WIP Weds ~ in which it is all Babette, all the time*

* not actually true… there has been other knitting; it’s just not being shown here today.

Babette progress

Remember last week, when I told you I was almost done with the Babette squares? Well, this week I have finished them!

Babette progress

Or, I have finished them if I counted correctly. If I discover while joining the squares that I mis-counted, I will make whatever squares I determine I’m missing as I get to the stage of joining it. I’m hoping that I won’t have to do that, though, because I counted multiple times and came up with the same number each time.

Babette progress

Now I need to determine a basic layout for these squares and then start joining them. I don’t want it to be too planned out, because that wasn’t the point of this blanket. However, I also don’t want it to be too random, or with my luck I’ll end up with two essentially matching squares right next to each other. The blanket does have you join the larger section in sections, if I remember correctly, and then you join the big sections together. So at the least I will clump the squares by section and then join them randomly from there. We’ll see. I may lay out the entire thing. I haven’t decided yet.

Babette progress

The cat, of course, thought I was providing her with toys.

Babette progress

It didn’t help that I haven’t woven in all the ends yet. (I won’t be weaving in all of the ends – one of the joys of crochet is that I can hide the bind-off tail when I join the squares. But I will need to weave in the starting ends, and I haven’t done all of those yet.) Still, it’s very exciting to have hit this point in the project!

Hoe you’re having a great week, too!

WIP Wednesday ~ in which I am *that close*

I am so close. So close I can practically feel it. Close to what, you ask? Close to being done with crocheting squares for the Babette blanket! I still have a small handful to make, and yes – then I have to sew in starting ends and assemble the blanket – but I AM SO CLOSE!

For proof of progress, here are the squares I’ve made since my last photo update:

I’m not going to take a photo of all of the squares until I have finished making them. But still, this is definite progress. I really can’t wait until I’m done with this project, and this is a really good start to being done.

(another glamour shot of the squares)

I have also been knitting the second Circle of Love Cowl. There has been less progress on it, though, because the weather got warmer and it’s hard to think about knitting a mohair cowl on my lunch break when it’s in the 70’s. Also, I really have too large a crochet hook in the project bag, so while it works for getting the beads on the yarn, it’s not always easy. I need to remember to swap out hooks to speed the knitting along again.

There is the progress on the cowl, at any rate. I love the way it looks laid out, and am looking forward to trying it on once it’s done to see how the beads fall on the finished fabric. Well… I’ll try it on once it’s finished and the temperature gets back to something resembling cool weather. I might need to stand in front of the open freezer.

Have a great rest of the week!

WIP Weds ~ in which I knit for me

Most (not quite all, but most) of my knitting has been for me this week. One of the big exceptions to that was the cowl I showed you on Monday, but since that one is finished now, it’s not included in this week’s WIP Weds.

As I indicated then, I have also started a second version of that cowl, and this one is for me:

I do love the pattern. It’s easy enough without being boring. And adding the beads has worked out as well as I’d thought it would – once I found the right beads. I first tried with some lovely garnet chips, but those beads weren’t big enough for my crochet hook (in order to place the bead onto the knitting) or to hold their own individually against the mohair yarn. The strand of garnet beads laid on top of the ball of yarn looked great; one single bead nestled among the knitting got lost. So, new beads were found in the stash, and on we went!

So much fun. I do think I will limit myself to 2 of these cowls, though, or at least 2 for now. They are such a quick knit even with lace weight yarn that I will keep them in mind for a quick knitted gift option.

I have also been working on the Babette blanket. While that one is crochet, not knitting, it is also for me, so it counts.

I’m still in the square-making stage, though soon I will have all of them finished and can start joining them together again. (You may recall that I started joining them at one point in order to keep myself interested in the project. I stopped because I was not focusing well on the project and figured the best way to focus was to break it down into easy-to-identify steps.)

There has been a little other knitting, but no other pictures, so we’ll stop here for today. Happy March!

WIP Weds ~ in which I am late with the pictures

Okay, so this was supposed to be published a lot earlier on Wednesday than this… but I didn’t get my WIP pictures taken until lunchtime on Wednesday, so there was a delay. Anyway, I guess it doesn’t matter that much: it’s still Wednesday. Here’s what I’ve been up to:

I have been working on the Babette blanket as my TV-knitting (well, crochet). (TV-crochet doesn’t sound as good.)

I think these are all new squares for you. If not, then enjoy the repeats. I’ve decided to throw in a bit of additional color instead of just using blues and greens and purples, so we ended up with a watermelon square from the leftover watermelon sock yarn. That square makes me happy. (The others do too, but I really like that one.)

I’m down to just 6-round and 4-round squares now, so it shouldn’t take me too much longer. Though, I haven’t been blocking the squares (probably a mistake) and so they don’t all end up the same size due to subtle differences in the yarn weight. Some of these will take more finesse with easing them in as I seam up the blanket. Oh well. I knew that was a possible problem when I decided not to block the squares.

I have also been working on the Cats Will Play shawl. Still love the pattern, still love the yarn, not as fond of the row length. I can only get a couple rows done on my lunch break now, instead of finishing several. Oh well, I guess that means I’m getting closer to the end of the project.

Have a great day!

WIP Weds ~ 1/30/13

Hooray, it’s Wednesday and I’m remembering to post my knitting WIPs! It seems like it’s been forever since I’ve had a craft-related WIP Weds. I guess getting sick will do that to you.

Anyway, let’s start with the NON-KNITTING WIP, shall we?

WIP Weds 1/30/13

This, as you may remember, is the Babette Blanket, and it’s a crochet project. It’s a lot of fun. One warning for anyone who chooses to join the squares the way I have been: this will change the size of the pieces, so you will need to either add rounds of single crochet in some places (if you feel creative and crochet-math smart) or you will need to do what I am doing, and ease the blocks together.

To explain a little further for those who are lost: I am joining the pieces by holding the wrong sides of two squares together, and working a single crochet through the corresponding stitches on both squares at the same time. It’s like a three needle bind-off in knitting, only with crochet. But what this means, is that you effectively have a row of single crochet between the the squares. If you then try to crochet into this extra row on your next join, you will end up with one stitch too many on that side. So, I’ve been easing the pieces together where needed in order to avoid this causing a problem.

WIP Weds 1/30/13

And now on to the knitting. That up there is the current progress of the Starflower socks. I really like the way this pattern and yarn work together. (The yarn is Lorna’s Laces Shepherd Sock in Black Purl.) I am changing one thing, though, and that’s the heel. It’s written with a short-row heel, and I subbed in Miriam Felton’s Better-Fitting* Toe-Up Heel. (The asterisk indicates that it’s a better fitting heel for her. It is also a better fitting heel for me.) Here is the heel:

WIP Weds 1/30/13

I really like the way it fits. I perhaps started the gusset increases a row or two too late for an absolutely perfect fit, but it is darn close. I also would rather have the toe a smidge too loose rather than a smidge too tight. Too loose won’t cause me to prematurely put holes in the toe of the sock.

And that there is my third and final WIP for this week. That is my newest WIP, an Ice Queen cowl. I’m using some baby alpaca that I’ve tried for two other projects (the Serendipity mystery stole and the Shirley sweater). I don’t think the yarn and bead combo is a good match for those two projects. I have frogged one, and will be frogging the other shortly. However, I love the way it’s working for the Ice Queen.

WIP Weds 1/30/13

(The color in the top picture is a lot closer to the real color, but the progress is more accurate in the second photo.)

And the beads are great for this project. Maybe not as flashy as the silver-lined seed beads in the project featured in the pattern, but I like the way they look on the knitting. They should blend just well enough to be subtle, while being different enough to add a touch of class. I think I am keeping this cowl, but if I like it enough I may make another one (or two) with this same combination to give as gifts.

We’ll see. I certainly have plenty of yarn and beads to make many of them. Maybe I’ll just have to find other similar patterns instead. Perhaps a different shawl pattern would be okay. One of the biggest issues I had with the Serendipity stole was how heavy the beads made it. The beads were largely concentrated at the end of the stole, and I didn’t like the way it seemed like it was going to hang when finished.

Any thoughts from the knitters out there? Pattern ideas or suggestions?

WiP Weds: Babette Again

Quick reminder: enter to win my contest for Joely Sue Burkhart’s ebook The Zombie Billionaire’s Virgin Witch! Contest ends on Halloween.

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It’s time for another Babette update! This time I have both squares and more progress on the blanket assembly. Lets start with some squares:

Babette Oct 1

These are squares I crocheted last weekend. I’m trying to work on the small squares first now, because there are so many of them. While my plan of doing the largest ones first meant that I got a lot of the work out of the way at the beginning, it also means that I did the most interesting squares first. I still have some of the 6-round ones to go, but other than that I’m down to 2- and 4-round squares.

Babette Oct 2

These are squares that I’m not entirely sure if you’ve seen yet. Some were from this weekend, but others had been made previously and were waiting for their photo shoot.

I also decided a while ago that I was going to try the joining method I had planned for this blanket. Since I liked it, I also decided to keep going, joining a few squares here and there as I make more. This is the current progress of the blanket-as-a-whole:

Babette Oct 3

I’m still really pleased with it. No idea when exactly I’ll be done, but it’s fun to make and should be really nice to have once it’s finished, too.

WIP Weds ~ Babette

So for a while now I’ve been thinking about how best to join my Babette squares together to make the finished blanket. What I really wanted to do was crochet them together with black yarn to create a border around each square. I wasn’t sure this would work the way I had intended, so I decided to test it and see.

Babette Joining test

This is the result.

Each of the black lines is a row of single crochet, and it does have a raised texture. Many of the suggestions I read said to have the raised line on the back, but that wasn’t what I wanted. In addition to creating a bump on the back, that wouldn’t add much in the way of a black border between the squares.

The one thing I didn’t do before joining these squares was to block them all to size. I’m not sure that having them all exactly the right size matters all that much to me… I can always tug them a little as needed when I’m joining them, right? I didn’t have any issues when putting these few together, so I think I’ll be fine. Especially since I really don’t want to block all those teeny tiny 2-round squares.

Babette close-up

Well, I’m also not done crocheting them yet. I still have quite a few of the smaller squares left before I get to that point. However, I’m pretty pleased with how this is looking so far, and the test was successful. So onward I go! Progress!