Wednesday, 27 November 2013

More WIP insanity

So, if you remember my last post, lamenting my insanity about picking up a test-knit?

Well, I've got yet one more new thing on the needles.

I started a Silky Scallops Lace Scarf as a birthday present for my Grandmother.

 I already had the yarn in stash, so why not?  She goes out and plays cards twice a week at the local community centre, and so I figure I can make her something slightly dressy (but still warm), to wear in the winter when she goes out.

It's a bit thinner then I was originally hoping for, but hey, it's a nice fast knit that's an easy pattern to memorize.  It should grow somewhat when I block it with the silk content of the yarn.

Calling All Fans of Tanis Fiber Arts!

So yeah. . . Tanis is going to be in Toronto on Friday.

She's being hosted at the Purple Purl this Friday, November 29th, from 6 to 9 pm.

Details are here, on the Purple Purl's Ravelry Post about the event.

I definitely intend to go.

And, in celebration, here's some TFA patterns and projects I've updated over the past little while.  I'll be bringing these two, at least to show off while I'm there. :)

My Fairview Scarf:

and further progress on the Elementary Watson Socks:

I guess it's kind of telling that most of my knits in TFA yarns are knits for me. . . .  Shows how much I like it!

Looking Forward to Friday!

Wednesday, 20 November 2013

Mittens for Me

So I've been working on many things over the last little while.  Lots of knitting going on.

Anyway, one of my more rewarding 'quick knit' projects is my Fair Isle Mittens. They knit up really quickly in the worsted-weight wool, and they're heavy, and nice and warm.

I intend to make the matching cowl and hat, too, when I get the right size circulars.

I've just finished the fair-isle chart and am onto the decreases for the top of the mittens. I should easily get the other mitten finished by the deadline for the knit-along (December 15th).

Sorry for the slightly blurry picture, but it's hard to take a picture with my off hand.

With a bit more time, the right mitten should be done!

Tuesday, 19 November 2013

Slow and Steady finishes a sweater

I mentioned earlier that I'd almost gotten around to joining the yoke for my Cabled Cardigan.

Well, I finally did a few days ago.

It might look a little odd now, but it's coming together ok.   The two balls are from my two alternating skeins.  If I look -really- close, there are a few spots where I can see the very subtle striping at the yoke.  But I don't think anyone's going to notice.

I still don't know if I need more yarn.  I'm pretty sure I will, (see here) but I just might be able to stretch the yarn I have. So I'm going to keep knitting on this, for now, and see how far I get before I run out of yarn.

It's funny. A lot of people are saying there is a problem with the yoke shaping in the pattern. 

However, because I'm doing this cardigan in fingering-weight yarn when it calls for worsted-weight yarn, so far, the yoke is working out just fine.  It's because my row gauge is screwy for this pattern. (I got stitch gauge, just not row gauge.)

I've been working on this sweater a row or two a day (pretty much every day unless I got super-busy), and it proves that slow and steady work means you can finish almost anything. I'm quite proud of how it's turning out.

Monday, 18 November 2013

Pretty (but annoying) Dragon Rider Gloves

The title pretty much says it all. 

The Dragon Rider Gloves are quite pretty, and I'm really happy with how they're turning out.  They're also a quick knit, so I'm not too worried about not being able to finish them for Christmas.

I've gotten past the thumb gusset, and I'm onto the hand proper now, which isn't that many repeats since they're stretchy lace and worsted-weight.

 (Not the best shot, but it works to show progress).

However, the pattern is riddled with typos and weird construction.

First, it's one of the glove patterns that isn't identical, it uses mirrored construction for the left and right glove.  That in itself is fine, but it does require you to pay attention. 

Where it describes the pattern row for the hand, it adds in markers that you only use for the thumb gusset, and the marker placement didn't seem quite right anyway.  I just ignored those. 

It also increases oddly for the thumb gusset, using 3 markers and increasing 2, 3, or no stitches.  (For that, just follow the pattern, it does look odd but it does work).

Finally, when you put the thumb stitches onto a stitch holder, the pattern doesn't tell you to cast on an additional stitch to replace the one you started with for the thumb gusset.   However, if you don't, your pattern stitch won't line up properly. You have to cast on 1 stitch to make the thumb work.

Also, in reading ahead in the pattern, the descriptions to split the stitches for the fingers is rather vague.  I'm glad I've done gloves before because it would be very easy to not realize that you have to take half your index finger stitches from the palm and half your index finger stitches from the back-of-hand. All the pattern says is to 'divide 12 stitches evenly among 3 needles' for the index finger.   If you just take the next 12 stitches from the needle, that won't work, and your index finger will be in the wrong place!

All that being said, though, the pattern is a fun knit, and isn't hard once you realize what's going on.  Provided you have experience making gloves/mittens, you should be able to figure it all out.

Sunday, 17 November 2013

Ok, I am insane.

Hello all!

So, with this pile of Christmas Knitting still not really shrinking, plus the Sock-Along is still going. . .

And I add two things to my knitting.

The first is a new sock test-knit.  It's pretty, and just called my name so much I really rather have to do it.

I'll be using EliteSpun Fingering Weight in 'Sky.'

And the second. . . do you remember that Fairview Scarf pattern I bought a while ago?

Well, Tanis Fiber Arts is hosting a holiday Knit-Along.  So, I figured I'd give that a try.

So it will hopefully be a Fairview Scarf in Silver Label in "Cobalt."  

I'm actually really excited, since this has been queued for me for a while now.

However, I now have a great many WIPs.  This could be . . . interesting.

Tuesday, 12 November 2013

Ravelry Re-organization and Purple Purl Purple Sale!

So I've embarked on an ambitious task:  I want to re-organize and clear out my Ravelry Queue. 

It's a challenge, considering that I basically stuck any pattern that caught my fancy into my queue.  Now it's gotten way too long and unwieldy, so it's getting chopped down to size and most of the stuff is going into the favorites.

. . . this is going to take a while, considering it's 64 pages long, and that's after chopping it down already.

But, it's an ongoing battle.

In other news, the Purple Purl is having a Purple Sale. (Try saying that three times fast!)  It's just at the bottom of the newsletter link, and it's this weekend (Saturday, November 16th).  There will also be food, and, if you donate non-perishable food to their food bank drive, there are prize draws. :)

I'm going to try and go.  I want some Classic Elite Yarns Solstice (which is being discontinued, which -sucks-), to make a Sakura Tee, so I'm going to see if I can pick some up in a shade of purple. Usually I wouldn't grab yarn for a pattern this early, but since this is being discontinued, I want to grab it while I can.

Also, if money allows, I'll get a skein of Silver Label. Last time I was there, they still had some in the "Grape" colourway, which is both purple, and very pretty.

Monday, 11 November 2013

Christmas Knitting Update

I finished the Christmas Mittens!

I actually finished them last night, but only got the picture today.

They were a nice, simple knit in stocking stitch, and the 'string' is chain crochet attached by a small tab of single crochet (I wanted a sturdy connection between the chain and the mittens). 

They're for someone who is rather forgetful, so now these will be mittens that are harder to lose.   He (obviously jokingly) asked me for a pair of mittens-on-a-string for Christmas.  He thought it was a joke, so these will be a great surprise.

It's nice to have another finished Christmas gift, that's for sure.  

Friday, 8 November 2013

A search for stitch-holders and cable needles

First off, thank you -so- much!  Almost 2500 views -- I never thought I would really get any views. So, thank you!

Now, onto my realization of the day:  I need more stitch holders.

I mean, I have one holding the sleeve for my Cabled Cardigan (I'm hoping to join the yoke in on that next week, which will be exciting and picture worthy), I have one holding the thumb for my Pine Cone Mittens, I have one holding the one leg of my Pyjama Shorts, and I have one holding the thumb of my Christmas Mittens.

I never, ever thought I would need more then 4 stitch holders.

"But can't you just use scrap yarn?  That's what you use for stitch markers." 

Well, yes, but I find it really hard to get stitches off of scrap yarn and onto a needle, so I really don't like using scrap yarn to hold stitches.  As stitch markers, yes, I love scrap yarn.  It means that I can't accidentally knit my marker into my work, and I don't have to worry.  It also is a nice way to use up yarn scraps.  But for holding stitches, no, it's not my first choice.  I grudgingly use it for lifelines (when I remember to put in lifelines), but that's about it.

So, my current "important" projects are now the projects that are using my stitch holders, so that I can put the thumbs on my various christmas knitting projects.

Also, I lost my little cable needle.   I have several cable needles, but one is this little purple one, and it's thinner then most cable needles I usually see.  The other ones are a bit too big for working on my Cabled Cardigan.

I would say that since I lost it at home it can't have gone too far.  With two cats, though, that cable needle could be just about anywhere. . . .

 I can pick up a new cable needle at Knit Night, it's just annoying because that one was nice and thin, perfect for cabling on socks and such. 

Thursday, 7 November 2013

Knitting and Novel-Writing

So, November is here, and with it comes colder weather.  This means, it's quite nice to sit inside and knit with a warm mug of hot chocolate. 

However, I do have to be aware that National Novel Writing Month is now happening, and my spare time is, well, pretty much non-existent.  However, luckily, most of my Holiday Knitting is transit friendly, and it's also a good way to give my brain a break when I just can't think of the next line to write.

So, the Mini-Dalek is progressing quite nicely.  I had an in-person chat with my giftee earlier in the week, and I now have a proper reference point for the sizing of this -- I'm going to have to make it longer, so I'm adding a second set of bobbles after the first welt.

 I'll have to go hunting through my button-jar to see if I have 3 matching buttons for this, but if not, a trip to the fabric store is in order anyway, as I have several projects that need various notions.

The Pine Cone mittens are also coming along well, especially considering that they were a stash-dive.  Left mitten is done except for the thumb, now, and the cuff's cast on for the right mitten.

The charted pattern on the back of the hand means this is a bit less transit-friendly, but the ribbing and such still is something I can bring with me while travelling.

Finally, the Christmas Mittens are one of the fastest knits I've ever done.  They're been almost completely made on various bus and subway rides, as I'm already done the thumb gusset and half-way up the palm for the right mitten.  It really does help that they're basically plain stocking stitch.

However, with all the various mittens I've been making, I'm beginning to run out of stitch holders!  They're all being used to hold thumb gusset stitches!

In less-stressful knitting news;  in my rare moments of relaxation where I'm not trying to write frantically, (usually while working on my Mass Effect 2 re-play), I've been working on my Evening Star Cowl and my Cabled Cardigan.  Even if it's only one row a day, I'm really enjoying my work on both of them, it keeps me feeling accomplished, and it's nice to see that the second sleeve for my cardigan is almost done.