Tag Archive | WIPs

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?

Adventures in Swatching

With only three WIPs on my needles, I decided yesterday that it was time to cast on for something new. My WIPs are easy, mindless projects, so I wanted something a little more involved. I had no idea what I was getting myself into.

In my queue, I found the June Lake sleeveless top pattern, and I had two new skeins of pretty yarn that would work well. Since the body of the sweater is knit in the round, I knew I should swatch in the round. But I didn’t want to swatch on my 16″ circular needles, so I thought DPNs would be fine. My first swatch had too many stitches per inch. My second swatch, with the next size up needles, had too many stitches per inch. My third swatch, up one more size, was too loosey-goosey for any kind of top I’d want to wear.

IMG_5083I liked the fabric of the first swatch the best. Dang it, that meant it was time for math to determine which size I should knit with my gauge. Gauge math is the WORST for me. It took some time, and a lot of notes, and a lot of calculations, but I figured out I needed to go up two sizes. Before I cast on, though, for some reason I decided I wanted to double-check my gauge on the recommended needles, and without much thought, decided I needed to check it on circular needles.

Yes, apparently I do have some self-preservation instincts after all. Because this gauge swatch was different than the one with DPNs, and this gauge swatch indicated that my gauge matched the designer’s and I could pick the correct size after all! So all my swatching and calculating and teeth-gnashing could have been prevented, and if I had done my swatch correctly the first time around, I would have saved a lot of time.

Alas.

Still, the good news was that I was free to cast on, and I did and I’m enjoying my new little WIP.

fullsizeoutput_22eeIt’s knit from the bottom up with an interesting band along the bottom, which is done in two pieces and then joined in the round for the body. I love this stitch pattern! And today is quiet and rainy and gray and I think I might spend the day with my knitting and my puppers. Happy Sunday, friends.

p.s. The pretty yarn is Pixie Sock from Supernatural Yarns in the Hogsmeade colorway!

100 T-pins Later

My Imagine When shawl is blocking right now, with all the little picots pinned out nicely. It’s not a full 100 pins, but it’s about 96, so that’s pretty close. It’s not as long as I’d expected, so I hope it’s still wearable. We’re leaving very soon to take the girl to college so I doubt I’ll get good photos taken before then. But eventually I’ll show you nice photos where you can actually see the pretty yarn (Manos del Uruguay Alma)!

img_4827The girl’s furnished apartment for the coming school year fell through five days before we were scheduled to leave, so the past few days have been frantic and stressful. We’ve got an apartment lined up, but need to get a roommate finalized. We got a couch and chair from family, and she can take some furniture from home. Since we don’t have our bigger vehicle (thanks to Car Accident Sunday), we’re renting a U-haul to get out there and then a smaller car to get home. We’ll get a cheap bed from IKEA in Denver. I mean, I think we’ve got the biggest things sorted, but it’s been a bit of a nightmare. We’re all stressed and anxious and snapping at each other, and I’m really hoping that once we get her stuff moved in, we can have a few days to relax and enjoy Colorado!

 

Stress = a new project

Yesterday was Not a Good Day. Not as bad as Car Accident Day on Sunday, but not great. It was more stress piled on to to all the other things we’ve dealt with this summer, and my nerves are just about at their breaking point. I needed some serious comfort knitting, so I pulled out some colorful worsted and cast on for a new cowl.

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The pattern is simple and easily memorized, so I can just sit and knit without having to think too hard. The needles are bigger, so I’m not gripping them as tightly as I’ve been doing with my fingering weight WIPs. And the yarn, oh, it’s so pretty! It’s mystery yarn from a destash, so I have no idea of the brand. But it makes me happy to knit with it, and it’ll make me happy to wear it!

Happy Friday, friends. Hope your week’s been better than mine!