I finished my Bixbite Shawl this past August. The design is by Veera Välimäki. The pink and grey skeins are from Sugarplum Circus, the navy blue is from Gynx Yarns. It is super cosy and soft and I loved knitting it. The thick blocks of striping were done with short rows; it was my favourite part of knitting this shawl.
This is the latest of Imagined Landscapes‘ MKAL gnomes, Gnicki of the Nice to Gnome You MKAL. I used three minis from Countess Ablaze’s Yarn Cartel and some scraps of white yarn. The beard was supposed to be white, but I ran out of yarn. I’m happy that it worked out that way because I love the colour of the yarn I used for the beard. It’s this saturated slimy gold colour that immediately grabbed my attention. The marling was fun and totally unexpected, but I’m glad I got to let slimy gold shine on its own for the beard.
Just a small one-skein shawl, but it is cosy and I love it. I love the colours in this yarn. The colour changes quite frequently, but the changes are not strong enough to create colour barf when knit up. You know, those gorgeous skeins of yarn that have a bunch of contrasting colours that look amazing in the skein; once you wind that skein into a ball you start to have doubts but forge ahead and start knitting until you have to give up, frog and put that yarn aside in the to-be-socks pile. Or is that just me?
Details: I used tulip long carry C interchangeable needles in 4 mm and 6.5 mm, Sugarplum Circus Smooth Sock May 2019 Club colourway, and the pattern is Simmer Dim by The Shetland Trader.
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 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.
I’ve been trying to stick to a regular schedule, but if I did another WIPs Wednesday it would be a “look at the beads! There are more than last week!!” kind of thing. So here is something I finished, my Hitchhiker shawl.
It is a simple, fun knit. I memorised that pattern quickly, it was a great take-with-me-anywhere project. This is my first FO with a speckled yarn. I really enjoyed the randomness of the colours. I can see why speckled yarns are so popular at the moment.
I wanted to make 42 pointed teeth, but I ran out of yarn after 38 teeth. It makes a great scarf that I can easily wear with my winter coat.
What I am working on right now:
1. Cast-off/edging for my full Hansel – I have less than 10 points left to do.
2. Princess Bubblegum (I am using Astrid the Viking pattern) I have only the crown left to do, but it is i-cord so I am avoiding this, of course.
3. Luke Skywalker. I started him last week, while avoiding PB’s hair (so much hair), I’m only a few rounds in. Yet again, I am using the Astrid Viking pattern as a base.
What I should be working on:
1. Evenstar. It’s been well over a year since I started chart one. I haven’t worked on it meaningfully since last fall.
2. In Dreams. So many beads. I haven’t picked it up since last fall either.
Project: Dotted Rays
Pattern: Dotted Rays by Stephen West
Yarn: BMFA STR Mediumweight in Feelin’ Groovy, BMFA STR Lightweight in Hobbit Garden and Fleece Artist Nova Wool in Forest
Needles: 4 mm
Yardage: 243 g / 612 yards
This was a really fun knit, the simple garter stitch made it a really relaxing and enjoyable knit. The cheerful colours helped, too. I had to rip it out and start over after the first 2 wedges. I was just following the instructions, but I couldn’t ‘see’ where the instructions were taking me; usually when I read instructions I can see the results in my head, but not this time. The first two wedges were a little goofy so I frogged it and started over. This was my first time making an i-cord edged shawl, a little confusing a first but a beautiful, modern, and simple result. In the past three months, I’ve made 4 shawls and three of them had knitted-on edgings. I’ve finished two of those edgings (Celestarium and Aestlight) but I’m still plodding through my third (Hansel). One thing I noticed when knitting this shawl is yarn twist and what a difference it makes. All the yarns I used are sock yarns, the pinky/purple/yellow and the bluesy/purple yarns are BMFA, but the green that I knit the last wedge out of is Fleece Artist. The BMFA yarns have a high twist and the fabric is a lot more firm (but still soft!) than the drapey result I got from the lower twist Fleece Artist. I don’t mind the last wedge being drapey, I find it interesting. I think I would have been really bothered it was in the middle wedges. It almost makes an additional edging to the shawl. The bold colours of my Dotted Rays are really going to get me through winter, I foresee a lot of use out of this comfy shawl.
Project: Astrid the Viking
Pattern: Leif & Astrid
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.
So the weather is finally changing. It feels wonderful as long as I’m inside. I caved and turned on the heating last week. Everything is brand new, so lots of fiddling by me to a) figure out how the system actually works and b) find the temperature setting that doesn’t leave the house either an icebox or a sauna. Since my husband has crazy work hours and I wake up early and stay home, there is no point to programming the system to turn low at nights or during week days, I’ve had to find a slightly frigid balance between survival and an enormous hydro bill.
I’ve only been working on a pair of socks this month, but given that my average completion time for socks is about 2 years, I’m very happy to report that I’m 80% done. I’m not following any pattern. I just watched some how-tos on YouTube, and winged it. They are turning out really well, except for the heel. I either mangled the instructions (very probable) or this a heel method that has a lot working out left to do. I like that it is st st all the way, though. My heels look very frankenstein, but I’m not going back to fiddle with them because a) I have to finish them before the 30th, b) the socks that I have made get used on cold nights, not fancy dress parties, c) I have a deadline and d) I want to break my sock curse. The actual colour of the yarn is between these 2 pictures. It’s Sundara Sock in Candied Chrome, acquired about 6 years ago. It’s very soft and fun to knit with. The pattern is a twisted stitch pattern from Barbara Walker’s 2nd Treasury, called Rapunzel.