Monday, October 29, 2012

a february finish

Pattern: February Cottage, Country Cottage Needleworks
Fabric: stitched over 2 on 35 count linen from Wichelt - lambswool
Floss: DMC and Crescent Colors

   The February Cottage is finished!  I put the last stitches in this yesterday and am pretty happy with the results.  I made a few changes and all of them were intended this time!  First of all, I used Crescent Colors Pink Posy and Pink Champagne as called for, but subbed the DMC color recommended by the pattern for Poblano.  I left off the floating hearts surrounding 'February' as it seemed too busy to me.  These hearts also had a border of a different color surrounding them that made it a bit over the top for me.  I love the simple hearts of the border and plants and didn't feel the need to overcomplicate things and throw more hearts at it.  I also added a pop of blue on the birds (which were originally white) using DMC 3766.  
   I had some issues with the bright, Pink Champagne floss running when I pre-soaked my skeins.  I think I lost a lot of color when the stuff would. not. stop. bleeding. so my bright pink is not as bright as I'd hoped.    

   Overall, I'm happy with this cottage, and for the moment I'm not too disappointed in my January mishap.  

In the meantime, the March Cottage is ready to go. 

Sunday, October 28, 2012

weekly WIP progress report

  Here's a look at what I've been doing this week.


Pattern: Peterborough, Berroco: Norah Gaughan Vol. 8
Yarn: Mirasol Yarn, Wach'i
Colorway: 1512 Natural

   Peterborough is well on its way to completion.  The body and one sleeve are finished and I'm nearly done with the ribbing on the second sleeve.  Knitting 4" of ribbing with a (primarily) cotton yarn is no fun, but I managed to CO my second sleeve right after finishing the first.  Trade secret: always CO immediately following the BO on the first piece of things knit in pairs (i.e. socks, sleeves, mittens, etc.) to avoid the nearly unavoidable SSS (Second Sock Syndrome), or in this case SSleeveS.

   I've been panicking about not having enough yarn to finish this cardigan, but I got another 2 skeins of yarn (from the same dye lot!) from another Raveller in the mail this week.  I'll have plenty of yarn to finish this up.  No more excuses for this WIP.


Miss BB

Pattern: Miss BB, Chic Knits
Yarn: Mirasol Yarn, Sawya
Colorway: 1800, Black

   This week I also spent a bit of time with Miss BB.  I've got nearly 6" of the back done.  The yarn is gorgeous and wonderful to work with.  No regrets about adding 17 skeins of it to the stash, except maybe not snagging another sweaters worth when I had the chance.  Once I get Peterborough squared away I can devote 100% of my time to Miss BB, and I'm sure that time will fly by.

  Here's a preview of another WIP I've been working on.

Pattern: February Cottage, Country Cottage Needleworks
Fabric: stitched over 2 on 35 count linen from Wichelt - lambswool
Floss: DMC and Crescent Colors

This morning I spent an hour or so putting a few stitches into my February Cottage and its nearly finished.  Look for an update soon!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

a new start

Yarn: Mirasol Yarn Sawya
Colorway: Black
   This week I used a $50 store credit I earned a while back to buy a sweater quantity of yarn.  I'd been planning on re-knitting a cardigan I made a couple of years ago.  I love the original sweater, but the yarn I used was extremely warm so I only get to wear the cardigan a few times every winter.  So, I'm knitting a new one with the lovely yarn pictured above, that will hopefully get a lot more use than my original.  Funnily enough, I had been waiting since September for this yarn to be released specifically, so I could reknit this sweater, then the popularity of the pattern blew up thanks to the Harlot.  

Pattern: Miss BB, Chic Knits

KAL time? I think yes!

Yarn received.  Swatch knitted and blocked.  CO occurred Saturday.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

weekly WIP progress report

   It's Sunday morning and I'm enjoying a cup or two of coffee.  Here's what I've been working on this week:

February Cottage

Pattern: Country Cottage Needleworks, February Cottage
Fabric: stitched over 2 on 35 count linen from Wichelt - lambswool
Floss: DMC and Crescent Colors - Pink Champagne and Pink Posey

   I've started on my February Cottage and it's nearly done.  I never thought I'd say it, but there really is A LOT of pink on this cottage.  I've seen other mods of this chart and think I will also make my birds into bluebirds and might also leave off some or all of the floating hearts surrounding 'February'.   

   I'm still worried about my issues with the January Cottage, but I figure that I can finish stitching February and March, which make up the top row of my 12 cottage piece, before I do any major ripping out on January.  At this point, I'm feeling that I do need to rip out the January cottage and start over.  The problem is that if I rip out the cottage, there goes my snowman and tree also.  


   The body has been washed and blocked, so I've moved on to sleeves.  I'm pretty sure that my 4 remaining skeins of Mirasol Yarn Wach'i will not be enough to knit both long sleeves, but thankfully a kind Raveller has offered to send me a couple of skeins so I can finish up.  
   Once I do get the sleeves knit up, seaming will be a long and tedious process.  I actually enjoy knitting garments in pieces (many mini FOs FTW!) and like the structure seamed garments have, but sewing the pieces together by hand is a bit tedious.  Hopefully I don't stall out on the finishing for Peterborough, because it's lovely and has had WIP/Hibernating status for way too long.  

A New Start

Yarn: Mirasol Yarn Sawya
Colorway: Black
      This yarn turned up at my mailbox this week.  In the near future it will become a jacket/cardigan for me.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

a finish

Just in time for Halloween...

The Very Scary Mystery Sampler is framed and finished!

   I'm pretty amazed that I found an odd sized frame for cheap online that perfectly fit my piece.  My amateur framing job is far from perfect, but finished is finished.  This lovely is now hanging in my living room and will likely keep its place long after Halloween is gone.

Monday, October 15, 2012


   I spent Sunday morning organizing my knitting stash and cleaning up my office/storage area and for good measure decided to pull out all of my works in progress (WIPs) in their various stages of neglect.
   January was the last time I took stock of my WIPs and I believe I was up to 14 ongoing WIPs, which was a little overwhelming to say the least.  Since then, I've finished up, or frogged, a few of those and have brought that total down a bit.  Assuming there aren't any unaccounted for WIPs with very good hiding places, I'm down to 11 total.  Maybe five of these have not been touched since the last WIP accounting, which tells me there has been quite a bit of overturn.  That's a good thing!
  Here's the WIP list with details on status and likelihood of completion... It doesn't look good for all of them, but a little truthful assessment is necessary to cull the numbers.

1. Peterborough

Pattern: Peterborough, Berroco: Norah Gaughan Vol. 8
Yarn: Mirasol Yarn, Wach'i
Colorway: 1512 Natural

Status: On the needles

Left to do: Finish 2nd front, knit both sleeves, block, and seam.

Thoughts:  I let you know that I picked this WIP back up last week.  So far, progress has been going well except for a slight mishap with a cable that needed to be ripped back.  But no harm, no foul.  However, it's getting close to time to begin panicking that I won't have enough yarn to finish.  I have one additional partial ball that is not pictured, but that's it.  I'd like long sleeves and it looks like I might have to rip out my swatch to finish the knitting and use the tails left from joining new balls to seam.  

2. Vanilla Socks 

Pattern: My own toe-up, plain sock using a Turkish CO and Fleegle heel.
Yarn: Knit Picks Imagination
Colorway: Looking Glass

Status: On the needles

Left to do: Finish cuff and ribbing, second sock.

Thoughts: A pair of plain, toe-up vanilla socks using my usual stitch count, the Turkish cast on, and a Fleegle heel.  This is my go-to mindless sock knitting method.  This pair will get done eventually and I'll get a cozy pair of socks out of it for the winter.    

3. Almondine Socks

Pattern Almondine, Sock Knitting Master Class
Yarn: Malabrigo Yarn Sock
Colorway: 852 Persia

Status: Hibernating

Left to do: Everything

Thoughts: This is my first attempt at a cuff down sock.  I'm not too enamored with the lace pattern, so this may be frogged for another sock pattern in the future.  

4. Norwegian Rose Socks

Pattern: Norwegian Rose Socks, Toe-up Socks for Everybody
Yarn: Knit Picks Stroll Tonal
Colorways: Kindling and Blue Yonder

Status: Hibernating

Left to do: Frog bind off and lengthen ribbing, 2nd sock.

Thoughts: This is simply a case of second sock syndrome.  I'd like to lengthen the ribbing on this first sock before finishing the second sock.  A cold winter should be motivation enough to pick this WIP back up.

5. Calais

Pattern: Calais, Manos Del Uruguay
Yarn: Madelinetosh Tosh Vintage
Colorway: Cove

Status: Hibernating

Left to do: Finish second sleeve, knit front, re-knit back

Thoughts: This is a simple, but gorgeous boatneck pullover.  The yarn is amazing, but regretting not alternating skeins on the back.  Need to frog and reknit the back.

6. Dishtowel

Pattern: Spa Day Facecloth, reworked to be dishtowel sized
Yarn: Original Pisgah Peaches & Creme
Colorway: 26 Light Blue

Status: Hibernating

Left to do: about 2/3 more length

Thoughts: The ever exciting kitchen cotton dishtowel!  This gets picked up occasionally, no rush really.

7. Cat Mat

Pattern: Cat Mat, reverse engineered by Me
Yarn: Loops & Threads Cozy Wool
Colorway: 02210 Velvet

Status: Hibernating

Left to do: knit until yarn is gone

Thoughts: Working with large yarn and needles is no fun.  

8. Clockwork

Pattern: Clockwork, Stephen West
Yarn: Knit Picks Chroma Fingering, Regency and Grignasco Flavia Baby, 111 Antique Pewter

Status: Hibernating

Left to do: most of it

Thoughts: I don't love this.  It may need to be frogged or it will languish in the WIP pile forever.  I'm ambivalent either way.

9. Cassidy

Pattern: Cassidy, Chic Knits
Yarn: Peruvian Highland Wool
Colorway: 2583 Deep Blue Sea

Status: Hibernating

Left to do: Finish left front, knit right front, 1 sleeve, and hood.  Block and seam.

Thoughts: Not really sure why this has been hibernating for so long.  The yarn, color, and pattern are all great.  I should pick this back up soon.

10. Thrummed Mittens

Pattern: Thrummed Mittens, Yarn Forward
Yarn: Peruvian Highland Wool, 0620 Garnet and Alenssandra Filati Mirage, 170 Candy

Status: Hibernating

Left to do: Thumb on first mitten and 2nd mitten

Thoughts: I don't love thrumming.  Not really sure whether or not these will ever get done.

11. Crochet blanket

Pattern: some amalgamation of many
Yarn: Vanna's Choice and Red Heart Soft

Status: Hibernating

Left to do: millions of squares

Thoughts: This is my only crochet project as I'm really not a fan of the fabric crochet produces or the wrist pain I get when crocheting, but for a crazy colored afghan, nothing beats it!  It will probably take years for this to reach bed sized and be finished.  

   All in all, I'm mildly surprised at how not scary the list of WIPs is this time.  There are several things that probably won't ever get finished, but most items can be finished in a reasonable time frame.  I think taking the time to review and assess my list of WIPs bi-annually is a good way to keep my sanity.  Although I didn't make a huge dent in the number or WIPs since January (down to 11 from 14), there are lots of new things on this list... meaning, it's not that I never finish anything, I just like variety.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

a change in the weather

  Through the summer I was in a major funk.  I picked up and put down various WIPs and had numerous starts, but not many finishes.  Not even the Ravellenics managed to motivate me.  That's right... absolutely no finishes, not even a cotton dishcloth.  It must have been the heat.  My only solution was to trade my knitting needles in for q-snaps, fabric, and floss which was a worthy substitute.

Fall is here: the view on my run yesterday afternoon.

  But things are changing.  Since, I'm surrounded by fall colors here in Nebraska, it's only right to pick the needles and a long-hibernating WIP back up.

Pattern: Peterborough, Berroco: Norah Gaughan Vol. 8
Yarn: Mirasol Yarn, Wach'i
Colorway: 1512 Natural

   Hopefully, I get my rhythm back.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

it's nearly halloween time

   Last night I put the last few stitches into the Very Scary Mystery Sampler.  This last piece was my favorite of the sampler to stitch.  I mean... do you see that kitty?!

Pattern: Lizzy*Kate, Very Scary Mystery Sampler, Part 3
Fabric: stitched over 2 on 28 count Charles Craft Irish Linen - tea dyed
Floss: all DMC, using conversions provided by pattern

   I stitched the entire piece as charted using all DMC floss, colors as called for by the pattern.  I think I did pretty good considering this is my first cross stitch piece worked on linen and it's the first time I've worked a pattern that calls for a few special stitches.   

   Here's the whole piece.  Embellishments and beads are coming soon...

   My finished size comes to 6.25" by 18.25" after stitching over 2 on 28 count linen.  And amazingly, I found an 8" by 20" frame online which has been ordered.  So, I'll be experimenting with mounting and framing this piece.  It will be finished in time for Halloween!   

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

1/3 left to go

   Last night I finished up Part 2 of the Very Scary Mystery Sampler.

Pattern: Lizzy*Kate, Very Scary Mystery Sampler, Part 2
Fabric: stitched over 2 on 28 count Charles Craft Irish Linen - tea dyed
Floss: all DMC, using conversions provided by pattern

   This part of the sampler seemed to drag on forever, even though it only took a week (at most) to stitch.  I think it's because Part 3 is so great, I can't wait to get started on it!

   Not sure how I'm going to finish this once it's done.  It's a large piece especially since I stitched it on 28 count.  I'll probably need a custom frame.  I don't own a sewing machine, so my finishing options are pretty limited.  

   It will definitely be displayed somewhere for Halloween even if it includes my unfinished, masking taped edges.  Here's the entire piece so far:  

designed with love by beautiful dawn designs