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 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!

WIP Weds ~ in which there is an unexpected shawl

Right. I don’t think I specifically said so, but my plan after casting off the Cats Will Play shawl (which is finished – more on that next Monday) was to work on the shawl I’ve had lingering in the WIP pile for ages. That one is my East of the Sun, West of the Moon shawl designed by Nim Teasdale. I love the knit, I love the beads, and I love the yarn for that shawl (Knitwhits Freia Ombré). However, the rows are very long, and so it (a) is not travel knitting, (b) takes a little focus, and (c) doesn’t show much progress even after I’ve been knitting for an hour (or five).

So I guess it should have been really no surprise that instead of working on my huge but lovely beaded shawl already on the needles, I cast on a NEW project. This one is the 22 Leaves Shawlette by Lankakomero. (It’s also going to be a Christmas gift.) I’m using some Noro Taiyo sock yarn that had been intended for socks until I didn’t like the way it was striping as socks. I like it much better as a shawl. Don’t you agree?

22 Leaves Shawlette

This is my progress after 2 days of knitting. (One of those days was Sunday, when I knit for a large chunk of the evening, and the other day was Monday, where I knit for an hour and change.) I am loving everything about this shawl. It’s working up beautifully, the yarn goes well with the pattern, the pattern is easy to follow (though it is charted and not written out, for those of you to whom it matters), and it’s easy enough to read the knitting that I know where I am just by looking at it. I’m definitely going to be making another one of these shawls. Maybe lots more. We’ll see.

There has been other knitting, too. I suppose I could take the 22 Leaves for travel knitting, but instead the Hyrule socks have been my recent travel knitting. I’ve put the first sock onto stitch holders, and have started the second sock from the other end of the ball of yarn. This way I can be sure to knit the socks to the same length without having to rip anything out or wasting any yarn.

Hyrule sock progress

I’m enjoying this knit too, but not as much as the shawl. I blame the needle choice, though. These are Addi Natura Bamboo Needles which are nice to knit with, but not so nice to do k3tog with. The tips just aren’t pointy enough. If I had other needles to switch to, ones with pointier tips, I would do that. But I don’t have anything else that will work (or at least, nothing currently not in use) so I’m stuck with these tips for now. I got sock one (essentially) finished on these needles, so I can do it for sock two as well. I’m just complaining at myself.

There are other things that are on the needles (or hook) right now, and I need / want to get back to most of them as soon as I can. However, that’s all that I’ve been actively working on this week.

Hope June is treating you well so far!

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 ~ some knitting and some sewing

There is sewing on the blog today! Weird… it’s been a long time since that happened. (Which is not something I’m proud of or happy about. I want more time to sew as well as knit, but machine sewing is not as portable, and the prep (aka fabric cutting) takes more concentration for me than knitting prep does.) In any case, I have a sewing project to share today. It’s technically not a WIP, since I finished it in one evening, but I guess it could still be a WIP if I decide to ever go back and clean up the few messy places in the binding.

Undercover Maker Mat - finished 4/28/17

Whatever – there it is! That’s the Undercover Maker Mat, a free pattern from Craftsy. (Though you do have to have an account to download it.) I really enjoyed the project, and as I said I finished it in one evening. Though, if I had done everything “correctly” (such as done the binding a side at a time and hand stitching the reverse side) it would have taken longer. I took a few shortcuts that I probably shouldn’t have, but since this was a quick project for me to keep, instead of a gift, I decided to get it finished instead of making it perfect.

That said, I just might make more of them as gifts. Part of that will depend on whether I decide to make the gifts before my family members make their own sewing machine covers, since there are plenty of giftable sewing projects out there. But this one is certainly a contender.

Moving on… there is knitting today as well, even if it has all been on one project:

Vanilla is the New Black (sock progress)

The Vanilla is the New Black socks! These have been addicting. I’m not sure if it’s the meditation-like aspect of knitting vanilla socks, or if it’s the fun of reaching the next stripe in the color pattern. (I’m also glad I was able to pick out the stripe pattern, so that hopefully I can make the second sock match up perfectly. That would be ideal. I have a thing about matchy-matchy socks.)

I’m on the heel turn now. The turn itself seems pretty standard (so far), but the increases were certainly not. I really enjoyed that part. I mean, heel flaps are all well and good, but this way kept the stripe pattern more consistent than a heel flap would. I really appreciate that as well. Of course, the actual turn part of the heel turn (which I’m doing now) will mess up the stripe a little. I hope it will be less disruptive to the overall stripe pattern, though. We’ll see.

Have a great Wednesday! (And thank you for your happy thoughts earlier this week. I’m feeling much better now.)

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.)