Perhaps I was being a little hard on myself last time I wrote here. I’ve since worn my Rose cardigan a few (many) more times, and I discovered that a loose fitting cardigan can conceal or over emphasise a mistake. The longer front end is an inch longer, if that, and can easily be overcome by wearing it with some give at the back of the neck. I mean, have the back neck of the cardigan loosely at the top of my shoulders, not tightly up against the back of my neck. If that makes sense. Plus, I use a shawl pin to keep it closed. I think it fits great, though the breezy open style means that it can’t wear it open without it falling off. The end result was definitely worth all the knitting on those repetitive pieces.
I also finished a thing! Stephen West’s Baby Vertices Unite Blanket. This was knit up with DK yarn, so it was a fast and fun project and actually a good size, not too big nor too small. The baby I knit this for isn’t here yet, so it wasn’t even a last minute up against the deadline thing. Yeah me!
So, today the sunset was a lovely blend of peachy pinks and lavender with swirling clouds. But of course it all changed while I went inside to get my phone / camera. I’ve been finding time to work on Xanthe this week. My two year old just started daycare, so this project was hibernating a little bit because knitting lace with toddlers running around is no. Just no. I’m half way through the final lace panel, then there’s the picot bind off and I’m done!
This little gnome has given me so much joy; in the making and just having her hang around in my kitchen. It was an MKAL and it was just what I needed knitting wise – an interesting group project but nothing overwhelming in terms of skills or size. I used polyfill and some decorative pebbles to add weight for the stuffing. I have a bag of decorative pebbles languishing in my garage, the perfect excuse to make more of these! There are three other gnome patterns by the same designer, Imagined Landscapes, and I’ll probably end up making all of them.
I finished all the knitting and seaming on my Rose Cardigan in the beginning of March. The collar band took me forever, or about 3 months. It was the hardest part of this project for me. It was a simple cable, but it did include purling through the back-loop, something that I found frustrating because the stitch that needed to be purled through the back-loop looked exactly like a regular purl bump to me. The knit stitch that needed to be knit through the back loop was very obvious to my eyes.
When I knit, I like to know / memorise the pattern so that I can just knit and not refer to the pattern or my notes. Usually when I memorise the pattern, I can look at my knitting and know what comes next, without having to recite K2, P2, K3, P2 etc… in my head as I go. When I have to keep track of what I’m doing by reciting the pattern in my head and not able to look at my knitting to see what comes next I get super frustrated. The collar on the Rose Cardigan was the latter situtation because of the purls through the back-loop. But I loved the look of the twisted stitches so I persevered. I actually started seaming the collar on as I went to help motivate me.
When I was finally done with the collar, I was so excited to have this project finished!! I laid it out to take a look at its completeness and immediately noticed that one front was longer than the other. By 3+ inches. Seriously. I knew right away that it was a gauge and seaming issue that I could probably fix by un-seaming the collar and re-seaming it. (The rate that you mattress stitch into either of the two edges that you are seaming changes the length / outcome). The gauge issue is that I spent a lot of my knitting time in 2018 searching for my favourite needles. Which means that each quadrant of this cardigan was knit on different needles. Signature, Chiao Goo interchangeable, Lykke fixed, and finally Tulip interchangeable. So I seamed four not quite identically sized pieces into a cardigan. Stupid I know. It’s the ‘it’ll just seam out’ solution to gauge issues, I guess. I wore the cardigan around the house for a few days to see if I preferred the longer side or the shorter side and I definitely prefer the bouncier / bubble feeling of shorter fronts. I’ve set it aside for a little bit and I’ll probably be up to re-seaming the collar later this month.
I have been anticipating finishing this cardigan so much that this set back really effected my knitting mojo. It also made me analyse what I’m knitting; is the making giving me joy? Will I honestly adore the finished object? I really want to finish this cardigan properly, so you’ll probably see it here again once I’m happy with the collar.
I have tried to organise and re-focus my WIPs into something manageable; I love casting things on, then I get overwhelmed with all the knitting. Right now, I have one shawl project, one garment, one baby blanket and a pair of fingerless mittens. I mentioned the shawl project, Xanthe, in my last post, but soon after writing I frogged it and re-knit in an entirely different colour scheme.
I got the pinkish yarn, Prohibition in Tia Merino, in the same Yarn Cartel shipment as the mini skeins I used for my gnome. I set the skein down next to the Xanthe in progress in the first colour scheme, and it was just playing so well with the white speckled colourway (Teacup in Skinny Singles by Hedgehog Fibres), that I had to restart the whole project. No regrets.
I finally cast on for my V-Neck Boxy a couple of Sundays ago. I got through all the back shaping in one day, just a little bit of stockinette left before I can start the right and left fronts. I only had the chance to work on it that one day, all in all pretty good progress for me.
The funnest thing on my needles right now is the Vertices Unite Baby Blanket; Stephen West reworked his classic Vertices Unite for a baby blanket worked in DK weight. I purposely photographed it in black and white because it’s a gift for someone who’s expecting, and I don’t want to completely let the cat out of the bag.
And finally, a small project that I love and should have finished already, Balamara Mitts.
I had a bit of cast-on-itis this week.
I started 2 pairs of socks, a pair for me and a pair for my daughter, and I cast-on a Lush cardigan.
First the cardigan:
I’m nearly done the lace panel. I actually did the provisional cast-on, and it worked beautifully. I promise never to try and get out of a provisional cast-on again. The cast-on has already been picked up and knitted; it was right in the middle of the diamond on the panel in the upper-left hand corner of the picture, right below the squirrel stitch marker. It’s also my first time working with SweetGeorgia Worsted yarn. I like it so far, it’s quite strong, almost like Socks That Rock in feel, except that SweetGeorgia Worsted is thicker of course, being worsted and not sock weight like STR.
I’m going to make my daughter another pair of socks with the fish lips kiss heel and since I have enough yarn leftover from her first pair of socks, in the same yarn (Dream in Color Everlasting Sock) too.
I’m making my socks in Lorna’s Laces Solemate toe-up using the vanilla method found in Kate Atherley’s Custom Socks. I cast-on both toes using Judy’s magic cast-on in magic loop. Once the toes were done, I transferred one sock to a holder and another to an 8″ / 20 cm Addi circular needle. I’ve always used magic loop to make socks and I enjoy that method, but why not try something new? I just have to remember to note down everything I do with this sock so the second sock will match properly. I’m finding the small needle a little awkward to work with, but I’ve only done five rounds with it so far. I’m sure there’s a learning curve and I’ll be in it for a little while.
And this one is moving along, but it’s hard to work on around the kids. It really demands all of my attention. I can only knit 2-6 rows a day, and that’s if I’m lucky. But I do love it.
Finally, it’s done!!! I’ve spent so many posts on this thing. I’m really glad in how it turned out. It’s my first complicated lace shawl, and my first FO with complicated beadwork (Celestarium was a breeze in comparison). So, I’m proud of myself for completing it, though my eyes are always drawn to the big coffee stain on chart 2 and a couple of goofy stitches here and there. I didn’t bother with a provisional cast on for the edging (chart 4) , and I did a 3 needle bind-off instead of kitchener-ing the live stitches together. I deeply regret that short cut; the join is very obviously visible. Next time, when a pattern calls for provisional cast on, I’m going to listen. It may not be a museum piece, but my daughter loves it. She appropriated it for herself and it’s now living in her blanket fort with her bird, cat and unicorn.
Why yes, green is one of my favourite colours. I’ve only been working on a couple of projects recently, not for lack of knitting but one them is a demanding knit. I’ll let you guess which one.
Snape Fingerless Mitts – These are coming along nicely. I really love the yarn, Knitting Goddess 4 ply British Wool and Nylon. It is soft and supple, yet strong. I can’t wait to see how it wears. I’m not following a particular pattern for these; I’m consulting one for the gusset and another for the picot edging. I think I will also do a little fringe with some leftover Jamieson’s Shetland Spindrift in Mooskit.
In Dreams Shawl – I’m happy to finally pick this up. I haven’t worked on it at all since autumn 2014. It’s slow going, which I find very frustrating. But the elation when I finally finish a chart is what is going to keep me on track. I have set a goal with myself to finish this by the end of the month. I have 3.5 charts to go, but one of the charts is so big it’s split into two pages. I’m more than a little worried about getting it done on time, but I will try my best. It really is lovely, just very hard to photograph on the needles have it not look like a lumpy mess.
I’ve been making progress this week – I should finish my hitchhiker and my child’s socks in a few days. I turned the heels on my socks this weekend and the recipient doesn’t want her socks to go to far up her leg, so almost done! I’ve also finished chart 3 on my Evenstar, and am now casting off with beads!!
I recently cast on these mittens, they are a blast to knit. I’m trying traditional colourwork for the right hand (which is finished), and a new colourwork technique for the left (in progress). So far loving the new technique, but I have to wait for the left mitten to be done before I know the final result. Yes, I am knitting mittens with Daleks on them. Pattern here. This also my first time knitting with tosh dk, so love it, but I have to wait and see how it wears in real life. The blue is spectrum and the yellow is maple leaf.
I’ve also made a little progress on this old friend from 2014, my Evenstar. I should finish the 3rd chart very soon. I will be using beads for the 4th and final chart. This shawl and In Dreams are part of my detention o.w.l. for hpkchc, so hopefully they will both be done by April.
These are the WIPs that I’m not consistently working on, though I should be:
Seriously, there is no reason (other than time) that I’m not working on them / that they aren’t finished already.
Pattern: Aestlight Shawl by Gudrun Johnston
Yarn: Jamieson’s Shetland Spindrift in 429 Old Gold and 230 Yellow Ochre
Needles: 3.75 mm
Yardage: 72 g / 335 yards
I had a few skeins of Old Gold in my stash and I wanted to knit it up because it’s really not a ‘me’ colour. (Yup, I’m the kind of person who eats the cake before the icing, most of the time). The yellow ochre is a much happier colour, but I only had one skein so I decided to use them together on this shawl to make the Old Gold less painful. Yes, colour can affect my emotions. It may be crazy but it’s true for me. The honeycomb pattern is ridiculously simple, so simple that I underestimated the amount of attention I needed to use to not screw it up. I was tinking back regularly, but I always caught my mistake before starting the next row. I do love the honeycomb stitch pattern.
Because I used a contrast colour for the garter bands, there was a small ridge along the top edge of the shawl at the colour joins. This bugged me, and since I noticed it while I was doing the knitted edging bind off, when I was done with the bind off I continued with a kind of standard bind off along the top edge of the shawl. What I did (I think) is pick up and knit one stitch from the edge of the shawl, then bound off the first stitch (that was the last stitch of the knitted bind off), then picked up one stitch again, and bound it off, etc.. until I got to the other end of the shawl. This made a nice finished effect, HOWEVER, I used a 3.75 mm needle, which made the bind off too tight along the honeycomb edge. I should have used at least a 5 mm needle. I got into real trouble at blocking because I couldn’t open the honeycomb pattern up at the top ends of the shawl. Evidence:
It was too tight and looked horrible. So I undid that bit of trim(?) and reblocked it:
Still a little tight at the top ends, but better than before. Ideally, I’ll make this one again soon in a colour I can truly appreciate, especially to see if I still get tightening of the honeycomb pattern at the top ends if I use just one skein to knit it.