Pride!

I’m so proud of this little project. It’s made from my very first skein of handspun yarn.

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The pattern is Cherry Garcia by Adrian Bizilia and it’s free through ravelry. The second picture shows the color better, but the first shows the cable pattern. I only had enough yarn to make it two cables tall instead of three, but the yarn is so bulky it is the right height anyway.

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I’m guessing my handsupn was only about 80 yards because some of it was so bulky. Here is what it looked like in the skein.

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It’s very hard to take pictures of yourself without making weird faces…

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Also, with my face shape, a cowl might not be the most flattering winter garment… it sort of gives me that “fatface” look since it doesn’t hug my neck. Fatface aside, I love this project and will be wearing a lot this winter as the temps dip lower.

Oops…

Alright, so remember that whole “finish-two-projects-before-you-cast-a-new-one-on” thing I had going… well I might have fallen a bit off the wagon… It’s not my fault! I work in a yarn shop! Who has that kind of will power?!

Remember I told you that in the shop I work in you “make” your own yarn? Here is the what the result can look like.

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I know it’s blurry, but I think you can get the idea. That yarn is actually 5 different strands of blue and green wool that have been coned together to make one fingering-weight yarn. This is one of our pre-made cones, meaning someone at the shop picked out the colors and we blended them together and are selling the finished cone. Here is a close-up of the different “ingredient” strands (again, sorry about the blur.)

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I have been keeping the cone in my purse, taking it to work every day, in case the shop is very slow and I have some time to knit… It hasn’t been slow yet.

Here is a cone I “made” myself, as in I picked out the “ingredients.”

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This cone has two strands of a pearl-colored rayon, one strand of creamy-white cashmere, and one strand of sage-green silk. It is just slightly heavier than a traditional lace-weight yarn but still far from fingering. I love how luxurious this yarn is. We sell our blends by the pound which is a pretty unique way to price yarn. This blend ends up coming to $72 per pound, but a pound of this fine yarn is about 2400 yards. I only needed 5oz to get the 750 yards I needed for my lacy scarf, which ended up being about $23.

I can’t possibly be blamed for casting on with both of these beautiful yarns right away can I? I thought not.

The sock yarn is becoming… yes, socks. I worked the whole cuff of the first one last night.

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It’s impossible to tell since all I have is the twisted ribbing so far, but these will become Pomatomus by Cookie A. from the Winter 2005 Knitty. It is completely immaterial that I have three other pairs of unfinished socks already on the needles… Hush up! As you can see by the picture I’m knitting these on one small circular needle, which may now be my favorite method for sock knitting, no joins to worry about so no ladders ever.

The lace yarn is becoming… yes, lace. I have been in love with this yarn and this pattern since Sunday.

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This pattern has a long-ass name, it is Scarf with the No. 20 Edging from “The Knitted Lace Pattern Book,” 1850 by Jane Sowerby. That whole thing is the name of the pattern, the pattern is actually in the book Victorian Lace Today. This is so soft and sheen-y and wonderful I spend equal amounts of time petting it as knitting on it. I love that even though three of the four strands are cream, the one strand of sage green tints the whole project.

This frenzy of casting on means that I have to finish 4 projects before anything new can be cast on… Wish me luck!

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According to Ravelry, there are 11,677 finished Clapotis. Of course those are only the Clapotis that are recorded on Ravelry. There are plenty of people who don’t have all their projects recorded, and plenty of knitters not on Ravelry. This is one of the most prolific knitting patterns that I know of. It’s from the Fall 2004 issue of knitty so there’s been many years for FOs to accrue.

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I have been looking for something to do with this yarn for a long time. It’s Knit Picks Shimmer 70% Alpaca 30% Silk. The colorway is called Deep Woods. This colors has been discontinued for a long time. I bought it when it was being clearanced back in the fall of 2007. Now, most of the Shimmer colors have subtle color changes, but back then they were much more drastic like this yarn.

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This yarn is beautiful, but it was really difficult to come up with a project to use it one since the drastic color changes pretty much obscure any lace pattern. This turned out to be perfect because it still has a lacy feel to it and accentuates the drape of the yarn but there’s no pattern to be obscured.

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I held the yarn double throughout the project to give me a fingering weight yarn. The pattern calls for a worsted yarn, but I didn’t want to make such a big shawl. I like this much more as a wide scarf or a narrow shawl than the full width–mine is only 18″ wide rather than the 24″ that a worsted weight would give. Held double this took just under 3 balls of yarn.

This is the last FO I have to show you, I just unpinned it from the blocking board this morning. Tomorrow I’ll start showing you the 9 WIPs I’ve got on the needles right now… I’ve told myself that I have to finish two WIPs before I can cast anything new on. This counts as one, we’ll see what manages to get done next.

If it weren’t me it might be funny…

So, in my last post I told you how I broke my size 7 harmony straight needles for the second time while working on my Climbing Vines pullover. Well, I set that project aside and waited (impatiently) for my order from Knit Picks with my new needles (and some yarn… Damn you free shipping, Damn you!) So it came, but in the meantime I had begun another project… you know, just until the needles came… and got totally distracted by it.

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It’s the Traveling Woman Shawl by Liz Abinante. The yarn is Blue Sky Alpacas 100% Alpaca Sport Weight. I know the bright pink of my blocking mats tends to distort colors but that’s pretty close to what the blue actually looks like. The pattern calls for fingering weight yarn but I wanted to make a bigger shawl so I chose a bigger yarn and needles rather than adding more repeats. I ended up using about 2.5 hanks of yarn but I wouldn’t have had enough to do another repeat.

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This was my first time working with 100% Alpaca yarn and I love the way it drapes–perfect for a lace shawl. It really didn’t bother my hands to work with at all, but when I wrap the finished project around my neck it feels so itchy. I washed it in Soak before I blocked it so I think it’s just that Alpaca and I don’t get along.

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Now here’s where the would-be-funny part comes in. I started this project on my size 6 Harmony straights (sometimes I like working on straights) and two days after my Knit Picks package arrived with my new size 7s, I step on one of the sixes and break it. Grrrr… I’m a disaster when it comes to Harmony needles, but I love them so much! I finished the project on my circular 6s but I have a new shopping cart going at Knit Picks as I debate whether or not to place another order.

I have no idea what I’m going to do with the other project that I recently finished. I made it on a whim to use up some half balls of yarn I had lying around. It’s a baby sweater.

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The pattern is Helena from a back issue of Knitty.com. Again, the pattern called for smaller yarn that I used. The pattern calls for DK weight but I used worsted because that what I wanted to use up some leftovers. I followed the instructions for the 3 mo. size but it came out more like 12 mo. because of my gauge. It doesn’t really matter since I don’t have a recipient in mind.

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This is what it looked like in progress. I worked the body and both sleeves at the same time to make sure the stripes were even. The yarn is what was left over from my Knit Picks Montavilla Market Tote. I only made one of the bags… Not a bad pattern, I just don’t have an inclination to knit it again… I had about half a ball of each of the colors of Simply Cotton Worsted left so I jumped into this hoping that there would be enough to finish. It’s technically been done for a while but I just bought the button and attached it today.

I’ve been adding a few stitches here and there to other projects but these have had most of my attention for the past few days.

Sorry the photos are so bad this time. This semester my brother is taking a digital design class and he needs a digital camera, which he doesn’t have, so he borrowed mine. These pictures are all from my cell phone.

Some Actual Knitting

Alright, so now that you’ve been apprised of my new house and my major yarn-related outing it’s probably about time for me to tell you about so actual knitting that I’ve done. First, though I know it doesn’t look like it, I’ve made some progress on my Op Art blanket.

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The last time I showed this to you there was a giant tail of circular needle sticking out because I was magic-looping it on a 60″ needle. Now the entire needle has stitches around it and it’s not even half the total number of stitches. I’ll probably not show you any more pictures of it until I get it off the needle since it will just look like a bigger and bigger wad of knitting. If you really care a lot you can keep up with the progress on the side bar.

Next are a couple of FOs. The first was actually finished in time for me to wear to sock summit, which was very lucky because they’re probably my “funnest” pair of socks yet.

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They are just a basic sock with a short-row heal. I decided to try the short-row heal because it is supposed to be the best kind of heal for striped yarn because it doesn’t screw-up your stripe length like a heal with a gusset does. I don’t much like it but at least I learned a new skill. The yarn is Knit Picks Felici in colorway Coney Island.

Finally, I finished my Ishbel shawl two days ago and it finally finished blocking this morning. It’s made from yarn that someone handspun and sent to me as part of a swap. I managed to make the full large size with the yarn and still have about 15% of the skein left. It’s not made from very soft wool but I can wear it with no problem.

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I never know exactly how to wear shawls but I enjoy making them and they make good gifts so I guess my lack of fashion sense isn’t really a problem. Next post I’ll tell you all about the new house guests.

The Same Thing

Remember last post when I showed you this hat?

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Well, my new FO is this hat.

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I promise, those really are two different hats. The gray yarn in the second hat is totally different from the gray yarn in the first hat. If you remember, my dad asked me to make a replica of the first hat so his running buddy could have one. I had run out of the gray from the first hat (Wave by Filatura Di Corsa) and decided to sneakily sub something from my stash for the second hat instead of buying more new yarn and breaking my yarn fast even more. In my stash I found some Knit Picks Palette in Ash and decided to just hold it double to get gauge. When I showed the Palette to my Dad the first time around he said it wouldn’t work, too scratchy. Now that both hats are done (and I told him I used the same yarn) he can’t tell them appart, except that he knows that one is a bit shorter. The first one came out a little big, so for the second I knit the whole hat on size 6 needles instead of changing to 7s after the ribbing. Both hats are Turn a Square by Jared Flood aka Brooklyn Tweed. It’s not a bad pattern, but I really didn’t enjoy making the exact same thing twice in one week.

In other news, I’ve joined the cult of Ishbel and cast on one of my own.

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I have no idea what size I’m going to make because the yarn I’m using was hand spun for me and I got it in a swap. It didn’t come with any label so all I know is that it’s 65-ish grams of lace-weight wool. My friend finished the biggest size with just over 50 grams of lace so I’m hoping I can make the big one. As of now I’m just short of the small stockinette section. I’m planning on putting a life-line in there and then continuing on till I have enough for the large stockinette section (just in case I have to do some ripping back due to yardage limitations). It’s going really fast right now but that’s because it’s just stockinette so far.

Two Long-Term Projects Off the Needles

So I told myself that I would not buy any more yarn until I got all my current WIPs off the needles. The projects I have to finish are the Halloween socks, the Swallowtail Shawl, and Andrew’s sweater. In the past two weeks two of them have been finished. The socks were finished first. I had them almost completely finished before spring break and I cast off in the middle of the flight from Wisconsin to Oregon. Of course that mean that I had nothing to do for the rest of the flight but I got to wear my new socks all around Portland and I got SO many compliments from random strangers. They were knit from a knitpicks sock blank dyed for me by UPBarnGoddess on Ravelry. Here’s the original blank and the very beginning of the toes.


And here are the finished socks. I really love the way the colors worked up on the blank. Until the calf, the the colors were comming up pretty randomly but as I increased more and more it started to pool a bit. One of the beautiful things about knitting with a sock blank is that both socks are knit at the same time and the colors are identical so even when it pools the two socks still look exactly the same. I wanted to see just how long I could make the socks so I kept going until I only had a few inches left. I was about 3.5 inches short of knee-highs which means they’re fat-part-of-calf-highs so they tend to fall down arround my ankles. I kinda like it because they end up serving as socks and leg warmers.


The other thing I finished last night is my Swallowtail Shawl. I ended up working on this all day yesterday because it was comming along so beautifully! (Honors Project-Shmoners Project) I was up till 3:30 am when I finally cast off, and when I looked at the clock I was shocked. I thought it was maybe midnight… Time flies when you’re knitting lace… This morning I work up and blocked it and it was dry after about 2 hours so I took it outside for some pretty pictures. Here it is.




I don’t know that I’ll ever have an occasion to wear this, because it’s much more fancy that my day-to-day style but it’s so beautiful! I figure if I haven’t found a use for it by December I can gift it to someone for Christmas. It took less that one skein of Malabrigo lace to make the shawl and the pattern was free so total cost was less than $9. Pretty perfect I think.

Finally (mostly) Back to Normal

Well I’m finally walking again. The Dr. let me start hobbling around on Friday, I’m still pretty slow and a bit shaky but it’s walking and that’s something. All in all I was on the crutches for 7 weeks and needless to say the muscles in my leg (small as they were to begin with) are considerably weaker. The best thing is being able to do things for myself again like get up, get a something to drink, and carry it to the family room all by myself–something that’s difficult to do when both hands are busy with the crutches. It feels really nice to be able to do all the small stuff again. Also, I was able to finally get my camera and take some pictures of what I’ve been working on (again YEAH for free hands!) I wanted to knit Andrew’s sweater for the Ravelry knitting Olympics and I got quite a bit done but not nearly enough to finish in time. In my defense I started reading a book by my favorite (living) author Chuck Palahniuk and then was unable to stop until I’d read four of his books so I basically fell off the face of the world for a week and didn’t get any knitting done. With those extra six days I could have come really close. Here’s how far I got:


The pattern is just called “Unisex Irish Pullover.” I found the pattern on Ravelry when looking for something aran like to make. The pattern knits up surprisingly fast, I thought the body would take me forever but it was interesting enough to keep me going round and round. I’m making it from Cascade 220 Heathers in a really sharp brown/maroon color with little flecks of green in it. The body is about 2 inches short of the armpits and the sleeve is about 8” give or take. I converted the pattern to knit in the round. It’s a basic raglan shape so it should be easy to attach the sleeves and finish off… should be. The pattern was also written out completely in words so I got some graph paper and charted it out. The pattern is written so that the two cable panels on the side go the same way they aren’t mirrored. Looking back I wish I had fixed that but that’s just my random picky-ness popping up. Since I didn’t finish for the knitting Olympics the project has had to go on hold since there are some projects for my family that I want to finish up before I head back to school on the 11th (very excited to be heading back by the way!)

The first thing I needed to finish were some slipper socks my dad asked me to make for him. The pattern is from The Little Box of Socks and it’s called the “Double Basket Socks.” It’s a very easy knit/purl Pattern done in DK weight yarn to make nice thick slipper socks. I was initially pretty unhappy that my dad asked me to knit him socks because during the school year I knit him a pair of fingering weight green socks and when I gave them to him he said “I only wear white cotton athletic socks, wool is to scratchy and green doesn’t go with any of my clothes.” Needless to say I was a bit miffed but I let it go and gave them to Andrew who was a very gracious recipient and who wears them frequently. So, I bought The Little Box of Sock and was looking at it at home when my dad came up and started flipping through the cards. He held up the Double Basket pattern and said “These look comfortable, can you make me these for around the house socks? My feet are always cold and some wool socks would be so nice on the tile and hardwood.” I glared at him and of course he had no idea why. When I asked him what color he wanted he didn’t even think about it before he said “Well I really like green, how about that?” Dutiful daughter that I am, I didn’t punch him. I did make him buy the yarn though and since I was placing an order with knitpicks for his yarn I may have added a few balls for myself to the total… After the socks were knit I sewed on some suede slipper pads to the balls and heels of the feet so he won’t fall and crack his head on our slippery floors. I have already seen him wear them around the house so hopefully they will be appreciated.


The next project is a gift for my brother who is starting his freshman year of college this year at Portland State University in Oregon. I found this Pattern on knitty and thought it was cute and quick. They are seven washcloths (think days of the week) 5 say “study” and 2 say “party.” The pattern calls for duplicate stitching the letters but I stranded them on so they’re a bit more secure. It’s pretty easy except that because it’s a flat pattern I have to strand on the purl side as well. It confused me at first but I’m much better now. They’re a bit wobbly as of right now but after I get them wet and let the fibers relax they should square up. I have three done and am about 1/3 of the way done with another. I need to finish by the 10th which shouldn’t be that big of a stretch as it only takes about 3 and 1/2 hours to go from start to finish on each one. These are the three I have finished so far:


 

Way before the knitting Olympics I started the extremely popular Swallowtail shawl in some beautiful Malabrigo yarn but stopped for the Olympics then for the family knitting so I haven’t picked it up in a while. It’s took me quite a while to get used to the fine yarn. I didn’t think it would be that hard because I’m used to fingering weight yarn for socks and stuff, but the lace yarn just feels so fragile I have to remember that it’s OK to handle it. I’ve only finished 4 of the 15 repeats for the body of the shawl so I’ve got quite a ways to go. It’s very hard to photograph this yarn the color almost never comes out right but it’s a beautiful semi-solid golden color that screams fall. I love it:


Another family knitting project (that will probably not get done before I go back to school) is a pair of socks for my mom. At the beginning of the summer my mom said she really wanted to learn how to knit socks so I dug up an old ball of lion brand magic strip yarn and two circular needles and started to show her how to knit toe-up socks. She didn’t even get past the toe increases before she decided she didn’t like it and asked if I would finish them for her. Here’s how far she got, I haven’t had a chance to work on them but it’s one more WIP.


This is probably my longest running WIP. I started these socks for myself during the school year but have kept putting them on hold to work on other projects. These are the infamous green socks that I’ve mentioned several times before. I have one sock finished I’m I’m working down the leg of the second one. The yarn is Trekking Pro Natura and the pattern is “garter rib” from the Sensational Knitted Socks book. I couldn’t get a good picture of the pattern but for how simple it is it looks very nice.