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.

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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.

 

Lace Knitting

Many people say that lace knitting (or knitted lace) is hard.  It’s not really hard or difficult.  It’s just a combination of fairly easy stitches (usually easy. There are patterns with hard stitches). What it takes is concentration.

Lets take the row I’m currently knitting on Lady of the Blue Forest.  Now I’m nearly to the end so this is a long row, over 400 stitches, broken into 4 sections of 120 stitches.  First there is a set of 6 stitches, yos, k1, ssk and k2tog.  Easy stitches.  That set of 6 stitches is repeated 4 times.  Ok, I can count to 24 so this is simple.  Then it’s a series of k1, 2 or 3, yos, ssks, k2togs and a few k3togs thrown in for spice before repeating those first 24 stitches in reverse order.  Still, easy stitches.  The problem is that there is no break, no place to stop and catch your breath.  You’ve got to power through and knit all those stitches.  It’s knit a few stitches, glace at the instructions for the next few, knit them and repeat.  It’s all in the concentration.

I do use something to block the other rows on the paper so I’m only looking at the row I’m knitting.  I also use another thing (these things depends on what’s available on my desk) to point to where I am in the row.  That one gets moved every couple of stitches.

I do stop after every section and count the stitches.  It’s easier to go back and fix a missed or wrong stitch in a 120 stitch section rather than 300 stitches back from the end of the row.  I also take breaks between sections.  This lets my brain and body relax before tackling the next section.

So lace knitting is not difficult.  It just takes concentration and a lack of distractions.  I don’t have kids, my husband works all day and my cats normally sleep all day so I don’t have many distractions.  I also don’t listen to music or watch podcasts when I’m knitting lace.

Knitting WIPs

Lady of the Blue Forest – A lot of work done on this one.  In fact, I’m 5 rows from the cast off.  Unfortunately, I’ve pushed a bit hard on this one and my wrist is not too happy with me.  I’m still knitting on it but not as much as I’d like.  Still, this may just be a finished object (blocked and everything) late next week.

Dressing Gown Collar – I’ve barely started this.  It’s all garter stitch with some short rows.

In Between Days – About an inch done since last week.  I’ve been more focused on the Dressing gown and Lady than this.  Once I finish Lady it’s back to work on this shawl.  I still have hopes of finishing it before the end of the year.  I think I forgot to mention the yarns in past posts.  Blue is cashmere, purple and grey are both merino.  All are reclaimed.  The purple I dyed quite some time ago. I chose the colors as the closest I had to the one in the pattern.  The colors are what drew me to it first.

On a couple of podcasts that I watch, they showed all of their WIPs, and I mean ALL of them.  After seeing them show nearly 2 dozen WIPs each, I don’t feel nearly so bad about my 7 WIPs.  Even with my 5 hibernating WIPs (some of which may get frogged) that’s only 12.

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I had the dressing gown on my dress form.  I was going to leave it there so it had a chance to stretch out.  Then this happened.  That’s Eeyore in the amazing new “cat cave.”  Which is all kinds of cute and adorable.  But later he decided it was more fun to play in there, including trying to eat yarn ends.  So the dressing gown is rolled up and stored away until I’m ready to put the collar on.  Or it gets super cold like they are predicting and I decide to wear it.  And I guess there is an unforeseen issue.  I know about tripping over the length and things like that.  I wasn’t expecting to have to be careful not to trip over the cat that’s trying to sit under my gown.