Tag Archive | WIPs

Denim Sprinkles Shawl

This is my last new cast-on after clearing off all my needles last weekend. The Ancient Arts T-shirt and Jeans yarn was still high on my list of “must knit” but I didn’t want it to be socks. Partly because white socks never seem like a good idea, and partly because I wanted it to become something more visible than socks. While going through my Ravelry queue, I found the pattern for the Sugar Sprinkles shawl, which I’ve been wanting to make for quite a while, and it checked off all my boxes: Long narrow shawl, variegated yarn, lace, right yarn weight and yardage. I bought it, downloaded it to my pattern app (I use Knit Companion) only to discover it was already in there! I think I must have downloaded it when she did a short free period, but I forgot about it. Oh well, the $4 is totally worth it.

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This is a really fun knit! I love making eyelets, and the pattern switches back and forth often enough that I don’t get bored quickly. This was my progress on Monday night, and it’s been my evening knitting (when I’m not too tired to knit). This morning I took it outside again to get a progress photo.

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It’s so fun! I think it’s going to be a great addition to my shawl wardrobe. But here’s the thing: it’s gotten long. Like really long. There are over 250 stitches on the needle, and when I tried to spread them out to show the size of the shawl, about 10 stitches jumped off one end! And you know yarnovers just love to spring free. ARGH. I managed to catch most of them, and I got it kind of fixed, but I’m pretty sure my stitch count is off now and I’ll have to do some fudging to get it back. Thankfully this is a forgiving pattern where being a stitch or two off doesn’t really hurt the look of it.

So now I have three projects on my needles, and that seems like a good number for me, at least for now. What’s a comfortable number of WIPs for you?

 

Sha-ZAM!

With empty needles, I happily poked through my stash to see what I should knit next, and four pretty little skeins jumped out at me. The first was a skein of Malabrigo Rios, an aberration because I’ve been knitting so much with fingering weight yarn. I had an urge to make a cowl, one of my favorite things to knit. I love to knit on circular needles, I love the feel of merino wool in my hands, and I love to play with different patterns. And best of all, I love having so many cowls to wear when it’s cold.

This skein is the color Aniversario. I’ve bought this colorway before but it’s one where there’s huge variations in colors. I made a Hitchhiker Beyond in this color, but it has a lot of blue/indigo. This skein is mostly red. I chose a fun, free one-skein cowl pattern called Sha-ZAM! and it’s going very quickly.

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I’d forgotten how much I love Malabrigo. It’s so soft, with that yummy squish factor. I definitely need to make my next sweater in Malabrigo!

Two weeks from today, we leave to take the girl to college in Colorado. (EEK!) I’m freaking out a little, but I’m also super excited for her. And I can’t wait to visit my mountains again. Anyway, before she leaves, I decided we needed some family time, so I declared today a Family Fun Day and we all took the day off work. We’ll visit the Jazz Museum, have some lunch, go to a fantastic big vintage record store, and who knows what else. Maybe a movie? I won’t get much knitting done, but that’s all right. Knitting can wait.

I Don’t Like Short Rows

Seriously, I’ve never liked short rows. At first, when I was a new knitter, I was scared of them. Turn your knitting in the middle of a row? What madness is that? Like knitting socks, I thought they were complicated and hard and a sure way to mess up your knitting if you didn’t do them right. But they’re also hard to avoid completely.

I think my first project with short rows was Martina Behm’s Fractal Danger. Like a lot of patterns, I bought it because it was pretty without looking too closely, and it wasn’t until I was partway in and invested that I found the short rows. Fine. I’d do them just this once. And it was fine, they weren’t hard, but a bit fiddly, and I’ll be darned if that shawl didn’t come out as one of the most wearable pieces I’ve made.

Then I knit my first sock, and realized the magic of turning heels is due to short rows. But those are super easy, and it’s just a few stitches, and it’s like they don’t even count as short rows.

Oh, but then came Wonder Woman. How many of you have knit the Wonder Woman wrap? It’s gorgeous, isn’t it? I had to make it, regardless of what it took. Well, as you can guess, it took short rows. And not the simple short rows I’d done in the past, but wrap and turn short rows. These short rows actually lived up to my expectations: they were tricky, and it was hard to find the wrapped stitch you were supposed to knit into. But for Wonder Woman, I pushed through it, and it’s one of my favorite shawls to wear. Now, I don’t think I’d want to make another one, but I learned I can do short rows if I have to.

Guess what else? Lots of sweater patterns use short rows for neck shaping, to make the back of the sweater a little bit bigger than the front. Both sweaters I’ve made did that; I guess I was getting used to short rows because they weren’t a big deal.

And now, here I am again, knitting short rows. I picked Martina Behm’s Easy shawl because of course, it has Easy in the name and when you want mindless knitting, easy is good. I floated through Part I, doing so much garter stitch in a haze of happiness. But then came Part II. The second triangle was made from…short rows? Dang it. I don’t like short rows. Except…maybe I do? Because look at this:

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They’re not hard at all, and there’s that beautiful little seam going in between the two triangles, and they’re coming together so neatly and magically and I kind of love it.

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So there you have it. I actually do like short rows after all.

Except wrap and turn short rows. Those still suck a little.

Visiting the Frog Pond

For you non-knitters out there, frogging is ripping back your knitting. It’s called frogging because you “rip it, rip it”. It’s pretty common during the knitting process to frog when you’ve completely messed up several rows or a big section. But to frog a completed project? That’s less common, and always seemed crazy to me, until recently.

When I started my most recent Hitchhiker, it made me think about the Hitchhikers I’ve made in the past. Two were for other people and two were for me, and I rarely wear mine. One gave me hives the last time I wore it, so yeah, haven’t worn that again. But the other is a gorgeous rainbow shawl in Done Roving Frolicking Feet yarn, which is amazing yarn.

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This isn’t even a good photo and still, you can see how pretty the colors are! The problem is that it was my first Hitchhiker and I thought I could get away with using just one skein of DK weight instead of fingering and not making any other modifications. I ended up with a shawl so short it was hard to wear. Thus, I never wore it. Thus, I frogged it. And now I have a beautiful cake of rainbow yarn that I get to knit all over again!

That made me so happy that honestly, I’m thinking of frogging this big cowl I made last winter.

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I still love the yarn so much, but when I wear this, it rolls a lot and I’m not crazy about it. I think I want to try knitting a tube scarf. I could leave the ends plain and let them roll a little bit, but on a longer scarf, that wouldn’t be a problem. I just need to figure out if I have enough yarn to make a scarf that’s long enough to make me happy, and I’m not convinced yet. But I know I want to wear the yarn, and I didn’t wear it like this, so it needs to become something else and that’s that.

Have you ever frogged a completed project?

 

Finished Sockhead

It turns out part of the satisfaction of finishing a WIP is getting to mark it finished in Ravelry. My most recent FO is not in Ravelry, and when I got done, I really missed that final step, much like crossing something off a list.

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Why is not in Ravelry? Because it’s not my yarn, and not my project! A while back I cleaned out the attic and found all the girl’s WIPs from when she was knitting and got permission to finish them. The Sockhead came with me to concerts until I was ready for decreases, and then it got set aside and I forgot about it until today. It took an hour at most to finish the knitting and weave in the ends, and now she has another pretty hat to take to Colorado this fall. I especially like the way the decreases worked out.

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The best thing about this project was that I bought myself some ChiaoGoo circular needles to finish it and I discovered I love them! They have lovely little pointy tips and the join is so smooth. I definitely need some more of those. The yarn is some kind of Malabrigo and I have some left, maybe for if/when I decide to do a sock yarn memory blanket.

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This was the last of her WIPs but she still had some pretty yarn, so I think I’ll cast on some socks for her next. Hmm, will a college student actually want handknit socks, since they can be higher maintenance? I guess we’ll find out!

 

 

Happy Socks

This might be the fastest pair of socks I’ve ever made: a week from start to finish! These were the project I worked on 90% of the time last week, and there were concerts and other things where I could sit and knit while listening. Plus they were totally mindless knitting, which is perfect for me right now.

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I did my usual 64 stitches, a 1″ ribbed cuff, then 3 plain rows before going into a simple slipped-stitch heel. I was using up two scrap balls of sock yarn and the only tricky part was trying to use the variegated (Hedgehog Fibres in Medusa) evenly between the two socks.

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I failed, because I wasn’t clever enough to weigh the ball before I started. Next time I’ll definitely do that. These aren’t evenly balanced; there’s a bigger green (Madtosh in Sea Glass) toe on one than the other. But that doesn’t bother me too much. I think I’ll still love wearing these. I especially like having the bright colored accents, which makes me think I need more solid colors in sock yarn.

Today will be spent on a brand-new lace shawl project and then I’ll pull out a sock WIP that’s been languishing (poor sock monkey socks) for this week’s travel knitting. Happy Sunday, friends!

Working on WIPs

I’m actually knitting things other than socks right now, can you believe it? I mean, yes, I do have two pairs of socks on the needles right now, but I also have two other projects! One is my brainless knitting, and it’s appropriately called Easy, by Martina Behm. I had two skeins of gorgeous Madelinetosh DK and I wanted to be able to appreciate the colors, and enjoy the feel of it as I knit along in garter stitch. I’m maybe halfway through the first skein; this is what I pick up at night when my brain is tired but my fingers want to knit.

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When my brain isn’t tired, I pick up my Arya wrap, which is more complicated with lace color changes and repeats. It’s not difficult, but I do have to concentrate. I love the shape of this one, asymmetrical with pointy ends.

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This yarn is Bamboo Pop and the cotton/bamboo means it will be the perfect wrap for late spring, and cool summer nights. Plus, in black and white, it will be striking and versatile. I’m a little bit concerned that it will be shorter than I want, because the pattern is telling me to start the decrease sections now, but it doesn’t seem long enough. I know blocking will help, but I’d hate to knit the whole thing and then not be happy with it. What do you think: trust the pattern, or try to modify for extra length?

While I ponder the Arya problem, I have a second sock that’s coming right along and is just about ready for a heel flap. These have been my lunch break knitting and I’m eager to have them done for spring.

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Yarn is Madtosh Sock in Seaglass (LOVE!) and pattern is Mapleridge. I think I can get the heel and gusset done this weekend so that they’re ready for easy foot knitting next week.

Happy weekend, friends! I’m looking forward to lots of knitting and laundry! (Okay, no, not looking forward to doing the laundry. But looking forward to an excuse to stay in PJs, and having clean clothes.)