Sunday, January 27, 2013

weekly WIP report 1.27.13

   It's a gloomy Sunday.  Here's what I've been working on this week.
    I must say, there's something really nice about only reporting on one WIP this week.  It means my attention is focused, for once, on something I'm loving.  Aside from putting the last stitches in Poinsettia Place, I've been knitting solely on my Pebbled Beach (aka Golden Wheat Cardigan by Veera).

Pattern: Golden Wheat Cardigan
Yarn: Madelinetosh Tosh Vintage
Colorway: Cove

   This knit is moving along nicely at quick clip.  Top down, raglan sweater construction is not my favorite to knit, but the good thing is that they are really easy to fit.  That baby up there is fitting fantastic already.  But I think the thing I dislike the most about this construction method is that I hate how long the rounds get before you can set aside the sleeves and join the body.  But once you get past this point, the body rounds are so quick by comparison.  

   Not sure if you can tell from the photo, but my cardigan will not end up looking like the original.  I pretty much just used the beginning of the pattern to set up the asymmetric fronts, then switched on my top-down autopilot.  I never got close to gauge suggested in the pattern anyway, so following the pattern to a t was not going to happen.   

   I've got about 7 or 8 inches left to knit on the body before I can start the sleeves.  I'll also change the way the front pocket is worked in the pattern.  By this time next week, Pebbled Beach should be nearing the finish line, assuming of course that I can continue to knit monogamously. 

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Poinsettia Place

is finished!

Pattern: Poinsettia Place, Santa's Village CCN
Fabric: 32 count amber linen, Wichelt (2 over 2)
Floss: DMC and GAST as charted

   I spent a lot of time the last couple of weeks stitching on this, but it didn't seem like it at all.  It makes me glad that I'm really enjoying stitching this piece instead of just rushing to get it done.  

   I haven't gotten my invoice for the next chart of Santa's Village yet, but I might get started on the striped and holly branch borders while I wait.  So far, so good.  I'm still on track and finishing one chart a month. 

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

a quick finish

   Last week I was monogamously stitching on Poinsettia Place.  So as someone with a WIP problem, I needed a quick fix of something different and being a good cold sheep-er (?) I dove into my yarn stash for some scraps.  I managed to come up with this:

It doesn't look like much, but 2 1/2 hours of knitting (meaning just over 2 episodes of Psych on Netflix) and a trip through the washing machine got me this:

A felted flower bowl.  This little bowl is currently sitting on my desk and it makes me smile.  Of course, I promptly picked Poinsettia Place back up after I finished showing everyone who would listen how cute this is.  So, it doesn't really count as cheating on a WIP if I finished the impulse CO in one sitting.  That's my story anyway.

Pattern: Felted Flower Bowl, Meg Myers
Yarn: Bits of Patons Classic Wool and Peruvian Highland Wool

Sunday, January 20, 2013

weekly WIP report

   Most of the week was spent stitching Poinsettia Place and it's nearly complete!

The bulk of the design is stitched.  It just needs some snow, a few more snowflakes, and to finish the borders.  I've been stalking facebook and the CCN website for most of the week in anticipation that next design in this series "North Pole Post Office" will be revealed and it finally has!  This one is my favorite so far.

Hopefully I get the notice that NP Post Office has shipped to me soon!  In the meantime, I should get back to stitching.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

golden wheat... pebbled beach

   Thanks for the input on my next CO!  I've decided to go with the Golden Wheat Cardigan by Veera Välimäki using tosh vintage that I've had laying around for just over a year.  I actually bought the yarn on January 1, 2012 and have been feeling a bit guilty that I have a sweaters worth of madelinetosh that has not been knit into something beautiful.  The resulting sweater should have been worn obsessively and loved for an entire year!  

     Its not that I didn't attempt to knit up something using the yarn, it just didn't work out.  

   I usually break up with a pattern after my second fail/frogging.  Calais was just not meant to be.  Using this madtosh anyway.  I'd still like to make the pattern someday, but using a less fussy yarn.  Something wool, superwash maybe, in a solid color.  A dark azure or navy blue maybe.  (Of course this dream yarn is something not in my stash and I'm still cold sheeping.  So I'll file this thought away for some other time way down the road).    

   Anyway, Golden Wheat, or more accurately Pebbled Beach as I should call it is moving along.  Cove, is a colorway that on first look is a bit of a drab brown, but the more you look at it, the more depth you can pick out.  Everything from warm browns, taupe-y browns, mossy greens, dark ambers, and gorgeous bright blues.  So, Pebbled Beach is an appropriate name for this simple cardigan design don't you think?

   So far, I've committed several knitting sins in the initial execution of this pattern including:

  • Not washing or blocking my swatch
  • I haven't really picked what size I'm knitting or have any idea of how much ease I want when its finished. 
  • I don't have the recommended needle size to knit the body, so I went a size down... (what could possibly go wrong?) 
  • In fact, I'm not really sure what my gauge is on this.  I just sort of picked up some needles and went with it.
   Good news is that the pattern is a top down raglan, so there's really no way to mess the sizing up.  One thing I am doing right is alternating skeins.  So that's a win for me!  I guess we'll see what happens when its finished...

Monday, January 14, 2013

some things I've learned

   For some reason, I always think it's a good idea to do this.  I'm not really sure why.  I guess it's because I'm expecting to get a different result.  When really, that's not the way it happens... you know the definition of insanity and all (repeating the same thing over and over and expecting to get a different result).  I spent some time this weekend doing something incredibly revealing.  It's not the first time I've done this, but several things stand out when I compare the results from last year with those from this year.  Yep, I've done another stash flash.

January 2013

   My dining table is completely filled and this is only the yarn that is not used for a current WIPs or what I consider to be scrap quantities (not enough yardage left to make something with).  While, not as large as compared to the stashes of others, my stash has grown much larger than it was last year!  For reference, here's my stash picture from last year. 

January 2012

   The the same table is filled with many of the same yarns, but this year's picture (on top) is missing a whole lot of yarn that's tied up in WIPs (including two afghans and two sweaters worth!).  Last year, only balls of yarn that were physically attached to a WIP were not included in the photo.  This year however, there is a whole lot of yarn that didn't make it into the picture.  It's a bit overwhelming.

   Overall, I find an annual stash flash exhausting.  It takes a lot of time and energy to pull everything out of my storage bins, arranging it all, then packing it back up again.  But it seems like this is a necessary evil, because I learned a few things in the process.
  1. There are three sweater/top quantities of yarn that appear in both pictures.  It's time to use it or lose it I think.  I should move this yarn up the queue and make something with it.  Also, I'm thinking I should destash some of the 9 hanks of purple Manos Wool Classica I've been hoarding because I don't think I really want a garment made from it.  I should destash half of the skeins and use the remainder for accessories or smaller pieces.
  2. Although there is still a lot of yarn in stash, a lot of it got used up over the last year.  There is some overturn in the stash which is a good thing!  
  3. I tend to err on the side of getting an extra ball or two of yarn so I don't run out.  This means that I have a ton of leftover quantities, many of which have enough yardage to make something of use.  I need to start focusing on using up or destashing some of the leftovers.  

   To sum up, the stash flash has reaffirmed my need to stay on the sheep and avoid buying yarn for a good while.  I think that following my 2013 plan, will help me reduce some of the stash.  I tend to be a big project knitter and prefer knitting sweaters to hats and other quick items.  It seems like socks are a small as I generally get when choosing a knitting project.  Once I get my WIP numbers under control, I think I need to shift my focus to completing some smaller projects that will start to use up my leftovers.  

Sunday, January 13, 2013

weekly WIP report

   This week settled down a bit for me so I was able to spend a bit more time with the needles.  I finally got a decent start on Poinsettia Place.

Pattern: Poinsettia Place, CCN
Fabric: 32 count amber linen, Wichelt (2 over 2)
Floss: DMC and GAST as charted

I love stitching CCN designs.  They are fun, easy pieces that stay interesting.   I'm clearly a sucker for chart series as well.  Since, the cottage is nearing completion, I should easily be done with this before the end of the month; more likely the end of this coming week.  Which means I'm still on track to finish one a month, so this project will be done in time for Christmas!  Thinking ahead to how I'll finish Santa's Village, it would make a great mini quilt/wall hanging.  Problem is I don't have a sewing machine, nor any experience in making a hanging like I'm picturing.  I did some machine sewing as a teenager, but it's been a long time...  Maybe this is a good time to start saving up to get a machine and spend some time practicing, which I'm sure would be another slip down the rabbit hole a new hobby creates.

   As far a knitting goes, the first section of my hue shift afghan grew a bit more.  I'm now up to 16 of 25 mitered squares for the first section.  

Still a long way to go, but picking this WIP up every once in a while is still fun.  I have no doubts that I will finish this.  Hopefully this year.

   I also CO a new project which is just beginning to grow.  Here's a peek.


Thursday, January 10, 2013

2013 first finish

   Well, technically only one of these socks was knit in 2013, but this pair is my first official finish of 2013!  These are my most basic vanilla socks.  Toe-up, cast on 28 stitches using turkish cast on, increase every other round to 60 stitches, Fleegle heel, 2x2 ribbed cuff, finish with Jenny's surprisingly stretchy bind off.  I've been hoarding two skeins of Knit Picks Imagination for too long.  The yarn would look amazing as a pretty lace patterned sock, but I was feeling a bit uninspired when I originally cast on, so vanilla it is.

Pattern: Vanilla Sock
Yarn: Knit Picks Imagination
Colorway: Looking Glass

   I wear a pair of hand knit socks almost everyday in the winter with my boots, so these will come in handy especially when it turns cold again over the weekend.

   Vanilla socks were an easy enough WIP to pick up to finish, but I've also been making some progress on my Hue Shift afghan.  It seems that I'm in the mood for mindless knitting lately.  Sometimes I need something complicated on the needles to keep me interested so I can sit down long enough to knit a few stitches and sometimes I'm more inclined to sit and knit for hours without realizing I'm doing anything with my hands at all.  I think I'll be taking advantage of the later type moments to get some easy (boring?) knitting done while I can.  

Monday, January 7, 2013

decisions, decisions...

   In an effort to keep with my 2013 goals while itching to cast on yet another new project I thought I'd take a close look at some of the WIPs that I know will never see the finishing pile, and consequently, never see the light of day.  Two sweaters from the WIP list are for sure headed to the frog pond, one of them is already gone.

   With a couple of sweater quantities back on the table and "in stash" so to speak, I'm shopping the stash for my next CO.  I've narrowed it down to two options.  I don't have either pattern yet, but need a nudge in some/any direction.  I just can't decide!

Option 1:

Uma by Bonne Marie Burns
using Mirasol Sawya in Black

Option 2:

Golden Wheat Cardigan by Veera Välimäki
using madelinetosh Tosh Vintage in Cove

Both would be amazing additions to my wardrobe.  But which one wants to be worn first?

Sunday, January 6, 2013

weekly WIP report

    This week has been an entire week back at home, and although I've been home most of the week, I still feel a bit of the left over holiday chaos.  I'll be spending today cleaning and running some errands to get back up to speed.  Here's a bit of what I did work on this week.

   Aside from casting on my Peerie Flooers Mittens, I cast on a second sock.

Pattern: my own vanilla sock pattern
Yarn: Knit Picks Imagination
Colorway: Looking Glass

This is my own vanilla sock pattern, using up some yarn that has been in the stash for quite a while.  The socks are constructed toe up using a Fleegle heel, which is great because I don't have to think about anything when making a pair of these.  Just cake the yarn and knit!  The photo above is a day or two old, I'm nearly ready to start working the heel.  

   I also, made a bit of progress on the first section of my Hue Shift Afghan.

Pattern: Hue Shift Afghan
Yarn: Knit Picks Brava
Colorways: Many, from the KP Hue Shift Decor Kit

I'm 3/5 of the way done with the first section.  This is another good mindless knit I've been working on while working through my Netflix queue.  As you can see, I'm getting a little bit behind on weaving in the ends.

   And finally, while watching the Fiesta Bowl Thursday night (GO DUCKS!) I turned this:

into this:

Yarn: madelinetosh, Tosh Vintage
Colorway: Cove

It's really hard to do anything that requires even tension when I'm watching football.  Ripping out, however, is a great way to get something therapeutic done over a four hour stretch that doesn't require me to watch my hands the whole time.  So these skeins of madtosh are reset and ready to become something else.  I've already got a good idea of what this yarn really wants to be, but for now I think, I'll refocus on getting my WIP numbers down.

Friday, January 4, 2013

new year, new start

   On New Years Day (while nursing myself back to health after a disappointing stomach bug over the weekend) I started the new year with a new CO!

I'm turning this:

into these:

Pattern: Peerie Flooers Mittens, Kate Davies
Yarn: Knit Picks Palette
Colorways: Gosling, Semolina, Pool, Edamame, Victorian, Grass, and Wonderland Heather

   I love stranded mitten patterns.  They tend to multiply exponentially in my queue without me noticing.  These mittens, however, have been at the top of my queue for quite some time now.   

   I have no problems doing stranded knitting (it's addictive, really), but I'm not the best stranded mitten finisher(?).  Gauge is always a bit worrisome when you are working a stranded mitten; well, one that you actually want to fit.  Plus there are the millions of ends to deal with once you're done knitting.  Then there are those fiddly thumbs that need to be finished before you can call it a mitten.  However, I think the bright colors of these will keep me motivated to finish these, this winter.   

designed with love by beautiful dawn designs