Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Latest Frugal Yarn Purchase

40 skeins  (some opened, but it looks like they are still mostly complete skeins)... for $60.

I HAD JUST complained about how I dislike shopping on Facebook (Marketplace isn't available here just now). And someone posted some 'good' (well, good for me, with my wool allergies)... yarn cheap on Facebook. They were offering the yarn for $2 a skein, or the full lot for $60. I couldn't resist.

$1.50 per skein for Cotton-Ease? Yes, mine!

Friday, June 30, 2017

Grape Chevron Sweater

This is a slightly older project, still pending. It was supposed to be a project for Winter 2016 term (so started Jan 2016). Planning started before my now-husband had proposed. I even got him to pose for a silly photo for my proposal to 'use up my stash before it swallows him whole' photo.

And the specific stash in question is my favorite acrylic - Red Heart ... yes, they do make nasty yarn, but they also have a nicer yarn that they make... Red Heart With Love. Which is a nice, bouncy, acrylic. My biggest complaints is the small list of colors they do, however, they have recently added self-striping to their options... so it will get better (I hope).

As you can see, it's a grape-y purple (my favorite color).

The pattern is the Chevron Chic pattern which I have in a 2009 Verena Knitting magazine. So, pattern bought almost 8 years ago in the magazine, yarn bought at least back 2 to 3 years ago... and project began in 2016. Yeah... I'm quick like that, lol.

In all fairness... Jan 2016 was the month when wedding prep planning struck me pretty hard. There was a lot I wanted to do to prepare for the wedding (which wasn't until October 2016), but I also knew with my health that I could have a relapse at any time and if I wanted to do a lot of DIY for the decor, and the ceremony, and the snacks, etc... well, then I had to start early so that I would be ready. 

I managed to get the back finished before I ran completely out of steam (my camera seems to like to turn purple into blue):

And then I picked it up again in December of 2016 (break month) starting the front; only I hadn't done a good enough job of noting where I was in the pattern and what size I was making (woops). I got to the chevron bit of it before I realized my counts for the pattern were off (mistake 1) and when I compared it to the back I realized I was off by more than the counts, I was a good 3-4" wider than the back because I had cast on for the completely wrong size (mistake 2). I had to frog the whole thing and then I put it in time out (where all the naughty projects go).

Then this last April (another break month), I picked it back up again and got the right number of stitches cast on... and I managed to get a couple of repeats of the chevron before it was time to start the new term. I had hoped to get through the chevron by picking it up here and there during term, but working on 'bigger' WIPs during term always seems to be such a waste of crafting time.

I found it sitting in my project bag, mid-row even:

I figure I probably easily have another 20 hours of knitting to finish the front of this sweater and another 40 hours or so of knitting for the sleeves. Then easily 3-4 hours of seaming up and weaving in ends.

It should be a warm and cozy sweater when finished and something I could easily wear into the office or when visiting family and friends. Assuming I can find time and health remission to work on it.

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Color Dipped Top - WIP

My next WIP is also a top for me, this time a bit of an intentionally oversized, comfortable in jeans, comfortable for around the house, type of sweater.

Due to health issues, my temperature sense/balance is a bit out of wack, so cottons are great for year round wear and soft, cozy cotton? Well, that is just comforting even if you are just too tired to move, tired.

With comfort and casual living on my mind... I picked out a great, slightly boxy pattern: Patons Color Dipped Top. I dug through my stash and I had two sets of skeins that I originally purchased with the intent of making a top with them - a dark blue along with a heathered blue/white ... only... sigh. I bought them not realizing one was a heavy Aran and one was a light DK. Um... woops!  Thankfully when working my guage swatch, I realized there was a sizing difference (apparently the tag and the feel of the skein wasn't enough to trigger an ah ha moment, sigh!).  But, I'd already fallen in love with the Aran yarn. So, I went online to purchase the bright blue to use (the heathered wasn't available in Aran weight), 😒

The yarn itself is Universal Yarn Cotton Supreme, and it is lush to the touch and I think it really shows off the stitch pattern.  I bought the dark blue Aran weight as well as the Heathered DK weight from Heartland Fiber Co, which I visited for the first time a little over a year ago during the Eastern Iowa Yarn Shop Hop. It is a delightful store and I just kept coming up with new ideas for projects (and then the yarn), which is the best thing ever for both a knitter and for the shop owners. Lovely store filled with lots of little odds and ends (not just yarn) and great customer service. I'd love to go back any time, it's a little bit of a drive, but the shop is definitely worth a visit.

Since the second set of DK yarn wasn't going to end up working for the project, but I was deeply in love with this yarn for this project, I popped online and ordered some additional Cotton Supreme from Webbs. Loved the simplicity of the online ordering process and it certainly surpasses the quality of experience enough to want to add it to my beginning knitters references for my classes in the future.

When I was knitting up my guage swatch, I was thinking it was a broken rib pattern... where you K1, P1 on one row, and knit the second row. But, instead you K1,P1 on the first row (wrong side), then K1, K1 below; coming back on the second row. On a four row repeat where you then alter to P1, K1; and then K1 below and K1.... well, it makes this very interesting fabric which isn't truly stockinette even though the K1 below eliminates the purl stitch in effect... quite fun and interesting to knit up. Not totally mindless knitting like the broken rib would have been, but delightful none-the-less.

Sadly, this too is sitting sadly and forelornly in the corner... no knitting for this broken knitter. But it's going to make a truly lovely sweater one day.

Monday, June 26, 2017

Orange sherbert - a tank top WIP

I won a lovely grand prize of $75 coupon at a not-quite-local LYS (about 250 miles away); but close enough to justify a destination change for our Spring Break this last spring. Such a GREAT gift from StevenBe (in Minneapolis, MN).

I picked up lots of lovely yarns, and we don't really need to tell my new husband how much OVER the prize I spent, now do we?

Since I'm stuck flat on my back and unable to knit for a bit, I figure maybe I could spend a little time resurrecting my blog and posting some progress pictures.

First the swatch & yarn:

I picked up four skeins each of white & orange Be Sweet Bamboo, very soft, lovely drape and while a little bit splitty, still a very nice yarn.

My 'swatch' was an attempt at this tank that I started back in March, before I realized that the needles I had chosen was working great for seed stitch (the bottom edge), but was wrong for the stockinette portion. I ended up frogging this attempt and started with a needle, one size smaller, this last May.

I'm making the pattern up as I go, with an intent to add bars very similar to this pattern:  Block Theory; but using that color-work idea and some modifications from this pattern: Soliel; just substituting seed stitch for the bottom edge instead of lace (since the colorwork is intended to be the 'point' and the lace would only distract and make it too busy. I'm also knitting this flat, where there will be one side seamed in order to simplify the use of intarsia to build in the colorwork blocks.

Only, ha! With the needle size down one size. And even after re-working and re-verifying my guage swatch (lying gauge swatch)... I got into trouble at the mid-way point.

Bet you can't see the issue, can you? Neither did I for the longest time... happily knitting away and adding blocks of color on a whim.

Yeah, it's not WIDE enough for this not-quite plus sized person.

Hmmm... I've already frogged this project once. Because it was going to be too big and the knitting too loose. Now, the knitting is fine, but the guage is too small, sigh.

Got my thinking cap on and decided to add another block of color, this time up the 'seam' side, and in seed stitch... not sure why, maybe to make it look more like an intentional design element as opposed to an oops, did she mess up cover up (?)...

Anyway, a couple of inches in (was planning on continuing it until I matched the height of the other work, then continuing to work flat until I needed to start armhole decreases.

(hard to tell from this picture, it's a bit pinkish, but it's the same delightful orange as the bars in the picture above which is more true-to-color)

Then I got a flare up and repetitive activities causes problems. Now it's sitting in my beautiful project bag, around the corner from where I lay so I'm not too sad about not getting to work on it right now.

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

May FOs

A few of my finished items from May...

These are my son's socks - little a... he's getting big enough that these take a little longer, his feet are now officially bigger than mine (and he doesn't turn 12 until next month).

These were made with variegated blue worsted weight acryclic - so more like slipper socks than socks, but he loves them and he's outgrowing the others... I might make him another pair in July. No pattern, just cast on x number of stitches, knit in ribbing for an inch or so, then heel flap and then off I'm running.

The Handbrake Cowl is a for-pay pattern on Ravelry, But a dear friend bought it for me as a gift as the proceeds from the sale of it go to a great cause and it's really not that expensive.  The yarn I used ended up coming out far more camoflaguing in color than it did... which surprised me as the yarn in skein didn't look like camo-colors, just shades of green... AND GO FIGURE, when I've tried to get camo-like look... it doesn't work... but knit with hand painted green yarn and ... blam... camo!

The yarn is Pomaire Multy  which is sadly discontinued. It was a bit splitty, but a REALLY nice cotton yarn and it's so hard to find good color options in non-wool items... the yarn was also a gift (another time) from the exact same person, so when I got the urge to work the cowl... I figured I totally needed to use some of the yarns she has given me over the years.  

I'm just not so sure that I'm a green fan, and it came out a bit 'boyish' with the camo appearance... but it's a longer cowl - which none of the men in my life would wear a long cowl as that's too 'girlish' for them. So, we'll donate it to charity... I might make another in the future as it was very enjoyable to knit.

These four 'odd ball' squares are for some photography I'm requesting - there's a stockinette square, a garter stitch square, some cables & lace and ... the handbrake cowl purl diaganol in the last one. The photographer has a macro lens and will do some close up pictures for me. I want to frame them for my walls.

And then a few of my charity hats for May... I started playing with holding yarn double and using up some scraps to try to do some gradiants... so far its been fun, quick and interesting... so definitely a good use of some scraps! No pattern, just cast on 60 stitches with yarn held double- knit ribbing for a few inches, then stockinette then sort out some decreases.... use the yarn ball until the color runs out or you're desparate for a change... I'll definitely be doing more of these next month.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

May progress

Classes !

Detention - Hat - Done

Charms - water inspired for augamenti charm - a blue Hat (yes, yet another hat) - Done

Muggle Studies - inspired by stamps - socks - simple variegated blue yarn for a - (his favorite color) - man are his feet ever getting big - ... found a fox in socks stamp inspired by Dr Suess - better tie in!
 - Done

Divination - Two colors - Hat (yes, yet another hat) - Done

CoMC - something for the home - photo props/hot pads - Done

History of Magic - inspired by Wall of China - handbrake cowl - Done

DADA - something that needs a final 'hardening' stage - third plan is the charm... ended up doing a Graduation Card for my niece and use the 'glue' hardening as the final stage - Done

Potions - something green - littlest a is due to get thrummed slippers and I chose green for his... they are super quick and turn out adorable. - Yikes - his feet ARE big!!! Have to frog back and lengthen them... about 50% done

Transfiguration - unexpected color - Yes, another Hat - Done

Other non-class projects:

My upcycle for the windows... I have all the materials now. Two large windows. Gold spray glitter, silvering spray, water & vinegar.... though I might need to pick up new hanging rings - as I think they'll easily be around 30 pounds each and I'm thinking two hangers on each - and hanging them over my fireplace. -- still need to work on these.

OWL progress...

Basket bottom is about 8" x 14" - am hoping to add the other 6" to the bottom yet this weekend.
Rug is about 10" x 44" - want to add another 2" to the rug this weekend.
Sweater is about 14" - want to add another 1-2" to the body.

Mission progress - two sweaters, want to be at 25% on both by next weekend.
Phoenix (half lace, some ribbing) - at 50% mark (what can I say... working with silk and some cotton that is nicer to knit with than I expected).
Indian Cross Stitch tunic - have about 2" done... the first 1/3 will take the longest time... so if I can get past the yoke I'll call it good.

Of course, then there's also Quidditch match #2 which started today... two more hats (yes, yet more hats)... which I'm ALSO hoping to whip out this weekend.... too bad I'll be in the car a lot this weekend.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

May plans

Classes !

Detention - Hat

Charms - water inspired for augamenti charm - a blue Hat (yes, yet another hat)

Muggle Studies - inspired by stamps - socks - simple variegated blue yarn for a - (his favorite color) - man are his feet ever getting big - I found a blue princess stamp, still debating if it's ok to poke fun that I used a princess stamp to make socks for my very-much-a-boy son

Divination - Two colors - Hat (yes, yet another hat)

CoMC - something for the home - I'm making what will technically be photo props, we'll call them hot pads as most people don't knit little squares for photo props... but my goal is to get some macro images of the knitting and blow them up poster sized, frame them and post them as art in my home

History of Magic - inspired by Wall of China - handbrake cowl, a pattern gifted to me by a dear friend; with yarn she had gifted me at a different time; and I'm planning on using the spiraling lines formed in the pattern to make up a story about running after lost firsties.

DADA - something that needs a final 'hardening' stage - my original non-Rav craft this month didn't get accepted (upcycling old windows) - so I still wanted to try something non-Rav... and another member of the cup asked if she could use glue to seal (harden - or make permanent) something that basically was a type of home-made snow globe. So, I'm ready to make another mediation bottle.

Potions - something green - littlest a is due to get thrummed slippers and I chose green for his... they are super quick and turn out adorable.

Transfiguration is the only one I couldn't quite come up with something for - unexpected color... I'm kind of stumped on this one. Although, worst case I can always make Yet another hat - maybe in a color I don't care for, pink comes to mind quite quickly on that.

Other non-class projects:

My upcycle for the windows... I have all the materials now. Two large windows. Gold spray glitter, silvering spray, water & vinegar.... though I might need to pick up new hanging rings - as I think they'll easily be around 30 pounds each and I'm thinking two hangers on each - and hanging them over my fireplace.

And I need to make a card for my niece who is graduating at the end of the month... it's on the list, no idea what I'll do yet... but I'm sure I can find a tacky idea if I wait until the last minute - sigh.