Tag Archive | handmade in KC

WIP Assessment

Whew, there are a lot of projects floating around my living room right now! I’ve cast on several new things lately and now the WIPs are in abundance. Here’s a peek:

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And this isn’t all of them: I’ve got another shawl and a blanket that aren’t shown. Miss Winkle, the pink/black one at the top, hasn’t grown at all in the last few weeks. She’s a little fiddly so I haven’t been in the mood for her. The purple/teal/black cowl looks finished, I know, but it’s really not. I bound off and it squished down shorter than I expected, and since I have yarn left over I’m going to try picking up stitches to add another section. The big shawl is the Hitchhiker Beyond and I’ve been working on that one a lot. It’s good TV knitting and I’m getting close enough to the end that I’m motivated to work on it. There’s a ribbed edge for a long gray cowl on the left side there, something I’m modifying from another pattern, so that’s been an adventure trying to figure out the right number to cast on. The purple hat just needs the top closed and furry pompom added. The little cuff is the start of my Hermione’s Everyday Socks, and the hot pink is another cat hat, requested by a friend.

So you can see, even though I have no finished projects to share, I have been doing much knitting, and will continue to do so as life allows! Oh, and after three swatches, I did finally match gauge for my first sweater, but haven’t cast on yet. I know that will be a more involved process, so I’ve been waiting for a time when I have enough mental energy. Happy knitting, friends!

Madelia Photos

I unpinned my Madelia shawl this morning and started taking photos as soon as I got enough daylight. I just love lace, don’t you?

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The only modification to the pattern was to use DK instead of sport weight. My edge didn’t come out quite as pointy as hers, but close enough. If you don’t set it aside for two months as I did, it’s a relatively quick knit. The pattern was well-written and easy to follow (except for one bit where it says to use the right needle tip to lift a stitch over, and I think it should maybe be the left needle that’s doing the lifting). Plus it’s super easy to modify; it’s written for three colors but obviously I only did two. It would also be lovely in a solid color. And if you made it in a fingering weight, I think it would be a good size for more of a scarf look.

This morning I came to the determination that I am inspired more by yarn than by patterns. I wanted to cast on some new projects so I had more variety, and went to my stash and picked out five yarns that were calling my name. Thanks to Ravelry, a short while later I had patterns picked out for all of them and have big plans for today! … Except I just realized that none of them are a hat, and I need a hat in the mix, so I’ll be revisiting the stash in a bit. Yeah, I’ll be doubling my WIP count today. Right now I’m okay with it. We’ll see how long it lasts before I’m hit with a bout of finish-itis!

Madelia Shawl

I started and finished a shawl yesterday. Haha, NO! Not that same shawl! First, I cast on the Chevrione shawl with high hopes of making good progress this weekend. I made it through the first two sections, but it was tricky! Not that it’s really that difficult, but the lace is intricate and a little complicated and I kept making mistakes. I had to focus all my attention on it, no movies or TV, and after a couple of hours, I needed a mental break. But here’s what I’ve got so far:

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It’s really pretty and I like it and I can’t wait to get to the next color. I think it’ll go more smoothly now that I’ve gone through the chart once.

When I set aside the Chevrione, the girl and I decided to watch a movie, so I pulled out another old WIP, one that’s not mindless but is easier to follow with distractions. It’s the Madelia Shawlette by Picnic Knits that I started in September. As I finished the section I was on, I realized I only had three sections left, and each one was 12 rows or fewer. So close to the end! Suddenly my goal was to finish this project.

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I knit my way through West Side Story, Moulin Rouge, and the evening news, and at 10:30 I finally set aside the completed shawl. And this morning I got up, wove in the ends, and blocked the sucker.

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Here’s a close-up of the lace. I think blocking is going to make a huge difference in this one. When I was done binding off, I wasn’t sure I liked it, but it’s growing on me now.

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So with that done, I had 4 WIPs: three shawls and a blanket. Well, that wasn’t going to work for me. I need more variety in my knitting life. Fortunately, I was saved by a friend’s request for two pussyhats. I did a bit of stash-diving and came up with an assortment of pink yarn, and had a nearly finished hat after a viewing of The Time Traveler’s Wife.

Now I’ve had a workout and a snack break, and I’m ready to dive back in. The goal is to have two completed pussyhats by the end of the day. I think I can, I think I can, I think I can!

Two Cowls

Of course the projects I actually finished were newer ones, started after Christmas with new yarn. Of course I couldn’t bring myself to finish a poor old WIP. Well. Maybe that’ll be next.

Yesterday the girl had a District Orchestra performance so I had driving time knitting and concert time knitting, and I was able to bind off the Hill & Dale cowl on the drive home. I don’t think it even needs to be blocked.

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I do love the drape and the colors but it’s kind of hard to wear. Every time I put it on the mannequin, it looked kind of dumb, like this:

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Finally, I got this, which isn’t as lovely as it looks in the pattern photos, but still wearable.

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Pattern is Hill & Dale Cowl, yarn is Malabrigo Rios in Archangel. I used almost all of two skeins.

Then last night, the girl, who is fighting a cold, wanted a movie night, so we settled in for The Sound of Music and I pulled out my Gothic Lace cowl. By the time the credits rolled, I was weaving in ends. I love this cowl!

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Those are crochet button holes. I need to get buttons for the other side so I can show how pretty it will be all buttoned up! I’m thinking silver buttons with a vintage look. I used all the yarn and wish I’d had more to make it a bit longer, but it will be fabulous as is too. But first I do actually need to block this one to open up the lace and just get it all evened out and straight. That’s on my list today. This pattern is Gothic Lace Cowl by Tin Can Knits (don’t you just love their designs??) and the yarn is Madelinetosh Tosh Vintage, which is my favorite Madtosh yarn so far. I kind of find Madtosh to be a bit splitty. So even though I love this cowl with this yarn, I still love Malabrigo more. I can’t help it. Malabrigo is my favorite. What’s your favorite yarn?

Bored. So Bored.

Do you ever get bored with your projects? I sure do. I got so excited finishing my Black Diamond cowl that I got ambitious and pulled out my oldest WIP, the Playful Stripes blanket. I’m using bright colors of Blue Sky Fibers Worsted Cotton so it should be fun, right?

Ha. Not so much. My first hurdle was that I’d started this back when I was still purling wrong, so I had to endure an annoying row of knitting into twisted stitches. After that, I got to switch to a contrasting color stripe and that was fun, but too soon I was back to the blue stockinette. And even though I made it to another contrast color, I still feel like I’m just plodding through it. I love the colors, and I think I’ll love the finished blanket, but the knitting of it is boring me!

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My other regular knitting project has been kind of boring too. My Hill & Dale cowl has been my travel/ lunch break knitting, and let me tell you: six inches of moss stitch gets tiresome. I finally made it to the ribbed section yesterday, so this one should be finished pretty quick. Then maybe I’ll promote the blanket to lunch break knitting, and get back to something more exciting at home.

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I do have a couple of finished hats, though. Today was a snow day for the kids, and I decided to join them and use the opportunity to complete a messy bun hat order. These hats are so fast to make!

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Oh, and I had a lot of help today. It’s very cold, so Grace thinks she needs to be laying on me at all times. She’s cute, but a bit of a hindrance at times.

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What’s the most boring project you’ve ever made? Have you ever given up on something just because it was so boring?

One Done, Two Begun

Here, let me show you something I finished! I actually finished it a few days ago but was slow getting around to taking a halfway decent photo.

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This is my Quickie Scowl. I used Classic Elite Chalet and Chateau, two skeins of teal and one of light gray, and that wasn’t enough. It’s shorter than I wanted. I blame it on needle size. The pattern calls for 10 1/2; when I made it the first time, I used 10s (no idea why), and this time I chose 10.75 because I wanted to use my fun Marblez needles and I thought the size would be close enough. And I do love the loose drape and the nice big yarnovers, but of course it’s wider than my first scarf, so with the same amount of yarn, it’s also shorter. I thought about sewing the ends together for a cowl which would be long enough to double, but I asked my daughter and she voted for a scarf, so a scarf it stayed. And it is a cozy, warm, close-fitting scarf indeed!

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I did start two new projects yesterday, the ones calling my name, and boy are they fun! First I cast on for the Miss Winkle with my hot pink Frolicking Feet. It’s a Martina Behm pattern so there’s plenty of squishy garter stitch but also this nifty looped edge that is super addictive.

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It’s also super hard to photograph! It was a little tricky to figure out, and I’m pretty sure I did the first one wrong, but eh, it’s a design feature, right? At first I thought I’d get annoyed by the fiddly nature of it, but it turns out I’m loving knitting this and want to keep going just to make more loops!

My second cast-on was the Gothic Lace cowl in MadTosh Vintage and that’s a delightful knit too. The yarn is thick and squishy and slides just right on my bamboo needles and the lace makes me think without being too complicated, and bonus: when it’s done I’ll get to pick out buttons to add!

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And thankfully, the rest of my weekend is pretty empty, so I should get to work on these quite a bit. But once I get started on the margaritas tonight, I’ll probably switch back to the simple Hill & Dale cowl.

I think that’s a wrap for my 2016 blogging. See you on the flip side, and here’s wishing you all a happy, safe New Year’s Eve!

Gift Knitting Part II

Whew, another Christmas in the books! It was a busy one, a good one, and now I’m ready to move on. I do enjoy the holidays, but they seem to have gotten more complicated, and thus more stressful, over the years. I’m happy to have a bit of a breather now, and be able to focus on my knitting! What have I been making, you ask? Well, let’s take a peek:

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I made good progress on this teal and gray scarf yesterday while binge-watching 11.22.63 on Hulu. (SO good, and I loved the book so I was worried, but I really enjoyed it and am now reading the book again.) Anyway, nine hours of TV means lots of knitting time.

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Pattern for this one is Quickie Cowl and yarn is Classic Elite Yarns Chalet and Chateau.

This one is another Twinkly Lights Cowl like I made for my SIL (the tan/brown one I showed you before) only this one is in Cascade Yarns Baby Alpaca Chunky. I also did it correctly this time, with the wider center section, and I love it. It’s dense and heavy and warm, and I know I’ll be wearing it a lot when the temperatures drop again.

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I managed to score some more Cascade Spuntaneous Yarn, this time in purple and pink, and the purple one ended up being my Christmas Eve party knitting. And when I finished it, the hubby snagged it because he was chilly. And he liked it too!

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Fortunately for him, he had his own warm knitwear waiting under the tree! A week before Christmas, it was super cold, and as he wrapped his (handknit alpaca) scarf around his neck, he casually mentioned, “Gosh, I need a buff.” Like you, I said, “What the heck is a buff??” and found out it’s basically a really snug cowl that can be worn over the face when one is doing weird outdoorsy things like hiking or biking or running, or whatever. And I know he didn’t mean it like that, but knitter friends, you know I heard him say, “You need to make me a buff for Christmas.”

Well. Challenge accepted! I popped over to Ravelry and found this perfect pattern (had to buy the book; don’t know if I’ll make anything else from it anytime soon) but didn’t have the right yarn. I made it to the yarn store two days later and cast on that night with some Cascade 220 Superwash. It needed to be warm, resilient, and preferably washable, so I chose a good workhorse of a yarn. As I began knitting, I remembered how much I dislike knitting from charts. I especially dislike them when the chart is in iBooks and I can’t get it into my knitting app to keep track of rows. So yeah, I wrote out the charts and knit from that instead. Worked pretty well! Six hours later, I had a buff ready to wrap.

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Isn’t it so pretty?? I love the design; I think I want to make it again but with a looser fit.

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I think he liked it. I mean, I know he looks scary here, but he’s really not. And he says it’s warm. I call this one a Gift Knitting Win!

Okay, last project. This one was also last-minute. Like I made it on Christmas Eve and gifted it the next day. I’d wanted to make something for my aunt but couldn’t think of what to make. While browsing Instagram, I saw a photo of ErikaShmerika’s First Leaf Neck Wrap and thought AHA! A quick bulky project that’s a little bit different, that’s perfect! I pulled out some Berroco Kodiak in the color Harbor Seal (code for Gray) and knit this up while watching Jurassic World.

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Jack was so kind and modeled for me after I finished it. I think he looks quite handsome. But his patience didn’t last too long and I did need to add a button.

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I think this is a really cute scarf, and the yarn is warm but so fuzzy and lightweight. The pattern called for a full-length scarf but I liked the idea of a more unusual buttoned neckwarmer, and bonus: it worked perfectly within my time constraints!

I do enjoy gift-knitting when it goes well! And now the gifts are put away, the kids are busy with their new gadgets, and I can settle in and do more knitting. And because my family knows me and loves me, I can start a round of selfish knitting with MY new gadgets: a new YarnPop bag and a yarn valet!

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I hope you all had joyful holidays with plenty of knitting time and just enough family time!