Wednesday, January 27, 2016

WIP Wednesday

Just a few projects this week.

I finished the hat for my niece, and decided to add a flower for some extra bling :) It's somewhat big though, so she might not be able to wear it until next year. I'm handing it over to her mother on Sunday, so we'll see.

Last week, one of my colleagues started complaining that she couldn't find any suitable black legwarmers that were as long as she'd like. Jokingly I offered to knit her a pair (totally willing to do so, but not wanting to pressure her), and to my happy surprise she thought that was a great idea! We sat down and agreed on a pattern, so when I got the yarn last Friday I could cast on right away :) The pattern (Rosina's legwarmers) is really easy to learn off by heart, so I'm almost done with the first one - just need to have her try it on to make the final check on length and width.
Though black, the yarn is fine to work with - I have no problems at all reading the knitting.

And as always, I needed a pair of socks on the needles. The pattern is Cookie A's Wanida. I haven't gotten that far yet, but I think it'll work well with the varigated yarn, as neither yarn nor pattern is too busy.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

WIP Wednesday - Butterfly Shawl DONE!

I didn't post last week as I didn't have many projects that had seen much progress (plus I forgot to take photos... and really, what's the use of a WIP post without photos?!), which means that this week I have a LOT of progress to show!

I finished two pairs of socks last week! Both my vanilla socks out of sparkly New Years Eve yarn and the test-knit socks are DONE :)

The latter pair were a bit of a hassle to knit, as I discovered shortly into the first one that I'm really not a fan of stranded knitting in socks. I did enjoy seeing the pattern emerge though, and like the finished object, so I think at the end of the day it was worth it, and might make others, but I'm going to be very picky with which ones I choose. I think it was mostly the long floats that messed me up. But now they're done, and fit well, so that's the important thing.

I've also - ta da da DAAAAAA - finished the Butterfly Shawl! This weekend I realized I really only had very little left, so I put on one of my favourite series, and just went nuts... and Monday evening, I finished!!!
The contrast in the gradient yarn isn't as obvious as I'd hoped, so you have to view it in the right light for it to be noticeable, but I still absolutely LOVE it!!! And already have another 3 planned :-P So thank you Mum and Dad for that Christmas present! :-) It's a lot easier than it looks, but the rows got LONG near the end! For the last section, each straight row took 15 minutes to knit!
It's currently blocking, so I decided to take an 'up close and personal' photo to show off the colour changes.

I'm still knitting on the "Change of Heart" cowl. It's coming along nicely, but is unfortunately slightly boring to knit. I'm not entirely sure why, but I think it may be because the lace repeat is too long to learn off by heart, but short enough that each repeat doesn't show any significant progress, so it's neither mindless knitting (like vanilla socks), nor a project where each repeat comes with a sense of accomplishment... if that makes sense? The yarn is delicious though (a merino, alpaca, cashmere blend), so I'll keep on keeping on. Actually, with a bit of effort I might be able to learn the pattern off by heart - it's only a 14-row repeat - so perhaps I should just work on that to make it easier travel knitting.

Finally, my sister asked me to knit a balcava for my youngest niece, so of course I got right on that :) It's a really quick knit - mostly garter - so most of it goes WHOOSH! Should finish this before too long... possibly even today!

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

WIP Wednesday - Returning to my roots

I've been extraordinarily monogamous in my knitting this past week. The Butterfly Shawl is pretty much all I want to knit, and the further I get into it, the more I start thinking of other colour combinations I want to try! I think my next version will be a multi-coloured version (i.e. where I pick the colours myself, rather than using gradient yarn), but haven't decided yet just how many colours I want to use. But I'm getting ahead of myself - I'd better finish this one first ;) It's the first time I've been THIS eager to try a second (and third... and fourth) version of the same pattern though. And I don't even wear shawls that often!!!
It's getting too large to photograph easily, but I'm really loving it :) It's not mindless knitting, as I have to do a lot of counting, but it's meditative knitting, as it's all just garter, and thus really easy. Perfect TV knitting, as long as I don't have to pay too much attention ;)

It's really not travel knitting though, so of course I also have a pair of vanilla socks on the needles. I'm loving the yarn, and am trying to make these as identical as possible.

And because I really need a new hobby (or rather, an old one back...) I want to get back into doing cross-stitch. It's not quite as satisfying as knitting (or even crocheting), but it serves its own purposes, and I did make some gorgeous projects through the years. When I visited an old friend of mine (who often motivates me to do cross-stitch... this will be the third time she's resurrected my old interest ;) ) she had this awesome embrodiery stand which looked like it made managing larger projects a LOT easier. As I received some money for Christmas, and found it at a reasonable price on Amazon, I decided to go ahead and get one :)
It makes SUCH a difference! 5'ish years ago, when I stopped doing cross-stitch regularly, I'd just started on a table-runner which was pretty much impossible to handle due to the size. I put it on the stand, and voila! Easy-peasy! Of course, my tastes have changed quite a bit in the intervening years, and I no longer care to finish the table-runner, but I do have other things I want to make, so I can always repurpose both thread and linen :)