WIP Weds ~ in which there is shawl progress

Remember when I mentioned casting on a new shawl due to having some waiting room time and wanting an easy project to keep my attention? Well, here is the progress on that shawl:

This is approximately one week’s worth of knitting time on the shawl. It’s been a lot of fun to work on.

The shawl in question is Reyna, by Noora Laivola, and I’m knitting it in Queensland Uluru. I got the yarn from a friend’s destash; I loved the color and halo, but wasn’t sure about the yarn content. (It’s a cotton-acrylic-polyester blend, and I don’t think I’ve knit with anything like it before.) Well, I love working with it, too.

There has been other knitting, too. There’s been a row or two of GAL square progress, but I don’t have any pics of that (since there wouldn’t be much to see, anyway.) There has also been more work on the Vanilla is the New Black socks:

Very nearly to the toe decreases for this one, and then it’s all over but the Kitchner.

The VitNB socks are another gift for this year, and I may also give the Reyna shawl as a gift. (It depends on whether I like it too much to give up, even though it would be given to a local family member so I would still get to see it.) I am glad that this year I’ve gotten A LOT more of my gift knitting done early than usual, but I also want to work on something for me.

Maybe when Reyna is done I’ll pull out the East of the Sun, West of the Moon beaded shawl I have in progress for myself, and work on that. The rows are long, but it’s a very fulfilling knit as well. And I still haven’t decided who the Minecraft socks are for. (I don’t have too long to figure that out. I want to work on those after I’m done with the Vanilla is the New Black socks, so I’ll need to decide soon.)

Have a great rest of the week!

WIP Wednesday ~ in which it’s all about that GAL*

Okay, it hasn’t been all Geek-A-Long knitting this week. There has also been Reyna, and the Vanilla is the New Black socks. But all I’m going to talk about this week is the Geek-A-Long blanket.

2016 GAL Blanket Progress

The 2016 GAL blanket (per the official GAL rules) is technically 24 squares. I have knit 21 squares, and am on my 22nd. That means I’m about 88% done with the official blanket. However, since my blanket is knit with smaller yarn, it will be a smaller blanket than the official one. Also, since the official 2016 GAL is over, it doesn’t matter if I make my blanket to the official size.

Another thing I have to consider is that I am including more than just video game squares in my 2016 GAL blanket. (The 2016 theme was video games, for anyone who isn’t aware.) And as such, I have all of the 2017 squares (superheroes) and the 2014 squares (general geeky themes) to choose from. I could even use the 2015 squares if I can find some that are easy to adjust in size. (The 2015 squares were a different size.) And if I wait too long, I’ll likely have 2018 squares as well. So, that leaves me with a bunch of options and I’m not likely to want to leave any favorites out. I currently have at least 15 squares on my radar as possible inclusions to this blanket.

2016 GAL Blanket Progress

But… I would like to eventually finish it, and not leave this as a perpetual, never-ending project. In fact, finishing the GAL blanket is one of my goals for the 101 in 1001 Challenge I’m in the middle of, so I’ve set myself a goal of finishing it by 4/8/2019. That means I have to start looking at how big I truly want this to be, so that I can determine whether or not I’m on track for finishing it by spring of 2019.

I know for sure that I want to add at least one more row and one more column. That would be a total of 30 squares, meaning I’d have 8 3/4 squares left to knit. I’m not sure that’s enough. I am thinking that this will be a sofa lap blanket, so maybe one more column and two more rows? Meaning 35 squares total, or 13 3/4 more. I think that might be a good size. I will also eventually have to decide on orientation – aka is the top of the blanket the shorter side or the longer side? – but that is a decision which can wait for later.

2016 GAL Blanket Progress

*Yes, this did make me think of the song “All About That Bass”. However, not the original version. I didn’t think much of the song one way or the other until I heard the Postmodern Jukebox version, which I love. If you haven’t seen that one yet, you can find one take of it here (they have different casts, so sometimes songs get repeated), and it is awesome.

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!

WIP Weds ~ in which I spread the love

There has been knitting – lots of knitting! (Well, lots relative to what there has been recently.) And I’ve been knitting on lots of different things, too, which isn’t something I’ve done in a while.

I’ve been knitting on the 22 Leaves Shawl:

July 4 knitting progress pics

… and I’ve been working on the Hyrule Socks:

July 4 knitting progress pics

Both of those are all but done. I’m looking forward to casting them both off! They’ve been fun to knit, but it’s always a nice feeling to have a project finished.

In addition to those, I’ve been working on the Vanilla Is The New Black socks again:

July 4 knitting progress pics

Once the Hyrule Socks started needing more attention, the VITNB socks became the car knitting, and being completely vanilla socks at this point means I can make a lot of good progress in a comparatively short time. All three of the projects listed are going to be gifts, so I think I have a good handle on my gift knitting this year.

But it would be sad to do all that knitting and not work on anything for myself, right? So instead, I also picked up the current GAL square again, too. It’s been too long since I worked on that, but it’s always fun to get back to it. Geeky knitting, yay!

July 4 knitting progress pics

Still on the caffeine molecule square. Maybe I need more of said caffeine in order to knit faster and finish the square! On the other hand, if my double knitting was fueled entirely by caffeine, I might end up doing more frogging than knitting… I don’t know that I really want to risk that.

July 4 knitting progress pics

(As a reminder… this is officially my 2016 GAL blanket even though it’s long past 2016. I didn’t get it finished in time, but it’s focused mostly on the squares which were released in 2016.)

This is one of the benefits of a work holiday, though. Lots of time for knitting! Yay!

I hope you’re having a great week, and have a very happy June! Next time the 22 Leaves Shawl and Hyrule Socks are featured on the blog will hopefully be their glamour shots once they’re finished. Catch you next time!

WIP Weds ~ in which there is finally sock progress

There has been knitting this week, yay! I’ve been working on both the 22 Leaves Shawl and the Hyrule socks. However, since the shawl is at the point where each row takes a half-hour to complete, I don’t have any progress pictures of it. Taking progress pictures that don’t really show progress depresses me, so let’s look at sock progress pictures instead.

Hyrule sock progress

I’ve started the heel increases on the second sock. And I’m really, really, REALLY glad that there’s not much left to knit after the heel turn, because I’m not convinced I’ll have enough yarn to finish.

Hyrule sock progress

This, though, is why I stopped the first sock before finishing it. If needed, I will do the top part of the sock (hopefully just the ribbing) in a contrasting or complementary color. Maybe an off-white, if I have something the right weight in the stash. (I think I do.)

I am enjoying this knit, but the way the pattern biases I think I’m going to need to officially block this pair instead of just washing it and laying the socks out to dry. I also, if I make these socks again, need to get pointier needles in the correct size. These blunt bamboo needles are driving me slightly crazy on the k3tog stitches. (My fault, though. I looked at the pattern, saw the k3tog, and told myself that I needed pointier needles than I had. And then I convinced myself that this would be fine, and to suck it up. I should have listened to myself… but now finishing the socks on the needles I started them on has become a point of pride.)

Hyrule sock progress

Regardless… look at that yarn color. Isn’t is gorgeous? I love it. I’m so happy working with it. I’m sad that I only bought one skein of it, and yet thrilled that I bought it at all. I’ve missed some of the Lattes and Llamas special colorways and haven’t gotten my hands on all the ones I wanted. This one was a win, though!

Have a great rest of the week!

WIP Weds ~ in which our regularly scheduled post fell victim to a stomach bug

Well, today’s post isn’t technically late. It’s still Wednesday. Still Wednesday morning, even. However, usually I schedule these posts the day before (at a minimum) and so it’s late as far as I’m concerned.

Yesterday, though, when I would normally have been writing this post, I was taken out by a stomach bug and so was essentially sleeping the day off. I was certainly not writing blog posts or taking photos for blog posts.

I was also not knitting. However, there has been knitting since last Wednesday, most of it on the 22 Leaves Shawl. Here’s a picture I took last weekend when I was testing out my new light box:

22 Leaves Progress

I love it! (Both the shawl and the light box. (The light box, for any interested parties, is the SHOTBOX, which I backed on Kickstarter.)) I will definitely be making a second one of these shawls. Maybe even a third. It’s a REALLY enjoyable knit, and I love working it in the Noro sock yarn I picked for this one.

In any case, I am feeling much better today. I think what took me out was a 24-hour stomach bug, and so it seems to have passed.

Have a great rest of the week!

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!