Thursday, January 31, 2013

January - End of Month Wrap Up

I'm at about 20% complete and wanted to be at around 25% complete (10 blocks). I still haven't finished the last five blocks. I plan on working on it again next weekend and hope to finish those five blocks to get me to 10 done. But I was hoping to have gotten half-way through the next five by this weekend, which isn't going to happen. I'm a little behind, but am hoping that I can make up the time during Feburary.

Chocolate Passion Cardigan - I plan on casting this on this weekend.

I got a little closer to the crazy train than I wanted.

1. Penelope the Empathetic Monster - by Rebecca Danger DONE

2. Small baby blanket from Lion Brand DONE (though I messed up the dimensions.

3. A blanket square of some sort -DONE

4. A hat - DONE times 3

Not planned, but also completed
Beaded Ribbon

Not turned in for the cup
Stitch Markers

So instead of four smaller projects, I completed 9 smaller projects - AND my OWL suffered for it. Hmmm... this is just proof, again, that getting excited about the smaller projects hurts me on the bigger projects. AND now? I've got two bigger projects to work on for next month. And, as I'm typing this I'm also looking at my plans for next week. Which is a bigger list. I need to get things to a manageable level.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Wooops - FO, but not a good FO

I finished the baby blanket. But it's going into the charity pile instead of going to my co-worker. I should know better by now that if it's a pattern I do, and it's log-cabin style? That something is going to go wrong.

This is not square, not rectangular, not diamond-shaped either... more trapazoid. sigh.

It's pretty though. I liked the colors and the play off of them. but the upper-right hand corner started off un-square... and it got worse with every row. Since I had two edges 'on the needles' at all times, it wasn't something that you could see until it was almost finished. By that point, I'd put 1200 yards of yarn in and spent three weeks on the project. But, it'll work for a charity gift.

If nothing else? I know my cat likes it.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Sticks n String - Second Day

I took three great classes.... first stitch markers...

I learned a couple of tricks to simplify the process and was quite pleased with the results!

Second - a crocheted necklace. This particular piece of amazing craft is unbelieveably simple. Combining ladder yarn with a large crochet hook and simple chaining and out comes something that you can take a LOT of pride in.

This picture is a little dark - but it's a combination of different shades of gold/bronze/silver black cords and is incredibly sparkly and cute!  I can't wait to make some more of these!

Third, a beaded pin. I haven't worked with beading and knitting before (a pre-sequined yarn doesn't really count). And I while I could have used a smaller needle to get this a little 'snugger' and I probably could have made it shorter as well - I still think it turned out pretty good.

I got to enjoy a great chair massage (very relaxing!) but sadly for some reason I seem a little stressed today - not sure what was up, but I felt on 'edge' all day... so the massage probably could have done better if I could have just relaxed a little more... but it was still amazing.

And I was one of the lucky ones to get a door prize. My prize was two skeins of purple yarns (link isn't working at this time, but hopefully will be up with a website soon)... and a skein of something that was merino blend and while gorgeous - it just didn't make sense for me to keep it with my wool allergies - so I swapped it with another door prize winner at my table to double my take of cotton yarn. They aren't my favorite colors - a bright-ish pastel green and pink. But, it's yarn I can use versus yarn I would have had to find a new home for - so I was thrilled to make the swap. She was thrilled to make the swap. That works for me!

Friday, January 25, 2013

Sticks N String - Friday night

Sticks & String is a local knitting retreat, and this is my third year attending.

I didn't get to stay long tonight as my youngest had a pool party. So I dropped him off at the party - ran in and knit a little while until the vendor fair opened... did a little shopping, and then raced back to the pool to pick the little guy up.

I found some GORGEOUS blue alpaca fiber (as if I actually knew how to spin - ha!), as well as two skeins of DK alpaca from C & M Acres.... lovely stuff. I keep collecting lots of shades of their alpaca - with some thought to using all natural alpaca from darkest to lightest in graduated colors to make either a shawl (which I'd probably never wear - sigh) or some sort of cardigan. My favorite bit is that every skein has the name of the alpaca who provided the fleece for the skein!

I found an amazing leather/metal handcrafted bracelet from Fishlips3 Beads & Blues (a local artist) - and if he's back tomorrow and I find any quiet time, I'm going to ask if he's the guy offering classes through the community education program I teach for, would love to chat about his classes as I was thinking I might want to try to take one. I was seriously tempted by a brown leather/copper bracelet.... but behaved myself and bought a red leather and silver bracelet for my daughter-in-law.

I also saw, but did not buy some 100% silk, beaded, laceweight jewel-tone blue and green yarn.... I don't enjoy working with laceweight yarns as it is.... but it was really pretty..... but it was also $50. Um. Yeah. Not in my price range after all.... but it sure was pretty.

AND then I custom-ordered two zipper pouches.... they'll have custom embroidery on them - the selling point was that I saw someone come back with a zombie one.... and I was sold. They didn't have anything that 'quite' hit my happy place... but she was taking custom orders - so I put in my order. I'll be back to post some pics and links when I get them. It might be a while, I told her to put my order on the back burner and fill the other orders she gets first. I'll be happy with them when I get them, even if waiting a little bit.

And then, there's also the Goodie Bag!!!!

First the bag itself - a simple, branded tote. Lion Brand bags were used last year as well, only last year they were enormous. I didn't think I liked them that big, but they actually came in useful for storing finished charity hats last year... but this size is a good size.

And then the yarn - due to my wool allergies, they were kind enough to provide 50% cotton/50% acrylic - and it's a nice yarn!  Plus the cutest mug and zippered pouch.

The pouch is from Darn It! Sew What? -- which is the vendor I ordered my pouches from!

And then look at all this other loot!

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Blanket square

Finished the cable-licious square for Herbology.  I'll be making several of these in shades of blue and/or white.  Hoping for a nice blanket when it's all said and done.

This was the January square from the Woolen Collectibles pattern set. I'm not a huge fan of bobbles (to have and even less so to make) but I went ahead and decided to try it anyway and try to step outside my comfort zone.

I think it turned out pretty cute.

It's a full 14" x 14" which should work out with the 12 months turning out about the same size. But to make a blanket I will probably make more than 12 squares - so some of the other squares will have to get adapted to end up this big.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

January mid-month Progress post


1. My failed Potions OWL cardigan - DONE - and worn on a regular basis ever since!

2. Penelope the Empathetic Monster - by Rebecca Danger for the 600 Monsters charity - DONE - just waiting to send off in the mail, should be able to get it sent off this week yet.

3.  Hat #1 - I caved to the Muse when I saw the Angry Birds Hat pattern - and it makes a terrific mascot for a quidditch team. - not planned, DONE - set aside for charity donation this fall - NOTE: since this was intended for charity, it turns out it's a very good thing that I made this as a small hat... as both my 9 yr old son and my 5 yr old grandson have both REALLY wanted to steal it. They didn't ask me to make one for them, but they are definitely jealous that someone else is getting it.

4. Hat #2 - Flying. After I posted my ideas for Quidditch and found out there were bonus points to be had in Quidditch if you tie your project to Flying option 3 (create a quidditch uniform) AND bonus points to be had in Flying if you also do Quidditch... AND a dear pride-mate was ALSO doing an Angry Birds hat, well, whipping out a quick, simple hat sure seems like a really good tie in for some extra points! - not planned, DONE - set aside for charity donation this fall.

5. Hat #3 - Basic 2-color Brioche hat for charity - will be turning this into Potions along with my Slytherin beast-quest team mate as we banish the beast that is colorwork - DONE - set aside for charity donation this fall.

Only 47 more hats for charity to do for 2013!


OWL - the Stained Glass Windows Afghan - 10% done. I have 5 squares finished (and am eternally grateful that while they seemed to want to curl and pucker while I was making them - that they smoothed out pretty well when they were squared off and finished). I do have some concerns that they aren't as 'squared' off as I would like - but I'm thinking that I'm just being too picky. I have 5 more squares started and should have them about half-finished by the end of this week. My goal is to make 5 complete squares every two weeks... which gets me 25 squares by the end of 10 weeks and leaves two weeks for seaming and bordering.

Each finished square is approximately 9" x 9".

Classes -

DADA - 25% done on blanket #2 of 13  on a small baby blanket from from Cascade Cherub in DK - two shades of blue + white. Using the Lion Brand Log Cabin Pocket Blankie pattern (link requires registration/log in). It's turning out cute, but the initial corner isn't looking very squared off. But I'm hoping blocking will help. Plus when I seam the pocket over the top, you won't see the initial square at all except from the back of the blanket.  I am loving the light-ness of the yarn and how nice the fabric is turning out. The baby is due this spring and I think it's going to make a great summer blanket. It seems like it's taking forever, but it really is going well. I just need to get more time to work on it - and I will have time this next two weeks, so I'm hoping to finish before the end of the month.

This is about 20" x 20".

Herbology - 33% done on my blanket square - I am using the January square which includes a ton of bobbles which made me hesitate. But I'm liking them a lot better than when I made a baby hat COVERED with the darn things. Still not my favorite thing in the world to make or to have them on a blanket, but it does bring textural interest. This is at the 1/3rd point after just starting it this last Sunday, so it should be easily finished before the end of the month.

When finished, I believe this will be about 12" x 12".


BROOM - Chocolate Passion Cardigan, won't get my starting whistle to start this until the last week of the month. But I've got the yarn and the needles and I am ready to cast on when the whistle blows. Since I'm not making any other sweaters this term, I'm kind of itching to get started.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Yet Another Hat - FO

I finished the next hat - a simple baby hat using my 'standard' Brioche two-color pattern, but with  plain ribbing on the bottom section.  This will be going to winter clothing drives next fall.

I used leftovers from my Brown sweater that I have almost-finished and just waiting for a WIP the first date.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Upcoming classes

Two classes scheduled to start within the next two months.

Knitting 101 - Learn basic knitting skills by getting started with needle and yarn sizes, slip knots, casting on, knitting, purling, casting off, fringe, and trims.

Brioche Stitch Hat & Scarf - These hats and scarves are worked flat on large needles with bulky yarn, and are warm and stylish, yet quick to make! The brioche stitch creates a fabric that is warm and lofty. Students should be able to cast-on, perform the knit stitch.

Sign ups through LearnWEST

Though don't wait to long to sign up for the Knitting 101, as these classes fill up quickly.

Two FO's - charity hats

The first is an ultra cute baby hat - pattern from The Summer Opossum. I used stash worsted weight yarn in red, white, black and yellow. A little fiber fill for the nose. The 'feathers' at the top aren't stuffed with anything except the yarn tails - but still feel are small enough in circumference to feel soft, squishy but still stand up well.

And then, a simple little worsted weight cap - about toddler child sized that's a nice coordinate for the angry birds. Red with a fairly simple white stripe.. I knit 1 white, slipped red for the first stripe round. Then knit two rows white. Then on the first red row, I slipped one white and knit 1 red stitch through to the end. Simple, straight forward and quick to knit.

These are both charity hats - #1 and #2 of the year - only 48 more to do for 2013.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

January 2013 Planning Post

My OWL was approved! My OWL was approved!!!! I'm both really, really excited and really, really scared all at the same time. I'm now doubting my ability to get it done... but I'm going to give it a good college try.

My First blanket to start in 2013 (of the 13 blankets in 2013) is the Stained Glass Windows Afghan.  Stunning, really. I'm using Knit Picks Brava Worsted yarn in BRIGHT shades of the rainbow with the black edging (because really, you do need to use black for leading a stained glass window).  I'm making it 5 x 5 squares, so it'll come out a bit 'bigger' approximately 60" x 60". Plenty big to curl up under. 

Plus it's a perfect Potions project, with all that color?!

I am planning on proposing to make the Chocolate Passion Cardigan for my BROOM - Order of the Phoenix Mission. (which won't be able to be started until the end of the month) I am also using Knit Picks Brava Worsted yarn in brown as I really do look the dark, rich color from the pattern pictures. This has a very interesting construction and I'm looking forward to trying it. It also has some fun cable details and I do love me some nice, thick cables.

I'm planning to propose it under the infiltrate Hogwarts by posing as an OWL student. Since I've failed my Herbology OWL and this pattern is just under Herbology requirements, I'm certain this should fly.

I am going to work really hard at not over-doing my class participation this term. I am NOT jumping on the Crazy train. I am not jumping on the crazy train. I am not jumping on the crazy train. (I will be repeating this to myself often, don't mind me... just trying to get a little less cup-crazy).

1. Penelope the Empathetic Monster - by Rebecca Danger for the 600 Monsters project using stash leftover acrylic. They (and I) are aware that Sandy Hook is currently turning away contributions that they cannot manage. I think the whole world wanted to reach out and ease their burden simultaneously. This whole project was originally planned such as to hold off and provide the toys a little bit later after the flood wore off. They're still thinking that might apply, but if it's still too much at that time, they are planning on monsters going to children affected by violence anyway. Which is a wonderful opportunity to give a child a hug who needs it, even if it's from a distance.

I am planning on using Care of Magical Creatures to turn in this project under the option of - to provide strength.

2. Small baby blanket from Lion Brand I am planning to use some yarn I purchased at my LYS - Hill Vintage & Knits from Cascade Cherub in Aran (I think). In shades of Blue and Cream. This should be blanket #2 of 13 started this year.

Still have to decide which class this fits into at this point.

3. A blanket square of some sort - probably a heavily cabled one from O-Wool. They have a 12 month afghan project with a square per month. And January's month looks as good to me as any. This will be part of blanket #3 of 13 started this year - though unless I can figure out how to make more than one square a month, I might have some issues getting a blanket with only 12 squares.

I was thinking this would be an excellent fit for the Herbology prompt craft an item that is excessive in fussy details.

4. A hat (maybe only one, maybe more if I find myself needing more portable projects. This will be the one in my bag that I carry with me. I'm using stash yarn and making my Brioche watch cap (in the round) using worsted weight yarn. This is hat #1 of the 50 I'm attempting to make this year.

One of the yarns is variegated - so it should be a good fit for - Potions - Craft with a variegated or self-striping yarn.

I've looked at the Quidditch prompts and while I might participate, I might not. Nothing stands out right now as an 'ooooh - I need to do x'. I thought about post-poning working on my Monster to include it in the Mascot challenge, but I've already put off starting the monster for a week and while I'm glad I did, I'm also really glad not to wait even two more days. I thought about doing a second monster in new colors for Quidditch, but don't really feel the NEED to do so. And since I'm trying to avoid the crazy train, I think I'll save the participation in Quidditch for when I feel the NEED to do so (or, well, as soon as I can figure out a place to put a charity hat - lol).

2013 First FO of the year

I WIPd the First with my Cardigan that I was trying to make last fall...  Here's the ravelry project link with details (open to non-Ravelry users).

It's the Velvet Morning Cardigan made with Knit Picks Shine Worsted that was custom dyed at  Beautiful colors, beautiful pattern.

I did A LOT of mods.
  • Converted to top-down, contiguous sleeve (though the button band was knit separately and seamed)
  • The only seaming was the button band
  • Skipped out on the button holes since I probably wouldn't button it even if I had buttons
  • I never did flippin figure out how on earth her repeat lines in the chart would EVER work math-wise; so I did the repeats however I felt moved to do them (but then tried to stick to the style as a section would repeat later in other rows).

These pictures are the best that I've gotten so far (for true to color). I'd love to get some shots with it on, but didn't have anyone to help me do them and trying to do cell phone pictures by propping up the phone? Not high on the success rate.

I just love the style of the colorwork with the variegated yarn. I realize that it makes the design harder to see, but I love, love, love that it's all just 'color' and a hint of pattern instead of a strong pattern. I'm wearing it to work today and getting tons of compliments and can't wait to share it with knitters. Too much to love.

I've also finished to the point of a final end to weave in two more bigger projects. But the intent is to finish one in February and a second one in March so I can keep WIPing the First.