geek girl mitts

I technically finished these at the beginning of February, but wanted to wait until their recipient received them to maintain the surprise! These are hands down the most complicated cables I've ever done, and the most complicated cable charts I've ever read. And I did it! Super confidence booster! I now may actually go back and attempt some patterns I've admired but were too intimidated by the cabling! I totally love Colinette Jitterbug. I'm pretty sure this dye lot is abnormally pink--I've purchased a second skein in this colorway, and the purple variegated parts are much more pronounced. These pictures are close to color accurate ... so hard to take good pictures of shocking fuschia pink! :-D

Pattern: Geek Girl Fingerless Gloves free pattern! (Ravelry project page)
Yarn: Colinette Jitterbug (colorway: Alizarine)
Needles: size 2s, magic loop and dpn for thumbs
Mods: None! Fun, fast pattern!

Ravellenic Knitting Wrap-up

I did it! I accomplished my unofficial goal for Ravelry's Ravellenic Games: completely knit up my stash of MadTosh Chunky. This is seriously the most productive I've been knitting-wise in ages. I've decided I should keep MadTosh Chunky in my stash at all times for last minute gift knitting ... good excuse, huh? I would knit any of these patterns again in a heartbeat, as evidenced by the four lowbrow hats I ended up completing!

Drum roll, please ... pictured above, in order of completion:
1. Betula Ring Cowl
2. Lowbrow Hat I
3. Spiced Cocoa Mitts
4. Lowbrow Hat II
5. Lowbrow Hat III
6. Give 'Em the Slip Mitts
7. Lowbrow Hat IV

How did your Ravellenic knitting go? It was a super fun kick in the pants for me ... and I just discovered that March is a huge knit-a-long month celebrating Malabrigo yarn, so I'm super pumped to devote next month to putting a serious dent into my Malabrigo stash! You've been warned ... :-D

Ravellenic Finish #7

One. more. lowbrow hat. Are you sick of seeing them yet? This one is for my sister who saw my previous orange one, and decided she liked this crazy color, too. She spends a lot of time in the woods as a forestry major, so I'm glad she has some hunter's orange to wear now. :-D

This was my last Ravellenic Games knitting finish! I officially cast off at 9:08 a.m. Central on Sunday morning. Am seriously in shock over how productive the games got me to be!

Pattern: Lowbrow Hat (link to my Ravelry project page)
Yarn: Madelinetosh Tosh Chunky (colorway: Citrus, 1 skein = 165 yards)
Needles: Size 5 and Size 7 Knit Picks Harmony interchangeables
Modifications: None! And yes, I can knit this pattern in my sleep by now.

Ravellenic Finish #6

This was another fun, fast finish--with the added benefit of utilizing a pattern in my library already, for my love your library challenge! I'm guessing these mitts call for slightly over 1/2 a skein of MadTosh Chunky. And I need to revise my yardage usage for my previous spiced cocoa mitts, as I definitely think they used closer to 5/8 of a skein. Why do I say this? Well, I need to finally obtain a scale to be truly precise, but in short there is no way I could have finished these mitts with only the leftovers from the spiced cocoa mitts. I needed the 1/8 of a skein leftover from my very first lowbrow hat to get a complete set of mitts finished. If you take a close look at the right hand mitt below, you'll see that it is slightly brighter pink. I alternated my scrap "skeins" so the difference isn't too dramatic. Another happy finish!

Pattern: Give 'Em the Slip Mitts by Triona Murphy (link to my Ravelry project page), medium size
Yarn: Madelinetosh Tosh Chunky (colorway: Lepidoptra, a little over 1/2 skein)
Needles: Size 6 Knit Picks Harmony interchangeables and dpn's
Modifications: I ended up shortening the 8-row "travelling ovals" repeat to a six-row repeat. I didn't like how elongated the slipped stitch cable stitches looked after slipping them for three rows consecutively. So instead I just did one slip-stitch row and then crossed the cables on the following round.

Ravellenic Finish #5

Does this yarn look familiar? It should, because it is my failed betula ring cowl reincarnated in a much more successful project! I'm sooo much happier seeing this yarn used in a different pattern. This is another birthday knit, done and ready for its recipient! Woot! I'm getting faster and faster each time I knit this pattern--it took me approximately 24 hours to finish this one this time, and again without continuous knitting time. I definitely have this pattern memorized now! I was wondering if the lace would show up as well in this darker colorway, but it does! Maybe I'm getting better at the lace each time, but honestly the first lowbrow hat I made is my least favorite. For whatever reason, it just looks better in the citrus and vishnu colorways for some reason. My unofficial Ravellenic knitting goal has now become to knit my entire stash of MadTosh Chunky ... all I have left is another skein of citrus, and half a skein of lepidoptra leftover. And they are destined to become .... another lowbrow hat and another spiced cocoa mitts! Boring, I know, but another sister saw my lowbrow hat and now wants one! Good thing I LOVE this pattern!

Pattern: Lowbrow Hat (link to my Ravelry project page)
Yarn: Madelinetosh Tosh Chunky (colorway: Vishnu, 1 skein = 165 yards)
Needles: Size 5 and Size 7 Knit Picks Harmony interchangeables
Modifications: None!

Ravellenic Finish #4

Yup, it's another lowbrow hat! This one is for me, all me. I've been strangely drawn to these bright, shocking oranges lately. Yellows, too. Which is hard, since they're not really the most flattering colors for garments. But accessories? Oh yeah! I blame winter and missing the sun. This will have to be my artificial vitamin D for now! I love this hat pattern even more in a lighter colorway. The lace is much easier to see and really "pops" in the Citrus colorway!

Pattern: Lowbrow Hat (link to my Ravelry project page)
Yarn: Madelinetosh Tosh Chunky (colorway: Citrus, 1 skein = 165 yards)
Needles: Size 5 and Size 7 Knit Picks Harmony interchangeables
Modifications: None!

Ravellenic Finish #3

Holy cow, I am totally getting hooked on knitting with MadTosh Chunky. The projects literally fly off the needles! I cast on for these on Monday, and finished these this morning. But they would have been done much, much faster if I had uninterrupted knitting time. Add this pattern to my list of last-minute super speedy gift options! I just love the look of reverse stockinette and garter stitch in this yarn. Interestingly, this is the same colorway as the lowbrow hat I just finished earlier this week. While these pictures aren't a 100% color accurate (we've got dark, gray rainy skies here today--we lucked out and dodged the big ice storm that was supposed to hit us), this skein is definitely a darker purple when compared to the brighter pink tones of the hat. But they complement each other enough that they still work as a "set." One more birthday gift done! But the best part? These mitts only took half a skein! So I can whip up another pair for me, or a pair to have on hand as a future gift option... but for boredom's sake, I'm planning to move on to my last two skeins of MadTosh Chunky next: a bright, sunny orange (Citrus) that are destined for hat and mittens for me!

Pattern: Spiced Cocoa Mitts by Laura Aylor (link to my Ravelry project page), size medium
Yarn: Madelinetosh Tosh Chunky (colorway: Lepitdoptra, used only half a skein!)
Needles: Size 6 Knit Picks Harmony interchangeables
Modifications: None! First time making these twisted stitches, and they are so much fun!

How's your Ravellenic knitting going? It feels good to be so productive after a sloooow moving January!

Ravellenic Finish #2

So this project was much more successful than my first Ravellenic Games finished project!! More Madelinetosh Tosh Chunky, which I'd been hoarding in my stash, just waiting to knit up. Knitting this yarn just makes me want to buy more of it. The colors are stunning, the yarn has a gorgeous shine to it (even though it's 100% merino, with no silk or anything in it), and it's so soft and squishy. I would sooo make a sweater with this if it weren't so cost-prohibitive! I'm equally in love with this hat pattern. The lace is easy and quickly memorized, and the hat ends up being long enough to fully cover your ears. This hat is destined to be a birthday present for my sister, but I am sooo making a second one for myself!

Pattern: Lowbrow Hat (link to my Ravelry project page)
Yarn: Madelinetosh Tosh Chunky (colorway: Lepidoptra, 1 skein = 165 yards)
Needles: Size 5 and Size 7 Knit Picks Harmony interchangeables
Modifications: None!

Ravellenic Finish #1

My first project participating in Ravelry's Ravellenic Games was super fun and fast to knit ... but I'm feeling a little "eh" about the actual finished product. I've been admiring this pattern, the Betula Ring cowl, for months now. You know my long-established love of garter stitch, and I loved the fabulous way you could wear this cowl multiple ways. But I may have learned a lesson in how wrong things can go when you substitute a yarn of a different weight than called for in the pattern. On paper, MadTosh Chunky is the perfect yarn for this pattern. But I quickly realized that there was a large difference in gauge--the pattern uses a bulky yarn that knits up at 3 stitches per inch, whereas MadTosh Chunky is closer to an aran weight that knits up around 4 stitches per inch in the called for needle size for this pattern. I adjusted stitch counts, and that worked great, but what I didn't make up for was the floppier, drapier nature of my fabric at this gauge. If you look at the original pattern's pictures, it features a stockinette section that sits sturdily erect (part of what attracted me to the pattern). My MadTosh sadly couldn't replicate that behavior. I also learned that I need to just trust the pattern with this project ... I kept knitting more repeats on the stockinette section, thinking it was just too short. But in reality, my extra knitting made it too long and the tube just rolled annoyingly. So, while I am still in love with this pattern, I sadly plan to frog this project and knit this pattern again with some of my actual true bulky weight yarn in my stash. I just don't enjoy wearing this cowl as is, and this awesome yarn deserves to be in a project that will be worn and loved!

Pattern:  Betula Ring cowl (link to my Ravelry project page)
Yarn: Madelinetosh Tosh Chunky (colorway: Vishnu, 1 skein = 160ish yards)
Needles: Size 10 Knit Picks Harmony fixed circular
Modifications: Cast on 24, instead of 18 on garter flap due to difference in gauge. Also knit approx. 18-20 rows instead of the 12 called for in the stockinette section.

Hope your Ravellenic knitting is more successful than mine so far!

Ravellenic knitting!

Are you participating in Ravelry's Ravellenic Games? Basically, it's Ravelry's celebration of the Olympics--see how many projects you can complete, casting on during the opening ceremony and finishing by the completion of the games. This is my first-ever time actually participating, despite wanting to for several Olympiads now. As you can see, I have multiple skeins of MadTosh Chunky that are calling my name! My first priority is a betula ring cowl and a lowbrow hat. After that, we'll see!

skeletons in my closet

Remember how I resolved to "knit, frog, or otherwise eliminate my current WIPs" this year? Well, I've come to the realization that I like the satisfaction of seeing visual progress toward my goals. And the problem with abandoned works-in-progress is that they really are not visible--stashed away in closets and project bags tucked away in dark corners and other hidden places. So I've decided to be honest about my skeletons in the closet, and list them all here. Then each month I can record my progress on eliminating them! Or so I hope. :-D

 1. Making Waves Cardigan, cast on April 2011 (Ravelry project page)
Definitely finishing this bad boy! Making a sweater from sock yarn = sloooooow. This is a really dark burgundy color in real life.

2. Root Cellar Vest, cast on February 2011 (Ravelry project page
I'm thinking this one will be frogged. I like the pattern, but I didn't follow instructions when it came to placing stitch markers, which made me incorrectly increase/decrease at the corners, so the front doesn't lay flat. Gorgeous wool/silk/rayon yarn though! May look for a better lacy cowl pattern to feature the yarn better.

 3. Windsor Cardigan, cast on August 2013 (Ravelry project page)
Definitely finishing! Should be cute, just need to knit enough to get to the point where I can memorize the pattern. Slow going since I'm on the first few rows.

4. Not pictured: Greenfield Cardigan,  cast on April 2013 (Ravelry pattern page)
Will finish! Easy, comforting garter stitch. Alternating skeins of my first ever Cephalopod Yarns. So that's the slowing down point--the actual alternating.


 5. Grand Palais Shawl, cast on December 2013 (Ravelry project page)
Finishing! This will go fast, I just got distracted by last-minute Christmas knitting and haven't picked this back up yet.

 6. Another Brioche Cowl, cast on August 2013
Will finish!

 7. End of May Mitts, cast on sometime in Spring 2010
Frog! This was an early stranded colorwork attempt, and I had no idea how to keep my floats under control and handle the joins with my dpn's. Will cast on and start this pattern over, however!

 8. Butternut Scarf, cast on May 2009 (Ravelry project page)
Finish! I have discovered that while I like lace, actual lace on lace weight yarn is just. not. my. thing. I am just sooooooo slow. I really love this yarn and pattern, and will slog on to finish it! Just maybe not this year ...

 9. Beaded Scarf, cast on two years ago?
This one has languished because it is heavy ... and I know I won't wear it ... and the action of pulling a bead up before stitching sloooows me down. And I hate to frog it since I've done so much work on it ... but I really can't think of someone to knit it for who would appreciate it. So this one will stay in time out.

 10. Dancing Bamboo Socks, cast on September 2013 (Ravelry project page)
 Finish? These were my first pair of socks on a smaller needle, and I just wasn't loving the feel of the needles. But now I'm a magic loop convert, and am wondering if that will change my mind. Plus, I'm almost done with one sock!

11. Vanilla Latte Socks, cast on December 2013
Frog. I love this yarn, but I had issues with the transition between purl and stockinette stitches on a handful of the "columns" which drove me crazy. Might just stick with plain stockinette socks next time I use this yarn!

Few! Not as bad as I expected! If you have read this blog for any amount of time, you know I constantly battle cast-on-itis and sometimes have a tendency to mention projects once .... and then never again. It will feel soo good to get these off my plate! 

How many hidden WIPs and UFOs do you have tucked away?

sunday's stitches

sunday's stitches: a moment to slow down and savor whatever your stitching on

Slow but steady progress this week. Only thismuch yellow left to finish! See my progress from week to week on past sunday's stitches!

2021 year in review

  Who would have thought that the second year of a pandemic would be worst than the first, in terms of crafting mojo? Not I. But this chart ...