Sunday, 30 March 2014

Ribbed Bag the Second is Done

I realized that, shockingly, this is my only post about my Second Ribbed Bag.

It's the same pattern as the Ribbed Bag I made for my roommate; just this time, done in variegated acrylic.

I'm not actually sure what the yarn is, it's old enough that I've lost the ball band.

But this will become a dice bag, and a Birthday present for a friend in my gaming group who often forgets his dice.

Sunday, 23 March 2014

Audio Book Knitting!

With two KAL deadlines coming up, plus having to finish my One Cable Mitts by May, I was looking and hoping for a way to have more knitting time.

I think I found it.   My church is doing a bible study/book study, and we're looking at "The Heart of Christianity" by Marcus Borg. It's definitely an interesting read for those who are interested, but there's a lot there to unpack.

(Also, I can't help but think of The Borg whenever I read his name!)

All tangents aside, though, a friend of mine who is also in this study, happened to have the audio version; of which she was kind enough to lend me a copy.  This has proven incredibly useful, as I can sit with my headphones on in my computer chair, and just listen and knit.   I'm actually glad I'm listenening rather then reading, the material is pretty dense.

Regardless, though, it gave me my knitting time;

My One Cable Mitts progressed really rapidly, I'm now done the left mitten except for the thumb:

and my Business Casual Socks are now past the heel and onto the gusset decreases for the foot.

 I have to finish these by March 31, to make the KAL deadline,  so I really don't know if I can do it.  Then again, I have finished a mans sock in ten days, so maybe, maybe I can pull that off. If I can't they're actually for a summer birthday, so I've got lots of time to actually finish them, if I just can't finish them for the KAL.  But I'm going to try!

Finally, though there's no new picture, I'm done the thumb gusset on the first of the Vancouver Fog Gloves. They're also for a knit-along with a deadline of April 1, but they seem to be knitting up a lot faster now that I'm actually paying attention to them!

Thursday, 20 March 2014

More Birthday Knitting (with an actual deadline)!

I started yet another project.  Yes, this means that I have oodles of works-in-progress, but I couldn't delay starting these any more.

They're for a birthday in May, and they're for a friend living in Ottawa.  Her apartment often gets cold, and so I've been told that fingerless mittens are always a good idea.

However, the pair I made her last year are made of stash acrylic.   While they are pretty, and she quite likes them, they're not superbly warm.

This year, I wanted to go for warm. 

So, I'm making a pair of One Cable Mitts.  The pattern is free from the Blue Sky Alpacas Website. (Rav Pattern link is here.)  It's designed to use just one skein of Blue Sky Alpacas Worsted Hand Dyes, which is a wonderfully squishy 50/50 merino/alpaca blend.  And I picked up a skein of this ages ago while it was a power-boost yarn at EatSleepKnit.  I was already thinking about fingerless mitts, with it, and the pattern worked out well. (I think this is the first time I've used the exact yarn recommended in the pattern!)

My giftee likes purples/blues and that end of the colour spectrum, so the colour seemed to suit quite well.    And though these aren't machine-washable, I'll probably just have to remind her of that when I see her.  She's one of the few people on my gift list who I will give things that are hand-wash/dry clean only to, because I know she'll make every effort to remember, and knows how to do so.  And these shouldn't need oodles of washing, anyway.

These are also going to be my second attempt at knitting two-at-a-time, as long as my circular is long enough.  It should help keep me from suffering from second-mitten-syndrome.

It's funny, though.  All of my other current birthday/Christmas knitting has been started absurdly early via various knit-alongs.  This, however, has an actual and upcoming deadline.  Hopefully I can finish in time!

Monday, 17 March 2014

More KALs and a weirdly-written pattern . . .

So The Yarn Attic hosts oodles and oodles of KALs, which is absolutely wonderful!  I've got a couple of yarns wish-listed from them, and my stash may grow again after Lent!

In the mean time, however, I'm enjoying the impetus to work on gifts, or things that have sat on my Ravelry queue for way too long.

So, I started a few different projects for their 'Hop in It KAL' , (more on those later, I hope!) but the one I really want to mention is my Sundance Notions Bag.  I'm using the leftovers of Spud & ChloĆ« Sweater from the Pjyama Shorts.

 I just started the cast on.  And it's not bad so far:

I wanted a small pouch/bag to hold my extra notions/needles/hooks, once I finish my felted Knitting Bag, since the knitting bag doesn't have any inside pockets.  (And I just noticed I haven't blogged about my knitting bag despite it being on the needles for a while! Whoops!  I'll try and fix that soon!)

Anyway, so I found the Sundance Makeup Bag pattern from the Classic Elite Yarns Web-Letter.  If you're on Ravelry, it's also at this Ravelry Link.

The pattern is relatively simple, nicely textured. . . but oh man, is it weirdly written.  It's written in sections, but the sections don't progress in order.  So 'oh, yeah, now you go over here to read this part of the pattern, and then you double back for the next section.'  There are lots of little notes and addendums (For example, I missed that you're supposed to slip the first stitch on every row), and there are also abbreviations that aren't defined. (Another example:  I -think- EOR is "End of Row", but I can't find a definition of that anywhere in the pattern).

That being said, once you figure out the pattern weirdness, it actually doesn't look like too hard a knit, and if you browse through the project pages on Ravelry, you'll see that a lot of people actually have re-written out the pattern and simplified the way it's presented.  So if you do get stuck, it looks like you'll have lots of support. 

It also looks like this knits up pretty fast.  It's only 31 stitches wide in worsted-weight yarn, so it should finish up pretty quickly.

Wednesday, 12 March 2014

Gox Socks are finally finished!

I started my Gox Socks as a test knit back in August of last year.

Now do you say why I say I'm a slow knitter?

But due to snowstorms (and here I was hoping winter was done!) I had the spare time today to finish up the toe and weave in the ends.

So here we go, another project finished!  They're nice and warm, since they're a bit denser with all the twists and cables; and I'm hoping they'll keep my feet warm over the days to come.

And, despite my initial worries that I would need a second skein of yarn, I actually have a small bit left of the Blue Label.  I don't know if I could have gotten the large size out of one skein, but the small had some yarn left over. 

Pretty Yarn

I realized I'm behind!

For those who remember my post about Tanis Fiber Art's ETSY shop update?

Well, my yarn came a while ago (late Febuary), and I realized that I've been neglecting my readers and didn't put up pictures of my new yarn.


Tanis Fiber Arts Purple Label in Periwinkle.  I plan for this to be a second pair of Mercury Socks.

Tanis Fiber Arts Purple Label in Fjord.  I want to do a second pair of Flying Hearts Socks (with a longer cuff) with this.

Tanis Fiber Arts Amber Label in Aurora.  This was a new base that Tanis created for this update, it's a Merino/Cashmere/Silk blend that's wonderfully squishy.    I want to use this as the contrast colour for a pair of Snowfling Mittens (I still have to get my hands on the pattern, but that can sit for now!)

And last but not least, Tanis Fiber Arts Green Label, also in Aurora.  It the same colourway as the Amber Label, above, but it looks quite different in the skein.  These are going to be an attempt to make aran-weight socks two-at-a-time

I haven't yet broken my attempt at not buying yarn (I'm still being good, I promise), but I did realize that I hadn't posted these pretty things.  

Sunday, 9 March 2014

An (almost) Yarnless Lent.

So, I was puzzling over what to give up for Lent. I always like to try something that I know I can do, but that will also be a challenge.

Then it hit me.

So, my challenge for Lent is to not buy yarn.   I've bought more yarn then I've intended to over the last little while, with sales and such, I'm finding it a bit too easy to justify 'oh, it was on sale!' and I don't want to do that any more.   My cupboard of yarn is completely full too,  and I don't like having the extra yarn about my room.

That, and I want to save up for the Toronto Knitter's Frolic in April, so this is something that I can do.

However, I did still get more yarn.   I just didn't buy it.

See, my father's been going through the stuff in storage, and he came across all of my mother's old fiber stuff, including yarn.  Since a lot of that yarn is still perfectly good, he brought some to me today.

It's all acrylic, which isn't my first choice, but some of the colours are really nice, and acrylic does make for good gifts because it's such easy-care.  And none of it so far is the super-scratchy annoying acrylic.    That, and the colours I don't think anyone I know would like (hello hot pink!) can be donated to the local Humane Society, to make blankets for the animals, which is where some of these are going.

It was kind of funny, going back through this old yarn, with most of the ball bands still on, and seeing if they brands were on Ravelry, (and if not, updating the Rav database!).  It was also kind of neat just to think that I will be using the same yarns my mother used to work with when I was a kid.  There's a definitely nostalgia value there, I completely admit.

Thursday, 6 March 2014

Laceweight is hard. . .

It is.  It's hard to work with, even if it is beautiful.

How do I know this?  Well, the Yarn Attic is running a KAL for the months of March and April (sign up and details are here, for the curious)

It's for shawl/shawlette knitting, and the only other requirement is that you use Malabrigo yarn.

So, I'm finally getting some use out of the Malabrigo Silkpaca I bought last year at the Toronto Knitter's Frolic!

Even if it is light-weight and very fiddly, it's still very pretty, and the texture is -wonderful-.

I'm hoping it will work up well in an Ethereal Shawl, and so far, it does quite well.