Saturday, May 27, 2017

Stash Dash Preparation!

Stash Dash has begun! I'm planning for a couple of quick finishes to start off strong and if I participate in Tour de Sock and Tour de Fleece, I'll have a pretty solid showing.

One sock down, one more to go!

I can't decide whether to set a goal to begin with or to just wait and see where I get. The levels are all measured in kilometers, 1, 3, 5, 7, 10, and 15. Over a three month period, I generally work through just under 5k in stash, so 5k would be a safe bet. I can finish more, especially if I'm spinning yarn and focusing on finishing some high-yardage WIPs. 7k would be a good goal if I'm trying to stretch myself. 10k is highly unlikely, but not impossible. That's a little more than six miles, double what I typically do in a three-month period.

Nine more heavily beaded rows, then a picot bindoff.

Between Camp Loopy and the Will Work For Yarn projects I've agreed to, that's nearly 5k as it is, and Tours de Sock and Fleece will certainly push me over that goal. There's also a good amount of traveling this summer, both by car and by air, though I'll be driving for many of the car travel hours.  There's also this year's Steotchalong which will take time from yarn stash efforts.

Morvarch, about 130 more rows to go, 54 stockinette and the rest lace ribbing.

It seems like a good time to pull out all of the WIPs to try to knock a few out. Of course, this means that what I really want to do is cross stitch (doesn't count for Stash Dash), spin (yardage counts, but it doesn't decrease my stash yardage), and start new projects instead of working on ones that are already half-finished.

Table runner, center nearly finished, beaded edging needed.

Of course, no one is surprised by this. I guess we'll see where I end up in August!

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Warm Necks

Yes, I'm stalling on the Boo Knits MKAL. It's because Stash Dash starts soon, so the shawl counts towards that if I finish it on the 26th or later. I finished the pig because it was only a little bit of yarn, but everything else is getting close to finished, then waiting for Stash Dash to start!

In lieu of a finished shawl, here are a couple of other things I've made, one recent, one from a year ago. Yes, that's another Gap-tastic Cowl, it was a request from one of the original recipients for another one!

Pattern: Double Layered Braided Cowl (Ravelry mine)
Yarn: Caron Simply Soft in Grey Heather and Blue Mint
Hook: USH/5.0mm
Timeframe: April 1 - 9, 2017
Mods: Did the initial chain for each segment in the accent color, did not string all the pieces together due to having an accent color, did not make the connecting part as long so it would be snug against my neck instead of lower like a necklace.
Problems: None!

Yarn: Big Twist Yarns Chunky Solids in Chunky Black, one skein
Needles: US13/9.0mm
Timeframe: October 15 - 18, 2016
Mods: Worked until the yarn was gone instead of a set number of rounds.
Problems: None!

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

The Eyes Have It

Rather than trying to position plastic eyes correctly, I've been making needle felted eyes for my more recent stuffed creatures. I tried finding a tutorial for someone recently but didn't see one, so decided to make my own since I was about to needle felt the eyes onto the purple mystery pig.

Step 1: Gather Supplies. In this case, it's the object to needle felt onto and some lengths of scrap wool to felt. The object can be any sort of fiber but the felting scraps should be wool. Make your scraps fairly generous for the area you want to cover, you can almost always felt it in tighter and smaller.

Step 2: Starting Point. Begin to tack down the center color (pupil, whole eye, whatever you're doing) where you want it.

Step 3: Coil Around. Wind the yarn around the starting point and felt it down. Keep winding and felting to cover the area you'd like covered.

Step 4: Next Color. Do the same steps of tacking down the beginning, then coiling the yarn where you want it and needle felting it in for any additional colors you're using (iris, white, eyelashes, etc.).

You can make the areas as fluffy or as tight as you want by tacking down only a little bit along the yarn scraps or fully felting it down. The eye on the left is lightly tacked down while the one on the right has been more vigorously felted.

One of the nice things about starting with yarn scraps is that you can more easily make straight lines with the yarn where you want it to be. As long as the yarn scraps are wool or something that will felt, you're good to go! You can also do fun things like felt down one side of a piece of yarn and brush out the plies to make eyelashes or other hair-like things.

Et voila!

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Two Piggies!

As part of the Piggy MCAL, there was a pre-MCAL fun pattern of a smaller pig. I did that one because I had the yarn available, so why not?

Pattern: Pre-MCAL Fun! (Ravelry mine)
Yarn: Red Heart Soft in Plummy
Hook: USD/3.5mm
Timeframe: May 5 - 7, 2017
Mods: Needle felted eyes rather than plastic.
Problems: None!

Pattern: Piggy MCAL (Ravelry mine)
Yarn: Red Heart Soft in Plummy and Premier Yarns Deborah Norville Everyday in Wild Blue
Hook: USD/3.5mm
Timeframe: May 8 - 20, 2017
Mods: Needle felted eyes rather than plastic.
Problems: None!

Friday, May 19, 2017

Mystery-alongs, the penultimate clue!

Still going!

These are all the piggy parts. The final clue (assembly) was released two days ago, but I haven't gotten there yet. I call this one, Pig: Exploded View.

The final clue for the shawl was just released today. I am (surprisingly) right on track and should finish this one in the next few days!

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Mystery-alongs, still going!

Four of six clues complete!

The pig parts pile continues to grow. Next up, a tail, but what else? I hope nothing with the contrast color, as I've already run out! It ran out one stitch before completing the skirt, just about perfect.

For the shawl, I have more yarn than the pattern calls for. Probably enough to repeat clue 3 or 4. Given the way everything lines up, I would need to repeat clues 3 AND 4 or else clue 5 isn't right. Maybe there will be something in clues 5 or 6 that will let me use up more yarn - I have more than half left!

Monday, May 15, 2017

Now for something else!

Between clues, I've still been working on a few other projects. The mystery-alongs are not easy to work on when doing much else - they all require a bit of concentration, whether it's the charts and beads of the shawl or the constant counting and stuffing of the crochet pig. One of these projects is a fairly simple, mostly garter stitch shawlette that I'm making as a commission piece. I already made one of these before, and this one has beads added to the snowflake motifs.

Having made this one before, I was pretty confident in my memory of the pattern. So confident that I made a small mistake on a couple of the snowflakes.

Nothing major, barely noticeable, but still, something I'd ordinarily drop down and fix. Due to the construction of the shawl, that would not be a good option for these errors. However, in contemplating the errors and considering whether to fix them or not, I found a much greater problem, even earlier in the shawl.

That's an entire missing row, which really means two missing rows because of the corresponding wrong side row that's gone. Apparently, my experience with this pattern just means that I had enough foolish pride to not even get through the second repeat of the first section. Siiiiiiiiiigh. Riiiiiiiiiiiip.