Tag Archive | WIPs

WIP Wednesday

I still haven’t taken good photos of my finished cowl (it’s been SO COLD the last two days…okay, I’ve just been lazy about it. Whatever.) so I thought I’d share a couple of WIP photos. Can you believe I only have four WIPs at the moment? Clearly there is something wrong with me. I got to the third color of my Color Me Happy cowl last night.

img_5973It’s hard to see, but there are a few rows of the solid purple up there. I think I’m going to love this once it’s done, but it’s an awful lot of stockinette right now. Maybe I need to go to a movie so I can knit on it in the dark.

And I made a swatch! It’s a little swatch but it’s a good start. This is for my Penny sweater with my birthday Malabrigo.

img_5974I’ve been waiting to start it because I’ve been trying to eat better and exercise lately, and I thought maybe I’d want a different size. But then I thought, Heck that, I want a pretty pink sweater and I can still wear it even if it’s a little big.

But here’s the best news of the day: I get to have a crafting weekend this weekend!!! One of my blogger friends is meeting a few friends at local hotel for the weekend, and she and I decided we needed to finally meet, so I got a room for myself and it’s going to be DELICIOUS. I won’t spend all weekend with them, because that might be too much, plus why wouldn’t I take advantage of a comfy quiet hotel room all to myself? But we’ll knit together and visit the best LYS and I’m super excited.

It’s also a little scary because I’m an introvert who hates meeting new people, but apparently I’m pushing myself lately. Last weekend I went to a birthday party where I only knew two people, and I had a blast. Maybe that was enough to nudge me toward the crafting weekend. Or maybe I was just drawn by the opportunity to have an extended period of time to myself. Either way, the room is booked and I just need to plan my projects. I’m pretty sure I need to a new cast-on! Sock or shawl??

Mermaid Sea Swell Shawl

Remember months ago I wanted to make a mermaid shawl with five skeins of yarn and I tried to make this lace shawl and it just didn’t work for me? I remembered that yarn today and I might have found the perfect pattern on Ravelry.

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This is the Sea Swell Shawl by Stephen West and it’s a gorgeous fade with five colors, which is exactly what I wanted, and it’s a semi-circular shape, which I wanted, and it even has a wave pattern, which I didn’t even KNOW I wanted! Plus after making my Dotted Rays, I’m excited to make another one of his patterns. That one was so fun and addictive, and so much squishy garter stitch. My only caveat is that for some reason I thought my mermaid shawl should have some delicate lace too. But mostly I think I can’t resist how perfect this is in every other way!

What color is your pompom?

Well, that sounds weirder than it did in my head. To follow up on yesterday’s hat debate, I ended up going with the two-color pompom. I was overthinking it to a great degree and finally had to realize that it would be cute no matter what color the pompom was. And it is!

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So that will go off to my work friend this week. I also finished the scarf for my other friend and it will be blocked today. I’ve got a busy day ahead of me today, but wanted to share my Spring Rain “progress”.

Spring Rain is a two-color shawl with alternating garter and lace sections. The lace sections are 22 rows, no repeating rows, and I had a little trouble keeping track of where I was at times, but I was doing all right. Maybe had to fudge a stitch here or there, but it all worked out. Then, disaster: the needle slipped out of about ten stitches! GASP! With some knitting, that’s not a big deal. But with lace, where you have yarnovers and SSKs and K2TOGs and SKPs…it’s bad. Very bad. I was in denial at first and thought I could fix it. I picked up what I thought were the stitches and kept knitting. The first lace row after that was off by two stitches, so I added two and kept going. The lace row after that, I was off by four. Yes, it was bad. No, I had not put in a lifeline. Apparently I live on the edge. By this point, I was 17 rows into the 22-row lace section. It was the last lace section of the shawl. I could have kept faking it, but I knew the lace wouldn’t look right, and since it was the outer edge, I didn’t want it to look wonky. I needed to frog.

My first step was to find a long circular needle in a smaller size, I think they were size 2, and thread it through the last row of garter stitch.

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I did that all the way across without any issues. See the two needles in there?

img_5801-1Then I pulled out the original circ and frogged all those rows of green lace. It was satisfying and sad at the same time. And this time, when I started with the lace again, did I start using a lifeline too??

No, I did not. But wait, hear me out! I did start putting in a stitch marker after each repeat in the lace rows, so when I lost track, it was easier to find my mistake(s). And since then it’s been going pretty well, though it’s been on the back burner while I focused on some gift knitting instead.

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I am glad I frogged, even if I did lose a good chunk of progress. I love this shawl and really want to it to be as close to perfect as I can get it. It’ll be done by St. Patrick’s Day at least!

P.S. I ended up giving Grace her monthly injection for her Addison’s disease a day early and it made a huge difference. She’s back to her bouncy obnoxious self, licking all the faces and roughhousing with Duncan. Fingers crossed it lasts!

Color Me Happy

I have a new WIP! The reason why is a bit convoluted so bear with me. See, I agreed to test out some new circular needles, and I have one size. That’s actually how I ended up casting on the Spring Rain shawl, but then I realized that 24″ circs aren’t long enough for a shawl. I needed to put the shawl on a longer cord, but I needed to go to the LYS for that. Then when that was done, I needed a pattern for 24″ size 2.5 circs, and I thought a cowl would be perfect. I plugged all the necessary info in Ravelry and ended up choosing the Color Me Happy cowl.

Oh, what colors? No, not the pink and purple in the original, though I totally tried to find something similar in my stash. Instead, my stash threw out these three skeins and said they’d really like to work together.

6444a1bb-dd52-4c08-9fc0-a1375cfdc1e2Won’t that be lovely? I purchased the pattern and got all ready to cast on with my little 2.5 circs…only to see that that size was needed for one section if you were doing a straight bottom edge instead of the kerchief style! For everything else, it recommended a size 4.

Well, to heck with that, I say, and I’m just going to use these darn needles and it’s going to be just fine!

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Honestly, now that I’m this far into it, I think the size 4 would be too big and I wouldn’t like the loose drape anyway. Now I’m just eager to get to the point where I can join in the round and start zooming along!

Darn that job

Don’t you hate it when work gets in the way of your fun stuff? This week has been too busy, and I haven’t had the mental energy to put much toward knitting or blogging or cool things like that. But I’m going to change that today! It’s a cool, sunny morning, so I’m outside with a cup of tea and a couple of dogs and I’m going to clear my head of work.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I HAVE been knitting; I’ve just been working on projects that don’t make me think too much. My Mudpunch sock has gotten the most time, which is why I’m a good way into the foot.

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This is the Twizzler socks pattern and I like it a lot, but I also like how this stripe pattern works up in plain stockinette. I almost wish I’d done a vanilla sock. (I also wish I’d taken the time to get a better photo, now that I see this one here. Oops.)

My other project this week has been my Estonian lace cowl. I worked on this while I was watching the US Open, but only during the less critical matches, i.e. not Rafa Nadal. My skein was smaller than the designer’s, so I cast on fewer stitches for a cozier cowl. I might not get the full three repeats of the lace pattern but I’m not bothered. I’ll just go until I can’t go anymore.

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And today is Duncan’s Gotcha Day! We’ve had him for two years now and can’t imagine life without him. He’s the husband’s favorite as well as the boy’s favorite, and he’s such a sweet snuggler. I’m just really glad he stopped destroying things as he got older!

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Happy weekend, friends!

 

Fall = Knit all the things

I love summer and I don’t really want it to end, but I’m also kind of happy that it’s almost sweater weather! At the very least, it’s knit-a-sweater-weather. Yesterday I decided I needed to double my WIPs so I cast on three new projects, and yes, one of them is a sweater. And before you ask, yes, I am swatching before I cast on the sweater itself. I knit a proper swatch on circular needles so I can accurately measure my in-the-round gauge, since I know that it differs from my flat-knitting gauge enough to affect size.

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I decided I’m going to use five skeins of purples to make a Faded Boxy sweater. I’m not exactly sure how I’ll decide when to fade the colors, but I might just take the length of the body and divide it by five. Wouldn’t that work? Or wait, should it be 10, since I’ll have 10 sections (Color A, Color A & B, Color B etc)? Yes, maybe that would work. I just want to make sure I have enough yarn to fade the sleeves too. I know there are other Faded Boxy projects on Ravelry, so I’ll have some reference points to help. It’ll be fine. The real question is how long it will take me to get bored of miles of stockinette in fingering weight yarn!

img_5178I’m starting my Fade with the gray/purple variegated on the far right in that photo, and the swatch has been washed and is currently drying. The middle purple/gray is from Herd of Cats, a Colorado dyer. It’s a worsted merino that is going to become an Estonian Lace Medallion cowl. The non-purple blue/white is a color called Rocky Mountain High from Andromeda Socks, and I’m trying the Chevron Socks pattern to see if it creates a subtle mountain look. Now I have a wide variety of knitting to carry me through the second week of the US Open!

For my U.S. friends: enjoy the Labor Day holiday today!

Time for a reset

Maybe it’s the change of seasons, but I’m feeling the urge to take a deep breath and reassess some stuff. I’ve been disengaged a bit from work lately for a few reasons, and I want to refocus and start pushing myself again. But I’m also wanting to re-engage with my knitting. It hasn’t felt as rewarding as usual this summer, and I want to get back to finding the joy again. Right now, that means the urge to cast on all the pretty  new projects!

One of them was supposed to be that June Lake top. But the one person telling me to swatch, swatch, always swatch, was right, not that it’s much of a surprise. I went up one needle size and two pattern sizes, got my first textured panel done, measured the length, and it STILL wasn’t as long as I need it to be. Assuming I were to stick with the size 5 needles, I calculated my gauge and how many stitches I’d need to cast on to get the size I want, and my concern is that I won’t have enough yarn. SO. That project is in hibernation while I decide what I want to do. I’d still really like to make a sleeveless top, but I’m not sure I can get the size I need with just two skeins.

Instead I cast on for a new sock! I wound my brand-new Mudpunch self-striping yarn and after seeing Mildly Granola’s Twizzler socks, decided to make my own. I’m loving how they look!

img_5163But I want more new projects! I’ve got a selection of purple yarns that would make a fantastic fade, and I’m debating between a Find Your Fade and some kind of fade sweater. I think I’m leaning toward a sweater, but I need to check patterns and gauge (again, argh) before I decide. And I’m feeling the itch for some squishy worsted too, so I might need to cast on a new cowl soon too.

Now, all you swatchers, help me out: when you’re planning for a sweater in the round, do you swatch with the exact needles you’d be using (i.e. 32″ or 40″ circs)? I see the logic in it, but it would make for a huge swatch! Or do you use the same material of needles (i.e. bamboo or metal) but smaller circumference?