Friday, October 28, 2016

Friday Finishes - Cowls and a hat

Here are a few of my finishes from this month that I haven't shared yet. I've knit another 2 cowls. I think I now have enough to wear a different one each day of the week. Is that enough? I don't think so   either since I have several cowl patterns in my knitting queue. 

My Astrid cowl was adapted from the Astrid hat pattern I knit earlier this month. I used the same size needles as the hat and cast on 126 stitches. The ribbing is the same as the hat and I did 8 pattern repeats to get a height I liked. I then did 6 rows of ribbing so the ribbing at the bottom and top matched. 

After blocking, it still stands and keeps my neck and chin warm.

With the matching hat.

Side view. Now I have to wait for the weather to get cold enough to wear them. I like that they overlap in the back.

On September 30th, my friend and I went out to dinner to celebrate our September birthdays. We also exchanged presents and she gifted me this skein of yarn that she had bought on vacation this summer. I'm not sure what store she got this from. Sorry for the bad picture. When I got home after the dinner, I snapped a quick pic and then wound the yarn and cast on the pattern that the store owner included with the yarn. 

Of course it was for a cowl (knit within 36 hours of receiving the yarn). There wasn't quite enough yarn to complete the pattern but it's high enough. I even went down two needles sizes.

I think it was one pattern repeat short but you can't really tell. This is a post-blocking picture, so again I am happy with how much the cowl stands up. Helps keep me warm. 

Our three old, Floyd, is a little jealous of the Minecraft creeper hat I made his brother. So I said I would make him one. He asked for a rainbow hat with creepers. I adapted this pattern and gave it black creepers (even though they are green in the game) as that showed up the best. I changed the crown decrease since I wasn't going to add a pom-pom. And instead of making long ties that would be tied under his chin, I made shorter ties and added a snap. Creeper chart can be found here.

Happy boy wearing it to school this morning. It's a little big which means it should fit him all winter and maybe next year. 

Did you have any finishes this week?

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

WIP Wednesday - 2 Weeks Worth

     Last week was a little stressful and busy, and some things, like blogging, got ignored. My mother had surgery last week. She is doing well now and is back home. Good news is what they thought was cancer, isn't. Now she's learning how to live with part of her lung removed while doctors figure out exactly what the growth in her lung was. I've been very happy to have knitting and other crafts to help distract me while I sat at home waiting to hear news about my mom. It was really nice talking to her yesterday for about 30 minutes, laughing and catching up (i.e. complaining about the kids), knowing she was finally healing.
     Anyway, I took pictures to post for WIP Wednesday last week, but just didn't get them posted. Thought I'd include them in this week's post.

     By last Wednesday I had finished the first clue of the MKAL that Jen is doing. A nice, simple, straight forward clue.

     By this Wednesday I had the second clue complete. It's best seen in close ups as the leaves tend to curl up when I lay it out flat. There are 25 leaves, each knit individually so there are a lot of ends to weave in. I also started Clue 3 last night (not seen above) which is really neat.

     Floyd had turned the flash on, without my knowing, before I took this photo. Think it kind of helped see the pattern. This should look awesome after blocking.

      Last Wednesday, I was done the leg and heel and was working on the foot of a sock. I finished knitting the foot and started the toe decreases during the final debate last Wednesday. 

     Thursday, I finished the sock. I cast on the second sock this weekend. It's been going a little slower. I did my first Fish Lips Kiss heel with this sock and I'm wondering what took me so long. Love it. It's also my first time using 2.25mm needles and 72 stitches for a sock. 

     Last week I felt like crocheting so I got out the yarn to make more snowflakes. I now have 12 of 22 made. I think I need to decide what fabric these snowflakes will go on. That might help me get motivated to finish them up. And weave in all those ends.

     And this week, when I haven't been working on the MKAL shawl or the sock, I've been working on this shawl. It's kind of close to being done; you just knit until you run out of yarn or like the length. I think I'm going to make it a bit bigger. Sorry for the crappy location for the picture. It is rainy and overcast today and this was the only spot in the whole house with any decent light.

What have you been working on this week?

I have 4 finishes to share. I'll probably share a couple on Friday, but not all as some are gifts. I know I still need to take pictures of one so I hope it stops raining soon.

Friday, October 14, 2016

Friday Finishes - Yarn Edition

     I have several finishes from the past few weeks to share today. All but one are for me. And one of those might get frogged. Let's begin.

First, a picture of me wearing all the finished knits. 

     Here is the Astrid hat I mentioned on Wednesday (I'm making a cowl to match). I used leftover yarn from the cardigan I'm wearing - more information about that below. It's Cascade Venezia worsted in the Denim colourway.

Here's a picture of it flat. Great pattern. Easy to memorize. And stretchy.

     Crocheted cowl that I "designed" myself. I used the worsted skein of yarn I had bought from Turtlepurl Yarns earlier this year. It was the last one so I knew it was going to end up a hat or cowl. When I saw how wide the stripes were going to be I opted for this cowl. I used the same stitch pattern as the rainbow cat scarves but joined in the round after the first row. I crocheted until I ran out of yarn. I also love that the cowl still stands up after blocking.

      Stripey without being striped. Does that make sense? (Here is the same colourway, in sock weight, showing the stripes). I like that the colours dip into each other here. Pattern is simple; chain an even number of stitches. Make a single crochet in second chain from hook. Chain 1, skip next stitch, then single crochet in the next chain stitch, end with a single crochet. Chain 1 and turn. To join in the round I just chained one and then single crocheted in the chain 1 space at the other end, making sure not to twist. When I was finished, I used the yarn end to close up any space that remained. Second row you're making single crochet's in the Chain 1 spaces, and Chaining 1 over and skipping the single crochet's. Simple, if you know how to crochet, and great for watching TV. 

     This red scarf uses the same pattern as the cowl above. I guess when I find something I like, I use it over and over again.  This scarf will be donated. It is made out of two balls of Cascade Superwash 220, really red.

Wraps around a couple times with enough to tuck into a coat.

     And my last finish has been in all the other pictures, my Beacon Hill cardigan. Here it is with the original collar (the above pictures have a different collar). I followed the pattern and then decided the collar was big enough and didn't knit the last 20 rows. So, yeah, it was suppose to be even bigger. For me, it was just too big and too warm at the neck. My husband liked it and my daughter now admits she likes it better than what I have now, too. 

The back and sleeves are my favourite parts of this cardigan. There is a lot of collar there.

      I frogged  the collar and picked up the stitches 4 different times. I thought I was happy with this collar and reblocked the whole cardigan. But I'm still not happy. The buttons are too heavy (obviously that can change, and I am missing one at the bottom), and it forces me to have it done up all the time, or the button side hangs low. And I don't like how the collar sits at the back of my neck. I think I stretched it too much during blocking. I could block it again but... I'm not sure that is the answer.

      Back view with the latest collar. I've tried to wear it several times since I finished it and I never wear it more than a couple minutes. I feel like I'm constantly adjusting the collar so I take it off. I'm afraid this cardigan is doomed. I love the stitch pattern. And the yarn. But there's something about the cardigan that doesn't allow me to feel comfortable in it. I think I might have to frog it. I'm thinking a sweater to avoid buttons. Perhaps this Feathernest Raglan would be best? I must be crazy to even be thinking about frogging it and knitting a different sweater (and having to knit 2 more sleeves!) but I'm just not comfortable in it and don't want to wear it, as is.

Did you have any finishes this week? I'm almost done quilting the Cuzco Corners quilt, so I'm hoping to have that finished and ready to share next Friday.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

WIP Wednesday

     It's time for another edition of WIP Wednesday. I have a few knit WIP's to share this week and a quilt WIP. I've been trying to focus on just a couple projects at a time to get more finished. It's working as I have several finishes to show you this Friday.  Let's get started.

     The Flower Garden shawl has been my main knitting focus. I would like to get this finished as soon as possible. I force myself to knit several rows before doing any selfish knitting (see WIP's below). I'm on my fourth pattern repeat. There's suppose to be one more but I might add an extra repeat (24 rows) since I have enough yarn. The yarn is dark green and almost impossible to take a picture of.

I've done a few more rows of the MKAL since yesterday. Still have lots more to go for this clue.

     And one of the finishes I'll share on Friday is an Astrid hat. I still had some yarn leftover from it and the Beacon Hill cardigan so I altered the hat pattern to make an Astrid cowl. I added extra stitches and will do at least 8 pattern repeats before doing the top border. This has become my take along project since I have the pattern memorized. 

      Last week was a crazy one. I spent 20 hours working on a fundraiser at my older son's school. So, I spent the weekend trying to get in some selfish time. Saturday afternoon I had a 4 hour nap (yeah, it was pretty great) and that evening, I sewed the Cuzco Corners quilt blocks together into a quilt top. The quilt is lap size, roughly 57 x 66.5 inches. Above it is laying on our full size bed.

Love the little pops of colour on the black background.

More pops of colour.

     Today I enjoyed the afternoon sunshine in the living room and basted it. Pins are at a weird angle as I plan to quilt this with diagonal lines. I placed the pins so they won't be in my way. Or at least that's the plan. We'll see what happens when I get the quilt under the needle.

What have you been working on this week?

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

A New Knitting Book and MKAL time!

     I should have titled this post a Jen Lucas Designs/Knitting Like Crazy post since that is all I'm going to write about. Last month, Jen went on vacation and asked those who are part of her ravelry group to help answer any questions knitters might have while she was away. I helped answer two questions and as a thank you...
... Jen sent me this book. Totally unexpected, it arrived on my doorstep last week.

Above is the hat designed by Jen. Of course, it's my favourite from the book.

But I like this hat, too.

     And this smocked one looks fun to knit. This book arrived just in time for some holiday knitting. Thanks, Jen.

     And Jen usually does a Mystery Knit-Along (MKAL) in November. This year she moved the start date to October as some have commented that the MKAL was too close to the holidays. The first clue was released today so there is plenty of time to join. Go here to find out more.

Floyd helped wind yarn yesterday.

Hoping there is enough contrast between the two yarns.

This isn't much of a spoiler but I couldn't resist casting on today. 

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