Gone Girl - Gillian Flynn

All Clear - Connie Willis
The Power of One - Bryce Courtenay
S. - J.J. Abrams
The Cuckoo's Calling - Robert Galbraith

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

WIP Wednesday - Catching Up

Woohoo!! Vacation! Which means I've been doing a TON of knitting lately! Espeically as I missed last week's WIP Wednesday.

I've been knitting a tad more on my Nostalgia shawl, and am now well into the third and final lace section. It's odd though - the lace itself is just a plain 4 stitch repeat, so easy enough to learn off by heart, but the border changes for every row (with a 16 row repeat) and I'm completely unable to make any kind of sense of what's happening... which means I have to refer to the pattern for every row, and thus this doesn't see as much progress as I had hoped. I would have liked to have reached the final section by now, but... oh well. I've been enjoying my other knits instead :)

Two of those other knits are brand new cast ons! Stashdash is over, and immediately I cast on All The Things! :) I was sent Martina Behm's pattern "Knit Your Love" as a present Wednesday evening, and of course had to cast it on right away. It's not quite as easy to memorize as Martina Behm's other patterns (has a 14 row repeat), but I love it anyway - especially the colour! I would love a sweater in this yarn!
The hearts aren't too obvious yet, but they should be fine once the scarf is blocked.

I'm knitting a new pullover for myself My last few sweaters have all been kind of big on me, so I decided to step out in faith, and give Amy Herzog's pattern a chance... even if they are knit in pieces instead of in the round! My gauge was way off though, so I ended up having to knit a size 34 instead of a size 40! I think it's right though, and I even blocked the back to double check my math before casting on for the front and sleeves. I finished the front yesterday and seamed the two together this morning. Looks like it may be a bit snug over my belly, but hopefully nothing too bad.

For some weird reason I haven't been doing much sock knitting lately. I think it's the yarn... as much as I love wearing Lana Grossa Cotton Stretch, I'm really not a fan of knitting with it! So with that in mind, I've only just put in the yarn for the afterthought heel on the second sock. Hopefully I'll get it done soon, so I can cast on a new pair!

Finally, I've been knitting almost exclusively on the Cozy Memories Blanket this past week. We were off on a road-trip Mon-Fri (which is why I missed last week's WIP post), and it turned out that even though it's kinda big, it's PERFECT for car knitting! I've gotten 20 squares done in the last week, and am very happy to see such significant progress :)