Friday, January 31, 2014

Colossally Finished

Not as time-consuming as all that, but still a lot of stitches.

Pattern: Biggie Cowl by Kaye Gardiner of Mason-Dixon Knitting. 

Yarn: Berocco Comfort Chunky (Acrylic/NylonBlend)in "Adirondack," 6 skeins.

I held the yarn double to get sufficient heft. The cowl is knit in three sections. The center cable is knit back and forth then grafted. Stitches are picked up along one edge for a section of welting, then along the other edge for the ribbing.

I knit fewer rows than called for on the ribbing section because I was sick and tired of working on it, and because it was really quite wide enough.  

I knotted the various ends together as they occurred, wove them in, snipped them, and then added some Fray-Check for good measure. I think it should stay together. I really prefer working with wool for this type of thing because I just spit-splice it as I go, but no animals allowed for the Vegan Niece who requested this.

Go visit Tami's Amis for more FO Friday entries.


Wednesday, January 29, 2014


Plus Bonus Progress

Sick of all the cold, the rain, the snow, the gray, I began a colorful crocheted scarf.

Noro Kureyon Sock Yarn is wildly colorful, but not very suitable for socks. It is very thin with occasional thicker sections, but it works fine for a crocheted scarf. Although it is a bit rough, it should soften up with a wash and a rinse.

Pattern: Solveig by eclat du soleil. 

I like to have a crochet project in addition to knitting on various sized needles so that I can give my hands a needed break from too much of one thing.

Three Clues

Mystery KAL continues and the third clue is completed. This is a snippet; if you want spoilers you can go to the Follow Your Arrow KAL group on ravelry and be amazed at the gorgeous color choices. Mine are on the subdued end of the continuum. I have chosen clues 1B, 2B, and 3B. Two more weeks of clues to go.

Two Sock Cuffs

Completed the leg portions of this pair of socks. Have learned from experience that I need to knit them in tandem, moving back and forth from sock to sock. This avoids "Second Sock Syndrome" as well as "Two Different Sizes Syndrome." 

One Sleeve

One sleeve down, one to go and then this cardigan will be complete.  I knit the sleeve on two circulars, as I found DPN's too cumbersome for the other one that I knit. 

The only thing I can say about the Polar Vortex is that it gives me plenty of knitting and crocheting time.

Visit Tami's Amis to see what else has been accomplished this week.

Friday, January 24, 2014

10 Degrees of Finished

Thermometer reads 10 degrees Fahrenheit. Time for every one of those gigantic cowls and scarves to earn their keep.

This is the Gap-Tastic Cowl, knit up in Quince & Co. Puffin in the Peacoat color way. Looks a bit purple in the photos, but it is a perfect navy blue. This was knit for my niece who chose the pattern and the yarn and it was a quick and easy project with a great result. I'm sorry I didn't get a shot of her wearing it, but it was so cold, dark and rainy on the day I saw her that it was all we could do to find our way down the street, let alone pose for pix.

Quince & Co. yarns are just about my favorite yarns to work with, both for knitting and crochet. The palette of colors is beautiful, and somewhat varied for each yarn type/family, and the fabrics wear very well. 

Visit Tami's Amis for Finished Object Friday and see how others are starting the year. It's an international group of posters, and I enjoy reading about the sunny warm weather in other parts of the world where it is way too hot to knit a wool sweater and no one needs a King Kong-sized cowl to survive the season.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Hazy Shades of Winter in Progress

The sun is elusive these days, and we are hunkering down once again for Arctic weather.

That's a concrete toad,
not a lump of dirt.

Good weather for knitting and progress is occurring on several projects.

1.  Biggie Cowl

Cabled center complete. Working on
welted border.

This is going to be huge, and will look great, but I am not thrilled with the actual knitting. The microfiber/acrylic is hard on the hands, especially when doubled, but it's for the Vegan Niece, so no animal fibers allowed;)

2.  Ysolda's Mystery KAL: Follow Your Arrow

No real spoiler here, but
you can see more here.

This is an extremely fun KAL. Five clues, each clue has two options, and you can do single color or multi-color. The knitting includes stockinette, garter stitch, simple lace motifs, and short rows. The group is very supportive and Ysolda has posted some very helpful videos.

I love the yarn that I am using:  Quince & Co. Tern a 70/30 wool/silk blend fingering yarn in the colorways Oyster and Barnacle.

3. Uma Sweater

Doesn't look much different from last Wednesday, except for having two thirds of an arm now.

Think I'm on track to finish the cowl and sweater by the end of January. The KAL extends into February.

To see some other work in progress, visit Tami's Amis.

Friday, January 10, 2014

FO Score: Fantasy 1, Reality 0

Long ago, in a universe far away, there was no ravelry. There was an internet, and for some reason, I found out about and signed up for the Rowan Yarn club. I stayed with it for a few issues of the magazine, and for some reason this project (Bark) captured my imagination. Not because of the blond guy in the skirt. Because of the thick shoulder shawl. 

SHE: Why are you wearing that thing around your waist?
HE: Same reason you are wearing that thing around your shoulders.
SHE: I can't wait to get home and wash my hair.

I acquired the yarn. I held on to the Rowanesque fantasy of somewhere in the countryside (British), somewhere in time (not the 21st century). Oh, let's add in someone thinner, younger, blonder, more Bohemian.

All that super-bulky yarn took up a lot of space, both in the closet and in my mind.

Eventually, this is what happened:

There is almost as much yarn left over
as was used up. Maybe I should crochet a few hats.

One of the most bizarre projects ever. This thing is a quarter circle, crocheted in super-bulky yarn. Trust me, it doesn't look quite the same over yoga pants and a fleece jersey as it does over a plaid shmatte next to a hunk and a tree. Very appropriate for the Polar Vortex, I guess, but I'm hoping one of the style-nieces will take it off my hands:)

For less weird finished items, go visit Tami's Amis.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014


Starting out the New Year with requested projects, and making good progress on them so far.

1. Biggie Cowl, Berocco Comfort Chunky, "Adirondack" colorway

With the yarn held double and Size 13/9.0 mm needles this should go quickly. The construction calls for knitting the cable section first and grafting it together. Then, pick up stitches and knit a ribbing section. Then, pick up stitches on the other side and knit a welted section. For me, the worst part will be picking up the stitches.

1. Uma Sweater, Brooklyn Tweed Shelter, "Longjohns" colorway

This was begun in 2013, but my plan is to finish by the end of January at the latest.  The body has been completed, including the pocket linings. On to the sleeves, which are worked by picking up stitches around the arm and knitting from the top down. For me, the worst part will be picking up the stitches.

Lousy photo, good progress.
Because lighting.

Notice the theme? Not sure why picking up stitches is so daunting. It doesn't bother me at all when knitting socks. Maybe it's because the socks only require 20 stitches not 60 or 160. Yeah, that's it. I'm just lazy.

To take a look at the progress of others, and much better photos, visit Tami's Amis.

Friday, January 3, 2014

Final FO

Two final items from 2013.

1. Painted into a Color Corner Blanket

Begun in July, finished December 30. Pattern used: Stash-Buster Blanket by Jennifer Hansen, with an added herringbone double crochet border. This one is airy and lightweight which is what I wanted for a throw to be used in the summer on a cool evening.

2. Half a Cowl

Started and finished on December 28. Pattern used: Tamatori Cowl by True Brit Knits. This may look familiar. I knit the double loop version for me, me, me in some pre-New Year's selfish knitting, but when I wore it to my sister's on Christmas Eve it stayed there as a gift. Since I had extra yarn, I made this single loop version for myself. I knit the whole thing while watching The Great Gatsby. Wonderful design: quick, warm, and stylish. 

To take a look at other finished projects, visit Tami's Amis.  Be sure to visit Creative Fridays at NaturalSuburbia, too, for any number of different crafts. 

Wednesday, January 1, 2014


Or: Why I Will Knit More Sweaters This Year

I read an interesting article the other day which discussed the role of emotion in rational goal-setting, or as we call it on New Year's Day, making resolutions. If you want to pay $4,000 you can take a three-day workshop. If you want to pay $0, you can try this free tip (from the article)and see if it works for you.

  • Pre-Hindsight:  Use emotions to evaluate how likely you are to succeed at a goal. Imagine that, six months from now, you have not achieved your goal. The level of surprise you feel at this outcome is a good predictor of whether you will actually succeed.

So, I imagined that six months from now I would have not completed even the one sweater for myself that I started in February, 2013. Did I feel surprised? Hah! I say: Hah!

Since I really would like to complete that sweater, and maybe one or two others, or a few pairs of socks, I had to think about what would be getting in the way. I didn't have to look any farther than  my ravelry projects page. I'm heading in to 2014 with three WIP's:  two half-knit sweaters and about 5% of a pair of socks. That seems like not very much to accomplish in six months, doesn't it? Wrong! I say: Wrong!

Wrong, that is, unless I stop choosing to knit and crochet scarves and their sneaky cousins cowls, infinities, and shawlettes. Wrong, unless I keep the mix of projects in progress from overbalancing toward the cute little quick items that can really pile up and give a not very satisfying sense of accomplishment. 

When I look in my closet do I think: gee, I wish I had another scarf. No! I'm afraid to count the ones I have. What I think is: gee, I wish I had a sweater that wasn't all pilled and good for nothing except slouching around the house or sneaking out to the trash bin with yesterday's papers. I wish I had a sweater in a flattering color. I wish I had a sweater that fit me. 

Then I go back to the knitting chair to work on another cowl. Well, not this week at least. This week it's all red sweater all the time. Check in next Wednesday to see what happens. For other current progress, see Tami's Amis.

In the meantime, best wishes for 2014!