Wednesday, June 26, 2013

WIP Wednesday

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   Today I don't have any finishes to show you, so I guess it's time to introduce a couple of new WIPs.

   The first up is Windswept.  I anxiously waited for a couple of months before the pattern was released in late May.  Then I bought it immediately.

   I'm using another Mirasol yarn (these are seriously addicting to me), T'ika in this royal blue color.  The yarn is 100% cotton, so I'm hoping for this to be an easy to wear pullover for cool nights this fall.

   My next WIP is Gemini, which I'm knitting in another 100% cotton yarn that I ordered last week, Estelle South Pacific.  

   This one was CO simply because it finally got hot and humid here in Nebraska, making any knitting with wool (other than for socks) unbearable.  Nothing prompts summer knitting like summer. :)  

   I'm taking a bit of risk with my size choice for this top since I'm in between sizes and am not sure that I am able to get the full 4" of negative ease the pattern calls for.  I got gauge with a larger needle than the pattern calls for, but if I knit the closest size, I would only get about 2" of negative ease.  Not enough.  My easy solution is to go down a needle size and knit my closest size to eek out a bit more negative ease.  Hopefully this works out or well enough at least.  If not... well, we'll re-vist this possibility later. 


Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Hue Shift Part II

   Earlier in the year, I finished up one quadrant of my Hue Shift afghan,

and over the weekend, I finished up my second quadrant.  I planned on knitting one square per day, but got sidetracked once or twice and had to catch up.  Each square takes about 40 minutes to finish, assuming I don't get distracted.

   I have a love/hate relationship with garter stitch.  I love how squishy the finished fabric is, but I really hate knitting in garter (I love me some purling!).  It seems to be harder on my hands since I have to "open up" each stitch in order to knit, whereas for purling, I can just slip the needle in and wrap the stitch with very little effort.  It might just be my knitting style...

   Anyway, these two sections finish up all of the solid color squares.  Hopefully the color changes for the next two sections will be interesting enough to get them finished soon... and by soon I mean on this side of Christmas.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

one skein

   I'm not really a fan of small knitting projects.  I prefer things that are a bit more complex.  Or large.  Something I can actually wear.  Mostly this means sweaters with a good number of sock projects thrown in.  I don't usually do things that take only a day or two to finish or make baby items.  My most basic project is a vanilla sock.  So I don't really have a lot of use for a single skein of yarn (unless it's sock yarn).

   When I dyed up two skeins of yarn using two very different dye baths, I wasn't exactly thinking critically about what I wanted each single skein to be.  So this little project isn't one I'm particularly thrilled with (I can't muster up a whole lot of enthusiasm about this one), but it's done.  I no longer have this guilt-inducing single skein of yarn living in my stash and taking up space.

   I do however, like the little pops of the original blue that show up in the slip stitch pattern.  But meh... maybe these mittens will be gifted or passed along to someone else.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

drink the kool-aid

   I recently dipped my toes into the world of dyeing... and had no idea how fun it would be.  I choose what is probably the easiest method ever, which involves: Kool-aid + Crockpot.  Here's what happened.

  I ordered this Wool Clasica half price in one of my yarn binges.  The color was not exactly what I expected based on the website photo and the colorway name (cirrus), so I was underwhelmed.  In my photo it looks like an icy grey, but in reality the yarn had a bit of a green tinge to it that made it look sort of "off" I guess.  So, I went to the grocery store and bought about a million packs of Kool-aid (and also awkwardly bumped into a former student in the line behind me... while buying a million packs of Kool-aid.  But that's another story). 

   The process is actually really simple.  Cook the yarn in water for a while until it's good and hot.  Mix up your KA colors.  Then dump them in the pot.

   Like so.   
Let the pot cook and pull out the yarn after the water turns clear.  Let it cool a bit, rinse, then hang to dry.    

   Here's my first skein.  It's a mix of greens and teal blue.    

   I also dyed this second skein using black cherry and grape KA.  

Not bad for my first try at dyeing.  Now I can't wait to get my hands on some bare sock yarn.


Friday, June 14, 2013

slowly growing or slow going?

  After buying a kit for the Aprika socks from the Cyber Monday sale at Knit picks, I finally worked up the nerve to cast on during May.  I'd hesitated because the reviews for the pattern were hot and cold... but mostly cold.  

   I knit my socks toe-up and have never completed a pair of stranded socks, so this project is a first for me in many ways.  The cuff and first couple of charts around the top of the sock seemed to drag on forever.

   But then I finally got to the good stuff.  My stitch count went way down after finishing the calf shaping and the main chart pattern is pretty addicting.

   Since the photo above, I've knit a few rounds of the foot chart.  But this pattern is starting to slow down for me.  I think it's mostly because I'm not thrilled about the afterthought heel method because I can no longer try the sock on as I go! /knitter problems  There's less of a safety net when you can't be sure of the fit on something so I think that I'm subconsciously trying to delay an inevitable fit-fail-frogging by hiding these at the bottom of my WIP pile.  I may knit to a good stopping point on the foot the knit the heels so I can go about my trying on every few inches like I do with a toe-up sock.  

Wednesday, June 12, 2013


   My favorite sweaters are Chic Knits designs.  They are my favorite both to knit and to wear.

This is Uma.

(cow-spotted kitty included for scale)

Just another knit for myself.  

Pattern: Uma, Chic Knits
Yarn: Mirasol Sawya
Colorway: Black

   The yarn I used for this one is interesting.  It's a cotton, alpaca, and silk blend that is velvety soft - it actually feels like velvet when knit up.  It didn't knit like a cotton, but isn't super hot like alpaca usually feels to me.  I think I'll have to pick up some more of this.

Friday, June 7, 2013

it has been too long...

So here's a finish for you!

Pattern: Fancy Feet Anklets Kit, but I substituted a different lace pattern.
Yarn: Knit Picks Comfy Fingering
Colorway: Lilac

   It's been a busy summer for me so far, which isn't a bad thing, but sometimes it leaves me with not enough crafting time.  And unfortunately my writing obligations elsewhere have left me a bit out of sorts when it comes to blogging.  But limited crafting/blogging time does not mean that there is no crafting time to be had.  I have lots to show you!

   Besides finishing that quick pair of anklets in the photo above, I've recently dug out some old WIPs and cast on a few more.  Right now I think I'm feeling spread a bit too thin when it comes to projects, which means it's time for me to get some things off the needles.  But where to start?  

Here's just a list of some of the things I'm currently trying to get done to give you some idea:
  1. Apirka Socks: these stranded socks are halfway done and I've committed to finishing them by the end of July - hopefully with some time to spare.  They are an easy enough knit, but I'm most motivated to work on them only once or twice a week and never on consecutive days.
  2. Hue Shift Afghan:  I started another 25 square section (my second of four) and have given myself a one square per day (or better) deadline.  Which means I should be done with this section by June 25th.  
  3. Spiral Mittens: Last month I experimented with Kool-aide dyeing and CO these mittens to use up a single skein of grape scented yarn. :)
  4. Cameo Shawl: I just got back from visiting family in California and needed something portable and simple to knit on the plane.  SO. MUCH. GARTER. STITCH.
  5. Cassidy: I'm still working on Cassidy.  Before leaving for CA, I managed to finish and block both fronts.  Now I'm being mocked by the single sleeve that needs to be knit and blocked before I can begin the seaming.
  6. Cadence Socks: I CO to use some gorgeous yarn and knit about 3" but I will likely frog and go up a needle size.
   There's so much to do!  Funny how involved I can be in my "hobby" when my "job" is just as intense. Work hard, play hard...

   One thing I have been sort-of good at is keeping my stash acquisitions in check for the most part.  But I fell hard at my favorite LYS in CA.

Lets just say that it could have been worse and in my defense, my sock stash was getting dangerously low.

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