Saturday, September 9, 2017

C2C Baby Blanket

I have been totally digging Bernat Blanket ... especially when making quick baby blankets.

Mom's & Dad's tend to love using these - they are SO soft and snuggly and while I've been told multiple times that you 'ought not' to do double crochet or half double crochet for baby blankets??? I'm pretty sure the people who are worried about baby fingers getting caught aren't aware of how super chunky the Bernat Blanket yarn is.

Add that it's fully machine washer safe (just lay flat to dry) and it's a great go-to for babies and those who do their laundry.

I've been playing with different, yet very simple patterns... but I'm really enjoying this pattern I just tried out.

Quick and Easy Baby Blanket is exactly what it states it is. I finished this blanket in under 6 hours. I used about 2 1/2 of the large balls of the yarn (had some scraps) and I have always liked using 2 colors or 3 for baby blankets. I'm not a huge fan of pink, but at least it's not a pale one...

Gotta love quick, easy, and snuggly. I will probably make several more of these for the other babies coming along!

Saturday, September 2, 2017

First FO for September

A baby hat... made in my 2-color brioche pattern with a cute pom-pom.

I'm working on fine-tuning the pattern directions to make them easier for new-to-brioche knitters. (still have a ways to go... everything is simplified until you get to the decreases, then all kinds of confusion ensues).

I started this Friday evening after work, knit on it a bit this morning and during the football game and finished it after supper. It's completely reversible right up and until you add the pom-pom, but it's just the finishing touch that was needed.

Scraps of yarn were used, just random balls of yarn I pulled out of the scrap bin. I'm planning to make several more of these so that I can finalize the pattern directions and get them posted.

Thursday, August 31, 2017

Grape Chevron Sweater - Still a WIP

I've done most of my work this month on the sweater. Had to restart several times and still have a few mistakes here ... but most of them, I've decided to live with.

Mistake 1 - when dividing in half, I forgot there were two extra stitches at the end... so I divided at a point 1 stitch off to the side, which made one strap of the front 2 stitches extra (I added decreases to offset them). 

Mistake 2 - I missed a decrease on that same side on one of the right-side-rows. (Threw in an extra decrease for it as well).

Mistake 3 - I swore up and down and right-side wrong-side ... and even ripped back my first 8 inches after the divide once already... that the v neck was starting too soon. (it wasn't... I wasn't thinking about the added collar that needs to be added later. (head-smack) I'm living with it ANYWAY.

At least I think I am. I may not have the right number of stitches on the front to match the number of stitches on the back... but if I can fudge that bit as well? We're going with it. It's still going to be a wearable sweater and it's not like anyone is going to be holding the picture from the pattern magazine up next to me while I'm wearing it.

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Finished watch cap - FO's

I managed to finish off my watch cap before the end of July.

I normally leave it as being fully reversible, but I'd recently seen a photo of one of these with a big, poofy pompom on top.  I chickened out and settled on a medium sized one... but it still turned out pretty cute (or at least I think so).

It's ok, and it's cute... but I might try an over-sized pom next time.

Saturday, July 29, 2017

I'm knitting again - WIP - Purple & white brioche watch cap

I've always loved 2-color brioche hats. I love the magic buried in brioche and can't wait to start experimenting outside of the hat, I'm thinking a jacket similar to a pattern I've seen for a brioche cape (not much of a cape wearer).

But, given I haven't been able to knit for over eight weeks... I tried casting this on about two weeks ago... got maybe a row done before I had to call it quits. Tried again a few nights ago... and we're off and running.

I'm still trying to limit myself to 20 or 30 minutes at a time; as I don't want to push my luck, but I've made some progress, nonetheless.

Monday, July 24, 2017

Knitted Quilt in Blue - WIP

I've been working on this 'quilt' for over two years. I've just gone through and re-pinned it with some new pins I picked up (watch here for a post about them shortly).  And at one point I thought I must have made a mistake and ended up 4" short on one edge. Re-pinning it proves that I'm really only about a half inch off - enough that I can manage with pinning and seaming and meant that the blanket body is finished and just needs the finishing details.

First, the photograph (credit to the original poster, if I can find it again) that inspired me:

Step 1 - I knit a long strip up the vertical left edge using intarsia for the colorwork.

Step 2 - Then I knit the first horizontal strip that ran along the top edge.
Step 3 - Then a vertical strip that came down along the center section.

Step 4, 5, 6, 7 more horizontal strips to finish out the blanket

Remaining steps - visible seams in black, mock black seams around each square, and a solid black edging.

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.