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Saturday, February 28, 2015

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A little of this, a little of that

First off, I started and finished putting together the blue hexies for that color's fourth block of my Over the Rainbow quilt this week.

So at least one quilt saw a bit of attention last week. I have Eldon's next block ready to sew in the background diamonds, but just haven't gotten to that yet. I've been too consumed by - you guessed it - knitting.

I made a little bit of progress on the Hitchhiker shawl, but not as much as I would have if I hadn't had to rip out about 5-6 rows and re-knit them. Putting an afterthought lifeline in garter stitch (fingering weight yarn) is not easy, let me tell you. But I managed to get it done and by the end of the evening, I had re-knit everything I had ripped out.

Another project in slow progress passed a milestone recently - it is officially halfway finished, because it is knit with two 100-gram balls of fingering weight yarn, and I finally finished one ball and joined in the second ball.

I started a couple of new knitting projects while I was at it this week. First up is the Ombre Infinity cowl. I've actually made a little more progress than this today (I've added the third color in now), but here was the progress I had made recently.

And I wanted a new pair of socks on the needles, so I picked one of my lovely new hand-dyed sock yarns and cast on both socks.

Finally, today, while I caught up on some knitting video podcasts, I pulled out my crochet V-Neck Tunic, which I haven't been able to work on for about a year because it just caused too much shoulder / arm irritation every time I tried. Basically, that has been the case for any crochet - I'm guessing it's because of how I hold the needle and the movement of my arm as I crochet.

But I was able to make some pretty good progress today, and my arm / shoulder still feel fine, which makes me very happy, because I've been wanting to work on some crochet WIPs for some time now.

I just joined in the third ball on this panel (either the front or the back, they are the same until at least 16 inches), so I'll go work on the other panel until it's about the same length before working on this panel again. That way my gauge / tension should be about the same on both of them. I still have to remind myself to pull up on the first leg of the double crochet so my stitches are tall enough and I make the height gauge. It's unnatural to me, but I'm determined to make this sweater right. :)

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Happy dancing all over the place

I finished my Beck sweater, and it is so pretty and warm and fits very well! I still need to wash it and clip the ends that are woven in, but here is another rare selfie of me showing it off.

I then started some fingerless mitts for myself, using a skein of the indie-hand-dyed yarn I got recently. This is the Monet's Garden colorway (worsted) from Cyborg's Craft Room on Etsy. The pattern is Rip Current Mitts, a paid-for pattern I got through Ravelry. I finished the first one last night. I love the colors!

Yesterday I took advantage of the new snaps Mom had gotten for us. I made some new DPN project cases, since I use dpns for socks, hats, mitts, anything small in-the-round.

And yesterday we got a lot of freezing rain and then some snow. With the temperatures here never getting close to above freezing, we both stayed home again today since the roads were really treacherous. So I spent some more time in the sewing room and made some more zippered project bags.

Or at least, the last two were zippered. The first one - well, I forgot to put the zipper in. Oops! I really didn't feel like ripping out all the stitching, so I improvised. I put in snaps!

Then I got to looking at it, and decided I would add some detachable straps. Snaps are awesome!

I just love those little raccoons from Tula Pink's Acacia line. I had to dive deep into stash, but I managed to find some nicely coordinating fabrics for this bag.

And then I finished two smaller - zippered - bags. Left is the other paint-by-number fabric that I got a while back, and left is - more raccoons!

Going to work on my second mitt tonight, hope to finish it in the next few days so I'll have something to warm my hands as I work (it's freezing in the office!).

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Oops, I did it again

Today I visited my local yarn shop to purchase a 12-inch circular needle for knitting my sweater sleeves. I can maybe get by with the 16-inch ones I've been using, but they are really just a tad long for my comfort, and I'm afraid they might be stretching the stitches a bit. I wanted to get the size I've been using, US 6 (4.0 mm) but they were out of it, so I've put it on order for future needs. They did have a US 5 (3.75 mm), which is what I'll be using for the cuffs, and I've just reached that point on one of the sleeves, so I can switch over to it for that. I'll just continue with the 16-inches ones for the other sleeve and knit that cuff with the 12-inch size 5 for consistency.

Of course, I couldn't just leave the store with one set of circular needles. No, that would just be wrong. :) So this all jumped into my bag before stepping up to the counter.

Top left, pattern and 3 skeins of Koigu yarn for a linen stitch scarf (in a nice little kit, and which they were kind enough to wind into balls for me). Top right, 3 sizes of those 12-inch needles. I love the addi Turbos, and I snagged the 7 and 8 sizes in addition to 5's. The 6's are on order and should come in next week. Far right, a new skein of what seems to be my favorite yarn ever - Malabrigo Arroyo, in the Azules colorway. Bet you can never guess what I'll make with it. ;-)

The bottom middle are 4 mini-skeins of sock yarn. I'm being very tempted by the scrappy sock yarn blankets I've seen all over the interwebs lately - it seems everyone is either knitting or crocheting one pattern or another - so I just picked up a few "in case" I catch that fever. And bottom left is two Lo-Lo bars. I have come to rely on these types of bars (not just this brand, I have a few others) to help moisturize my poor dry fingers especially in the winter months. The scents I chose are Little Pumpkin and Deep Forest. They aren't overpowering, and I have trouble with a lot of the floral ones, so I thought I'd see if these will be okay for me.

Okay, I'm off to work on those sleeves - hoping to finish over this long weekend, so I can cast on all the new things. I'm planning on socks, mitts, maybe a hat, and a shawl - possibly the scarf above too. :) Definitely a case of start-itis. Happy knitting, happy stitching, happy quilting, happy everything!  Oh, and Happy Valentine's Day!!

Thursday, February 12, 2015

There she goes again

Wow, did I disappear off the face of the earth or what? It seems that way, since my last post was back in January, but I promise, I'm still here!

Since that time, I started and finished another Age of Brass and Steam for another girlfriend of mine. We had lunch on February 1 and I was able to give it to her then. I finished it just under the wire, on January 29. This was knit with Malabrigo Arroyo in the colorway Lavanda. It's a pretty deep plum and dark gray / black variegated color.

Most of my other time has been consumed with knitting my Beck sweater.I have finished the body, tried it on, and am pleased as punch at how it fits so far. Now I am knitting the sleeves and they are between 2/3 and 3/4 finished each. I am hoping to have it finished very soon so I can wear it. It is so soft and warm, yet light! The beauty of Berroco Folio (alpaca).

The color is off in the photo, but here is the bottom of the sweater.

I have a grandnephew now! My oldest niece gave birth a wee bit earlier than expected but he is not too small, considering (he was 6 pounds 4 ounces at birth). Baby and mother are both doing well, and I got to visit them Tuesday. Busy, busy, just not a lot to show. Hopefully a sweater to share soon though!