Wednesday, October 29, 2014

blocking is magic, part five

before

I never get tired of blocking. I swear, the minute the water hits the wool the magic begins. I should've taken "before" dimensions, because this baby grew. A ton. This is the prettiest sock yarn shawl I've made so far--the border lace is my favorite by far. Every time I knit with Sweet Georgia yarn I fall even more in love with it!

Yarn: Sweet Georgia Tough Love Sock (colorway: Cayenne)
Needles: Size 4s
Mods: None! Will definitely make this pattern again! 



Tuesday, October 28, 2014

test knit: funky frank loop




A finish to officially end my doldrums! This is the test knit I've been working on this month for designer Ela Torrente--- what a great pattern it turned out to be! Two skeins of Malabrigo worsted (yum!), awesome slipped stitch cables (swoon!), and the pattern teaches you how cross these simple cables without a cable needle (wahoo!). It forced me to officially learn how to purl through the back loop, and a lot of knitting into the second stitch instead of the first stitch on your left hand needle to reverse the stitch order. Easier than it sounds, I promise! 

Pattern: Funky Frank Loop (link to designer's project page)
Needles: size 8s
Yarn: two skeins of Malabrigo Worsted in the Hollyhock colorway
Mods: I knit three more cable repeats than the pattern originally called for to better use the entirety of my two skeins. It also bought me an additional six-ish inches of length to make for a roomier double-wrap.





Monday, October 27, 2014

the tipping point: when your project becomes addictive

So this weekend was the cure my fall doldrums needed. Shortly after my last (whiny) post, I started to focus solely on the cowl pattern I've been test knitting this month. Suddenly, the number of repeats was getting smaller ... and smaller ... and it made me think about that moment in your project when suddenly, before you know it, the end is in sight. And if you're like me, you get a second wind and you feel re-energized. A project that used to bore you to tears is exciting again--no, more than that--it's become addictive. You can't stop working on it. All you want to do is work on it. And you feel amazing, riding this huge wave of project-success-induced momentum. Am I the only one who feels this way at the end of a project? For lack of a better term, it feels like you hit a tipping point of sorts. Up until I reach it, I tend to feel demoralized because the project feels like it. will. never. end. Clearly, I enjoy the excitement of the promise of a new project--otherwise I wouldn't have a current number of abandoned WIPs that reaches the double digits! After the initial excitement fades, I lose some interest until I reach this tipping point and I get excited by the prospect of having the yummy finished object to wear/love/enjoy.

What was amazing about this weekend was that all my projects reached tipping point status. I finished knitting and blocked the pieces of my test knit cowl:



I got past the mid-way point knitting the last border section of my Ardor shawl:


And I finished piecing and cutting the last set of quilt blocks I need to (hopefully!) finish my quilt top:

Sunday, October 19, 2014

fall doldrums?

These make me wish I could crochet! Craftsy Pattern Here

The blog has been quiet this month, but that's not for lack of activity here. More like lack of focus, lack of finishing. That frustrating feeling of not being able to get anything done. I'm inching closer to "done" on lots of things, but that's the real problem--I've got too much started right now. 

Case in point:
  1. At least 75% done on my knit night scarf, which I started in September as part of a KAL.
  2. Down to the very last lace border portion of Ardor (really only 1/3 of the entire project left to finish).
  3. Mid-way through a quilt top that has yet to be documented on the blog so far.
  4. Started a cowl test knit earlier in October out of Malabrigo worsted that is super yummy to knit so far. Approximately 8 pattern repeats left to knit before blocking and seaming up can occur.
  5. Knit a minion iPad cover earlier this month as a gift (one finish! yay, deadlines!)
Funnily enough, the (seemingly) millions of simultaneous WIPs is my normal protocol--but I think because a couple of these projects have self-imposed deadlines on them they are hanging more heavily over my head. Add to the mix that we've had more weekend-filling activities than normal this month (Go MSU Bulldogs! Woo, home football games!), and I've had less weekend knitting time. I feel a little silly feeling whiny about this--give me some more time and I'll have this stuff finished before I know it. And then I'll feel happy and productive again. I tallied up my yardage for the year so far, and was shocked to realize that I've knit over 12,000 yards already for the year (way above my normal yardage). So maybe I should cut myself a little slack!

Friday, October 3, 2014

FO Friday: Bergen Street Tuque





Lately I've been in a "bright" phase ... well, more like SHOCKING NEON (have you seen MadTosh's new colorway, "fluoro rose"? I want some.so.bad!). I was gifted this gorgeous hand-dyed Malabrigo-look-alike in a swap I participated in this summer, and knew right away it needed to be a hat for me. For me, the best hats are squishy, warm, and generously cover my ears. This pattern hits all three requirements! It is a bit "tall," so next time I would probably knit one less inch of the ribbing. And I have a big noggin, so I dutifully knit the larger size--but I think the smaller size would've been just fine. My favorite part of the pattern? How pretty the crown decreases are:

 I'm definitely knitting this pattern again, with some of my Malabrigo worsted stash!

Pattern: Bergen Street Tuque (link to my Ravelry project page)
Yarn: mystery Malabrigo worsted look-alike
Needles: Size 8s, magic loop
Mods: None!

Thursday, October 2, 2014

120 days strong

The next badge I can earn is six months ... I can do it! I never thought I could make it this long--now I really truly believe I can make it to the six month point.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

WIP Wednesday: Ardor Shawlette


It's the first day of October, but we have been in full-on Halloween mode for at least two weeks here. We hit the local pumpkin patch on opening weekend, and since then little bits of Halloween have popped up throughout the house. My Halloween knitting project bags are out, I'm knitting with fall colors, pumpkins are stacked decoratively by the front door, my pumpkin shaped candles are out--the only thing that hasn't emerged is our collection of totally tacky skeletons, graveyard, and cobwebs. We'll wait a couple more weekends to set that out. ;-D

I'm working on Ardor right now, and the gorgeous pumpkin-esque yarn? That's Sweet Georgia Tough Love Sock in the "cayenne" colorway. Yummy and scrummy! This is only my second time knitting with Tough Love Sock, and wow--I love it! I'm excited, because I'm finally done with the garter stitch--now I get to proceed to the lace border. I'll cast off the long top edge, and then pick up and knit to start the lacy border.