Tag Archive | knitting

FO: Chai Latte Cowl

Over the weekend I knit and knit and knit on my Chai Latte cowl. By Sunday evening my fingers were dark with dye from the yarn, but the cowl was finally finished!

This was a really fun pattern, and it was easy just to keep knitting until I came to the end of the second point. It seemed very long, especially after I blocked it, but it squishes up nicely.

That’s two more skeins out of my stash, hooray!

FO: Scottish Highlands Shawl

I’ve got another finished object to share and I don’t want to wait for next Friday. I bound off and blocked my Scottish Highlands shawl a few days ago but today was the first day warm enough to get outside for good photos. This a beast of a shawl — look at it all pinned out!

I didn’t weigh my leftovers but I’d estimate I used probably 85% of the purple and 95% of the cream. The purple was from gnarledpaw, a skein of Frida Helix Fat that was 600 yards and had a bit of cashmere in it – yummy!!! The cream was Deluxe Sock from Honey Girl Farms and was squishy and soft. It had flecks of purple and burgundy that perfectly complemented the main color. I loved knitting this shawl, except for the last bits of garter stitch where I got a bit bored and ready to move on to the fun lace. And I love how the lace turned out!

This was a satisfying project from start to finish, and honestly, it really underscores for me how different knitters are fulfilled by different things. I adore knitting big shawls with complicated lace but several of my knitting friends don’t. So it makes sense that it would work the opposite way for other things. I can let all you colorwork lovers make your beautiful sweaters and cowls, and know that it’s not for me. Heck, why would I stress myself out trying to knit colorwork when I can make things like this, and enjoy the process??

Other things I’ve loved lately: Book: The Bookish Life by Abbi Waxman. It’s a light read but perfectly delightful, particularly for book-loving introverts. I’ve already started the sequel. Movie: The Lost City. I expected it to be silly and slightly ridiculous, and it was, but it in the best way. It was my kind of absurd humor. TV: Extraordinary, on Hulu. Bonkers and absurd in good ways that make me laugh, but also explores some deeper topics. I haven’t finished the season yet but probably will soon. I also started watching the first season of Abbott Elementary. It’s not quite as good as I expected based on everything I’ve read/heard, but it’s getting better as I go on, and makes for good knitting background.

Happy Saturday, friends.

FO Friday: Colorwork cowl

Okay, I did it. I completed my goal of finishing my first colorwork project, and my Pawsitive Vibes cowl is blocked and ready to wear. Here it is before and during blocking.

I definitely see the paw prints when I step back from it. I wish I’d actually done the ribbing as ribbing rather than stockinette so it wouldn’t roll so much, but not enough to redo it! Here it is post-blocking:

As you can see, lots of rolling which shows more of the inside than I’d like. The stitches evened out some, but not completely — there are still some very loose stitches and floats.

I’m very much meh on this cowl. I don’t think I’ll frog it, though I may change my mind if I never wear it. And at this point I have no plans, desire or inclination to do colorwork again. I might just stick with complicated lace shawls for my challenging knitting. But at least I did it!

Sock It To Me Monday

Knitting is so funny, the way the process starts in my brain. Sometimes I have the urge to knit a sock, sometimes I crave a big lacework shawl, and apparently sometimes I just crave a color. I’ve been craving pink lately, which is what originally sent me to my stash on Saturday. A particular skein of bright pink jumped out at me, and originally it was going to be a cowl, but then I thought, oh, this might not be the most flattering color right up against my face. What prompted that thought? Who knows. I do wear pink, so it’s probably just a bunch of hooey and was just a stupid way for my brain to say this yarn wanted to be socks. And it’s well on its way to being a simple little shortie sock with a ribbed cuff and a garter stitch heel.

Along with that sock, I cast on four other projects … and finished one! When you knit a bulky weight hat on size 15 needles, it goes very very quickly. Normally I love a pompom but I might keep this hat unadorned. The pattern is Urth to Major Tom (I can only find it on Rav but it’s free!) and the yarn is Baah Yarn Sequoia. Our temps are in the upper 50s for a couple of days and then we’ll be back down to low 30s, so I’ll get some use out of it soon enough.

Do you have the day off work like me? Here’s hoping we get plenty of knitting done!

Adding to my WIPs

My Pawsitive Vibes colorwork cowl is currently pinned out and drying after its bath. It does look better but I’m waiting for it to dry before I make my final call. But with that being my third finished object of the year, I decided it was time to cast on a few new things. Plus I was trying to resist the call of retail therapy by shopping my yarn stash. I’d ended my work day Friday feeling pretty good – I’d sent off a difficult article to my boss’s boss for review, and I thought it was pretty good. Then I made the mistake of checking email one last time before calling it a weekend, and they’d replied “Not sure this is what {head honcho} had in mind. Might be good to interview them.” Now, I know they weren’t saying the article was bad or poorly written, just that the angle I took wasn’t exactly the right one. But that’s how it feels anytime I get less than positive feedback on my pieces. So I let that get to me more than I should have and wanted the dopamine hit of buying pretty new yarn. I resisted though and now I’m ready for five new projects!

The teal in the back is for my second Turtle Dove II – did I tell you I ended up going back and lengthening the sleeves of my gray one? Much better! The MadTosh Wino Forever will be a crescent-shaped shawl, the pink will be shortie socks, the turquoise on the right will be a lace cowl, the purple variegated in the middle will be a hat, and then all the way on the right you can see I’ve already got something new on the needles. This is some yummy merino worsted from the Wooly Mammoth in Omaha, and it’s going to be a simple Inclination Cowl (non-Rav Link). I started that one yesterday in the car. There’s a new store near me called Bliss Books & Wine and yesterday was their grand opening, and it sounded like a fun thing to do. So far it’s more wine bar than bookstore – the book selection was very very small – but I’m guessing that will evolve as it’s open longer. Of course I had a glass of wine and bought a book but it was loud and crowded so I was happy to come home and knit and read.

Once I finished my colorwork cowl, I decided to read my new book and it was so good I already finished it! If you’re a Matthew Perry fan, I can highly recommend his autobiography. It”s not the happiest of stories but it was really interesting and well-written, and I enjoyed the behind-the-scenes tidbits of Friends.

Happy Sunday, friends.

Colorwork Update: All is Not Lost

Thank you to everyone who shared tips, support, and commiseration regarding my colorwork challenges. I really appreciate all of it! I did frog what I’d done of the chart and start over with as much intentional looseness as possible, catching floats every 2-3 stitches. The first round like that literally took an hour, but thankfully it got faster and I managed to get through 31 rounds in three nights. Last night I started the second section of corrugated ribbing and realized I didn’t actually do ribbing the first time. The pattern said knit 2 with main color, purl 1 with contrast color. I just knit them all. That annoyed me so I set the project down for a little bit, and when I looked at my colorwork I was just thoroughly disgusted with it. I’d gone from one extreme to the other, and my stitches aren’t all an even tension and some of my floats are way too loose and when I looked at it, I didn’t even see how that stitch pattern was supposed to be a paw print. ARGH.

OH, and my ring broke because I’d apparently redone one of the loops/adjusted the loop too much and the wire said, nope and snapped off. That was okay, though — I still had one loop and that was enough to keep the strands separated enough.

Anyway, this morning I laid out my cowl to take a photo so I could blog my sad sad colorwork story, and in the photo I saw … paw prints?? Let this be a lesson about getting distance and all that jazz.

That was the reassurance I needed to power through and actually finish the damn thing. So this weekend I will do the final three rows of corrugated “ribbing”, bind off, and see how much shit actually blocks out. I will definitely be doing before and after photos. If I don’t love it, I will be frogging and reusing the yarn because it’s gorgeous and I love it so much. I know it’s Old Rusted Chair and I think it’s Squish DK which I also used for my first Douglas Cardi and I adore it.

And I’m fairly certain this will be the end of my colorwork journey. According to my knitting support group, I should have chosen a smaller project and yarns with more contrast, and after 3-5 projects I might actually knit something attractive, but I’m not sure I enjoy the process enough to ever try again. If I do, I’m going to order a Norwegian thimble rather than try to make another ring for myself. The wire’s just not sturdy enough.

BUT. Before I go back to my stupid colorwork, I’m going to wind about nine skeins of yarn. Five are for my second Turtle Dove, and the rest are for other new projects – details to follow!

Happy Saturday, friends.

Frustrated & Discouraged

I’m so in awe of all you cool people who can knit beautiful color work projects, seriously. Color work is (was?) one of my goals for the year, and I’m trying, but let me tell you, it’s hard. You know that. I know you know that because you had to learn it once upon a time too. I started by holding the yarns in one hand, but that didn’t work, so I tried with the yarns in two hands, and it kind of worked, even if it was slow as molasses, but then my tension was forked up and way too tight so I had to frog four rounds of color work and start over.

That’s when I started shopping for a ring. Have you seen those? The rings you wear on the tip of your index finger to guide your yarn when you’re working with multiple strands? The one I’d seen on instagram was $77 plus $28 in shipping from somewhere international, and friends, I was not that committed to color work. I was just about to buy a simple one on Etsy when I remembered: I used to make jewelry! Not only that, I used to make rings! As luck would have it, I still had some of the heavier wire I used for the wire-wrapped rings, and I set to work. My first prototype was no good, but my second has a lot of potential, and with it I was able to almost-kind of-sort of-quickly do color work!

The corrugated ribbing went great, just a 2/1 pattern. But then I got into the charted paw prints, and as I had longer floats, I discovered the tension on the yarns became harder to control. Whichever yarn I wasn’t using got loose and floppy, and hard to catch when it was its turn again, so I had to fix the tension pretty often. Still, it was doable, I was making better progress than I’d expected, and I was pleased with myself — look at me, doing color work! But Sunday night I stopped and really looked at what I’d knitted so far, and while I can see that it’s okay, it’s not what I’d hoped for. The paw print pattern is awesome but my tension is clearly too tight in places and it’s pulling together. Argh.

While I’d like to think that sh*t will block out, I don’t think that sh*t will block out. SO. Color work is in timeout for now. I just wanted a darn paw print cowl, that’s all! Is that really too much to ask? I *might* frog this and start over with the charted section, catching my floats more often. We’ll see.

And now, having attempted it myself, I am even more in awe of you people knitting your beautiful color work projects. You have mad skills.

FO Friday: Curiosity Cowl

The I cord drawstring didn’t take nearly as long as I expected. In fact, it might have taken me longer to sew down the top edge to enclose the drawstring! But, in any case, my Curiosity Cowl is complete!

Overall, I do like it better now that it’s done and I can see it on. It’s not as floppy as I expected and while not the warmest, the bamboo yarn is comfortable. Mostly I’m just delighted with the drawstring because it reminds me of hoodies, which are my favorite thing to wear.

With this FO, I’ve finished three projects this year and used up 7 skeins from stash. I’m pretty pleased with that progress. I also finished another book: The Love of My Life by Rosie Walsh. It’s a family drama/suspense that kept me hooked from the beginning. I liked it better than her first book, Ghosted. Have you read anything you loved lately?

WIP Wednesday

I’m so close to another FO! I finished knitting the body of my Curiosity Cowl last night while binge watching Ginny & Georgia (omg that show is like Gilmore Girls on drugs and so addictive). Now I’ve just got 32” of I-cord to knit for the drawstring.

I really don’t know how I feel about this cowl. I got super bored knitting it, and I think the bamboo yarn is going to be super floppy, and sometimes I like the sort of fish scales vibe it’s got going on and sometimes I don’t. I do love the idea of the drawstring though, so maybe that will be the thing that tips it over into cool.

Hope you’re all enjoying your WIPs today!

Sock It To Me Monday

Bah. Last week I showed you my two new sock projects and told you how I was excited to get back to them, remember that? Well, after finishing my Turtle Dove, I pulled them out, excited to get back to socks. The Pawprints sock was first. I’d apparently done one repeat of the 16-row lace pattern, so I started another one … and quickly remembered why it was in hibernation. The lace pattern changed each RS row, and each time I had to readjust the stitches on my DPNs to account for a k2tog or ssk or yo falling at the end of a needle. There was no combination of stitches I could consistently keep on each needle as I worked through the 16 rows. It drove me absolutely BONKERS. By row eight I was muttering under my breath, by row 16 I knew I’d never complete this pattern as written. For me, sock knitting needs to not be fidgety or fussy or annoying — and adjusting my stitches constantly is definitely annoying for me. And no, I don’t want to switch to a 9″ circ or two circs or magic loop. I love knitting socks on DPNs, that is my jam. This pattern is not my jam, and that’s okay. The yarn, however, LOOKS like jam and I love it, so I’m going to frog that lace, drop down from 70 stitches to 68, and reknit a perfectly boring ribbed sock.

Oh but I still have that Wonder Woman sock, you’re thinking? Yeah, about that … I got ready for the design, which I knew was charted. I flipped it so the chart was horizontal and I could read it correctly, and realized that the stitch key was oriented the opposite direction. There was no way to have both the chart and the key oriented the same way so I could easily reference then both while knitting. Not only that, the chart referenced some lateral braid stitch, which wasn’t described in the key but on another page, and I’ll be darned if the whole damn thing didn’t just sound like a big pain in the ass, which is, again, not what I like for my sock knitting. I will still be knitting Wonder Woman socks but they will not have any fancy logo on them. The colors alone will have to show that they are Wonder Woman socks.

This experience has only served to reinforce what I suspected: my sock knitting has to be very simple. Lace and cables and fancy stitches all their place in my knitting, but that place is clearly not socks. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go frog a purple sock.

Happy Monday, friends.