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.
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.
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.
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.
Kind of finished. Partially finished. However you want to say it. Here is the base of the Dressing Gown, all knitted and seamed.
See that bit of pink on the front – that’s where the right front started. I knit almost 2/3 of it while watching podcasts on Sunday. I finished the rest and seamed it yesterday. I started the collar last night. It will be sewn on when it finished. Then it’s s couple of miles of lace edging, also to be sewn on later. I’m debating when to wash and block. I really only want to do it once as it’s going to be a pain to find a place to lay it out to dry. I think I’ll wait until I get some of the lace edging done and see if I need to block that before sewing it on. If so, I’ll also block the whole gown at that point.
So I wore it for a few minutes last night. It fits well. The sleeves are a little long and I might leave off the lace edging for those. At the moment it barely touches the floor behind me but that will change with the addition of the lace and as it stretches under it’s own weight. Speaking of weight, it wasn’t as heavy as I thought it would be. I’m absolutely thrilled with it.
Ends are woven it but not snipped. I don’t snip them off until after it’s blocked. Oh and that’s a Roo kitty tail in the first pic. She was very interested in what I was doing, as usual.
Because it’s challenging and in shawls, it changes every row so it’s always different. And so I can spend over an hour trying to fix a mistake…sigh (that was sarcasm, just so it’s clear.)
What do you do when you find a mistake? You tink back a row (thankfully, just in one section.) What do you do when you still have a mistake? Tink back another row. Then reknit both rows and then knit the row you were originally on and then give a big sigh of relief when the count comes out right.
I do count (and sometimes recount) every section after finishing. And count it again when I purl back. My counts were right but somehow I ended up with one extra stitch when I knit that section. And then was short a stitch after tinking….twice.
On the plus side…a few more rows of Lady of the Blue Forest are done. But now I’m moving on to something easier. My brain hurts.
Dressing Gown – Left front is done. Right front is ready to start. I’ve basted the left side together for stability and so I don’t have all those bits flopping around as I knit. I hope to have the basic gown knitted and sewn together properly by Christmas. Then I can wear it as I work on the collar and edging, which are knit separately and sewn on.
In Between Days – I’ve finished 7.5 of 12 repeats of the stripes. It’s going well, aside from the rows getting longer. I’m at 250 stitches now and the stripes go until there are 347 stitches. A row is starting to take forever.
My goal is to finish the dressing gown base by Christmas and In Between days and Lady of the Blue Forest by the end of the year. I have plans for new cast ons for the New Year which I’ll talk about in a separate post. I have to be careful about making goals like this. They are goals, not deadlines. If I don’t achieve them, no big deal. If I set deadlines my contrary nature kicks in and I suddenly have absolutely no interest in working on the items(s) in question.
Right now all my effort if going into finishing those stripes. I’d really like to get started on the next part soon. I do plan to work on the dressing gown all day Sunday. My husband will be occupied watching football and it’s also supposed to snow a little. Seems a perfect recipe for dressing gown knitting.
I have been obsessed with this dressing gown. I worked on it through all 3 of the last Nascar races this past weekend and then totally binged on it Monday to finish the back. Plus some work on it Tuesday night and between cooking/baking on Wednesday. That’s right, the back is done and I’m almost halfway through the left front.
It’s also getting really hard to photograph. See that progress keeper on the left, at the end of the sleeve? That’s where I was last week, just less than halfway through that sleeve. I finished that, along with the other sleeve, the back and shoulder shaping. Then, after 4 or 5 tries at writing out the instructions until I got them right, I started the left front. I basted the left sleeve together at the bottom just to stabilize things and minimize all the flopping around. I’m just at knitting the sleeve, no more increases, although there are some decreases at the other side, for the v-neck.
I think I might have enough yarn made to finish both this side and the right side….maybe. But once that’s done, I can sew it together properly, block it and wear it while I knit the collar and lace edging. And make more yarn.
I have no idea where/how I’m going to block this. It’s huge! Not to mention how heavy it’ll be when soaking wet. I think I have a blanket I can roll it in to dry it – I’d have to use half the towels we own otherwise.