Proper FO pics

 

Click on the pics to see bigger versions.

In Between Days – being asymmetrical it doesn’t look right worn around the shoulders but I’ve never gotten the hang of wrapping it around the neck, particularly on the nearly non-existent neck of my dress form.

Lady of the Blue Forest – I dyed 3 skeins but only used most of 2. The darker line near the bottom is where I switched skeins but somehow the first skein ended up half dark and half lighter and over all it looks like I meant to do that.  I’m rather happy with it.  It’s the first time I’ve used my own handspun for lace.

Mitten Ornaments – I used these to practice getting my floats right, especially around the corners when switching needles.  I also need to be more aware to leave a bit of slack on longer floats.  No idea where to put these.  I’ll probably just toss them in the ornament box when I take my tree down and worry about it next year.

 

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Knitting WIPs

 

Dressing Gown Collar – This is so weird to knit.  It’s short rows and ends up being 14 rows on the bottom to 2 rows at the top.  I worked on this for a bit on Christmas Eve day and come to a screeching halt when I needed more yarn.  I had more but I wanted to use 2 skeins that are slightly (almost unnoticeable) more grey for the back of the collar.  I got them out to wind them into cakes only to discover that I hadn’t washed them.  I got them washed and dried and caked up  but haven’t gotten back to knitting on this.

Alla Moda scarf – I’ve sworn off scarves, except for this one.  I’m in no rush to finish it.  It’s simple stockinette but with single row stripes.  It’s a good mindless knit for tv/movie knitting.  It sits untouched for long stretches until needed to fill a gap (like waiting for yarn to dry before I can knit on the collar.)  It could also be travel knitting if I need it.

In non-WIP news:  My books arrived!  I’ve already designed a pattern for a cowl using that vintage Bernat sock yarn using Traditional Fair Isle Knitting by Sheila McGregor.  I used Stitch Fiddle and wow, that was addicting.  I just wanted to keep going but it’s already going to be a fairly tall cowl.  There will definitely be more of that in my future.  Knitting Fresh Brioche by Nancy Marchant might as well be written in Greek for all I’m understanding it right now.  I’m betting it’ll make more sense once I start knitting.  I haven’t looked much at the last book The Magic of Shetland Lace Knitting by Elizabeth Lovick.  I’m saving that one for later next year when I need a break from colorwork and figuring out brioche.

I’m finalizing my plans for casting on in the new year.  I think I’ll push that hat and mitts off for a few weeks in favor of brioche and the cowl I designed.  The mitts may get taken out of the mix anyway.  It might fall under the thin yarn, small needles problem. My tension is very tight with colorwork so I’m planning on going up a needle size so that may make it work.

A slight change of plans

So last night I decided to work a bit on the Gordian gloves. Unfortunately they seem to fall into the same category as socks – fingering weight yarn on small needles – and are therefore painful.  I did just two rows and I can still feel it in my right thumb.

That really sucks because I really like these gloves and the designer has at least a dozen more with awesome cable patterns.  I suppose I could do one or two rows a week and not damage myself too much but I really don’t want to take a year to make a pair of gloves.

I could use the cable parts of the patterns to make other things in heavier yarn/larger needles; hats or cowls, maybe.  Just for my own private use.  And if any of them turn out really beautiful I could contact the designer to ask permission to use her charts in a design for sale (or free, if that’s what she prefers.  Her designs are free.)

So, much to my displeasure, these gloves will get frogged.  That leaves me with just one complicated/high concentration project. On the bright side, that project will get done faster now.

2017 Plans

I think 2017, or at least the beginning of it, will be the year of colorwork.

I’m planning on casting on Frostfangs hat and Winter Twilight Mitts in the first week of the year.  I’ll be using Cascade Heritage Solids sock yarn in black and Wandering Wools High Peaks Sock in Deep Amethyst for the hat and the same black and Cascade Heritage Solids sock yarn in Italian Plum for the mitts.  They should more or less match.

After that I’m thinking about some complicated (as yet undecided) colorwork patterned cowl in some vintage Bernat sock yarn in red and black.

There will also be a Sockhead hat but I’ve not yet decided which skein of sock yarn to use.

Sing a Song of Sixpence is also high in the queue using my own handspun.  I just need to decide on colors and dye them.  The yarn is all skeined up and ready to go.

I will also be knitting Vinorina in some lovely reclaimed chocolate brown wool/silk/cashmere.  I’d started this a long time ago, not long after I started reclaiming sweaters but found it hard to knit because back then, I didn’t wash the yarn before knitting with it.  I frogged the little I had knit, washed the yarn and it’s ready to go.

I also want to knit Fox Paws. Choosing colors will be a project all by itself.

I also ordered some books from Amazon and they should arrive tomorrow. (Click on the book images to go to the Amazon page for each.)

  1.   The Magic of Shetland Lace Knitting.  I intend to try designing with these stitch patterns but probably in larger yarn and needles than are traditionally used.
  2. Knitting Fresh Brioche.  I will learn Brioche in 2017.  I’ve been meaning to do it for awhile but having this book gives me no excuse.
  3.  Traditional Fair Isle Knitting.  More on the colorwork theme for the year.  I will also try designing with this.

Pattern design.  Nothing specific planned, other than releasing one or more patterns.

And finally I want to finish two WIPs.  These are my most complicated/high concentration projects.  I can usually only do one or two rows on one of them a day.  I want to try to work on one or the other every other day.  That way they will at least be progressing, if not very fast.  I refuse to cast on another complicated/high concentration item until these two are done (and I have a lot of those kinds of shawls queued and yarn paired to them.)

  1. Gordian gloves
  2. Dracula’s Bride

Overall, I think my goal for 2017 is to challenge myself.  I’ve fallen into the habit of picking easy patterns or at least mostly stockinette patterns.  I need to expand my knitting knowledge and skills.

So there we go, my plans for 2017.  I think I’ve achieved a good mix of specific and general goals and avoided the specific sort of deadlines that trigger my contrary nature.

 

Finished Objects – knitting

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Mitten ornaments – I think I’m done, but I might be wrong.  There’s on my blocking board.  The last one (in shades of brown) is my original design (as in I didn’t look at anyone else’s chart but it’s a simple snowflake so it’s probably already been done.)

In Between Days – Also on the blocking board.  That board is 4.5 by 3.5 feet and there’s a good foot of shawl wrapped around each side to the back.  So when you last saw it, I had just finished the stripes.  The blue mesh took less than 24 hours (and I slept during that.)  The edging, on the other hand, was never ending and so tedious.  I’d knit on it for 10-15 minutes then do something else, knit on it and do something else.  It decreased by 1 stitch every 40 rows so it did get faster but it was just so boring and tedious.  I finally finished last night.  I even played a safe game of yarn chicken and lost.  It was safe because I had another cake of purple.  I ended up adding the new yarn 16 six stitch rows from the end and as it tends to be with hand dyed yarn, it was a different shade of purple.  All in all, it was an interesting knit and a well written pattern.  I would advise some experience with short rows before knitting this.  I had almost no experience and the first corner of the edging is not pretty.  The second one is better.

Next week I’ll try to get better pics of the mittens and proper finished pics on the dress form of this shawl and Lady of the Blue Forest.

Also next week will be a “plans for 2017” post.  I’m not too sure about a WIP post.  My husband has off starting tomorrow through Monday and I’m not sure how much knitting I’ll get done.  I’ve also sworn off casting on anything until the new year (the only exception is the last Jacob shawl, if I get in the mood to do so, as it’s part of an ongoing project trio.)  I’ve got the dressing gown collar to knit on when I do have time or a long term scarf project

FO Friday

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Lady of the Blue Forest in my own handspun and dyed CVM.

It’s still on the blocking board because I don’t want to go into the unheated cubby to get the dress form out and put it back.  It’s cold in there.  I’ll wait til I finish the other shawl to make it worth braving the cold.  You can see where I started a new skein – it’s darker,  But it almost looks like it’s on purpose and probably won’t be that noticeable while being worn.  And I can always overdye it later.

I’m pleased with it and it’s the first finished object with this year’s fleece.  I’ve not yet weighed it and figured out yardage.  I have a skein and a half leftover from the 3 that I dyed .  I’ll try to get it figured out this weekend.  It’s not like I’m going anywhere.  We’re about to get snowed in with a foot of snow here in Wisconsin.

 

Knitting WIPs

Mitten Ornaments – While each one is complete except for crocheting a loop and blocking, I’m calling these WIPs because I’m planning on making more.  The pattern is minimal, assuming you already know the basics of making the mittens.  The best part is the printable blank charts.  Pattern calls for worsted weight on size 4 needles.  I’m using scraps of fingering and sport weight on size 4 needles.  I also changed to 6 rows of garter instead of 10 rows of ribbing.  I’ve been coloring my own charts, mostly based of off charts I’ve found online, just adjusted for the number of stitches I have.  I’d have 5 of them except I kept screwing up the one I was making yesterday until I gave up and frogged it.  I kept messing up rows so I’d have to tink back and fix them.  Then I realized I’d only done half a row somewhere plus I wasn’t sure I’d have enough of the background color to finish.  They take less than 2 hours to knit (if I don’t screw up) and are fun little things.  I have no idea where I’ll hang them but I got inspired by the little mittens I saw her making on The Victorian Studio Podcast and just had to make some, although I’m using a different pattern that she did.

Dressing Gown Collar – Tons of short rows.  It’s actually kind of tedious but just a little too difficult to keep track of to be able to watch or listen to anything.  Although that’s getting better as I go along and get used to the rhythm of the short rows.

In Between Days – I have finally finished the stripes (just this morning) and now it’s time for the short rows of mesh.  I’ve read the instructions several times and they don’t quite make sense yet.  It’s probably one of those ones that once I start knitting I’ll get it.  This shawl has turned out to be more of a challenge than expected.  But that’s probably a good thing.  I’ve stuck to simple things for most of 2016 and it’s good to challenge myself and learn new things. I’m not sure I’ll finish this before the end of the year.  The edging looks like it may take more time than I thought.  Plus I’ll be baking cookies much of next week and then there is the holiday weekend where I’ll probably not knit at all.  Still I should get pretty close to done.