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.)

WIP Weds ~ in which there is good news and bad news

Let’s start with the good news: I finished the second Circle of Love lace cowl! This is the beaded one, and I knit until I ran out of beads. Fortunately, I had just enough beads to (almost) finish a round. I was missing a bead for the very last double-decrease, which was much better than trying to figure out how to deal with, say, only 3 beads remaining when I needed 9.

Circle of Love lace cowl #2

Anyway, I’m really pleased with how it turned out, and now I just need to wait until it’s cool enough again to actually wear it. A mohair cowl is not something I’m going to wear with the weather getting warm again.

Circle of Love lace cowl #2

And now for the bad news.

Remember my Hedera sock? I was enjoying it, but working on it sporadically in between projects that I’ve decided are Christmas gifts. Well, those projects have both gotten just a little too big to take places, so the Hedera sock got to come along as travel knitting. And that’s when I discovered something unhappy.

Hedera sock blues

Something has been snacking on my yarn. Or at least, that’s my assumption. I went through the project bag, and didn’t find any bugs or corpses or larvae casings. No evidence of who was snacking on my yarn. Also, the ends are generally very smooth, so it also looks like it could have been an accident with scissors. But since no one at home messes with my yarn except me, who would have been having scissor accidents with this yarn? And I wound it into a ball just before casting on, so I know that the yarn was intact when I started the sock.

The realization that my yarn was in more pieces than it was supposed to be led me to look at the sock itself. And that showed an even unhappier thing:

Hedera sock blues

There is a big hole in my sock, too. And unfortunately, this is not in the stockinette section which would be easier to fix.

I’ve thought about all of the options I have for this, but I’m leaning toward frogging the sock and re-winding the ball of yarn to try to assess the damage. I’m not happy about it, but I think I would be even less happy trying to repair the sock before it’s even finished. I think I might cast on something new in the meantime to make myself feel better. (Yarn therapy. It helps.)

For today’s give-away entry (or just to be a nice person), please leave me a comment with some happy thoughts or sock suggestions.

(Reminder: the give-away is for journal-related stuff, details in this past Monday’s post. Pictures of the items being given away should be in next Monday’s post, provided I take the pictures before then. You can enter up until 8am Pacific Time on Sunday, 4/30/17. Each blog post you comment on will get you a new entry, unless you don’t want to enter the give-away. In that case, your comments just make me feel better.)

Misc Monday ~ in which I have already started the Christmas knitting

Well, I already told you that I have started the Christmas knitting. However, I have also now already finished the first of the Christmas knitting projects.

Circle of Love Lace Cowl

That is the Circle of Love Lace Cowl, and it took me just over a week to finish it. I loved this knit! I am going to be making another one ASAP. This one is going to be a gift, but the next one will be for me. I modeled this one, and love the way it fits, so when I make the next one for myself I won’t be changing anything about the size. (I’ve got another color of the same yarn which I will be using, so my gauge should be the same.) The only difference will be that I will be adding beads to the one for me.

Circle of Love Lace Cowl

The true color is somewhere between these two pictures. It’s a very nice chocolate brown, but the halo of the mohair makes it a little too shiny to really capture well in sunshine.

And since we’re talking about yarn stuff today, here’s what I brought home from Stitches West this past weekend:

Stitches West 2017

I only picked up three skeins, but they are three perfect-for-me skeins. What we have here are: Greenwood Fiberworks Luscious Lace (“Blue Eyes” colorway), Hedgehog Fibers Skinny Singles (in “Boombox”), and the special Saturday show exclusive colorway (“Unprecedented”) from Space Cadet on their Lyra base.

I’m looking forward to knitting these up. However, I’ve also decided that I must finish one of my other two Christmas knitting projects currently OTN before I cast on something with one of my new yarns. I think the Space Cadet might end up as mitts (I’m thinking of finding a pattern where I start at the palm and knit up the arm until I run out of yarn so that I can use all of the pretty without wasting any). The Greenwood Fireworks will be a shawl of some kind, since it’s a lovely lace weight and yet not enough for the Featherweight Cardigan (which I still want to knit eventually). And the Hedgehog Fibers will be either a shawlette or a scarf, because I can’t see making socks out of singles yarn and the color combination doesn’t say mitts to me.

And that’s all for the last Monday in February. Hard to believe that we’re already this far into the year, isn’t it? But you know what? I think this will be a good week. And if the universe disagrees with us, let’s do what we can to make it one.

WIP Wednesday ~ in which we start a new year with an old project

So here we are in a New Year! And I have started to work on… a very old project of mine.

This week I have been working on the Babette Blanket. I started this project nearly seven years ago in April of 2010. I haven’t worked on it in a long while, but I really do enjoy the project. It’s my only current crochet project, but that’s neither why I enjoy knitting inter why I stopped working on it. It’s just a really large project and I have a bad habit of getting bored of big projects before I finish them. However, I intend to finish this blanket this year. (It’s on my 101 in 1001 challenge list, too.) To that end, I have decided to finish crocheting all the rest of the squares before I assemble any more of them.

(Since it’s been ages since I posted about this: I had been crocheting the squares. Then I thought maybe assembling them would keep me interested in the project longer. So I put some of them together. That was fun, but I still let the project slip away. This time around I’m going to finish the rest of the squares, since I really don’t have that many left to make. Then I will assemble the rest of them all at once.)

In any case, here are the squares I finished making on New Year’s Day. (We binge-watched MST3K shows while I crocheted.) I haven’t taken pictures of the rest of the squares I crocheted this week.

IMG_2253

I can also show you something else that I finished recently but haven’t posted on the blog yet: the finished Leaving Cowl. I had to get it in the mail as a present, but since it should have been delivered and opened by the date this is published, I can post a picture of it now:

IMG_2251

This was enjoyable enough to knit, but the picot edging was tedious. It looks good, but if I make this cowl again I’ll probably knit the other edging. I used Cascade 220 Sport for this cowl, and that yarn was lovely to work with. I’ll happy to work with it again, though I don’t have any projects in mind at present.

Happy 2017! May you have many fun projects to work on, regardless of what your hobbies are.

Halloween cards!

Okay, so this isn’t a WIP and yet I’m posting it on WIP Weds. Sorry! But I wanted to share my Halloween cards with you:

I had a lot of fun making them this year. I did have to break up the card making all over the month, though, since I was so busy this October. (I did the stamping at the beginning of October, then colored them in mid-month, and finally assembled everything at the very end of the month right before sending them out to friends and family.) It felt like I didn’t have as much time as I wanted to make the cards, but I guess I did – it was just spread out so it felt more rushed than it was.

The images are all stamped from the Eye See You stamp set made by Sweet Stamp Shop. (I really love her stamps! They’re great for planners and cards alike. And there’s a blog associated with the site too, where the designer and others share items they’ve made with the stamps.

I used Copic markers to color in the monsters. THat part was fun, though I need to practice with my Copics more again. I had been using them more frequently – and I took a handful of how-to classes for Copic projects – but then I moved and since then I haven’t really done as much card-making as I did before. (I plan to fix that, starting now. I like making cards.)

In any case, these are the cards I made for Halloween this year. I didn’t want to post the pictures online before Halloween, since I wanted to make sure they made it to their recipients before I shared the photos on the blog.

Hope you’re all having a great week so far, and Happy November!

FO Friday ~ Lacy Entrelac Cowl

I mentioned last Wednesday that I had finished the Lacy Entrelac Cowl, but that I was making your wait for FO pictures until I’d blocked it. Well, I finally got up the nerve to steam block it (not my usual blocking technique, and I’m still afraid of accidentally touching the iron down and burning the yarn – though this matters more with acrylic, which I don’t usually use) and can now show you FO pics!

Lacy Entrelac Cowl

I don’t recall if I mentioned before that I wanted to knit this cowl to go with a hat I made last winter. In any case, that’s why I knit this cowl with this yarn when I did (aka before I forgot). I think they make a nice set. Matching without being exactly the same pattern.

And it only took one skein of Chroma to make the pair! Granted, it took ALL of the skein of Chroma, and I have NONE left over AT ALL. (Emphasis because I was worried that I wouldn’t have enough yarn left to cast off the cowl. Luckily I did have enough in the end! There were only a couple inches left to sew in afterward, but I squeaked by!)

Lacy Entrelac Cowl

Anyway, I’m really pleased with how this turned out. It makes me want to add lace to other entrelac projects to see how it looks. (Lacy Entrelac Socks, anyone?) I’m not going to for a little while, though. I have other projects OTN (“on the needles”, for the uninitiated) which I want to finish first, and I have a couple of planned cast-ons in my queue that I want to finish before I try more lace inserts in entrelac patterns. But it will happen, sooner or later!

Lacy Entrelac Cowl

FO Friday ~ Rayman GAL Square

As I mentioned on Wednesday, today we have a knitting post instead of a reading post! Here’s my latest finished GAL square:


Rayman!

If you enjoy platform games and haven’t played any of the Rayman games, you need to start. Now. They’re a ton of fun, and very silly. And, at times, HARD. I’m very glad that Mr. Wyrm is a better platform gamer than I am, because otherwise I never would have gotten to the end of Rayman Origins. Come to that, I haven’t finished any of the other Rayman games, either. The only reason I have even seen some of the levels in the original Rayman (released in 1995 – has it really been that long?) is because my sister’s boyfriend at the time was a beta tester and showed us some of the levels.

The picture above is what I will be using as the front of the square. Here is the other side:


I don’t like it as much, since the teeth look weird in black. I didn’t dislike that enough to alter the pattern, though. This one I knit exactly as written (unless I made any goofs, but I didn’t look too closely for those).

If you’re interested in learning more about the Geek-A-Long that I’m participating in, check out the Lattes & Llamas blog. All of their GAL posts are here. And while you’re there, if you want to support a good cause, read their blurb about the Child’s Play Charity, which is what they’re putting on this whole knit-along to support.