FO: No Glove(s) No Love

Finally, finally, got some pictures!  I started these gloves at the tail end of my holiday break.  And finished them pretty quickly but they’ve been sitting around waiting for their star turn.

My Rav page here.

Pattern: No Glove(s) No Love by Claire Sandow from Holla Knits Accessories 2013

Yarn: Malabrigo Sock in Lettuce, less than half a skein

Needles: 2.75mm DPNs

Start Date: December 31, 2014

Finish Date: January 7, 2015

No mods to the pattern.  In hindsight I would have added a few extra rows onto the palm side.  My heart is pretty stretched across my hand, and maybe it would look a little more defined if the glove was a tiny bit bigger.  Or maybe my cast-on edge should have been a little tighter.   These gloves had such a fun construction.  The edge of the heart is actually the cast-on edge!  Then there is shaping done with short rows to define the heart.  The palm is knit across horizontally, then stitches are picked up for the individual fingers.

I have always dreaded gloves.  Ever since making one pair of fingerless gloves (with partial finger holes) I thought I would only make mittens or mitts.  But it actually wasn’t bad!  There are so few stitches on each finger, they really go quickly.  You just have to use your yarn ends to tidy up all the gaps and holes at the base of the fingers.

These cute little heart moto gloves make me want to jump on a Vespa and hit the town!

And right now there is a KAL going on in the Holla Knits group!  For every Holla Knits project that you finish you get a free Holla Knits pattern or pattern from a participating designer.  It’s just like me to adjust my knitting life around just to save $6…  And you have until May to complete things.  I am currently working on a pair of Bombshell shorts.  Yep, cabled hot pants.  It’s just like me to make something that I will never wear…

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FO: Jacques Cousteau hat

Just a quick one to let you know I’m still alive.

I let myself off the hook on holiday knitting this year.  I just made a few things.

For my uncle, I knit him a simple ribbed hat.  I never got good photos of it, I just have these late night pictures of me trying it on after finishing:

Pattern: Jacques Cousteau Hat by Lalla Pohjanpalo

Yarn: Regia Tweed 6-ply in Grey, 1.3 skeins.

Needles:US 4

Start Date: December 14, 2014

Finish Date: December 17, 2014

I used the modifications on this project.  I like how this makes the top decreasing spiral a little cleaner.

Not super exciting, but a good choice for a typical man.  I would think about making another one out of my leftover yarn.

In sad news, my usual photographer at work went completely AWOL.  I am not happy about this for a number of reasons, but also, WHO IS GOING TO TAKE ALL MY PHOTOS NOW!?!?  I have to start training another co-worker to take them, I suppose.  This only kind of explains my lack of good pictures lately.  I’m working on it, don’t give up on me.

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FO: Christmas Jumper

Happy New Year to everyone!  Um, about a month late.

I had a wonderful holiday season.  I went home to Camas, Washington (near Portland, OR) for over a week and enjoyed my two weeks off from work!  I had some knitting goals set for myself while I was at home.  I kind of succeeded.  Fortunately I didn’t really plan on knitting any gifts.  I did have the dream of finishing up my Christmas sweater before Christmas.

And it got finished!

(wow, I thought this picture was in focus until I put it in this blog…)

Pattern: The Perfect Christmas Jumper by Susan Crawford

Yarn: Knit Picks Palette in Indigo Heather (5 skeins) and White (about 1/2 skein)

Needles: US 3

Start Date: November 14, 2014

Finish Date:  December 26, 2014

Okay, so I didn’t finish it for Christmas.  I made a valiant effort.  I stayed up until 2am a couple nights and it still didn’t happen.

I didn’t make many modifications to the sweater.  I did the front first and I cast on provisionally at the waistline and worked upwards.  I did two extra decreases for the shoulders because I wanted the puff to land at my shoulder and not hanging off them.  After finishing with the front, I picked up my live stitches at the bottom and did the ribbing down.  I wanted to be able to check the length.  I ended up making the ribbing about an inch deeper than in the pattern.  This still ended up being fairly short on me.  At least, ending closer to my hips than below them.

Working stranded colorwork flat is a bit of a pain, but you get used to it.  And it always goes pretty fast when you can see your progress on a chart.  (Must. get. to. end. of. repeat.)  I did the sleeves next and they went quickly considering the fingering weight yarn.  I went with the squared shoulders like in the original pattern.  I didn’t put in any shoulder pads.  I like the slight puff to the shoulders.

Here’s where I went off book.  My Mom has a knitting machine and I have never used it.  She doesn’t use it that much herself, as she is much more into handknitting.  I decided that since I was going to be at home and I didn’t feel like knitting a plain stockinette backed sweater in fingering weight yarn that I was going to machine knit the back.  This seemed like a marvelous idea.  I just had to get the ribbing done by December 22 when I got home.  What I didn’t anticipate was the learning curve.

Here’s the machine:

I think it’s a Brother, but I didn’t take note.

We did a gauge swatch just kind of guessing on tension.  After we decided it looked good, we had to hook up my ribbing to the machine.  Then you just zip along knitting row after row in minutes.  One problem I had was that it was difficult to measure the height of the piece while it was on the machine.  It was extremely stretched out on the machine, especially since I was using thin yarn.  I tried to just go by number of rows but the row gauge didn’t match my front piece.  And if something wasn’t aligned perfectly, a bunch of stitches could pop off the hooks and boy do they run when the piece is stretched and weighted!

I didn’t take any pictures of any of the disasters that I had.  Mostly because I was trying not to freak out and cry while they were happening.  A lot of laddering back up and getting all those stitches onto the little latch hooks used by the machine.  I learned how to do decreases and short rows on the machine.  There are seed stitch plackets at the back neck.  I tried to do these on the machine but got fatigued of manipulating the stitches while I went.  I ended up just knitting them in stockinette and afterwards dropping down and changing them to seed stitch later once the back was finished.

The knitting was probably done on Christmas, but then it took another day or so to do all the sewing up and finishing work.  And finally, my Christmas Jumper was done!

It was apparently hard to take flattering, in-focus pictures in any of our Christmas settings. We went snow-shoeing on Mount Hood a few days later and you better believe I was kicking myself for not bringing my sweater for the snowy photo opportunity!

Ultimately I am very pleased with how it turned out.  I love vintage styles but then I sometimes feel uncomfortable in them.  I felt a little like I was wearing an 80’s child’s sweater.  I just need to embrace it.  I wore it out for New Year’s Eve with a little pleated mini skirt and tights.  And now I think it will be put away until next holiday season!

I hope you had a wonderful holiday.  I am still working on getting rid of the last couple pounds that I gained!

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FO: Maribelle

Something’s finished!

My Rav page here.

Pattern: Mirabelle by Corrina Ferguson

Yarn: KnitWhits Freia Handpaints Ombre Lace, less than one skein.

Needles: US 6, 4.00mm

Start Date: October 27, 2014

Finish Date: November 15, 2014

The colors are really much more vibrant in real life.  The green color is very jewel-toned.  I have to figure out what color to photograph this with to make it really pop.

The pattern is very adjustable.  You just keep knitting as long as you want and then start the applied edging.  I wanted to use up as much yarn as I could.  I weighed it religiously.  I deduced that it would take about 10 grams of yarn for my edging, so I kept knitting until I got close to that.  The main problem is that I wanted to end at the same row in the pattern repeat as in the pattern.  I ended up with 12 grams of yarn left.  It would have been nice to have gotten closer, but it still ended up a pretty good size.  And now I am realizing that I should have measured how big the shawl is for you.  I have specific yarn usage counts on my Ravelry page.  The resulting shawl is asymmetrical but generally a triangle shape.

Now when I look at these pictures all I can see is one weird wonky stitch.  I don’t know what happened.  Maybe I can move the yarn around in the stitches so that it isn’t as obvious.

The stitch pattern has cables in it and I like how it creates a contrast between the lacy parts and the thicker cabled sections.  It also has a cool directional pattern to it.

It was a nice little project!  The yarn was great (if a little expensive… :)).  I am loving gradients right now.

I am now alternating working pieces of my Christmas sweater and knitting smaller projects.  I have finished the front and one sleeve of The Perfect Christmas Jumper:

I am mostly done with a Knotted Pine hat.  I am a fairly monogamous knitter but there are so many projects I want to start!  I will make myself do a second sleeve of my sweater before I get to start another small project.  I am planning on just doing the ribbing on the back piece and then using my Mom’s knitting machine for the rest of the back piece when I go home.  Fingers crossed I can finish that much of the sweater before I go home!

No knitted gifts for me this year, I think!  Are you furiously knitting gifts for all your friends?

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FO: Lyra shawl

I’ve been holding on to this one for a while.  Last year I was the recipient of a random drawing prize from the Indie Design Gift-a-Long.  It was two skeins of Yarn Sisters Black Pearl yarn.  It is made of 50% pearl / 50% Tencel.  Yes, actual pearls!  Pearl dust (?) is bonded to the Tencel fibers.  It makes for a lustrous yarn with a slight crunchy feel while knitting.

My Rav page here.

Pattern: Lyra by Herbert Niebling

Yarn: The Yarn Sisters Black Pearl, laceweight in Crystal White, a little less than one “skein”.

Needles: 2.75mm and 3.25mm

Start Date: April 19, 2014

Finish Date: July 10, 2014

I had been wanting to knit a Niebling pattern for a long time.  I love the look of these lace pieces, even if they are a little doily-like.  The initial plan was to knit this as a wedding veil.  Now I am just calling it a shawl.  Maybe eventually it will have another use.

There are several different shapes in the pattern: a pentagon, a circle or an octagon.  Well, technically the pattern doesn’t say how to make the octagon, but it is pictured on the pattern available from LACIS.  Mine is the circle.  I thought about doing the octagon, but thought I was going to run out of yarn.  And then I had a ton of yarn left over!

I mostly followed the pattern, but another Raveller (who used to translate Niebling patterns for the LACIS museum) posted a modified chart that avoids some of the binding that can happen at parts of the shawl.  The new chart adds extra stitches so the pattern isn’t stretched as much when blocked out into a circle.

I also added some beads on to the edge.  They are TOHO size 6/0 seed beads in Colonial grey/blue.  The edging is made with a crochet hook, so I added a bead onto the single crochet stitch that connects the chain to the live stitches and onto the 6th chain of the loop.

Partway through the bind-off I ran out of beads.  And then no suppliers carried the same color!  I got kind of frantic but then eventually found some at a random store online.  It felt so urgent at the time, but then I just put it away for five months anyway!

I want to get some more pictures but that will have to wait for another time.  I haven’t measured it, but it probably has a diameter of 5 feet.  Now I have to decide what to make with the other half of the yarn!

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2014 Gift-a-Long!

The Indie Designer Gift-a-Long is afoot!  Hundreds of patterns are 25% off until Thursday.  And the best part is all of the knit-a-longs and prizes!  I bought a few patterns this year, but am not sure how many I will get around to during the gift-a-long time frame.  I thought I would recap what I made from my purchases last year!  And all of these patterns are on sale again this year!

This is the Camden by Kristen Fanning.  My Rav page here.

These are the Medusa Mittens by Annie Watts.  My Rav page here.

By the same designer, I also made the Waneka cowl.  My Rav page here.

I actually had thought I had made more items.  I did buy quite a few sweater patterns that I just haven’t gotten to yet!  And this year, I bought the Persian Curled Toe Slipper pattern, a shawl pattern, Amille, and a sweater pattern, Antrorse.  I am hoping to get to the slippers this holiday season.  And also finally knit up a few of those patterns I bought last year!

Next post I am going to show you what I won last year, and what I did with it!

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2014 Dishcloth Swap

I’m still catching up on old things.  I participated in the 2014 Dishcloth Swap again this year.  I always say that I am not going to, but then I give in.  I am so tempted by all the cool dish/wash cloths that people send in!

The way the swap works, is that you make 5 of the same cloths in different colors.  You send them in to swap headquarters, and you receive 5 different cloths back!  And if you are lucky (like me!) you get to help out and then you get some choice in which ones you take home.  It’s the best kind of swap because you don’t have to worry about people flaking out.  There are no sign-ups beforehand, so if you get them in on time, you are participating in the swap.

I ended using the Sinkmates pattern for my dishcloths.  It is a fairly simple pattern, but I was happy to buy it, as all proceeds go to the Special Olympics.

My Rav project here.

Yarn: Knit Picks Dishie in assorted colors, and Sugar ‘n’ Cream for the white.

Needles: US 7 and US 9

Start Date: August 10, 2014

Finish Date: August 18, 2014

The striped ones kind of ended up looking like the dishcloth incarnation of an 80s rugby shirt.  Not intentional.  It was very easy to stripe.  I carried the yarn up along the side.  There is a slip stitch edging on the side, so I just changed the yarn inside of that slip stitch and you can’t see the carries at all.

Now get this.  I even blocked these washcloths before sending them out.  Crazy.  I guess there is a first time for everything.  The main reason is that I did not get an actual square with these.  Mine are more diamond shape, and tend to want to tent up a little down that center spine.

The best part?  The cloths that I got back in return!

I love them all!  Of course I probably won’t use any.  They’ll just go into the pile with the rest that are too pretty to use. :)

I am super behind in sharing these with you.  But it is almost timely.  Because… you are just in time to participate in the Winter Scrubbies swap!  This is done by the same group as the dishcloths, but it is even easy.  You just need to send in three (just 3!) scrubbies in, and get three back.  I am not sure if I will participate this time around.  Read all the details here and then send in your scrubbies by Dec. 19.

Another fun thing going on on Ravelry right now is the Indie Design Gift-a-long!  It kicks off this evening.  There are about 300 designers participating, and you can get 25% off of many of their patterns for the next week.  Then just knit up projects by those designers until the end of this year and play along in the K/CALs and win prizes!  I knit along with them last year and I totally hit the jackpot.  I won two skeins of merino/pearl yarn and a free pattern.  I also got a discount on a bunch of patterns (many that I haven’t knit up yet…) and knit up a few gifts.  You don’t want to miss it!  I have a few patterns in mind, and will go shopping in a few hours!

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