Thursday, 12 January 2017

not going to the pond

Took a sweater off my UFO list and was going to frog it but ... I didn't. I kept looking at it trying to figure out why I wanted to throw it in the pond. I love the colour. It's cherry red although you wouldn't know that from the photos. I also thought it was too plain looking. But everyone needs a regular everyday sweater to throw on last minute as you run out the door, right? So I'm naming it the Everyday V. And that's what it's going to be for me.

But I had to make it a little more interesting to knit. So I played with the button bands. With my trusty crochet hook I undid a set of stitches and rehooked them up like this.
It is more interesting and will look even more so once the buttons are on. I have to pay attention at the beginning and end of every row to get it right. That keeps me engaged. It should also keep the bands from wanting to fold under when not buttoned.

The second reason I was having difficulty continuing was that I was worried about running out of wool. I think I have enough but not enough to be really confident. What is really important for this sweater for me? I want long sleeves and a long sweater too but the sleeves are the thing. So I've deviated from my regular routine and worked the body until I got to the end of a ball and started the sleeve.

Once they are both done I can make the sweater as long as I have wool to knit. Hopefully nice and long but I can live with a shorter length.
How are your UFO's going?
P.S. Thanks Brenda and t_a. The "grandfather" type sweater was just what my son asked for. I think he's wearing it regularly which makes me very happy.

Thursday, 5 January 2017

How many UFO projects are in your cupboard?

All of my knitted presents were winners this year. Sometimes it all works out. My daughter wore her hat all day and my son wore his sweater. Yay, scored.

But now it's all over and it's time to face normal life again. That means getting some knitting that has be languishing in the cupboard back out. The trick will be figuring out where I was and what I thought I was doing. I keep saying I'm going to take notes as I knit but that doesn't seem to be happening. No, I'm not making a new year's resolution.

This one is going to the frog pond since I want to do something more with it. Not sure exactly what but I've got a little idea. It's a great colour (but a lousy photo) so say good bye to it. It's going.

This is one I'll finish. It's in Briggs and Little Heritage which will wear like iron once it's done. I wasn't sure about the cable but now that I look at it I think I like it.

And one more that has been on again and off again since the summer. Oh, yeah, I do that too. It's in Turquoise Cotton Tweed so will be great when spring comes around again. Phew, some time on this one. I've even got most of one sleeve done. Wow, that was unexpected.
I'm not quite sure what the collar will become. It may be on speaking terms with me now that it's not squished in a plastic bag.

Oh my god, I have some work to do!! How about you?

Friday, 16 December 2016

Just made it

I made it. I knit really fast to outrun the end of the ball of wool and I cheated a little bit by worked some extra decreases so I wouldn't run out.
 That's actually not a bad margin but it was getting pretty scary by the end.
This is a really cozy scarf that you can knit with any yarn in your stash or splurge and buy something special to wrap around your neck through this snowy winter. You get to decide the depth of the scarf. This one is 8"/20cm deep worked in DK wool.

This one is 5.5"/14cm deep in fingering weight wool. The first triangle determines how deep the scarf will be and it's totally your choice.

The pattern is not quite ready yet but it will be soon and it will be a Freebie with my Newsletter, as my Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays gift. If you want to sign up to get it go here and subscribe to Cabin Fever Newsletter .

Maybe you'll want to make a nice scarf for yourself with all your odd balls after the big day.

Friday, 9 December 2016

Yarn Chicken

Sometimes the end of a project creeps up on me without even knowing it. I am knitting a scarf with triangles and reached this variegated triangle and realized I had only this much wool left. Yikes, that was close.
Now I am trying to finish one last triangle, the royal blue triangle beside it, knitting as fast as I can to outrun the end of the wool.
I have this much wool left ...
to work 5 more rows and then cast off. I don't know. It's not looking good.

Friday, 2 December 2016

Top Down Inside Out hats

It's December and it's trying to be winter here but one day winter, one day fall (rain) isn't really doing it. The odd day of snow is still getting me in the holiday mood. I'm coming down to the end of my Christmas knitting. Wow. Just a couple of things left on my list. Pat, pat, pat on my back.

I finished an experimental hat. It's black
 so of course, it's not so great to photograph but I'm really happy with it. This started with a photo of a hat from Pinterest that my daughter sent me saying "I want this, I want this". So here I am doing the mom thing. I looked all over Ravelry and couldn't find a pattern exactly like it. So I bought some yarn from the odd ball bin at a yarn store and started. I hadn't used this yarn before and I was changing the needle size and I didn't want to do a swatch first (shhh, did I say that out loud?!) so I started at the top.
I cast on 8 sts, so awkward at first but once I had about 24 sts on my needles I was good to go. I did check my gauge once I had some fabric and then went to the Need A Hat bible book to find the number of stitches I needed for my gauge. Good thing I have a copy or two around.

The only difficulty with knitting from the top is the cast off. I'm a really, really tight caster offer. A tight line at the brim is soooo not nice. I also wanted that "store bought" look where the ribbing appears to go around the edge. I trolled around the internet and found a sewn-off tubular bind off. It's a Kitchener Stitch variation so if you don't mind Kitchener stitch this might work for you too. It's a bit of a pain to begin with because you need to have 6 times the width of the cast off amount of yarn on your sewing up needle (that's 6 x 22" hat, that's a lot of yarn). Pulling the yarn through each stitch at the beginning made me wonder if this was worth it but it totally was. I love it. It's stretchy and has the proper look I wanted. I will definitely do this again.
 Experiment was successful and is in the Christmas present pile. Now to the real deal. This hat is in fingering weight. I love a light weight hat. This is the fun part, I'm knitting it inside out.
 This is the correct "look" of the hat. B who wants to do all that purling? Inside out means more knits than purls and is working perfectly.
Now it's my carry around project , The pattern is set and now I know I have a great cast off that will work when I get to the slouch hat length. Makes me a little giddy.

Friday, 25 November 2016

The disappearing week

I missed blogging last week. I don't even know where the week went. But I have been doing lots of knitting and got a few things done.

More Stash Buster Socks finished. Yay. Add them to the Christmas pile.
I worked on my class for the Yarn Over Sleep Over Retreat in April. Seems like it's so far away but it will be here before we know it. One of my classes is Shaping Lace so I made up a scarf where you have to decrease away on the sides of the lace pattern and then increase. This gives practise for when you need to shape armholes and necklines in a lace pattern. This is what we'll get started on and then the knitters can continue to work the scarf (or not). Maybe I could call it Waving Leaves. Do you have a better name?
I'm also working on a scarf with triangles. They are my obsession at the moment. This scarf starts at one end and works to the other, attaching each new triangle to the next. The triangles get bigger and bigger to the centre and then get smaller. I was trying for an exact depth in the centre. It took a couple of tries. It turns out that that's quite a bit of knitting on a 3.5mm/US3 needle. But I really enjoyed it. And might just start another one.
I tried knitting a new scarf off the old scarf. Not a good idea. The garter stitch really puts permanent kinks in the wool that knit up unevenly. I know this, I was just so excited to keep going. I ended up ripping back the old scarf, dumping it in water and waiting impatiently for it to dry. Hovering over the wool and checking every 5 minutes does not quicken the process. Now there is much less wiggle in the strands.
I guess that answers the question of where my week went.

Thursday, 10 November 2016

Retreat Mittens

Last weekend was another Retreat weekend. Yes, it's a hard life but someone (this time that would be me) has to do it. I was at the Eastern Ontario Needlers Retreat in Gananaque, ON teaching Gauge-Free mittens. Mittens you can knit to any size with any yarn. Here are some of the many results.
Thanks to Devon, Norma, Christine (who added stripes) and Nancy (who did 2 pairs). Great mittens. A lovely weekend with knitters.