WIP Weds ~ in which there’s another FO, too

Knitting has been happening! You saw some proof of it on Monday, with the FO post for the 22 Leaves Shawl. Well, here’s another FO as proof of knitting:

Finished Caffeine Molecule GAL square

This, of course, is the caffeine molecule square for the Geek-A-Long blanket. (It’s a 2014 square, which knit in 2017, and which I’m including on my 2016 blanket. Yes. It’s complicated.)

Finished Caffeine Molecule GAL square

I love both sides. I’m not sure which one I like better.

And of course, when you cast off one GAL square, you cast on another.

Star Wars GAL Square

That is the Star Wars square (also from 2014), and I’m using the black yarn that is one of the colors for all my 2016 GAL Blanket squares along with SPARKLY WHITE YARN. Because sparkles.

There has been knitting on other things as well. I’m in the middle of the heel turn for the second Vanilla is the New Black sock, and I’m excited to see this pair finished and added to the gift box.

And while I haven’t made any noticeable progress on the Hyrule socks, I have discovered that I don’t have another US 2.5 (3mm) needle option for socks. (I thought I did. It was US 2 (2.75mm).) So, since I like this pattern and want to make another pair (though perhaps with a variation of making it a taller sock), I purchased a ChiaoGoo lace US 2.5 needle that I can magic loop. That way I can knit on both of the socks together and use up every last bit of yarn. Also, IT’S A LACE NEEDLE. AKA the tips are pointy. (No current picture of the Hyrule socks, though.)

Happy Wednesday!

Misc Monday ~ in which another one bites the dust

Well… that’s not a very nice way to put it, I suppose. But I have another Christmas gift finished, and after the length of the final few rows… well, I was ready to be done with it.

Finished 22 Leaves Shawl

This is the 22 Leaves Shawl, though I didn’t get far enough away from it to show off its full wingspan. (That would have also shown off some of the cleaning I need to do in my house, so…)

I really enjoyed knitting this one. The Noro yarn was a lot of fun to work with here, too. I enjoyed it much more than the socks I had started to make with this yarn.

Finished 22 Leaves Shawl

Look at the detail on this baby! So pretty. I love the way it turned out.

Finished 22 Leaves Shawl

The center medallion is possibly my favorite, because of the way it stands out from the background body of the shawl.

I fully intend to make another one of these, but in laceweight and the larger size. (And I plan to keep it for myself.) However, I do realize that if I had trouble with the final rows of this one, I’ll have even more to slog through with the larger one. On the other hand, I’ve cast off longer rows than this one by far, so I’ll be fine. (I just like complaining about the long rows.)

Finished 22 Leaves Shawl

One last look, then time to put it away in the Christmas box with lavender sachets. (I’ve knit so many early Christmas gifts this year, that I have a separate Christmas box for the knitted items which includes moth-repelling lavender. Hopefully that will keep everything safe until it’s time to give them away.)

Have a great day!

Misc Monday ~ in which a shawl is born

It’s time to show off a finished shawl! Yay!

Finished "Cats Will Play" shawl

This is the Cats Will Play shawl designed by Jaala Spiro, and it’s a fun knit. It’s named the way it is because the lace sections use the cats paw lace. Since this is going to be a gift for a cat lover, it seemed an appropriate pattern to use.

Finished "Cats Will Play" shawl

The yarn is Blue Moon Fiber Arts BFL Fingering Superwash in the Lavender Fields in the Mist colorway. It was a lot of fun to work with, but it got a little splitty on the cast-off. (Which is weird. It didn’t give me any trouble at all during the actual knitting, not even during the lace section.)

Finished "Cats Will Play" shawl

This is the second Cats Will Play shawl I’ve made, but the first one I made full-length. My first one used handspun yarn, and I just knit until I ran out. This one did leave me with some leftover yarn, but not much. It’s enough that I’ll give it to the gift recipient in case of emergency repairs, but not enough to make a matching accessory for the shawl. The result, though, is that this one is a proper shawl length, which my first one was very definietly a shawlette. (Note: yes, shawls can also be much larger than this one ended up. But make them much smaller and they are no longer really shawls.)

Finished "Cats Will Play" shawl

I love the end result of this one, and I hope the recipient does too. I don’t normally make her items with colors this subdued – I usually make her things with much more vibrant yarns. Hopefully this one is a nice change. It seems very calming to me, and we can all sometimes use calm in our lives.

Have a great week!

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.