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!

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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 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.)

Ten On Tuesday ~ Grocery Store Gifts

Hi Everyone,
The Ten On Tuesday topic for Tuesday, December 15, 2015, is 10 Gifts You Can Pick Up At The Grocery Store.
Have fun!

This sounds like fun! Let’s see what we come up with…

  1. Gift cards. Kind-of an obvious one, but has to be said.
  2. Cookies in a jar! Yes, you will have to assemble the jars. But you can buy all the supplies at the grocery store, then all that’s left is printing the recipe and assembling the jar.
  3. Gift basket items. Things like coffee and tea and chocolate and cookies. Yum.
  4. Traditional stocking stuffers. The tangerines, nuts, and maybe candy canes that are traditional stocking stuffers.
  5. Stuffed animals. Grocery stores have been branching out lately, and now carry all manner of gifts, including stuffed animals. Some are even quite cute.
  6. Stationary stuff! If you’re like me, the pen section of the grocery store is a good gift shop. They usually have some kind of cute cards or paper sets, too.
  7. Pet toys! Granted, these are usually gifts FOR THE PET. But they need presents too, right?
  8. Alcohol. Wine, liquor, whatever. The grocery stores usually have wine gift bags hanging right there in the alcohol section, too. Talk about convenient.
  9. Specialty foods. Some groceries have packaged specialty foods that make great gifts. Others just have normal foods or candies that some people on your list consider treats, and would be happy to get as gifts.
  10. Homemade meals. Especially if you are not the one who usually does the cooking, making someone a homemade meal can be a great gift.

I hope you have a wonderful week, and enjoy your gift shopping! (If you’re not done already, that is.)

Rondelay FO

Lookie! Another FO project that was done this summer (barely… nearly fall but not quite) and yet had to wait until after Christmas for its big reveal!

This one is the Rondelay I knit for my sister-in-law. Several members of my S’n’B have made this shawlette (or is it a scarf?) and so I’d seen it in progress before. I never really paid attention to the construction of the project other than to note that it was different, and I certainly never thought about how much trouble blocking such a uniquely shaped scarf would be.

However, it knit up quickly, and didn’t give me too much trouble when I went to block it. (It might not be the most even blocking job I’ve ever done, but since the scarf will rarely be spread out, that shouldn’t matter. It will spend most of the time being a ruffly thing, so no worries there.) My biggest issue was that the rondels were easy to manage until you had to deal with ALL THREE OF THEM AT ONCE. Then the number of stitches on the needles got unwieldy. (Yes, I know. This happens with nearly all shawlettes. But this one was no exception to that rule.) Still, there were only a handful of rows that worked all the stitches on the needles, so it went smoothly enough.

I used Chroma for the scarf/shawlette, since this pattern works best in yarns with a long color repeat. I love the way it turned out in this particular colorway. I had initially thought (when I bought the yarn) that the shades of green would be more distinct, more different. And then the yarn arrived, and I worried that the shading might have been too subtle for the pattern.

But I think I needn’t have worried. It turned out lovely.

STATS (and a link to my Ravelry project page)

PATTERN: Rondelay
DESIGNER: Jennifer Dassau
YARN: Chroma Fingering by Knit Picks in the “Seaweed” colorway
NEEDLES: US 6 (4.0 mm)
START – END DATES: September 1, 2014 – September 20, 2014
MODS: None.

Safari Scarf FO

Look, a finished object that has been finished for quite some time now, but has only just been delivered to its owner! That means now you guys can see it!

This is the Safari Scarf that I was knitting over the (late) summer for my father-in-law. I’d been meaning to knit the Chevron Scarf pattern for a while, and this was when I finally got around to it. This was a fast knit, too! Since the pattern was dead simple to memorize once you got it established (it’s easy to read from the knitting itself) I didn’t need to bring anything with me except my yarn and needles. No pattern needed, which made it great vacation knitting.

When I decided to use this yarn for this project, I was afraid that it would stripe or pool unattractively. But it didn’t! I love the way the color turned out. (That’s my only complaint with using Lorna’s Laces Shepherd Sock for socks – sometimes the striping or pooling is just not pretty.) I still love the feel of this yarn as much as I ever have, so I’m thinking that I’ll need to look for some solids or semi-solids to use for socks so that I can enjoy using the yarn without being annoyed at the pooling.

But that’s neither here nor there about this scarf. I did made a few mods to it, mostly in order to give the scarf a garter stitch border all the way around. (Details of the modifications are below.)

I really did enjoy knitting this one, and though it could have happily been a little longer, I think it turned out long enough. (Blocking helped on that front.) The fabric of the piece also came out nice after blocking. It’s a nice weight. Merry Christmas to my FIL!

STATS (and a link to my Ravelry project page)

PATTERN: Chevron Scarf
DESIGNER: Brenda of Molecular Knitting
YARN: Shepherd Sock Multi by Lorna’s Laces in the “Safari” colorway
NEEDLES: US 3 (3.25 mm)
START – END DATES: August 19, 2014 – September 18, 2014

MODS:

  1. The pattern calls for 1 garter stitch on each side of the chevron pattern, but I did 4 stitches per side. Therefore I cast on 53 stitches instead of the 47 called for.
  2. I knit 5 rows of garter stitch before starting the chevron pattern. (AKA cast on, then knit 5 rows, then start pattern.)
  3. This also means I ended with 5 more rows of garter stitch. (AKA knit 5 rows, then bind off knitwise.)
  4. In the pattern section, I replaced the “sl1, k1, psso” with “k2tog tbl”.

WiP Weds ~ Threes

It’s more than half-way through Wednesday, but that’s still plenty of time for a WIP Weds post! And I have plenty to show you today!

First, the oldest of my current WIPs:

This is the Sweetheart Sweater that I’ve been working on for ages. This is the first of the two sleeves, as you can kinda tell from all the increase markers along the edge there. (Fully shaped sleeves, yay. I’m not sure if this makes me happy or sad. Hopefully it will make the sweater FIT, but I don’t have enough sweater experience to know that for sure yet. Have to wait and see.)

I’ve been working on this off and on for years, though mostly off. Now, though, I plan to work on it until it’s done. There are three other things I’m allowed to work on while I’m working on this sweater, and I’m not letting myself cast on anything new until the sweater is done. (At least done being knit. We’ll see how I feel about the finishing once I get there.)

However, this is going to be only two other things I’m allowing myself to work on alongside the sweater very soon. Why, you ask? Because of this:

One of the three is almost done. (I’ve since finished the bind-off, and now it’s just waiting to have the ends sewn in, bath-time, and blocking.)

Unfortunately, that means that you won’t see any more of this project until after Christmas. Fortunately, it means that I am that much closer to having my Christmas gifts finished.

The second of the three hasn’t been touched in a while, because it’s knitting that needs a bit more focus than I’ve been giving my knitting lately. It’s the fox toy for my nephew, which I have no problem showing you in progress since he’s too young for it to matter if he sees the toy ahead of time in pictures. Besides, I don’t think my sister or brother-in-law read my blog, and I’d be just as happy to show my dad (the only family member who I KNOW FOR SURE reads the blog) the toy in person, so there’s no surprise element with this one.

The third of these projects is also a gift (they all are… I’m doing very little knitting for me right now, just the sweater) and so you won’t be seeing any details about it yet. And the pictures are no longer going to be of the whole thing at once, since that gives too much away about the project. But bits and pieces, such as this, are okay:

Fun color changes, huh? I’m really enjoying this knit. And while it looks complicated, it’s not that much. But it is a fun knit, and I think I will possibly be making another one of these once the first is finished, just to see how it works up with other yarns. We’ll see, though. There are so many projects I want to knit, that it has to be a really special one for me to knit it twice. While I’m loving the knit, I want to see the finished project before I decide on knitting a second one.

That’s it for me for now. How about you guys? Anything fun going on? And is anyone besides me thinking about Christmas gifts yet?