Finished hat and started a baby sweater

I finished a hat last week that I had started last fall.  Slowly getting all those unfinished projects done!  This one is a pattern from Tin Can Knits called Light and Shadow. The pattern is available on Ravelry as part of an e-book where 100% of the proceeds go to the Sight Is Life Project.  The yarn is from Hiloris Magical Yarnorium, colour is Shy Violets. 


My niece’s son and daughter in law’s first baby was born a few days ago, so I started a sweater. It’s pretty scrunched up in this picture, but the back is almost complete.  I’ve dropped the shawl and socks I was working on to spend all my knitting time on this.  I love knitting for babies!  The size of the sweater is 9-12 months, so it will be awhile before she will grow into it.

The pattern is the Shawl-Collar Jacket by Debbie Bliss and the yarn is Cascade 220.  The pink is softer than the picture shows.  I will get a picture in better light when the sweater is complete.

I’ve been rearranging my craft room and doing a lot of reading on my new loom.  I hope to have everything set up soon.  I’m considering taking a week off work over Easter when my son has a break at school – maybe finish setting up the loom and craft room then, and possibly get a start on spring cleaning.  We still have quite a bit of snow here, so that’s been my excuse for putting that chore off!

2017

So, this is how I chose to spend the final day of 2016,

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For Christmas, my son gifted me with 10 pounds of Romney roving from a local farm and I am in my happy place!  I’m not sure what I will make with the wool I spin, but I’m spinning a 3 ply worsted weight yarn so it will be great for mittens, hats, sweaters or blankets.

2016 was not a great year for my family on many levels and I’m not sorry to see the end of it, here’s to a new year filled with the hope of lots of laughter, health and love.

I have not been keeping up with this blog as much as I should, maybe because I haven’t been doing a whole bunch of knitting, weaving or spinning.  I plan to change that.  I’m happiest when I devote at least a little time every day creating something with fibre.

My daughter Ashley starting spinning about a year ago, and this year for Christmas she gifted me with 4 skeins she spun.

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The skein on the right was spun with a spindle, the light blue beside it was spun on an older wheel I found at a second-hand store and she refurbished and uses, the other two skeins were spun on her new Spinolution King Bee wheel.  Yesterday I started knitting a hat with the dark blue on the right – it’s merino wool with sparkles and black nups – something that is sure to catch the eye of at least one granddaughter!

I’ve signed up to join a MKAL (Mystery Knit A Long) with my favorite designer Luise through her Ravelry Group.

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I’ve looked through the spoiler pages, but won’t ruin it for those who might be reading this and would like to keep the mystery.  All Luise has divulged is that the item is a shawl and requires a little over 2,000 yards of sport weight wool.  There will be 8 clues, one released each week from January 18 to April 12. If you are interested in knitting along with a wonderful group, check out Impeccable Knitters Gathering Place group on Ravelry.

It’s been wonderful having some time off work over the holidays, and I’m looking forward to getting back into a routine tomorrow, although it was -36 degrees on the thermometer this morning.  I’m really not looking forward to leaving my nice warm house!

 

 

Finished Project

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I finished my diamond lace socks and I love them!  My ravelry projects page says I started these socks in June 2015.  I’m not sure why I set them aside for so long but I’m glad I finished them now.  Winter is coming and hand knit socks are so comfortable and warm – so I promptly cast on another pair.

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The pattern is Gillabbey from the book Knitting With Rainbows from Carol Feller.  The yarn is “Mad Hatter’s Tea Party” from Hilori’s Magical Yarnorium.  I’m knitting them two at a time on a long circular needle.  I love this method as I don’t have to keep handwritten notes while knitting the first sock so that I can knit the second the exact number of rounds.

I’m still knitting my Celtic Cable sweater and the pickup sticks I ordered to be able to weave my lap blanket came in the mail the other day so I’m working on that as well.

As for all the other projects in the wings, I have been looking them over every few days and deciding if I really love them.  Knitters have a phrase for a condition that affects some of us and makes us want to cast on and start knitting every pattern that speaks to us.  The condition is “castonitis” and I definately have it !  Not that I mind – I love to see how a stitch pattern unfolds as you knit it, but sometimes after knitting it for awhile I decide I’ve had enough of it.  When I get to that stage I usually set the project aside and start something else.  I need to learn to decide right there and then if I will want to continue with the pattern or unravel it before I start on the next pattern that catches my eye.  Most of my works in progress have been unraveled with no regrets on my part.  There are a couple that are almost complete so I will finish them as I get to them.

 

 

A fall sweater, a new weaving technique and some progress…

I haven’t had much time to knit over the last couple of weeks.  Between work, visiting, 4 grandkids birthdays and  trying to squeeze summer activities into the last few weeks, time just flies by!

I’ve made a little progress on the diamond lace socks and fantoosh shawl.

I love both of these projects, but for some reason I’ve really stalled in getting them done.  I think it is just the time of year.  The weather up until this week has been gorgeous, the wild blueberries are ready to be picked, the plums and apples on our trees are getting close.  I’ve been picking them and eating a few a day even though they are not quite ripe, they are still so yummy!  Much better then anything I can buy at the store.

I’ve also joined a knit a long (KAL) to knit a cabled cardigan.  For those who don’t know, a Knit A Long is when a group of knitters work on the same project at the same time and post their progress pictures, ask questions if they are having problems and have fun.  The sweater is a beautiful design by Cheryl Beckerich  called Celtic Grace.  The pattern is available on her website and on Ravelry.  She is hosting the KAL on Ravelry and on Facebook and is very helpful and encouraging.

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Here is my progress so far.

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Hopefully I will have time on the weekend to work on it more.  The great thing about this, besides the fabulous sweater I will end up with, is that I had the required yarn in my stash.  Bonus!  In fact, I have enough of this yarn to knit four sweaters each in different colours.  I’m not sure what I originally purchased the yarn for, but with that much on hand I must have been planning a blanket.  The yarn is Cascade Yarns Ecological Wool and my sweater is going to be cuddly and warm!

Something I will be starting on in September is a Weave A Long.  Same concept as a Knit A Long, only weaving!  I’ve owned a rigid heddle loom for a couple of years now and have woven several scarves.  My loom is 24 inches wide.  By adding a second heddle, a person can weave double the width of the loom.  I’ve read about it, watched a couple of YouTube videos and ordered the second heddle kit last year.  It looks so complicated that I haven’t tried it.  Well I came across a double width weave a long that will start in September, so I joined and will watch, learn and participate and hopefully end up with a lap blanket. I’m really excited about this, I love learning new things.

So, my plan for the next month is to keep working on the WIPs, trying to finish at least one, work on my grandkids Christmas presents, knit along on the Celtic Grace sweater and learn to double weave!

Knitting Progress

I’m slowly knitting on my WIPs (works in progress), or UFOs (UnFinished Objects).  I’m never sure what to call them.  I have gone through my pile and have decided not to complete a few of them.  I’m listening to a friend of mine who gave me some great advice.  She said to be very ruthless, unless you really love it, let it go.  So I’m doing that.  I will have a revised list this weekend.  There are still far too many, and last week when I was looking for the right yarn to complete my Hediye shawl, I found 3 more projects in my yarn bins!  Who knows how many more are lurking in bins!

I’ve done a little knitting on the diamond lace socks – I did have one complete sock knitted before I made my list.

Diamond Lace Socks

I love gradient yarn!  The gradient keeps you knitting to see what the next colour will look for.  But in the case of knitting the second sock I already know, but I think it helps anyway.

I’ve also started again on my Fantoosh Shawl.

Fantoosh Shawl

I started this shawl May 2015, not sure why I put it aside.  I’m knitting this with Hiloris wonderful gradient (again).  She did a custom job for me and dyed the Ocean Pearl colourway over two skeins of yarn instead of one.  The yarn is BFL and it is very soft.  This shawl will be big, soft and very light weight.  The pattern designer is Kate Davies.

I’ve also been thinking about what to knit my grandchildren this year for Christmas.  I spent a couple of evenings this past weekend looking at patterns and casting on and trying a few.  I finally decided on the old standby – plain mittens.  I could spend hours and hours knitting some very adorable and intricate patterns that are available now, but while I love my grandchildren and they love to receive my knitting, kids are kids.  When they are older I will knit them whatever they desire, but at this point I will knit them plain mitts, hats and scarves.  That way nobody feels too badly if an item is left at school, the bus or a store never to be seen again.  I have a pair started.

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Knit with Cascade 200, they will be nice and warm.  I usually knit mitts on double-pointed needles, but about halfway through the first mitten I remembered that I have a long circular needle in the correct size so decided to try magic loop.  I like knitting socks with this method, I don’t know why I never thought of using it for mittens.  Old habits die hard I suppose.

Hediye

I finished my Hediye and I love it, even though it didn’t go as planned.

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The designer is Ysolda Teague, the wool used for the edging is handspun by my friend Susie Gourlay and the centre of the shawl is knit with Cascade Eco.  Originally I had planned on knitting the centre with Malabrigo Worsted and while the colour was beautiful, the wool wasn’t quite as thick as the handspun.  I did knit a few rows hoping it would work out, but it just was not meant to be.


The handspun wool is a blend of merino and cashmere and is so soft and lovely.  Malabrigo Worsted is merino, so was almost as soft and lovely to the touch.  Once I realized it would be too thin to pair with the handspun I went looking through my stash. I really should have swatched before I even started and then I would have known, but as usual I was in too much of a hurry and didn’t take the time.  Lesson learned?  Honestly, I’ve been knitting for almost 40 years.  If I haven’t learned that lesson yet, it’s not going to happen!  And when something like this shawl does happen, I just rip out whatever doesn’t work and start again.  I know that to some people that just isn’t an option, but while I’m usually a little disappointed my idea didn’t work out, I’m not upset.  The time I spent knitting it was pleasurable, and even if it wasn’t productive it was still time well spent in my opinion!

So, I went looking through my yarn on hand, and came up with 6 or 7 options.  I spent last weekend knitting 4 inch swatches to help me decide instead of going with my gut. I decided that the Cascade Eco was the best match. It was the same weight and wpi (wraps per inch), it wasn’t nearly as soft but as my New Year’s Resolution was to only knit from my stash, I figured I could live with it.  So, I had 3 colours in this yarn and knit swatches to decide which one to use.


I sent pictures to three friends to ask their opinions, and finally decided to go with the grey.  I finished knitting on Wednesday and washed and blocked.


I only pinned the top edge, as I didn’t want the cables in the edging to stretch out.

I love this pattern!  The shawl is designed to be knit with DK wool, but I wanted something heavier and a little bigger to wear in the fall over a light coat. I think I will knit this shawl again someday, but with sport or DK weight wool to be able to wear in the summer.

Now, onto the next unfinished project!

Works In Progress – and a plan

Last week I slowly gathered all my unfinished knitting projects stashed in bags in closets,  my office and my craft room.  I knew I had a lot, but was still surprised when I laid them all out on my craft room table and discovered I had 29!!

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  • 12 shawls
  • 3 cowls
  • 2 pairs of mitts
  • 5 pairs of socks
  • 1 sweater
  • 2 blankets
  • 3 hats
  • 1 scarf

This morning I started with a hat I had started for my brother in law which was 3/4 done.

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I finished knitting it this afternoon, soaked it in a tub of warm water and wool wash and it is now drying…..so down to 28.

Looking through everything I decided that I didn’t really love one cowl ……now down to 27.

I picked 2 projects to work on for now, a shawl and a pair of socks.

The shawl pattern is Hediye by Ysolda Teague.

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I had a skein of handspun merino and cashmere blend in a heavy worsted weight that I thought would be perfect for this pattern.  The yarn was spun by Suzie at Knit Natural.  I decided to use this skein for the border and Malabrigo Worsted that I had on hand for the body of the shawl.  I started knitting it in May of this year and I’m a little more than half way done the border.

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This picture shows about 1/4 of the border finished.  I’ll post a more updated picture in a future post.  The yarn is so soft and squishy but still has a lot of stitch definition.  It’s perfect!

The second project I picked to work on is Diamond Lace Socks, the pattern designer is Qianer Huang.  I started them last June and finished one sock, so just the matching sock and this project will be done!

Diamon Lace Socks

The yarn is by Hiloris Magical Yarnorium.  I love this gradient yarn!  This colour is Ocean Pearl.

I’m excited to be getting organized and tackling all these unfinished projects!

XO