Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Kroy Socks Update

I'm nearly at the toe of the first sock:

I used smaller needles than I usually do, so added a few stitches and am knitting a quite dense sock for my larger-than-average foot. This means I've also finished all the yarn I have for this sock. Surprisingly, I'm not annoyed. Since these socks aren't an intricate pattern and have somewhat odd color changes anyway, different colored toes won't be a problem aesthetically, and I won't have any scraps to add to the leftover pile. Instead, I get to pull some scraps out of the pile and use them up!

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Cabled Yoke Pullover

I was hoping to finish this last month, but didn't. I am extremely happy with the end result and with how simple it was to knit. I got this yarn in the huge yarn spike in 2012, taking advantage of a store closing yarn sale, and I'm hoping to have enough left for a cardigan as well.

Yarn: Plymouth Yarn Encore Worsted
Needles: US8/5.0mm
Timeframe: January 14 - March 19, 2014
Mods: A few. I grafted the yoke band, worked the sections in a different order, worked the body longer before doing the cabled ribbing, and decreased stitch count instead of needle size for the ribbing.
Problems: None!

I am so very pleased with the grafting I did on the yoke band. I'm getting much better at grafting things like cables and ribbing. I love this sweater so much! I'm just sad that it's white because I am very, very likely to stain it.

Friday, May 23, 2014

Another April Finish

The Dragonstone shawl caught my eye on Ravelry (their ads do work sometimes!) and the creator was doing a KAL for it. I dug up what I think is the oldest yarn I ever purchased along with an interesting skein of also not-machine-washable yarn that paired decently well and dug right in.

I don't love it, but I do like it a lot. A deeper grey for more contrast and/or possibly a different main skein would have been better. I wanted to work with what I had and I'm very pleased to have used up some direction-less yarn from the depths of the stash. I was considering trying to overdye it, but after wearing it, I decided I like it better as-is than I probably would by playing with it. I'm also happy that I had less than a yard of the grey left at the end.

Pattern: Dragonstone (mine)
Yarn: Knit Pick Palette in Ash, Eden Cottage Yarns Harebell Sock in December '09 Sock Club (Christmas)
Needles: US6/4.0mm
Timeframe: April 3 - 20, 2014
Mods: Knit to 71 sts between markers to use up yarn, changed the pattern at the corners, added a repeat to the ruffle to use up yarn.
Problems: None!

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Even More Tall Socks

I never posted these when I finished them either, mostly due to a poor picture (that has gotten many "like"s from fetishists on Flickr). Now they've been worn a lot and have a bunch of pilling. They haven't shrunk like some of my other Stroll socks had; if anything they've stretched a little. I still really like them!

Yarn: Knit Picks Stroll in Black
Needles: US1.5/2.5mm
Timeframe: April 18 - October 6, 2010
Mods: No lace, added a strand of elastic to the top to keep them on better.
Problems: None!

Monday, May 19, 2014

Tall Socks

Another pair of socks I finished last year but hadn't blogged. You've seen them before, and here they are finished:

Yarn: Lion Brand Magic Stripes
Needles: US1.5/2.5mm
Timeframe: February 4 - November 14, 2013
Mods: Different toe, different length giving me different decrease lengths.
Problems: None!
These don't stay up as well as I'd like, but are great under boots. I may add some elastic along the top to keep them up better.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Spinning Musings


Spinning is a cross between an art and a technical project. I've always wanted to spin my own yarn, in fact, it's kind of why I started knitting and crocheting, but I'm still on the fence about how much I like it. I'm not an artsy type and I need to learn more about the technical side of it (and go through all the fiber I own!) before I make any final decisions. I'm loving the way I can get into a meditative state when everything is set up well and the wheel is going, but sometimes it takes a few tries, multiple adjustments, and some colorful language before it's there. I'm not even to the point where I'm planning my yarns beyond a "wouldn't it be nice if..." and I can't imagine the kinds of frustration I might face when I'm trying to really plan and execute specific yarn for a project!

So far, I've got all the Magic Mountain spun into singles, then I started in on the first roving I purchased to let the Magic Mountain sit before plying. I'm really happy with how it's coming so far. I want to fill the current bobbin before switching back over to ply the Magic Mountain. My black cat is helping by keeping an eye on the wheel as I spin and nesting in the roving to keep it warm. That helps, right?

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Going Up

The spinning is just what the doctor ordered! Actually, the doctor would probably order me to stop doing anything that isn't necessary. I consider crafting to be completely necessary, for my mental health at least! Anyway, yes, spinning is good. I've finished the singles for the Mountain Magic and will let them rest for a day or two before plying. In the meantime, I've got enough bobbins to start in on my oldest roving, nearly 8 oz. of grey wool with some shiny rainbow fibers blended in:

All this spinning and minimal knitting means my yarn count will probably go up this month. Add my Three Irish Girls club purchase (480 yards) and the fact that it's Camp Week (5/7 - 5/13) for the first project of Camp Loopy 2014 (874 yards) to the spinning and the yardage starts to really go up. I am really excited about Camp Loopy - if you're unfamiliar, you do a project per month in June, July, and August. If you buy the yarn from The Loopy Ewe during Camp Week for each month, you get 20% off the order and you're eligible for the prize at the end, a custom-dyed skein of yarn. Prior prizes have been Woolmeise and Lorna's Laces Solemate. The worst part about Camp Week is that they're so fast and excellent with their shipping that I ordered on the first possible day, got it two days later, and now have to wait 22 days before I can start. Torture!

Project One is something 400+ yards that reminds you of a book or movie that you love. I had a couple of Harry Potter related projects in my queue, but I settled on some illusion Wonderland socks. They're reminiscent of the Cheshire Cat because the illusion cat only appears if you're looking at the right angle. I purchased perfect Cheshire Cat colors based on the Disney animated version.

Friday, May 9, 2014

Cross Stitching: Not that helpful

I quickly stitched the first of the two gift cross stitches, finishing the stitching over two days. I learned that whichever tendon doesn't like to be activated for purling is also used for cross stitching. Bummer.

Time to try spinning! I've got enough fiber hanging around, let's see how my wrist feels about drafting.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

May is for Cross Stitching

I fell and hurt my wrist about six weeks ago. I didn't stop knitting. It didn't fully heal. Purling hurts now, so I am taking most of this month to work on cross stitches and a pair of stockinette socks.

For the socks, I'll be using Patons Kroy FX, yarn I got when the fabric I went to Jo-Ann Fabrics to purchase was already 50% off and I had two coupons I was intending to use.

Since classes are over, I won't have nearly as much time where I'm reading or in a lecture or meeting and simple knitting is appropriate. I don't anticipate finishing these quickly, but if I do, I have a few other skeins of self-striping yarns that are destined to become stockinette socks also.

Two of the cross stitches won't be displayed for a few months, just in case. They're wedding presents for some friends and while I don't think they'd see them, I'll save posting until they've been gifted. If I finish them quickly, I've got three other cross stitches in progress. I'll probably work on the Art of Disney Mickey & Minnie - Bride & Groom next:

Or I might work on the Santa ornaments that I started something like seven or eight years ago:

Or the Art of Disney Past, Present, Forever that I also started about seven years ago:

Or there's always all the others:

Hey look! I finished four of these since taking this picture and started a fifth! Progress!

And next month, there will be a Mystery Steotch-Along! Yay!

Monday, May 5, 2014

Fastest Project Ever

I made a blanket for my cats so they can hang out in the bedroom with me.

We don't want cat hair all over the bed and our clothes - it's nice to have one room not covered in cat hair - so the cats are mostly not allowed in the bedroom. We had a cat blanket for them to sit on since my office is the bedroom, but that blanket had a bit of a lace pattern and didn't trap the hair as much as we wanted. Since everything was on sale at Jo-Ann's this past week, I grabbed two pieces of fleece, tossed them through the washer and dryer, and braided the edges together in just over an hour.

I followed this tutorial from Pieces by Polly. I'm happy with it and the cats seem to like it too.

Saturday, May 3, 2014

One for Me

My last Thujas have worn through. Malabrigo Rios is a nice, soft, machine-washable worsted, but I wouldn't recommend it for house socks; the merino loses shape and therefore wears through too quickly. Time for new ones!

Pattern: Thuja (Ravelry mine)
Yarn: Lion Brand Heartland
Needles: US6/4.0mm
Timeframe: April 13 - 24, 2014
Mods: None.
Problems: None!

Thursday, May 1, 2014

April Update

I bought some yarn, but used a lot more:

That's 43.64 miles, lowest it's been since I happened upon a going-out-of-business sale in September of 2012. I finished a few more projects that have been sitting around, waiting to be photographed. The semester is about over, so there should be a lot of updates coming in the next couple of weeks!