Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Here's to 2015!

My goals for the coming year are short and simple:
  1. Complete Loopy Academy 1st year, 2nd semester
  2. Complete Camp Loopy
  3. Complete Loopy Academy 2nd year, 1st semester
  4. Finish all gifts on time
  5. Use more yarn than I purchase (shouldn't be too hard, I hope!)
  6. Finish half of my current UFOs (14 pre-2015 projects)
All but the last one were things I did anyway this year, so it shouldn't be too difficult to do along with data collecting and dissertation writing and job hunting (oh my!). Just enough knitting to keep me sane, but not so many goals that knitting becomes a higher priority than school (also I considered re-joining the Harry Potter group on Ravelry but missed the signup deadline!).

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Holiday Cowl

Finished, just in time!


Yarn: Lion Brand Jiffy, 2 skeins 124 Camel
Needles: US13/9.0mm
Timeframe: December 21 - 23, 2014
Mods: Knit 'til under 5g of yarn was left, then bindoff.
Problems: None!


Two skeins up, two skeins down (and another finish in between!).

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Quick Mitts

Oh hey, more yarn and more projects!



Me, jump on a new project when I have one item due by the 22nd and three more due by the end of the month? Of course! A quick pair of mitts was requested, so of course I had to grab some more yarn and get right on that:


 
Yarn: Bernat Sheep(ish) in Black plus some Malabrigo Rios in Black for the second pair
Needles: US7/4.5mm
Timeframe: December 15 - 19, 2014
Mods: Different increases (M1L/M1R), so only knit two after marker before binding off for thumb. Also only knit 1.5" of ribbing on the first pair, and 2.5" for the second to use all the yarn.
Problems: A touch of confusion for the thumb, as the instructions were given for a decrease I don't like to use. I think my brain was just not working the first time I read through it. Otherwise, very quick, very easy!
 

The best part is, I was able to get a pair for myself out of the leftover yarn plus a small bit of Malabrigo Rios I had lying around - so really, this project helped me use yarn, furthering my goal of fewer miles and fewer entries in the stash log. Really!

 

Yes, I can rationalize just about anything. It's a skill I learned from my mother. 

Friday, December 19, 2014

Project Cascade

I have one more holiday project I have to start. I have the yarn and it's all ready to go:


Except that it needs the needles that are currently in another project, one I'd like to finish tomorrow:


Except I can't finish the slipper without the second cable that is currently in use in the very beginnings of a hat:


Which I can liberate once the hat fits onto the DPNs, except the necessary DPNs are currently in use as well:


Planning fail!

Monday, December 15, 2014

Finished Metamorph Cowl

The first of three Loopy Academy projects, finished! For a first time with brioche, I was quite pleased with how quickly it knit up and how it turned out.


Pattern: Metamorph (Ravelry mine)
Yarn: The Loopy Ewe Solid Series in Charcoal, Lorna's Laces Team Spirit in #10
Needles: US7/4.5mm, US8/5.0mm
Timeframe: December 5 - 14, 2014
Mods: Knit until Charcoal ran out, did the second cuff in the Team Spirit. It's also a bit shorter as I had slightly more Charcoal than the Team Spirit.
Problems: None in the knitting, some in the washing


With brioche stitch, the back definitely looks different compared to the front. Sadly, the orange and purple are a bit muted from the bleeding of the charcoal when washed. It doesn't pop nearly as much as it did originally. Annoying.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Stashbuster Trivets, Washcloths, and Tawashis

In order to use up all of my leftover kitchen cotton, I decided to make a couple of interesting trivets and some washcloths. Then I made a couple of tawashis because I had more left over than anticipated.

Yarn: Bernat Handicrafter Cotton in Fruit Punch
Needles: US7/4.5mm, USH crochet hook for CO
Timeframe: December 1- , 2014
Mods: Bound off on Row 2 to match cast-on better
Problems: None!

My only complaint with the trivets is that the colors aren't really distinct enough to make the pattern pop like some others on Ravelry. They'll be useful and I finished off both skeins of the cotton I had laying around - that's more important than the color scheme!


Pattern: Woven Circles Trivet (Ravelry mine)
Yarn: Bernat Handicrafter Cotton in Husk and Fruit Punch
Hook: 5.0mm/USH
 Timeframe: November 29 - 30, 2014
Mods: I used the chain stitches modification (22 sts) instead of plastic rings.
Problems: Only the desire for different colors, no problems with the pattern itself!



Pattern: I (heart) tawashis (Ravelry mine)
Yarn: Bernat Handicrafter Cotton in Fruit Punch
Needles: US7/4.5mm
Hook: 5.0mm/USH
 Timeframe: December 3 - 4, 2014
Mods: None!
Problems: Had to find a cached version of the pattern as the site seems to be offline.



Friday, December 12, 2014

One Down, Two to Go!

The cowl, Loopy Academy project #1, is about finished. It just needs to dry and get buttons.


The charcoal seems to have bled into the water a bit. I'm really hoping it didn't mute the orange and purple!

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Nine Washcloths

I wound up knitting nine washcloths to gift with some soap I made. They were a big hit, and I was able to use up most of the large skein I still had from last year's washcloths.


Yarn: Bernat Handicrafter Cotton Solids in Husk
Needles: US7/4.5mm, USH crochet hook for CO
Timeframe: November 1 - 28, 2014
Mods: Bound off on Row 2 to match cast-on better
Problems: None!

I used a mold for the soaps to make some little flowers of olive oil soap. Decorative if desired, but also 100% useful and something that is made to be used up. As we've moved a few times and are planning to move again (and would like to live in a relatively uncluttered place), I'm more a fan of useful gifts that have a definite purpose and/or will be used up. These fit the bill nicely!

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

No-Sew Blankets

I loved my cat blanket so much that I bought blanket kits (on sale) for all the little children I make holiday gifts for. I hope they all enjoy them!


For one brother and sister, I also gifted some Precious Moments pillows, and these pillows came with extra pictures to applique. I put them on the blankets, mostly because I had them available and wanted to use them.


The edges are not tied like typical no-sew fleece blankets, they're braided following this tutorial. I love how they turn out, and they're really simple to make.


My only worry is that I may have cut some of the slits too close to the edge and they'll break with heavy use. It's an easy fix, but I'd hate to give a gift that has to be fixed (although if they're breaking, that means they're being used, which is a plus).


Love that braided edge!

Monday, December 8, 2014

Getting in the Holiday Sprit

I picked up a winter chocolate mold kit from the grocery store (it was on sale and I have poor impulse control). It came with white chocolate, so I pulled out my Wilton gel food coloring set and colored some red for the snowman's accessories and some blue for the snowflakes. Then I used up the rest of the dark chocolate I had laying around in the baking cupboard, and made a couple striped snowflakes to finish off the red/pink and white.


Holiday perfection!

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Pineapple Doily

I thought I was going to finish the doily in November. It'd be tough, but I thought I had the time and energy available for it. Then I found an error. Not an itty-bitty error, something I could live with. I already had one of those. (It's the single trc where it should be a cluster of three)


No, this one was major, not fudge-able, and two rounds down. The two longest rounds of the doily down.


I skipped a treble-crochet cluster shell stitch, and had to rip back 3.1 grams, ~35 yards, and more hours than I'd like to count of work. 

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Loopy Academy Semester 1

Part of that yarn order was for the three first semester projects of Loopy Academy, a semester that ends at the end of the month and may have been a crazy thing to pick up less than a month before it's due. Of course, I dropped what I was working on and tore into the first two projects right after photographing the yarn for my Ravelry stash page. I probably would have cast on all three but I only had the needles available for two.



These were mittens that most people said came out too big, so I cast on fewer stitches. They were then too small. I haven't yet ripped it out, instead I've been working on the second project:


This is my first time doing brioche stitch, so there's a bit of a learning curve. I think I'm getting the hang of it. No major bouts of foul language, no throwing the yarn across the room (yet). I also wasn't completely sold on the color combination and was kind of wondering what on Earth I was thinking when I picked out the yarn. Now, however, I'm loving it! It's striping so nicely, and the purple isn't getting as lost as I thought it might (even if the poorly lit picture says otherwise). 

Friday, December 5, 2014

The Korkmauser Appears!

The cat brought back the missing mouse!


Much worse for the wear (I tried cleaning it a bit and it didn't help), I now have a record of the final product. A somewhat blurry record, but the dirt was much more visible on the clear picture. Hooray!

Thursday, December 4, 2014

It Has Arrived!

Before I got the yarn today, I finished about a quarter mile of yarn, dipping just below 43 miles. It's back up to almost 45 miles. But look, now I have a new cowl and a hat and mittens and a sweater...




...some assembly required.


Wednesday, December 3, 2014

New Socks!

I finished the Ducks in a Row socks! I don't think they turned out quite as nice as the sample that was photographed for the pattern/yarn combo - my skein seems to have slightly more muddy, less pop-y colors. I also prefer top-down socks so did mine that way, knitting the pattern upside-down compared to its intended toe-up direction. I think I like it better in the toe-up direction. I also want to note that the skein was generous. It had 120 grams instead of the listed 100, which was necessary to make these socks for my feet!



Yarn: Three Irish Girls Springvale Sock in Birds of a Feather
Needles: US1.5/2.5mm
Timeframe: November 4 - 20, 2014
Mods: Top-down instead of toe-up, Eye of Partridge heel instead of short row.
Problems: None!

 
Another lovely pair for the sock drawer, and now I must go back to finishing that other pair...

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Now We Wait...

Best and worst thing about tracking your shipments: Waiting.


Love the tracking system, hate the wait. Time to see how much I can finish before all the new yarn comes in. Also, what's with the 2-day shipping taking all week? It was shipped last night, it should be here Wednesday, not Friday!

Monday, December 1, 2014

Paint-by-Numbers Quilt

Quite a few years ago, my grandmother got me the supplies for a holiday quilt. It was a simple quilt, I just had to pin the batting and backing on, trace the lines, then bind it. It sat in a box until quite recently, when I purchased a new (to me) sewing machine and pulled out everything I had that was simple to make, mostly pillows and this quilt. I've never quilted before, or done anything much more than going along a seam, so this took some time for me.


This was a Daisy Kingdom panel, with matching backing fabric. Already-owned blue fabric was used for the binding. If anyone out there wants one, my grandmother got one for herself and never touched it. Apparently I get all of my crafting genes from her.

 

Aside from general learning how to do curves, when I need to lock the thread and how far, and what kinds of shortcuts I could take, the only problem I had with the quilt was the binding. It was cut too thin, and I didn't pin it in perfectly, so there was some backing sticking out when I was done. Nothing too bad, especially as it will probably be a wall hanging and the back will rarely be seen, but annoying nonetheless.

 

It is finally finished, and has been gifted to someone who is thrilled to have it. I'm thrilled to have it out of my supply box and really happy that it's wanted and will be used!