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Sunday, November 30, 2014

Another Age of Brass and Steam

Yes! I have finished another Age of Brass and Steam that will be a gift, so things are cooking along here. This one is similar to the last, but it's in the Archangel color way, which has orange and purple in addition to the red.

I have a third Twist hat on the needles, and should have that finished in the next few days.

Here is my latest progress on the Josephine Shawl. This is a project I keep with me to work on at lunch or in waiting rooms, so it's a PLOP, or Project in Longterm Ongoing Progress. That's a new acronym I've picked up from Tilly Trout, a most delightful podcaster over in the UK.

And today I made a little dpn (double-pointed needles) case for while I'm sock knitting. This was a prototype with some scrap flannel fabrics. My next ones will use some of my pretty stashed fabric.

Tonight I'm going to work on those socks and CC's scarf. I'd like to get the scarf finished for him in time for Christmas also. And I need to pick up another skein of Malabrigo Arroyo. I've decided to make another AoBaS kerchief, this one for my sister-in-law. It seems like my holiday knitting is multiplying!

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Photo finish

I enlisted CC's help to hold up the quilts, so here are my photo finishes. ;-)

Chunky Churn Dash

Anniversary Stars

And here are some photos of me modeling the latest Age of Brass and Steam finish. I was eating a bowl of chili the other day, and that's what this colorway reminds me of, yummy!

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Happy Dance x2

Finally! Two quilts that have been almost-finished for weeks are now bound and in the wash!

As it's raining today and on its way to being totally dark this late afternoon, I'm going to have to take photos of the completed quilts in the next day or two. But here I have proof of sewing on the binding of at least one to share. :) This is Anniversary Stars.

And here is a little detail of the quilting. My quilter is retiring at the end of the year, and this is probably the last quilt she'll have quilted for me. I am hoping that I'll be able to engage the services of someone else who has quilted for me in the past for my future longarm quilting - we'll see how that goes. I won't have anything else to be quilted this year so I'll work on that in 2015.

Chunky Churn Dash was also finished today, I just didn't take any photos of it along the way.

And actually, little happy dance #3 - I might have mentioned that I've been watching all those knitting video podcasts recently. As they've been knitting for a while, they've acquired many nice yarns and things along the way, including little project bags that they usually share where they bought them or who made them. I saw one that was a cute drawstring bag, and thought, hey, I could make one of those! So I found a Lined Drawstring Bag tutorial on Jeni Baker's site (In Color Order). I picked out a couple of fat quarters that I got a month or so ago from Tula Pink's Moonshine Collection (link may expire). I found some coordinating fabrics in my stash for the lining (not really visible in the photo), and for the drawstring (a stripe really close in colors - from several years ago - used in my Quilter's Palette quilt!).

Anyway, I am tickled at how nicely it came out, and I will definitely make more. It's a small bag, so it's a really good size for socks or a small shawl project.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Second gift hat finished

This is the twist (or is it twirl?) hat in Lion Brand Amazing, colorway Aurora.

I haven't yet cast on the third hat, but plan to do that this week. Right now I'm knitting on the red Age of Brass and Steam kerchief. I also gave myself the tiniest break from gift knitting and worked on some of my other knitting WIPs. Enteric scarf got two more tiers, CC's Falling Water scarf got a few more repeats (it's about 75% finished now), and I got to the heel on my first sock, so I cast on my second sock. I want to do the heels / heel turns at the same time, and this way I don't get second sock syndrome.

And I haven't worked on much else this week, but I did get binding for my other quilt done. Now if I can just motivate myself to sit down and attach them, I will have two finished quilts! These are for the Anniversary Stars (left) and SSS 2013 (Chunky Churn Dash - right) quilts.

The Yarn Bus was in town again yesterday, so I picked up another skein of Malabrigo Arroyo in the Archangel color way. This will be another Age of Brass and Steam kerchief, and that should be the last of them for this year.

Sunday, November 09, 2014

Let the gift knitting begin!

Actually, it has already begun. :) I cast on a knitted hat for a niece Wednesday and bound off last night, whew! I was curious just how quickly I could make one, because I need to make 4 hats, one for each of my brother's kids. I was pleased to know that I can knit one fairly quickly (if I don't do much else), so I can take it a little easier on the hands over the next 6-7 weeks. I have just cast on the second hat, though - I want to ensure they're ready in time.

Here is the first Twist hat. It is similar to the Spiral hats that I've knitted this year, but it spirals in the opposite direction.

I started a new Age of Brass and Steam Kerchief (this is #5 for those of you who are counting). This is another gift project. The recipient really likes red, so I chose Malabrigo Arroyo in the colorway Jupiter. I LOVE this!!

And I have a little progress to share on one other knitting project. My Saroyan Scarf is about halfway finished!

Off to work on the second hat!

Tuesday, November 04, 2014

An a-ha moment

So... I was knitting along on my sock last night, and I realized that it doesn't look exactly like the model. It's very close but while I have pretty eyelets on one side, I don't have any eyelets on the other like I should have (and yes, I have been doing my yarn overs).

I thought about it some more as I continued to knit around and then thought about how it was so easy to knit some of the yarn overs but not very easy at all to knit the others. That's when I really looked at the yarn overs. They are between changing from knits to purls or from purls to knits. Because of this, it's like a wrap and a half either forward (purl to knit) or back (knit to purl).

The knit to purl yarn over works great. But it's the purl to knit where I have my problem, both with having the eyelet show up and with knitting that eyelet on the next row. Like I said, I really looked at it. And I realized what is causing this. When I wrap the yarn changing from knit to purl, it mounts the yarn over backwards. And I am then knitting into that backwards-mounted stitch like normal instead of either reorienting the stitch or knitting into the back of it. That's where I'm losing the eyelet completely, because it twists the stitch, drawing it up.

As Charlie Brown says, "Aaauuuuugghhh!!!" I have - count 'em - three projects currently in progress that do this! Okay, so I'm going to continue on the way I've been going because two are over halfway and the sock is almost to the heel and I do not want to start over on any of them. But from now on (in new projects), I will do it the way that VeryPinkKnits shows in this video tutorial.

I wasn't sure if anyone else had run into this problem, so I thought I'd put it out there. Maybe most people just "get it" much more quickly than I did. :)

Sunday, November 02, 2014

Progress on a sock

I haven't worked on my sock in months, but now that I've finished my sweater, I decided to pull it back out and knits few stitches. I've actually finished two repeats of the main pattern now, and wanted to share even though it's night and the color doesn't show as well as it might during the day. This is Jojoland Melody yarn, and it reminds me a little of working on a Teresa Wentzler design because it's a couple of strands that are different colors twisted together. The colors of both strands change color as you go along so it might be purple and green and changes to blue and green, etc. It's a very subtle gradient as you go along.

Saturday, November 01, 2014

Fiber in the Boro and a Happy Dance!

First, my happy dance, since that actually happened first. Sorry for the blurry picture, but I just haven't been able to get a better one yet. I also need to wash and do a little blocking, then maybe I can get a better photo. I finally finished all of the seams and wove in all the ends on my first cardigan sweater late Thursday night!

I just had to wear it Friday. I am so happy with it. It really boosted my confidence at created a knitted garment. I really appreciate having access to things like Craftsy classes on my schedule (and being able to watch through as many times as I need, repeating sections that I might not have understood the first time through). I made a medium, which is a little roomy, but I always planned to wear something underneath it, so it works for me.

Then I braved the cold that blew in Halloween night and Saturday morning and I went to Fiber in the Boro. This was my first time at the event, and I didn't know what to expect. I didn't take any classes, because (as I know I have mentioned before) I do not need another hobby like spinning or weaving. Thank goodness that even though I saw some demonstrations, the desire to do any of that myself did not hit at all. There were quite a few vendors, with hand-dyed yarns, hand-dyed rovings, weaving looms, and more. I even got to see a sheep being shorn, although they had to immediately put a coat on the poor thing because it was so cold outside. There were also alpacas and angora rabbits out in the barn area, so there was actually quite a lot to see.

I started out with pretty good intentions - I was going to walk around the vendors and make mental notes, and once I'd gotten through everything I would go back and decide if I really wanted to buy anything. Well, that lasted for all of half of a room (there were two large rooms). And once I started, it seemed there was no stopping me. I wanted to buy all the pretties! Here is a photo of my new stash enhancement. The canvas bag holds a new oak yarn swift. I have had a yarn ball winder for a while now, but had to rely on CC holding my skeins in order to use it. This thing is really nice. It is hand-made here in Tennessee. And the best thing is it is really easy to put together and take back apart and store away.

I won't go into the individual yarns, but I did happen to get some hand-dyed ones, and I'm looking forward to expanding my knitting horizons and experiences!