WIP Wednesday ~ Babette!

I’ve been working on a bit here and there this week — and I’ve been working on several things since my last WIP Weds (due to the blog vacation) — but I’m only talking about one thing today:

Babette blanket progress 8-22-17

BABETTE!!!

Why just Babette? BECAUSE IT’S NEARLY DONE!

Babette blanket progress 8-22-17

I can’t tell you how excited I am about this. I’m determined to have this blanket done by the end of the month, if I can do it without running out of yarn. (I think I can. I hope I can. But the edging might do me in.) This project has been OTN for 7 years now, and it’s time-and-then-some to have it finished.

Babette blanket progress 8-22-17

These WIP pics were taken Monday, so they’re pretty up-to-date. I have 8 of 10 sections fully joined and assembled. Section 9 is almost finished. I just have to finish joining section 9, add it to the assembled blanket, then put section 10 together and add it to the blanket, and then edge the whole thing.

Babette blanket progress 8-22-17

I’m not positive what the official edging is, but that doesn’t matter because I’m not reading the instructions for that part. While I was joining squares, I was thinking about the edging, and I decided that I wanted to edge it as if it was one big granny square (of the type made in the blanket). So I’m going to work the edging as 1 or 2 (depending on how 1 looks when I’ve finished it) rounds of double crochet all the way around, with (2dc, ch 2, 2dc) in each corner. I think that should look pretty good.

https://flic.kr/p/WGBFCE

Anyway, hopefully by the beginning of September I’ll have a finished Babette blanket to show you! Though I might wash and block it before showing it off. We’ll see how it looks once it’s edged.

Babette blanket progress 8-22-17

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WIP Weds ~ in which the Babette Blanket returns

I have been knitting. Promise. But! For the first time in a while, I have also been crocheting!

Last weekend, I finally decided to finish weaving in all the ends on the Babette Blanket. I also remembered that this only meant I needed to weave in the inside ends — the ends that I’m going to be crocheting over in order to join the pieces can be hidden while I crochet, so I don’t need to take the extra time to weave in those ends.

And I am pleased to report that the (inside) ends are now finished! So now it’s just a matter of joining the blanket, edging it, and cuddling with it. One thing to keep in mind — I am making the Babette Blanket as a scrap sock yarn blanket, so it’s not going to be as large as intended. But, for me, part of the joy of this blanket is the memory of some of these yarns. I’m thinking this blanket is going to live on my desk chair as part of my “make my desk space usable” 101 in 1001 Challenge task. (Tangent: my desk is a lovely old piece that used to be my grandma’s. I don’t want to get rid of it. However, it’s not anywhere close to ergonomically correct the way it is, so I need to do a lot of work to it in order to make it useful as a modern desk.)

Anyway, here is the blanket as I laid it out Monday while planning which squares would go where. Please excuse the wrinkled blanket underneath. I was in the middle of doing laundry, and wasn’t planning on sharing these photos. (I decided it was easier to share these working photos than take new ones just for blogging, though.)

Babette progress 8-2-17

I am pleased with how it’s turning out. There’s a lot more color variety than I had originally planned on, but that makes it more fun as a scrap blanket, in my opinion. You can see there’s a section in the middle there which is already assembled. (That’s how you’re supposed to join the blanket. There’s a whole spiral layout of assembly.)

Babette progress 8-2-17

That’s a close-up of the assembled section. Again, since these were intended as working photos, I took close-ups of each section as they are supposed to be assembled so that I can hopefully connect everything a little easier.

I also elected not to block the squares before joining them. Maybe that was a mistake, and it might cause me problems later. But… right now it doesn’t matter to me. (And frankly, I wasn’t sure that if I decided to block it if I would ever finish the thing. Besides, since I was using scrap yarn, there are a lot of different weights and I’m not sure all the squares will block out properly. I’m just hoping I can ease the seams all together… if not, I’ll be re-making a square or two.)

If this was a gift, I’d be a lot more particular with it. But it’s for me, and I would just like to have it finished at this point. It has been in progress for over 7 years. (I started it in April of 2010.) That’s plenty of time for it to be unfinished.

Babette progress 8-2-17

Since taking these working photos I have gotten a lot more work done on the blanket. It’s a pain to lay out the individual squares, though, so the next time you see a picture of the whole thing laid out flat, it will be completely assembled. (Maybe not edged yet, though.) I might have progress pictures of the sections, but I don’t intend to set out all the little pieces at once again.

Have a great rest of the week! Do you have any projects (knitting, crochet, or otherwise) which have been “in progress” for much longer than they should have been? Share your thoughts so I don’t feel so bad about my lingering project…  🙂

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 ~ 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!

Nice Crispy Bacon

I promised you a bacon scarf FO post… and here it is! Yay!
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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.
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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.)
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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.

I Am Groot!

This was possibly my most popular handmade Christmas gift for 2014:

A crocheted Baby Groot (from Guardians of the Galaxy)! If you go by the likes on Facebook, this is better than any of the lace shawls I have ever knit.

I have to admit, he is very cool. And he was pretty easy to make. The hardest part was working on him only when Mr. Wyrm wasn’t anywhere around so that he wouldn’t see Groot until Christmas Day. (It worked, but it was nerve-wracking at times. I didn’t always see his “coming home” texts until he’d nearly arrived.)

The designer did a great job on this one, both on the finished project and in her explanations of what to do. Anyone who wants a Baby Groot (and can crochet) should be able to make their own with a minimum of fuss.

I needle-felted him into his pot, the same way that I learned to make pin cushions. It worked for me, and looks pretty reasonable, too. I didn’t buy any specific “dirt-colored” wool, though, just used what I had on hand.

SPECS (and a link to my Ravelry project page):

PATTERN: Baby Groot
DESIGNER: Twinkie Chan
YARN: KnitPicks Palette in Doe and Bark (held together) for the brown, and in Peapod (one strand) for the leaves
HOOK: US H (5.0 mm) for the brown, and US F (3.75 mm) for the leaves
START/END DATES: October 28 – December 7, 2014
MODS: none, unless you count the needle-felting him into the pot part