Knitting WIPs

 

Lady of the Blue Forest – not a lot of progress.  I got distracted by my new WIP

Prowes – So I started this on Tuesday on size 7 needles.  The pattern says size 5-7 and 7 was the only size I had a long needle for.  I knit all day but had this nagging feeling that the fabric was too loose.  Finally, around 9 pm I finally admitted it and frogged it.  Changed to size 5 and started over.  Worked on it all day Wednesday.  Much better fabric now.  Yarn is a Zauberball I got in a giveaway.

Jacob shawl is done.  I spent Monday knitting it while I caught up on Podcasts.  It needs blocking so I’ll wait on a pic until I’ve done that.

 

Now I need some help.  I got this yarn in that same giveaway and I have no idea what to do with it.

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Great Adirondack Yarn Co. Petite Silk Noir – Laceweight silk, 1350 yards.  As you can see it’s got short color changes.  It screams out to be a shawl but any lace pattern is going to get lost in those color changes.  I’ve looked at what others have done with it but nothing catches my interest.

Does anyone have a suggestion?  I’d prefer a shawl that will use all of the yarn but I’m open to other ideas.  Maybe several small shawls or 2 medium ones.  Or even not shawls but please no sweaters/shirts/tops or scarves (unless the scarf will really show off the yarn).  Maybe a long vest.

On a side note, I really wish you could search Ravelry for patterns that work well with variegated yarn.

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My Favorite Designer

I do hope you won’t mind a bit of an ad for my favorite designer, Goddess Knits.  She’s running a 70% sale on all of her regular patterns (KALs not included), in her Ravelry store from September 22, 2016 through September 25, 2016!

I’m currently knitting her Dracula’s Bride and own 6 more of her patterns (including the 2 I bought in this sale).  I love her big complicated shawls but she also has smaller and easier things to knit if that’s your preference.

FO Friday

Rose Harbour Shawlette (blue and pink/purple)- I decided that I wasn’t enjoying knitting this at all and since my knitting is about the enjoyment I decided to stop early.  3 repeats of the lace makes this a shawlette but still quite pretty. Reclaimed cashmere, plied and dyed.

Cowl (reds and pinks)- With yarn doubled this actually went pretty fast and enjoyable (see previous WIP posts for details on how this yarn annoyed me). I’m pleased with it, although not enough to keep it. Malabrigo Merino Laceweight.

Christmas Stocking – I like this quite a lot.  My husband says it looks antique in style.  I’m not sure I agree but it’s pretty.  It also fixed my colorwork urge.  Can’t wait til I start decorating for Christmas so I can put this up. Assorted mystery yarns bought at Big Lots and dyed.  The Grey was picked up in a Lot of yarn on Ebay.

Now the rest were knit before I started the blog but have been waiting around to be blocked.

Buckhorn Cowl (purples and pinks)- I altered this a bit to 2 repeats of the lace on one end and 1 repeat of it on the other end.  Mainly I was trying to use up this yarn which ended up with a total of 7 projects made from it.  This was reclaimed from 1 sport weight cashmere sweater that I dyed (several times, both before and after knitting it.)  I think this needs another dunk in some dye before it’s put away.  There is definitely some color variations between skeins.

Etoile Hat (purples and pinks)- Same yarn as Buckhorn.  Nothing much to say about this.  It was a fairly easy knit, although if I made this again I’d probably go down a needle size for the ribbing.  It seems very loose.

Pandorica Cowl (dark red)- Yarn reclaimed from two sweaters plied together, merino and cashmere.  This was supposed to be a scarf and the lace pattern was not that difficult but I had a hard time working on it for some undefinable reason.  I complained about this on one of my Ravelry groups and apparently the Frost Flowers stitch pattern does that to a lot of people.  They struggle to knit it not because it’s hard but because it’s difficult to keep interested in it.  It’s weird.  I gave up when it was approaching 1 year from the day I cast it on and made it into a cowl…for a child as it’s a pretty long but thin tube.

Leaflet Cowl (purple)- This was not all that difficult and really pretty but I also had problems keeping interest in it. The yarn is reclaimed merino, plied and dyed.

*Reclaimed means a commercial made sweater bought at a thrift store/rummage sale.  I unravel them and often ply the strands together to make a thicker yarn and/or dye them.  It’s a way to get luxury fibers for quite cheap but with extra work.

 

Knitting WIPs

 

44 rows of Lady of the Blue Forest (large version).  I’m liking this a lot.  The rows are becoming a bit complicated but that won’t last too long.  It’s fairly easy to read the knitting as I go.  Each new row makes sense in relation to the last one. And my handspun looks lovely in it.

The Christmas Stocking, Rose Harbour Shawl and the cowl are all done.  The Jacob shawl has had no progress.

The other pic is a preview for tomorrow.  My blocking board with 4 cowls on it and a shawl on the other side.  I don’t have blocking wires so I use straight knitting needles to block cowls.  Works pretty well.

Planning and Dyeing

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The grey skein is what the yarn looks like before dyeing.  I’m not using it in the project.

So I finished several things over the weekend leaving me with no everyday knitting.  I spent some time in my queue but couldn’t quite find anything.  Then it occurred to me that I don’t have to finish spinning all of the Patrick the CVM fleece before I start using it.  I had already picked out 3 patterns for it, 2 of which I already own.

Lady of the Blue Forest and Sing a Song of Sixpence

I could do one or the other with the yarn I had done but not both.  I really like the multi colored Sixpences but didn’t want to dye that much yarn.  I’m not set up to do long color repeats so I’ll do single color small skeins.  But that meant re-skeining and then dyeing a bunch of different colors and I just didn’t have the time or energy for that.  So Lady won by default.  I took a look at the finished projects for it and decided to go with….yeah, blue.

Now I’m not very scientific about dyeing but I did note down some things for those who like numbers.  252 grams of fiber.  1/4 tsp dye.  1 gallon (or so) of water.  I kettle dye on the stove.  Dharma acid dyes – Midnight Blue.  3 TBSP of vinegar when the yarn goes in at about 170 degrees Fahrenheit.  Bring the temp to 180 and add 3 more TBSP vinegar.  I generally end up taking it to just about 200 before turning it off and letting it sit.  This time, it wasn’t exhausting so I brought it back to 200 for a minute before turning it off.  After 15 minutes or so the water was clear.

Yarn was dry late tonight so I caked it up and will cast on tomorrow.

Expect a FO post on Friday.  I found some things that have been long finished but in need of blocking so did that since I had my blocking board out anyway.  It all needs to dry before I take pics.

 

It’s Complicated

Relationship status:  It’s Complicated

That pretty much sums up my relationship with two of my WIPs.

Dracula’s Bride and Gordian (Refer back to the first Knitting WIP post for pics, red shawl and pink cuffs)

I have loved Dracula’s Bride since the first time I saw it and was thrilled when the designer finally had a sale and I was able to buy it.  Then I had to get the yarn and ended up plying together strands from 3 different unraveled sweaters.  At first the knitting went well and fast but as is the nature of large shawls I’m now at a point where the rows are quite long (6 sections of 70 stitches plus a 21 stitch center).  The stitches themselves are not complicated but those long rows require a lot of concentration.  I really can only manage 2 rows a day and that takes a good 2 hours (with breaks to rest my hands).

Gordian is a lot of 2 stitch cables in fingering weight.  I’ve not yet gotten the hang of cabling without a needle so doing it in that thin of a yarn is a challenge.  Plus I can’t seem to knit a row without making a mistake that takes me just as long to fix as a row takes to knit.  I really love the look of the finished gloves so I do want to knit these but I’m still just in the cuffs.  This may take years to finish at 1 row a day (cuz I end up with a headache after fixing the mistake).  I also have a ton more patterns from this designer I want to do – all cabled gloves (check her out, the patterns are free).

So I can only work on one or the other on any given day and I have to have the ability to concentrate as well.  Lately I’ve been lacking in concentration so no work has been done.

 

 

Knitting WIPs

 

I didn’t bother to take a pic of the Jacob shawl as I only got 4 rows of the next color done.  I also didn’t work on the Rose Harbour shawl at all.

I’ve made good progress on the cowl.  I’d say I’m about 3/4 done.

And on Monday I got it into my head that I wanted to knit a colorwork Christmas stocking.  I also decided that I was never going to finish a hibernating colorwork thing that’s been sitting for years.  The needle was too small and I didn’t like the item it was supposed to become.  So I frogged that and used some of the yarn for this stocking.  I’m about halfway through the gusset which makes this also about 3/4 done.  Not bad for 4 days of work.  I’ve got a few more stockings queued so I might do some more.  I’m not sure.  By the time I finish this I might have worked through the colorwork urge.  But I do have more scratchy yarn like this and I’ll never use it for anything else.  If nothing else, I can always print out the patterns and bag them up with the yarn so it’s ready for future colorwork urges.