WIP Weds ~ no socks for me

Well, there will be socks. But there has been no sock knitting this past week.

Instead there has been scarf/shawl knitting. Mostly I’ve been working on the Cats Will Play shawl, because I love the way Blue Moon yarn feels when I work it up:

This has been fun to knit again. I had to remember that there was a math issue with the first cats paw section, though. I found that out when I knit my first Cats Will Play shawl, and then forgot when I started knitting this second one. I must make a note in case I decide to knit a third one. (That’s not terribly likely, though. There are so many fun shawls out there to knit that I’ve never knit more than 2 of the same shawl pattern before. There’s always a first time, however.)

I’ve also been working on the Dangling Conversation scarf-or-whatever-it-is:

I still love this one, too, and I always get more excited to knit it when I near a color change. That’s one of the fun things about yarns with long color repeats.

So that’s my week in knitting. How has your week been so far? Have a great Wednesday!

WIP Weds ~ in which there is knitting again

Okay, so there is knitting again this week! Maybe not as much as I would like (there has also still been lots of Stardew Valley playing time) but there is certainly more knitting than there was.

Let’s start with the current Geek-A-Long square, the caffeine molecule:

Knitting WIPs ~ 1/25/17

I’m enjoying this one a lot, but it is also the one that is the most impacted by my gaming time. I tend to knit the GAL squares at home while Mr. Wyrm and I watch TV. So when our TV time turns into Stardew Valley time, I’m not knitting. In any case, there has been progress on it since you last saw an update.

The next project has been getting a bit more knitting time, since it is one of my at-work-during-breaks knitting projects. It’s the Hedera Socks:

Knitting WIPs ~ 1/25/17

As you can see, I have finished the heel turn and done most of the gusset decreases. This is still sock one, though, so I’ll have to make another one to match when this one’s done in order to have a wearable pair. Still, I like the pattern well enough that I can manage that. It just might take a while, because…

I’ve also been working on the Dangling Conversation scarf (or is it a shawlette or a wrap?) during work breaks:

Knitting WIPs ~ 1/25/17

I love this scarf: it’s a simple knit, yet the YOs and the beads make it interesting enough to keep going. The shaping is also quite interesting, and I look forward to blocking it and seeing what it wants to do. The reason I have started working on this more at work, even though the increasing row length means I don’t feel like I get as much progress made on it as I used to, is because I have decided it needs to be done in time to be a Christmas present.

Yes, I am doing Christmas knitting again this year. And yes, I am starting now. (Otherwise I will get distracted and not finish, or will finish only in a panic on Christmas Eve night.) Here’s the latest Christmas knit I’ve started:

Knitting WIPs ~ 1/25/17

That’s the Cats Will Play shawl, and I started it last night, so there’s not much to see yet. However, I’m knitting it with Blue Moon yarn, and have loved the previous version of this shawl that I made, so I’m looking forward to working on this one.

Hope you’re having a great day!

WIP Weds ~ the holiday for me edition

Happy holiday week! There are a lot of holidays all at once this year. (Sometimes they’re farther apart… and these are just the three I am most familiar with. I’m sure there are others I’m not aware of.) Yule starts today — on the Winter Solstice,  12/21. I have known this for a while, but I wasn’t aware that it was a multi-day celebration. (Which it is at least according to my Google search.) Then, Hanukkah starts on 12/24 this year, which is also Christmas Eve. I think this is the first time since I’ve been paying attention to the dates that the beginning of Hanukkah and Christmas have been on the same day! Very fun.

Anyway, happy holiday week! This year, I have NO holiday knitting to show you. I didn’t do any holiday knitting this year, so all the knitting is for me! (Well, mostly. But the one thing I’m currently knitting which I’ll be gifting isn’t going to be gifted until next year. So it’s not holiday knitting.)

Here’s what I’ve been up to:

1. The Dangling Conversation scarf.

It’s been a lot of fun. Lots of beading, since I elected to add a bead at the start of every row. But still a fun knit!

2. The Mortal Kombat GAL square.

I had paused on the GAL knitting for a little while, but I’ve picked it back up and am loving it again. (I think this is partly because I am so excited about the 2017 GAL blanket. Someone save me from myself.) I don’t have high hopes for finishing the 2016 GAL blanket in time to submit it for prizes – I still have 5 squares to knit – but I’ve decided that I want to have at least the official 2016 GAL blanket finished before I start any 2017 GAL knitting.

I am planning on making the current GAL blanket bigger than my official 2016 one. This is because I want to go back and knit some non-video-game themed 2014 squares as well. But that might happen later on, and not right away. I’ll have to see.

3. The Leaving Cowl.

Leaving Cowl - 75% done

This is the one that I am knitting for a 2017 gift. I’m close to done with it, which is nice, but I also feel no pressure to get it finished before Christmas. And that is nicer. I’ve been loving knitting it in the Cascade 220 sport yarn that I had originally bought for the 2015 GAL blanket. (Hmm, I wasn’t so sure about knitting the GAL blanket in sport-weight. Maybe I’ll have to re-think my participation in 2017.  We’ll see… I do love the GAL knitting community. AND THE YARN for the 2017 blanket. So yummy looking.)

Anyway, that’s my current knitting progress. I’m enjoying it and the lack of “get it done before Christmas!” stress.

I hope your week is stress-free and holiday-full!

WIP Weds ~ the fickle edition

I have been knitting again! Yay! I figured out part of what had stalled me: I over-planned my knitting year. Don’t get me wrong, I love all of the projects I have currently OTN* (on the needles). But sometimes having a Plan (yes, with a capital P) can take the fun out of knitting even enjoyable projects. Sometimes I want a new project to get the spark of creativity flowing again. In this case, that spark provided by the Dangling Conversation scarf, which I cast on in my Schachenmayr select Tahiti yarn.

I’m really loving the way this is knitting up. The yarn makes a beautiful fabric, with a lovely drape. There is an occasional problem where the yarn gets splitty when I add a bead, but for the most part it’s not an issue. Speaking of the beads, I picked them at random out of my bead stash because I thought they’d compliment the yarn nicely. I think they were a good choice. I don’t remember where I got them, though, so I can’t pass along that information.

The new knitting has been so much fun that I’m also thinking of casting on the December MKAL: Rose Quartz project that Lattes & Llamas is hosting. I do want to also get back to the projects OTN, but only one of them has anything like a deadline (now that I’ve admitted I won’t be finishing the GAL blanket by the January deadline). So I have the time — I hope — to add another KAL in there as long as I can keep the knitting mojo flowing.

* For the record, before the new item(s) cast on, I had OTN: 2 pairs of socks, the 2016 GAL blanket, the Leaving Cowl, the East of the Sun West of the Moon Shawl which I love but whose rows are really long right now, another shawl which is destined for the frog pond because I don’t like the yarn I picked for it, a toy monkey I’m not happy with but might make myself finish, and the Babette Blanket which hasn’t seen any action in a very long time. I’ll get back to them shortly.

 

WIP Weds ~ the All The Things edition

It’s time for another WIP Wednesday! This week I will show you all the knitting projects that I am currently working on. (There are others on the needles, but since they’re not in the current knitting rotation, I’m skipping them for this post.)

This time, I’ve been working on the Semele Shawl quite a bit, so I’ll show you a pic of it even if it still doesn’t look like a ton of progress. I’m finally getting to the point where it feels like I’m starting to get toward the end of this project.

It’s really a fun shawl still, and I love the beading, but I’m ready to be done with it. It’s time to wear it, not to knit it.

I’m also still enjoying knitting the Lacy Entrelac Scarf.

It’s a fun knit, but my favorite part is (as with all entrelac) watching the color changes. It’s still great having the lace bits in the normally plain entrelac squares. I’m a little concerned about how it will block out when I’m done knitting. I want it to be flat enough to look great and not curl up at the edges, but not be so flat that it loses the texture of the entrelac squares. We’ll see how it goes. I’ll have to be extra careful when I wash and block it.

And there has been progress on the GAL Blanket! I have finished the “GAME OVER” square…

GAL blanket progress (4-17-16)

GAL blanket progress (4-17-16)

… and started the “Rayman” square!

I loved this original game when it first came out – and I do mean first came out. My sister’s boyfriend at the time was one of the beta testers, so I got to see it played before it was available to the public. So much fun! I was thrilled when new versions were released… even if I am a terrible platformer, and so do very poorly at it. I still love it. Fortunately Mr. Wyrm is a good platformer, so when we play together he can carry the team through the tricky bits.

Happy hump day!

WIP Weds for 4-13-16

I’m not feeling at 100%, so I think there will be lots of knitting in my future. My guess is that I caught a cold from a co-worker, though it could also be bad allergies. (I’ve never been officially tested for allergies, so I don’t really know if I am more prone to allergies in the spring, winter, or fall, and since cold and allergy symptoms are largely the same, it’s hard to tell which is which.) In any case, I’m hoping there will be a huge jump in progress between this WIP Weds and next week’s due to enforced idle time while I recover.

But in order to know that, we’ll have to have a benchmark to judge by, right?

Here’s the first WIP for today:

This is the state of my “Game Over” square for the 2016 GAL blanket. As you can tell by the picture, I am half-way done with this square. I’m really enjoying the way it’s turning out. Sadly I didn’t think to take a picture of the other side to show off the fact that the words will be legible on both sides of the square. Oh well. Next time.

Next up:

This is my progress on the Lacy Entrelac scarf. I had a lot of time in which to knit this one over the weekend, and made a huge jump I’m progress then. It’s going to be coming with me to work, since I realized this weekend how much better a travel project this is than the GAL squares (which had been my travel knitting). I had hoped to finish this while it was still cold enough to wear with the hat I knit out of the same yarn, but it doesn’t look like that will happen. Still, I intend to have it finished by the time I start wearing knit hats again this coming fall.

I am also working on the Semele shawl but progress pictures of it don’t look like much at the moment, so I don’t have a new one for you. Hopefully I’ll have made enough progress on it by next week to really show off how much work I’ve gotten in on it.

Nice Crispy Bacon

I promised you a bacon scarf FO post… and here it is! Yay!
IMG_8035
This scarf was one that a friend asked me to make him. He had asked me for a bacon scarf, so I found a few patterns that I could knit easily and showed them to him. However, I was looking on Ravelry, and so in addition to the ones I suggested, he saw a different pattern that he liked most because it LOOKED LIKE BACON.

So. Silly me, I decided I could make it for him, “no problem”. I guess, when you come to it, there technically wasn’t a problem, in that I did finish the scarf. (Though it was over a year after he asked for it.) But there were little problems. First, the pattern was not really a pattern, just a bacon chart. (A very well done bacon chart, mind you. It really does look like bacon when worked up.) Second, there’s no delineating mark between the edge of the bacon and the “no stitch” part. (There’s no excuse for that one. I don’t understand that part, and have to adjust my opinion of the value paid for the chart accordingly.) So once the pattern and the yarn was purchased, I still had to spend a bit of time marking the chart up to determine what was going to be worked and what was not.
IMG_8045
The third little problem was determining how to work the scarf. I had originally planned to knit it, because I greatly prefer knitted fabric to crocheted when it comes to clothing. (Yes, there are some exceptions. This was not one of them.) However, I really don’t like knitted intarsia, and also I wanted this to be a double-sided scarf. I didn’t want to carry fair-isle style floats on the back of the piece. So, the scarf had to be crocheted. Which meant I needed to learn how to do crochet intarsia. (Turns out it’s technically easy enough, but either you have to carry all the other yarns inside your work, or you have lots of little balls of yarn which make wonderful yarn spaghetti. I carried yarn inside the darker colors without a problem, but every time I carried the yarn inside the white yarn, it kinda showed through. So I had lots of ends. Fortunately crochet makes it really easy to hide ends.)
IMG_8037
The fourth (and final, thankfully) little problem was length. I wasn’t good enough at crochet intarsia (since I had just learned it) to know how long the resulting project would turn out. I had to go with a gauge that gave me a good fabric, and hope it would be long enough. Given the type of chart, making it longer wasn’t an option for me either, since I didn’t want to pause during the final third and spend weeks trying to work out more design that matched the style of the bacon I had just crocheted. So it ended up however long it ended up, which is long enough to be a scarf, but not long enough to tie around a neck.

Anyway, the final result is that I am pleased with how the bacon turned out, and I think my friend is also pleased with it, even though it isn’t exactly what he had in mind when he asked for it.
IMG_8036
SPECS:

PATTERN: Big Strip O’ Bacon
CHART DESIGNER: Regina Rioux
YARN: Loops & Threads Impeccable Solids (in Aran, Soft Rose, and Claret)
HOOK: US G (4.0 mm)
START/END DATES: August 9, 2014 – January 31, 2015 (though most of the crochet was done in January due to Christmas knitting)
MODS: Either none or lots, depending on what you call the chart prep-work.