WIP Weds ~ in which there is an unexpected shawl

Right. I don’t think I specifically said so, but my plan after casting off the Cats Will Play shawl (which is finished – more on that next Monday) was to work on the shawl I’ve had lingering in the WIP pile for ages. That one is my East of the Sun, West of the Moon shawl designed by Nim Teasdale. I love the knit, I love the beads, and I love the yarn for that shawl (Knitwhits Freia Ombré). However, the rows are very long, and so it (a) is not travel knitting, (b) takes a little focus, and (c) doesn’t show much progress even after I’ve been knitting for an hour (or five).

So I guess it should have been really no surprise that instead of working on my huge but lovely beaded shawl already on the needles, I cast on a NEW project. This one is the 22 Leaves Shawlette by Lankakomero. (It’s also going to be a Christmas gift.) I’m using some Noro Taiyo sock yarn that had been intended for socks until I didn’t like the way it was striping as socks. I like it much better as a shawl. Don’t you agree?

22 Leaves Shawlette

This is my progress after 2 days of knitting. (One of those days was Sunday, when I knit for a large chunk of the evening, and the other day was Monday, where I knit for an hour and change.) I am loving everything about this shawl. It’s working up beautifully, the yarn goes well with the pattern, the pattern is easy to follow (though it is charted and not written out, for those of you to whom it matters), and it’s easy enough to read the knitting that I know where I am just by looking at it. I’m definitely going to be making another one of these shawls. Maybe lots more. We’ll see.

There has been other knitting, too. I suppose I could take the 22 Leaves for travel knitting, but instead the Hyrule socks have been my recent travel knitting. I’ve put the first sock onto stitch holders, and have started the second sock from the other end of the ball of yarn. This way I can be sure to knit the socks to the same length without having to rip anything out or wasting any yarn.

Hyrule sock progress

I’m enjoying this knit too, but not as much as the shawl. I blame the needle choice, though. These are Addi Natura Bamboo Needles which are nice to knit with, but not so nice to do k3tog with. The tips just aren’t pointy enough. If I had other needles to switch to, ones with pointier tips, I would do that. But I don’t have anything else that will work (or at least, nothing currently not in use) so I’m stuck with these tips for now. I got sock one (essentially) finished on these needles, so I can do it for sock two as well. I’m just complaining at myself.

There are other things that are on the needles (or hook) right now, and I need / want to get back to most of them as soon as I can. However, that’s all that I’ve been actively working on this week.

Hope June is treating you well so far!

WIP Weds ~ in which there are sadly no pictures

There are no pictures today, mostly because I forgot what day it was and so didn’t take any. Ah, the hazards of a three-day weekend.

Anyway, I have been knitting on the Vanilla is the New Black socks, and have been making progress. I tried them on various family members over the long weekend, and found out that they fit my sister the best. (Which was NOT what any of us expected since I was originally making them for me and her feet are significantly smaller than mine.) So they will be a Christmas present for her this year.

I have also been working on the Cats Will Play shawl which is slated to be a Christmas gift for my MIL, and just a couple days ago I cast off the shawl! Yay! So that’s all over but the blocking. I’m looking forward to seeing how it ends up after it’s blocked out.

And I have been working on the Hyrule socks, which I think are going to be a Christmas (or maybe birthday) gift for my mom. Her feet are only slightly smaller than mine, and I think these socks would fit her better than they currently fit me. Also, she likes ankle socks better than I do — this pattern is definitely ankle socks. It’s kinda a mystery why I thought I was knitting them for me when that’s not my favorite kind of sock.

So, there has been knitting. And hopefully next week I will be less scattered and can show you pictures of some of it.

Have a great rest of this short work week!

WIP Weds ~ in which I am delayed

Oops, it seems this post is a bit delayed. Sorry about that. I put off writing it until I had taken the picture, and I procrastinated taking the picture too because I wanted good, natural light. I finally gave up and just took the picture, but by then I had delayed the writing of the post long enough that it’s now late. Oh well. It’s still Wednesday, at least.

There has been knitting. Rather a lot of it. All on the Vanilla is the New Black socks, though. Here’s where the socks currently stand:

Vanilla is the New Black sock progress

Yup. Done with sock #1, and on to the second. And of course I had to wind off enough yarn before starting sock #2 to make the socks matchy-matchy.

I’m changed my plans with these, since I started the toe slightly too soon for me. I’m going to see if they fit my mom, and if they do they’ll be a Christmas gift for her. (I don’t think she reads the blog, but even if she does I’m not worried. Hand knit socks are a lovely gift even when they’re not a surprise.) If they don’t fit her, then I’ll probably lengthen the socks to fit me. I’m hoping they fit her, though, because I don’t want to have to tink back the toe of sock #1.

WIP Weds ~ in which we talk queues

I have been knitting, honest. But much of that knitting has been on a pair of vanilla socks which are now on another section of knitting that doesn’t show progress very well. (Just so that you aren’t totally without pictures, here’s one I took last weekend when I tried the sock on to see how the heel fit.)

Vanilla is the New Black sock progress

(Now with bonus kitty content!)

Instead of talking about what is essentially fun-knitting-but-boring-blog-material, let’s talk about queues! Specifically, what I’m excited to knit next but am trying to make myself wait to start until I finish something currently on the needles.

The very first item in my queue is the Dumpling Kitty. OMG, so cute. The main reason I haven’t knit these yet is I’m afraid they will turn into a Pinterest Fail (yes, I did see them first on Pinterest).

Second in my Ravelry queue is the Longfellow shawl. But since I already have two shawls OTN (one for me and one for a gift) I’m not going to let myself cast this one on yet. As a bonus, though, I do have yarn and beads already picked out for this one.

After that are a few snail patterns – two snail toys and one snail hand puppet. A certain member of my family loves snails for some reason that I can’t fathom, and so I want to make one (or more) of these snails for Christmas gifts. And that means I need to cast it/them on soon, but haven’t done so yet because I’m undecided about the yarn.

Last featured item in my queue for today are the Wild Rose Mitts. They look very cool, and like the perfect amount of colorwork. (I love doing colorwork, but am not yet good enough at it to get a good, consistent gauge while knitting multiple colors at once.) (On the other hand, I haven’t tried any Fair Isle knitting since I got proficient at double knitting due to the Geek-A-Long, so maybe I’d be better at it now than I was last time.) In any case, they look like fun, and might be another good way to use up scraps of sock yarn.

That’s what’s at the top of my knitting (and crochet) queue. How about you? Anything fun waiting in the wings to be made next?

WIP Weds ~ some knitting and some sewing

There is sewing on the blog today! Weird… it’s been a long time since that happened. (Which is not something I’m proud of or happy about. I want more time to sew as well as knit, but machine sewing is not as portable, and the prep (aka fabric cutting) takes more concentration for me than knitting prep does.) In any case, I have a sewing project to share today. It’s technically not a WIP, since I finished it in one evening, but I guess it could still be a WIP if I decide to ever go back and clean up the few messy places in the binding.

Undercover Maker Mat - finished 4/28/17

Whatever – there it is! That’s the Undercover Maker Mat, a free pattern from Craftsy. (Though you do have to have an account to download it.) I really enjoyed the project, and as I said I finished it in one evening. Though, if I had done everything “correctly” (such as done the binding a side at a time and hand stitching the reverse side) it would have taken longer. I took a few shortcuts that I probably shouldn’t have, but since this was a quick project for me to keep, instead of a gift, I decided to get it finished instead of making it perfect.

That said, I just might make more of them as gifts. Part of that will depend on whether I decide to make the gifts before my family members make their own sewing machine covers, since there are plenty of giftable sewing projects out there. But this one is certainly a contender.

Moving on… there is knitting today as well, even if it has all been on one project:

Vanilla is the New Black (sock progress)

The Vanilla is the New Black socks! These have been addicting. I’m not sure if it’s the meditation-like aspect of knitting vanilla socks, or if it’s the fun of reaching the next stripe in the color pattern. (I’m also glad I was able to pick out the stripe pattern, so that hopefully I can make the second sock match up perfectly. That would be ideal. I have a thing about matchy-matchy socks.)

I’m on the heel turn now. The turn itself seems pretty standard (so far), but the increases were certainly not. I really enjoyed that part. I mean, heel flaps are all well and good, but this way kept the stripe pattern more consistent than a heel flap would. I really appreciate that as well. Of course, the actual turn part of the heel turn (which I’m doing now) will mess up the stripe a little. I hope it will be less disruptive to the overall stripe pattern, though. We’ll see.

Have a great Wednesday! (And thank you for your happy thoughts earlier this week. I’m feeling much better now.)

WIP Weds ~ in which I finish something and start something

Let’s start with the something I started. I couldn’t help it. I got together with my knit buddies last weekend and some of them were having a destash sale, and I ended up bringing home several skeins of yarn. Because yarn. And my friends are enablers. And then I got home, and the new yarn was sitting there being pretty, and I had a new project bag (a gift from one of my knit buddies) and between the two I fell victim to a moment of weakness and cast on a new sock.

New sock!

This is the new sock and the new project bag. And I’ve nearly doubled what you see in the photo since I took the picture. (I’m about to start the heel turn, though there is plenty of yarn in this skein, so I’m also planning on making these slightly taller socks than my usual.)

It’s a fun knit. There’s something about vanilla socks with stripy yarn which is just really appealing. (Actually, the yarn doesn’t have to stripe, but that does make it more obvious how far you’ve gotten since the last picture.) This is Vanilla is the New Black, which I picked because the socks are vanilla socks except for the heel. I am loving them, and hope I enjoy the heel turn as well, because then this will become a great new default sock pattern.

Something else I enjoyed knitting was the Dangling Conversation shawl.

Dangling Conversation - blocking

It was fun to knit, and the yarn is nice and soft and easy to work with. (Though it was a little splitty when I added some of the beads.) Speaking of the beads, though, I did also add them to every edge. They’re written for one of the knit edges and for the cast-off edge, but I added them to the other knit edge as well. And that was a LOT of beading. Looks good, but was annoying. I think if I were to make another one of these, I would not bead the knit edges, but would add beads on the YO rows.

Dangling Conversation - blocking

Blocking it was interesting. With shawls like this, I let the shawl determine the exact shape it wants to be, and I just pin it out based on how the knitting wants to be pulled out. So other Dangling Conversations might not look exactly like mine, and if I make a second one it might block differently, but I am REALLY pleased with how this one ended up.

Dangling Conversation - blocking

I’m really happy about this, and yet am still going to give it as a Christmas gift this year. (That’s 2 knitted gifts finished now. Yay! Progress is good! And it means I don’t feel at all guilty about knitting more socks for me.)

Have a great day! And since there’s still a little time to enter my journal stuff giveaway, let’s talk about today’s entry! To enter the giveaway today, let me know your take on gift-giving. Do you plan ahead, or buy things last-minute? (I do some of both, so I’m not judging.)