Sunday, March 31, 2013

Weekly WIP Report 3.31.13

   Happy Easter Everyone!  Today is a gorgeous day in Nebraska and I intend to put it to good use.

   This week has been hectic as usual, but I did get in some good crafting time.  Gemma is slowly growing.  I've got yet another increase row to go on the yoke, so it is slow going until I can split the sleeves and body.

   In fact, I've already started to cheat a bit on Gemma with some sport weight cotton.

   But I'll be spending most of today trying to finish this...

I've slacked a lot on this month's Santa's Village chart.  So hopefully, I can get this one done today and stay on track.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013


   I've been swatching with my new yarn and making some decisions.  I knit both of the following swatches on US 5 needles and got the same gauge post-blocking; however, these are two very different fabrics.

   The blue swatch is Mirasol Yarn T'ika (a 100% Pima Cotton dk weight) and the grey swatch is Cascade 220 Superwash (a very light worsted weight wool).  I originally intended, the cotton to be a Gemma Cardigan, but knit at this gauge, the fabric of my swatch is very stiff and I don't think the cotton will wear well in a fairly structured cardigan meant for everyday wear.  I do however, think that knit at a looser gauge, this yarn would be perfect for a garment with a bit more drape.  I've been considering something like Olive Basket for this yarn. 

   The Cascade swatch was a bit stiff before blocking, but after a soak it softened up nicely.  Thanks to the ambiguous definition on this yarn's weight, knitting it as a dk weight should help restrict the characteristic superwash growth especially since I hate having to machine dry anything hand knit. Although, superwash in general is a bit unpredictable for me.

   I chose to cast on Gemma using the Cascade 220 superwash and so far, so good.  Here's hoping my yarn choices are getting better with experience.  

Sunday, March 24, 2013

stash enhancement

   I might have fallen off the wagon a bit.  Not only did I place an order at last week, I also visited my LYS this weekend.  I was good for a whole 115 days before this little slip up.  The damage is done.   At least no MadelineTosh made it home with me.

  I picked up 14 skeins, then another 2 skeins (when I thought better of the yardage) of Mirasol Yarn T'ika in blue.  This yarn was billed as navy blue, but it is really a royal blue.  I think it might make a nice Olive Basket Cardigan.

   I also couldn't resist a couple of skeins of Manos del Uruguay Wool Clasica in Cirrus, an icy blue color.  I have no idea what these two skeins want to be, but I'm thinking a chunky cowl is never a bad idea.

  Lastly, I decided that I need some quality basics in my closet.  So I dropped by my LYS for yarn for a daily staple cardigan, and came home with 6 balls of Cascade 220 superwash.

   This should keep me busy for a while.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

challenge complete!

   I wanted to give myself a bit of challenge over spring break which unfortunately is nearing the end, so I cast on a new sweater with the goal to finish before the end of break.  And I did!

   I have to admit that I was mostly feeling guilty about a sweater quantity of Berroco Vintage that has been living in my stash for some time.  Once upon a time, this yarn was knit into a Lauren cardigan, but for some reason, I can't find a picture or project entry for it.  Anyway, I knew right away after finishing the first cardigan that this yarn was just too soft and drapey to work with the pattern so I frogged.  Ever since, the re-wound cakes sat in my stash... judging me.

   To remedy my guilt, I started over with Woodstove Season.  I took me seven days to knit the entire cardigan plus a few minutes today to sew on the buttons after it dried.  Monogamous knitting is pretty amazing.  I got a new sweater in one week, and it was knit with stash yarn so technically, it was free!

Pattern: Woodstove Season
Yarn: Berroco Vintage
Colorway: 5129 Teal

   I'm glad to have this one done.  Next, I need to move on to more cross stitching, so I can finish Mrs. Claus' Cookie Shop by the end of the month.  Also, I have a sweater design in my head which I need to do some math for and get down on paper.  I am not a designer, so this will be interesting.

Monday, March 18, 2013

weekly WIP report 3.18.13

   Not to jinx it, but my Woodstove Season is coming along swimmingly.  I've got the body done and just started on the first sleeve.  The pattern on the back is an all over chevron pattern which is hard to see in the picture, but this yarn lived another life as a different cardigan and I never re-skeined and soaked the yarn (because I'm lazy like that).  So, I cant wait for this to go for a soak to even things out.  

Pattern: Woodstove Season, Alicia Plummer
Yarn: Berroco Vintage
Colorway: 5129 Teal

   If I finish the knitting tomorrow, this sweater will have taken one week to finish.  There are quite a few benefits to monogamous knitting.  Here's proof.

Friday, March 15, 2013

a lesson

... on why you don't cast on a project on a whim in the middle of the night.

   That is supposed to be the neckline of Margot, a simple top down raglan sweater using up a sweater quantity of Berroco Vintage I frogged from an another sweater I made.  The neck above looks wonky... because it is.  I have one stitch too many (when doing paired increases? wtf!) and did not place my markers correctly on the first round, so it's lopsided.  Too many stitches on one side, not enough on the other.  The sad thing is that this mistake was two nights of work.  Lesson learned.

   Thankfully, I frogged the above mess and am reset to go again with this yarn.  Since, it is the eve of spring break and I am fully planning on taking two full days off next week, I think it's time to challenge myself.  I chose a pattern (woodstove season) and am going to monogaknit like the wind and see how much of this cardigan I can get finished by the end of break on March 24th.  Wish me luck! 

Monday, March 11, 2013

weekly WIP report 3.11.13

   This past week has been a bit scattered.  At least that's how my brain feels. Ha!

   Early in the week I put a few stitches in Santa's Village.  Although now looking at it, it's not a whole lot of progress over a week.

   I also distracted myself a bit with some stash digging and made two calorimetry FOs.  I followed several suggestions from finished projects and used a smaller needle and cast on fewer stitches than recommended in the pattern.  This pattern is a quick knit.  They took maybe an hour and half each when knitting in between doing a bunch of other things (including a false fire alarm in my building after 10:30 pm one night).  

Pattern: Calorimetry
Yarn: left- Madtosh Vintage, 
right- Queensland Collection Rustic Wool

   This last WIP might technically be a new CO which I really haven't earned yet (rules... rules..) but I frogged a sock that wasn't to be and started over with a shawl pattern.  Technically my WIP number has not changed so it's not really cheating.  

   Cameo is a striped shawl, similar to Stripe Study or Color Affection, but a bit more feminine with a bit of lace.  I think I've picked the contrast yarn, but I have several options, so we'll see what happens when I get to the color change.  

Pattern: Cameo
Yarn: Malagbrigo Sock 
Colorway: Persia

Friday, March 8, 2013

another WIP finished

   This was a week where mindless knitting won out.  Instead of stranded colorwork or lace, I ended up spending some time working with dishcloth cotton.  I'm glad it's over anyway because worsted weight cotton is not nice on my hands and wrists.

   I worked this dish towel using some of a cone of original Pisgah Peaches & Creme (if that means anything to you).  I have to say that this is probably my least favorite kitchen cotton yarn even though there has been a ton of hype in the past about how amazing it is.  It pills and generally looks nasty after just a couple of washes, but it is still handy to have items made with this cotton around.  Especially if you are trying to use up a couple of pounds of the stuff.

   This stitch pattern is the same as in my favorite washcloth pattern (for the bath, which is not the same as my favorite dish cloth pattern or my favorite face cloth pattern) Spa Day Facecloth.  Only I adjusted the stitch count so I could make this dish towel sized.

   I'm glad to have this one off the needles, which means I'm down to 8 WIPs total.  Plus the towel used up 148 g of yarn!  One more note: since December 9th, 2012 I've destashed over 2.35 miles of yarn!

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

in the mail this week

   On Monday, I had a couple of packages waiting for me in the mail.  Not a whole lot of stuff, but it certainly made me happy.

   The fourth chart for Santa's Village came along with my cookie button.  I also received another order with a few floss colors to stitch up the next couple of charts.  123 Stitch did not have the main color for Mrs. Claus' Cookie Shop, so I will have to substitute.

   Good timing since I still haven't settled into a primary knitting project, so I'll stitch instead.

Monday, March 4, 2013

North Pole Post Office

Pattern: North Pole Post Office, CCN
Fabric: Wichelt 32 count amber linen (2 over 2)
Floss: as charted

   I finished this up on February 28th.  Just barely in time to finish by my personal deadline.  The fourth chart is in the mail and I also placed an order for the floss I'll need to finish up the next couple charts.  Except I couldn't find one of the Crescent Colors floss colors, so I ordered a substitute.  We'll see how it looks when I get everything together.  I think I'll be starting on the fourth chart as soon as I get it.  Maybe I'll even finish early this month!  

Sunday, March 3, 2013

weekly WIP report 3.3.13

   Having a rash of finishes in a short time period definitely leads to a bit of project ADD.  Since finishing my Peerie Flooers, I haven't really gotten into a rhythm with any one project, so I've been rotating through a few.  Thankfully some of these have spent a bit of time in hibernation and finally get to see the light of day.  Here's what I've been working on this week.

   Cinnie is slowly growing.  An allover lace project is not usually a go-to project when you need some mindless knitting.  Even though the lace pattern is simple enough, I just haven't gotten into a comfortable rhythm with this one so I've been working a few rows at a time.

   I guess I'm still on a colorwork kick.  I cast on my second Norwegian Rose Sock from Wendy D. Johnson's Toe Up Socks for Everybody.  I finished the first sock some time ago and finally got the second sock started.  It will be good to finally cross these off my hibernating projects list.

   There's nothing exciting about a cotton dish towel, but this one has also been in my WIP pile for a long time.  In fact, I don't really remember when I cast this one on, but it was sometime in early 2012.  I only knit a few repeats here and there.  I picked it up this week and added a few more.  For now, this project is filling the mindless knitting void in my current rotation of knitting projects.  

   Now lets see if I can get one of these projects off the needles before my eyes wander yet again!

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