Tag Archive | crafts

Sock It To Me Monday

With my cardigan done, I switched focus last night to the boy’s gray sock and I feel confident that I can get this first sock done today.

I have about half an inch left before I start the toe. No problem! Except I got distracted thinking about my next sweater. I want to do a colorful striped sweater so I started playing around with color choices.

I think I’m leaning toward number three. What do you like best?

FO: Oxbow Cardigan

It’s done it’s done it’s DONE! I finished my Oxbow Cardigan today and it might actually have been my fastest sweater knit, at only two months. There’s definitely something to be said for knitting bulky-weight sweaters! The yarn is Cascade Eco+ and I only used 2.5 skeins of the four I purchased. I feel a bit of itchiness against the back of my neck as I sit here typing, so I’m going to give it a nice long soak and see if that softens things up.

The sleeves are about three inches longer than I would have liked, but other than that, I think the fit is great. This project definitely had some elements that aren’t my favorite (deciphering increases and decreases, short rows, picking up A LOT of stitches) but it was all good practice for me. Before this, I thought I only liked to knit pullovers, but this wasn’t bad at all, maybe because it was bulky weight? I’m already thinking about what my next sweater should be!

Also, I was introduced to a new show: the Great Pottery Throw Down and it’s SO good. In the US, I think it’s only available on HBO Max. If you like wholesome shows like the Repair Shop or GBBO, you should give it a go. It’s marvelous.

Still a little dumb, but cool

My Oxbow cardigan is growing, and as it does, it is growing into a clearly identifiable sweater object. I don’t know that I’m doing the decreases the way the designer intended, but if anything is messed up, it’ll be by the edge and probably not as noticeable. The main body of the sweater I’ve managed to keep in pattern, for the most part. There is a section of about 10 stitches on one upper arm/shoulder that morphed into about six rows of ribbing but whatever, I’m not bothered. This is meant to be a cozy comfy sweater anyway, and the texture will help hide errors.

Looking at the photo now, I think I spotted another section that got a bit messed up. Oops. I’m hoping to get through all the decreases today and maybe even pick up for the ribbing. Wouldn’t it be something if I could get this done over the long weekend??

This is dumb

Sunday evening I went back to work on my Oxbow cardigan and yesterday I made it to the next shaping point. I had the lower body done and I needed to start decreasing for “neck and yoke shaping”. Y’all, this pattern is messed the heck up. I mean, not literally messed up, but it’s written very poorly. I noticed it first on the sleeves, when you’re working with 4-stitch repeats over a 4-row pattern, and when you need to start increasing, very little guidance is given about how to maintain the pattern as you increase. I figured that out and thought it was the worst of it. HA.

Now I’m working flat with a 4-stitch/4-row pattern and I’m decreasing two stitches every five rows, eleven times. No biggie, except zero guidance is given about how to maintain the stitch pattern as you decrease. The first couple of decreases were okay, but now I’m losing track. I printed out charts and blank charts last night and tried to chart it out and got lost. So now I’m just at the “winging it” stage. I can read the stitches better on the wrong side of the sweater, so I’m just checking that often to make sure it stays on track. But it’s gonna get worse, because after I attach the sleeves, I also have to start doing raglan decreases at a different rate than the yoke/neck shaping. And even all of that would be doable, if she had just done a better job of explaining how to maintain the pattern during increases and decreases.

When I pay $9 for a pattern and it’s from fancy famous Andrea Mowry, I expected a lot better than this. (Side note: it’s cheaper on Ravelry than it is on LoveCrafts. Only by 84 cents though.) I’m not sure I’ll buy another pattern from her. The only reason I’m pushing through with this one is because I’m halfway done, the look is exactly what I want, and I know it can be done because Sarah has made it twice. So damn it, I’m gonna finish this sweater!

I hope your knitting is going better than mine this week!

Weekend WIPs

With my shawl done, I decided to sit down with my (analog) knitting journal and make an updated list of WIPs on my needles. I was pretty surprised to find that I only had three: the boy’s long gray sock, the Oxbow cardigan, and the scrappy sock yarn blanket. That’s not much at all, and there were some definite gaps in my knitting needs, so I felt justified in casting on a few new projects.

Of course I needed a fun sock for me, so I cast on a basic ribbed sock using my newest sock yarn from last week. And I wanted a delicate lace project in the mix, so I pulled out this gorgeous skein of Malabrigo Mora and cast on a Gris de lin cowl. It’s “100% pure mulberry silk” and I just recently wrote a piece for work about research being done with silkworms, which eat only the leaves of mulberry trees. Even the name, Mora, is connected, as the scientific name for the silkworm is Bombyx mori. It’s not often my work at a research institute overlaps with my knitting! And finally, I cast on the Mad Mini Wrap (Rav link) with the mini kit from Wonderland Yarns & Frabjous Fibers. It’s all garter stitch, knit until the yarn is gone, so that might be my favorite mindless knitting for a while.

The cowl was more of an adventure to get started. The pattern says to cast on 108 with size 4 needles. I chose 16″ circs, thinking that of course a cowl would be at least 16″ around. It was tight, so I knit the first round flat to loosen it up. Still too short for the circs, so I switched to 12″ circs. They were a better length but the metal tips were super slippery with the silk yarn. It was only then that I went and looked at project notes on Ravelry and discovered that the cowl is designed to only be around 14″ in diameter. (Yes, I would have known before if I had read my pattern more carefully. Whatever. Who designs a cowl to be so tiny?) Heck that! I’m not sure that would go around my head anyway. So I frogged, learning that of course the silk is quick to knot and tangle, and cast on again with more stitches. With any luck, that will be the only hiccup with that project. And now I’ve probably jinxed myself. Heck. Oh well. Happy Sunday, friends.

FO Friday: Hopes and Feathers

My second finished object of 2021 is another carryover from last year, my Hopes & Feathers shawl. I started this in September and at first I was addicted to it, but then like many of my bigger WIPs, it got set aside when I got bored. Thank goodness I have these bouts of finish-itis!

It has a fun zigzag pattern done with slipped stitches. Mine isn’t super noticeable because my yarns are so close together in color; I think it would be fun to use two yarns that contrast a lot. But it was fun to knit and it made an enormous shawl!

The yarn is from LoloDidIt but I’m afraid I’ve forgotten which base. They’re sparkly so I’m guessing Sparkle Sock, and the colors are Wonka (purple) and Beetlejuice (purple/gray/green variegated). The yarn is gorgeous, a treat to knit with, and blocked out beautifully. I’m learning that the sock yarns with stellina make my feet itch, so I’m very glad I made a shawl with these instead! And I used 792 yards, enough left over to add some to my scrappy blanket.

Happy Friday, friends!

Sock It To Me Monday

I currently only have one pair of socks on the needles, and they’re not even for me! Okay, that’s not totally true. My last pair of Christmas socks are only half done. I finished the first one right before Christmas and now I don’t want to play with Christmas yarn. So it’s hibernating until it’s time for Christmas in July and instead I’m pretending that I’m going to focus on the plain gray socks for the boy.

Yes, the leg is indeed VERY long. It is 10 1/2 inches. He is tall and likes long socks. I am past the heel on this one so maybe the foot will go quickly? One can hope. The yarn is KnitPicks something sock yarn, I don’t remember, but it’s soft and superwash.

I am also copying Sarah again and keeping track of what books I read now. I have a knitting journal and I decided to save a page for book notes.

I’m not sure if I’ll do book posts like she does, but I really enjoy reading hers, so we’ll see! Happy Monday, friends.

First FO, First Frog

Though I’m not making any resolutions or picking out words or anything like that, I did start the new year wanting to assess the state of things in my life, and that included my WIPs. I didn’t carry over too many, six I think, but one was giving me grief. It was a Round and Round cowl in a skein of black and white Biscotte Yarns sock yarn that I’d cast on in March of last year. It was looking lovely but by January 1, I’d only used 40 of the 100 grams of yarn and I hated working on it. It was just so BORING. The same row over and over, all in black and white. It’s one of those things I know I’d probably wear a lot, if I could just make myself knit it! But rather than let the lovely yarn languish, I frogged the cowl and re-wound the yarn, and I’m hoping to find a better pattern for it, perhaps knit in a large shawl with a fun color?

Hidden in my WIPs was a little project I’d forgotten about, another drawer liner for a wooden pen cabinet I have. It was the last one and I wanted to get it in the drawer, so I made that a knitting focus this week. It’s a simple 9×12 rectangle with ribbed ridges to hold the pens, so it works up very quickly, and now it’s drying after its bath.

My other focus, and my main one now that the liner is done, is my Hope and Feathers shawl. Like most of my WIPs, it was begun a few months ago and then went into hibernation. I was a little over halfway done, and I think I can get it done by the end of the week. January almost always means a case of Finish-itis for me!

I’ve also done a massive book purge, pulling out probably 100 books from my overflowing library that I will take to our local Half Price Books. These are all books that I’ve read and kept just because I liked them, and I decided that if I won’t reread them and don’t have a sentimental attachment to them, they need to find new homes. I think I will be glad I did this the next time we move, even if we do still have about five full bookcases. What can I say, we like books! Also related to books, I’m determined to start dedicating more time in my days to reading. I get so obsessed with knitting that I don’t want to put it down long enough to read! But I miss reading, and I have three full shelves of To-Be-Read books that I want to slowly clear out. I’ve read two already: The Masterpiece by Fiona Davis, and The Memory Shop by Ella Griffin. Both were marvelous. I highly recommend Fiona Davis’s books, especially if you like a little history in your fiction.

I hope the new year is treating you well so far!

The last one

Today is a day for a lot of lasts: last day of 2020 (HOORAY!), last blog post of the year, and today I’ll share my last Finished Object of the year. These are Vanilla Latte socks in the Tainted Love yarn, which I started almost two months ago. They even match (mostly)!

I hurried to finish these before tomorrow because I wanted to be balanced. Back in January, I decided I would try to manage my yarn stash. My goal was to use up more skeins from my stash than I added; I didn’t worry about yardage or weight, just the number of skeins. I am proud to report that even in this dumpster fire of a year, I came out even: 74 in, 74 out! Now, I do have one teensy little disclaimer: I didn’t count gift yarn in my incoming skeins. I was going to all along, but then Christmas came and I did my almost-final count and realized I needed a little win. Along with these socks I finished two hats for the kids.

The girl’s is the Hinterland Hat (Rav link) in Maraschino Island Yarns Blackwater, and the boy’s is a simple Boyfriend Beanie (Rav link) in Land Ho! from the Treasure Goddess. Getting all these projects done made me feel even better about my Christmas yarn acquisitions. Okay, no, I didn’t feel bad about them anyway. But I am going to to do my stash challenge again next year. If nothing else, it was kind of fun to get a sense of how much I actually use and buy.

I got plenty of other lovely gifts, some yarn-related, and it was a good Christmas. Not the best — I missed being with my mom and siblings on Christmas morning — but as good as it could be under the circumstances. I know I’ve been quiet on here lately but I’ve been reading and lurking and I’m grateful to have Blogville here when I need it.

I wish you all a Happy New Year!

Nothing finished here!

The only thing that’s finished on this Friday is the work week. My shopping’s not done, my wrapping’s not done, and definitely none of my current knitting projects are done. But I’ve had fun working on them this week!

I’m telling you, I can’t stop working on that scrap blanket. These squares are all of my tiny 2-gram balls and now I’ll move on to the 3-gram. The squares are just so quick, and it’s satisfying to see the “blanket” grow. The sock is my Christmas Silly String yarn from BaH Yarns and it’s just about ready for a heel, whenever I can pull myself away from my blanket squares. I also took a quick trip to my LYS because they had these new pins and I was in the area, thanks to weekly testing at work. What else could I do but pop in and get a Santa and a Tree?? Okay and yes, I also got a skein of yarn (not pictured) because the boy said he’d take another hat.

Two of my long-lost packages have arrived, though the one from Etsy was slightly damaged because she didn’t pack it well enough. She wasn’t pleased with the review I left, but hey, I wasn’t pleased with the service so it all balances out. I’m still missing two Christmas gifts but I’m crossing my fingers that they get here in time.

Maybe I’ll have a finished sock to show you in time for Sock it To Me Monday!