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!
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.
Pattern: Linga by Gudrun Johnston
Yarn: Rowan Felted Tweed DK, colour 157 Camel
Needles: 3.5 & 4.5 mm
Yardage: 41 g / 156 yards
It’s fitting that I finished this hat right after my Shalder cardigan. I put this pattern in my queue at the same time that I put Shalder in my queue; I was fascinated by the carbuncle/diamond motifs used for dwarven objects in The Hobbit movie. I love how it turned out; I think it will be my main hat this winter even if there is an openwork / lace motif. I originally meant to make the hat and the cardigan as a matching set because of the carbuncle design feature, but they are knit at different tensions and knitting them in the same yarn would be boring. The carbuncle lacework shows up more clearly in lighter coloured yarn, too. Now if I could just finish an idea in less than a year, instead of the nearly three years this one took me to complete.
Project: Vanilla Tea
Pattern: Sweet Vanilla Tunic by Veera Valmaki
Yarn: Blue Moon Fiber Arts BFL Sport in Raspberry Moose and Blue Moon Fiber Arts STR Mediumweight in Monroe Blutbad
Needles: 3.75 mm and 2.5 mm
I love knitting with this yarn, it is so soft and light and airy. It’s pretty strong as well, I didn’t break any while knitting this tunic. I love the simplicity of this design, I know this something I will wear a lot.
I have been trying to knit Fjorgyn Jacket pattern for years, but I’ve never actually finished any of those projects. Until now. I am not very tall, so I haven’t ever followed the instructions for the body in all the iterations of this pattern I’ve knit. I started to make a slimmed down version of the jacket with the Rowanspun Chunky back in 2013 but I put it aside when I began to sense that I didn’t have enough yarn to finish it. But I loved the way the cables popped with the yarn. What to do. What to do.
I knit Idlewood back in 2011 using Blue Moon Fiber Arts Lucious Single Silk, and wanted another tunic.
And so Idlewood Fjorgyn was born. I simply placed the cable pattern from the Fjorgyn jacket in the middle of the tunic body, went a size up to account for the cables narrowing my fabric, and voila.
I really love how it turned out, and I love wearing it. The only problem I have is getting the cowl to fit inside my winter jacket when I zip it up. But spring is finally here so no worries.
I felt like making mittens, but I wondered why are patterns always written from wrist to fingertip? What if you knit from fingertips to wrist, and if so, how would you do that? So I used a magic toe-up sock cast on, two at a time on 2.5 mm needles, increased 4 sts per mitten every row just like I would for a toe. When I got to 64 sts per mitten, I continued knitting straight until I got to the thumb. For each mitten, I cast off 4 sts on the palm, 2 on the back of the hand. On the next round when I got to the thumb (where I just cast off 6 sts) I cast on 20 sts. As I continued, I decreased at the thumb, sort of a reverse thumb gusset. I used Frankenfingers as a gusset guide.
I kept decreasing every few rounds until each mitten was 60 sts. I got kinda bored at the end, I added some lace as a border. I still don’t like lace in variegated yarn, I can barely see the pattern, but then again I only did one repeat. Then I picked up stitches for the thumb, decreasing drastically when I was almost at my thumb tip.
I’ve been wearing them regularly the past couple of weeks, and I like them but next time I’d knit them smaller, both in length (of the hand, from finger tips to thumb) and circumference (again, my hand from the fingertips to the thumb), and in a thicker wool. We’ve had a very harsh, bitterly cold winter this year and my hands get cold easily, the lightweight just doesn’t stand up to -20 C. But I love the colours so much, the way they play off each other, it’s delicious. And the pooling matches. Love it.
I’d been planning to knit this doll for years, but I didn’t work up the courage until now. I’d always assumed that stuffies would be an incredibly fiddly and time consuming knit. It was actually quite straight forward and fun. I tried to use Lett Lopi odds and ends I had lying around since it’s Icelandic yarn from Icelandic wool. The only non-Icelandic yarn I used is for her skin, since the only pale pink I had in my stash was some leftover Rowan yarn from baby knitting. I used DPNs for the whole project, which surprised me a little because I usually give up on them about 1/3 of the way through any given project. They are just too fiddly for me. I can’t even use them for hexipuffs. Maybe it was because I had the project on three DPNs, rather than four as for socks or two as for hexipuffs. For whatever reason, DPNs absolutely work for me when I make stuffies. I will definitely make more, as my daughter is only four and even my 9 year-old son has asked me for Finn and Jake from Adventure Time.
I made this pattern a few years ago with Socks that Rock Lightweight in Thraven. It is the only knitwear that I’ve made that I lost. I’m not even sure how I lost it, to be honest. But it really ate at me. So I decided to replace it, this one is made with Socks that Rock Mediumweight in Monroe Blutbad. Super comfy, I love to wear it around the house and as a scarf when I go out. I don’t normally go in for variegated yarn, but since it is a Grimm colourway I had to try it. I really love the result, though I find it hard to photograph. I’ve since joined the Rockin’ Sock Club for this year and I’m going to make myself some mittens out of variegated yarn soon. After Blocking