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.

Christmas mittens 1

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.

New Year Resolution

 

Late last year I decided to organize my craft room because while I do have a designated room for my craft tools and supplies, they were scattered all over the house and what was actually IN the craft room was a mess.  Gathering and organizing took a lot more time than I thought it would and also involved buying more large clear bins. I started organizing my yarn by weight.  I knew I had a lot of yarn, more than I would ever use….but until I got it all together I didn’t actually know it!  So, I made a resolution not to buy any more yarn until I made a huge dent in my stash.  I have 7 full large Rubbermaid containers of fingering weight and sock yarn alone!  Yikes.  Put everything together and I’m sure I could open a shop.

I was proud of myself for sticking with it, and pairing patterns I already owned with yarn that I had on hand.  Then I saw patterns I didn’t have that I wanted.  So I bought them, saying that my resolution was not to buy yarn.  Nothing mentioned about patterns.  Then a couple of months ago Luise of Impeccable Knits released a pattern for a gorgeous shawl, and her and Carol put together a kit with the pattern and yarn which Carol had dyed.  I chat with both of these wonderful ladies on Ravelry, and while I had planned to purchase the pattern, when I saw the yarn Carol dyed, I purchased the kit….with one of each of the two skeins offered.  I couldn’t make up my mind which I liked better!  I justified that purchase because even though I had more than enough fingering weight yarn here, Carol is a friend and has a terrific eye for colour (her hand dyed yarn is fabulous).  The pattern was In My Mother’s Garden, and I finished it a few weeks ago.  I love it!  I will knit another one with the other colourway of Carol’s at some point.

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So one minor purchase in 7 months.  Today that went right out the window!  Being a holiday Monday here in Canada the office was closed and I spent the whole day knitting and just bumming around the house.  This afternoon I was scrolling through Facebook posts and one from Hiloris Yarnorium caught my eye.  I clicked on it and was looking at her Etsy site.  She has a new line of yarn!  I’ve ordered quite a bit of her gradient yarn over the last couple of years, she in an independent dyer from Winnipeg, Manitoba.  Now she has speckled yarn!  I don’t have any speckled yarn!  I have a future project in mind that calls for speckled yarn.  So, before I knew it, it was ordered and paid for.

The project is a hap from The Book of Haps, the Theme and Variation Shawl.  I love this whole book, and have started one of the Haps already, Houlland.  I think I will end up knitting almost all of the patterns in the book.

The Theme and Variation Shawl calls for two skeins of fingering weight yarn.  The sample in the book uses one skein of speckled yarn.  It’s gorgeous.

I was thinking of knitting it without the speckled yarn, using white or off white, and while looking through the pictures on the project page on Ravelry I noticed some knitters have knit with two plain or tonal yarns and they look great, but the pictures of the shawls with the speckled yarn just make the shawl stand out.

After purchasing the yarn, I was looking at blogs that I follow, and The Loopy Ewe is having a 10th Anniversary Kit offer with an AWESOME project bag.  The kit comes with the project bag, a skein of yarn and a pattern.  I figured what the heck, I already blew it…and so I ordered it.

LoopyEwe

And then I went to my friend Kara’s Etsy shop because she had some awesome grey tonal hand dyed yarn the last time I had looked, and it was still available, so I ordered that.  Lol  I was on a roll.

I even went to my friend Susie’s Etsy shop because she did have some blue handspun yarn I was drooling over a couple of months ago, but it was sold.

So, I’m done with shopping, while it was a fun afternoon and I bought things I wanted, I really did not need any of it.  I’m not going to feel guilty about it, and I am absolutely going to enjoy everything when the packages start arriving.  I was thinking it’s a good thing it was a statutory holiday today.  While I stayed home, I will still receive my pay for the day –  I think I spent most of it!  And tomorrow I will go back to keeping my resolution – can I still keep it if I’ve already broken it?  Hmmm.  Well, the next time I have a desire to purchase any, I resolve to make myself go sit in my craft room for an hour.  That should do it!

 

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.

Gordie Hat.jpg

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.

Ysolda Teague Hediye.jpg

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.

My Hediye.jpg

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

 

 

 

Blocking wool

I’ve finished knitting a small shawl the other day.  I’ve been working on it for about a month.  It’s a small lightweight shawl, perfect for summer evenings.

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I tried hard to take a picture of the shawl without Sam, but she wasn’t listening!

The pattern is In My Mother’s Garden by Luise of Impeccable Knits.  The yarn used is a fingering weight super wash wool / nylon blend dyed specifically for this pattern by Carol, Faerieknitz at Etsy.

When you knit any garment it is important to block it, but especially important with lace stitches.  This is the shawl after knitting, but before blocking.

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After soaking in warm water and wool wash for about 20 minutes, squeezing gently and rolling in a towel to squeeze out more water, the shawl is pinned to shape on a flat surface (foam interlocking blocks, a towel on the floor or bed), and left to dry.

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Blocking opens up the stitches and shapes the garment.

I tend to be distratcted easily, and I have many unfinished projects in the craft room.  In the next post I will list them all, and then use this blog to keep myself on track to finish them.

XO

 

First Post!

Hello and welcome!  I will be blogging about projects I’m working on as well as posting some “how to” videos.  I teach adult knitting classes and volunteer with others at our local school to teach fibre arts to students.

With crafting sites like Craftsy and Ravelry I find I get distratcted very easily and as a result I have many WIPs (works in progress).  Dispite that, when a pattern catches my eye I immediately want to cast on.  I have decided to work on my many WIPs and for every three I finish I will allow myself to cast on one new project.  Now to decide which three I will work on first.