Posts Tagged ‘knitting’

2012 Knitting/Crocheting in Review

  1. Pretty Petals afghan squared for my quickly-abandoned square-a-month project
  2. Wishing for Winter hat
  3. Tamarind Cowl
  4. The Age of Brass and Steam Kerchief
  5. Nathair Mitts
  6. Dr. Who socks for Jimmy
  7. Stacked Eyelet Cowl
  8. Harvest Dew socks
  9. Leaf Blanket
  10. Windschief hat
  11. Simplicty socks
  12. Belle Epoque socks
  13. Sockhead hat for Laura
  14. Maurandya socks
  15. My Knitted Heart Vanilla Socks #1 (with “It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown” yarn)
  16. Santa ornament
  17. My Knitted Heart Vanilla Socks #2 (with “The Grinch” yarn)
  18. Facets hat
  19. Vanilla socks #2 (with “The Santa Clause” yarn)
  20. Dustland hat
  21. A Very Braidy Cowl
  22. Library of Congress hat
  23. Vanilla socks #1 (with Knit Picks Felici in “Aquarium”)
  24. Drawstring bag
  25. Crocheted sun dress (mostly crocheted in 2011; finished in 2012)
  26. La-La-Love-You Cowl

Afghan blocks: 1
Hats: 6
Cowls: 4
Shawls/kerchiefs/shawlettes: 1
Socks: 9 pairs
Baby blankets: 1
Ornaments: 1
Bags: 1
Dresses: 1
Mitts: 1

Look at that. Almost an equal number of projects as books read. Coincidence? I think not.

In addition, I have 7 projects I worked on quite a bit this year. Four of them are in “hibernation,” but 3 of them are still active projects that I will finish in the nearish future.

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Cat toys

I made my daughter’s kitten, Oliver, a couple of cat toys this week. He loves them! However, he keeps batting them under the couch or into the closet. He is so smart, though, that when I enter the room, even if it’s been hours since the toys disappeared, Oliver will greet me with urgent “meows” and lead me to the spot where he lost the toy. Without fail, if I move the couch or open the closet door, there is a toy. I have officially become “She-who-makes-and-retrieves-toys.”

Want to make a simple toy for your cat? (and this really couldn’t be simpler) Grab some leftover yarn & the appropriately-sized needles (you want the fabric to be pretty dense). Knit a square, leaving a long tail for seaming. I like to use one of these patterns for Grandma’s Favorite Dishcloth, since you start with a corner & can start decreasing when the triangle is the size you want for your toy (I like using kfb for my increases & k2tog & ssk for my decreases so there are no holes along the edges) . Once you’ve completed your square, fold it in half, corner to corner, to make a triangle. Sew up one side using a whip stitch. Stuff with polyester filling (& catnip if you really want to make your cat happy), & sew up the 2nd side of the triangle. Voila! Almost-instant cat toy.

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Knitting update

So, what have I been up to lately? Attacking a mountain of projects, mostly.

I’ve actually made a little dent in my WIPs, but naturally, I replace each finished object with a new project, it seems.

In this post I listed my WIPs. Of that list, I’ve actually finished or frogged almost all of them! But now, the list is still just about as long. I was working through the list on a schedule, but lately I’ve fixated on certain projects. Here’s the current list (newer projects link to my Ravelry project page):

1) Thin Ice – still working on this slowly. It’s not a priority and tends to get put on the sidelines.

2) Clothilde – same thing as Thin Ice. It’s a lovely project, but it’s time consuming, so it tends to get put aside.

3) Sockhead Hat – Laura wanted something made with the Peeta colorway of my Hunger Games yarn, but she didn’t want socks, so I found this pattern. It’s a fun, mindless knit and is in regular rotation.

4) Belle Epoque Socks – I actually have 3 pairs of socks going right now. Fun! These are made with a gorgeous blue-green yarn and I ❤ them.

5) Vitamin D – another one that comes and goes. I’m almost to the sleeves. I still have a very long way to go on this project.

6) A Very Braidy Cowl – I had this goal to do a cowl a month this year. I was on track until this one. This was supposed to be May’s project, and I’m about 3/4 done with it. It’s going to be pretty when done, but it’s sort of a boring knit.

7) Halloween socks – Nothing special about these – I haven’t even put them in Ravelry yet. I have another goal, to knit my “holiday” socks for this year using holiday-specific colors of yarn or themed patterns. I bought this yarn to make these socks with. I cast them on over Memorial Day weekend, but haven’t touched them again.

8) Ella Sleep Sack – this was intended to be a baby shower gift, but I didn’t have time to finish it (and probably won’t finish it by baby-time, either). It will go in my gift stash for a future baby gift. Thus, it isn’t a priority.

9) Test knit socks for my mom – I’m 2 repeats into this pattern and they’re really pretty. Good job, Mom!

Here are some more recent finished projects:

I never posted pictures of the Leaf Blanket, but I did take them, but on a different camera. I’ll try to post pictures of that project soon.

WIP Inventory

I took a deep breath and did a WIP inventory this week. For those of you non-knitters/crocheters, WIP stands for “works in progress.”

1) Thin Ice – I started this for a knitalong on the Knitabulls podcast Ravelry group. This, however, is a huge shawl, and despite my best intentions, there was no way I was finishing it in 6 weeks. However, it is a lovely pattern, so I don’t plan on hibernating it anytime soon. It is just no longer a top priority. In fact, I don’t actually have anything on the needles right now that counts as high priority.

2) Clothilde –  I cast this on in January, did a little bit on it, and noticed a mistake. I’ll need to frog it (for you non-knitters, this means rip it out – get it? Rip it, rip it, rip it…) and start over. Since I’m not far into it, this is no big deal. What I do need to make myself do this time around is place stitch markers after each repeat of the lace pattern. I learned that this week with another project that should have been easy but had me pulling my hair out!

3) Dark Mark Illusion Scarf – I started this in the fall of 2010. The original plan was to give it to my daughter. Then decided to give it to my son. Now it’s been languishing for a very long time. I honestly don’t remember the last time I knit on it. It’s been hibernating in my cubicle at work, but I will pick it up on Tuesday to see how I feel about it.

4) Dr. Who socks – I guess if anything counts as high priority knitting, this is it. I’m making these for my husband using Knit Picks Felici in the Time Traveler colorway, which is a pastel version of one of the Tom Baker scarves. I’m sure some of you out there could tell me *which* scarf, but I couldn’t tell you. I’ve finished one sock and am just past the toe on the 2nd one. I’d like to have them finished by his birthday at the beginning of April.

5) Vitamin D sweater – I’ve only finished one sweater, and it was pretty much a failure. I’m hoping this one will work out better. It’s another one of those projects that keeps languishing, although after picking it up again this week, I really want to keep working on it. I love the yarn and how the fabric is working up. The biggest problem is it’s at the point now where it takes around 45 minutes to do just one row on the sweater. This is not conducive to working on at work. I’ve decided I just need to get over the idea that I have to be able to make it through an entire row and just do *something*. I’m concerned the sleeves will be too tight if I follow the pattern exactly for the size I’m making, but after looking at the pattern, I think I can do the sleeves as if I were doing the next size up without any problem, based on how the pattern is written. This will be the first time I’ve ever tried to modify a pattern like this, so wish me luck!

6) Age of Brass and Steam Kerchief – Another one that’s been languishing. When I got this out to work on this week, I realized how close I am to actually finishing this! I think the reason I haven’t been working on it is because I hate the needles I’m using. So, once it’s finished, I’m chucking these cheap Hobby Lobby needles into the trash!

7) Beach Bag – I started this as part of a knitalong last summer and lost interest. It’s not the most exciting pattern, but I want to finish it. I think I am going to heavily modify it and turn it into more of a messenger bag than a tote.

8) Cotton Ribbon Sash Dress – This one has been almost finished for ages. When I got it out yesterday, all it needed was buttons, button holes, and the ribbon sewn on. I got the buttons and button holes done, but alas, I can’t find the ribbon I had bought for it. I’ll need to make a trip to JoAnn’s to buy some more. This is an adorable little dress, and I plan to send it to a beautiful little girl in Michigan. 🙂

9) Drawstring Bag – I don’t even remember why I started this. I thought it would be a super-quick knit but I quickly lost interest. I think I thought the pattern was for a much smaller bag (4-6 inches maybe), but it’s actually going to be probably closer to 10 inches when finished. I made myself work on it last night, though, and got it almost done. Two rounds plus a round to create eyelets then bind off. Then I have to do the I-cord drawstring. I may be able to finish this today if I ever get around to it.

 

I did have one finished object this week. I finished the La-La-Love You Cowl, which is very pretty. This project, however, gave me fits! I started it on February 2 and got a few inches in and realized I had twisted it at the beginning, so I had to rip it out. I wasn’t going to restart but changed my mind. I kept messing up the lace pattern and ripped out more than I knit, I think. I finally got smart and put in stitch markers, at which point it flew off my needles. I managed to finish it on Feb 13 and was able to wear it on Valentine’s Day!

The whole thing

You can see the design and color better here - although it's really kind of a mix of the 2 pictures

Sunday catch-up

My best intentions went up in smoke as far as blogging goes this past week. It wasn’t until either Wednesday night or Thursday morning that I realized I’d skipped two blogging days. I had every intention of blogging Friday but just never squeezed it in (am I the only one who always wants to say “squoze” instead of “squeezed”?). It was an insane week, and I wasn’t sad to see it end. New adventures start tomorrow, but a blog post about that will have to wait just a bit longer.

So here it is Sunday night, and once again I’m trying to fit everything into one post.

Knitting

I made quite a bit of progress on my Thin Ice shawl. The deadline for this knitalong isn’t until February 15, but I’m not sure I’ll get it finished by then. I’m on around row 100 out of 250+ rows, and, of course, being a shawl, it will only keep growing. It is lovely, though!

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I also made quite a bit of progress on the Tamarind Cowl. I’m actually now only 10 rounds plus bind-off away from being done. I’m still worried it maybe too tight, but we’ll see. The first picture below shows my progress, while the 2nd shows more detail.

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While working on this cowl, I’ve come up with an idea for a hat, inspired by this pattern. I’m eager to finish this, so I can work it up. It could end up a disaster, but I want to try it anyway.

Baking

I’ve been debating whether to continue my cake quest (it’s not meshing with my weight-loss goals real well…), but have decided to carry on, as long as I get at least half the cake out the door the next day. I feel the need to bring cake to work right now anyway.

Today’s cake was Honey Spice Cake with Rum Glaze. I didn’t actually use rum, since I’m bringing it to work and there are some tee-totalers there (plus, you know, I work for the city and don’t want to bring even a tablespoon of rum). Instead of rum for the glaze, I used milk and rum extract. It tasted great! I was a little concerned, because the cake deflated a bit when I took it out of the oven. I was a little wary when I cut into it and then before I tasted it. It clearly was not quite done on the bottom, but it tasted delicious!

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In other baking news, I made chocolate chip cupcakes for breakfast this morning. The recipe is from a Betty Crocker kids’ cookbook that I’ve had for over 10 years. There are 3 recipes in there that make me keep the book, even though my kids are older than the target age now: a brownie recipe, mac and cheese, and these chocolate chip cupcakes. So easy and so delicious!

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Cooking

Last, but not least, let me share tonight’s dinner.

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Broiled scallops, roast fingerling potatoes, and Himalayan red rice. (yeah, 2 starches, what of it?) Delicious and easy!

This Week on the Needles – 1/13/12

First, let me apologize for the poor quality of my project pictures this week. I didn’t feel like pulling out the good camera, and the light isn’t great.

I mentioned last week that I was going to do a block a month for a blanket (it will probably actually be 2 blocks a month, if I want a blanket anyone other than a baby can actually use!). I finished my first square Wednesday morning, minus blocking and weaving in ends, which I’ll do this weekend. I’m pleased with how it came out. I’m using Plymouth Encore Worsted, which is a 75/25 acrylic/wool blend. The colors of this square are “forest green” and “fox.” I don’t know that all my squares will use the same colorways, but I’ll choose something that complements them.

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I’ve made a bit of progress on my Tamarind Cowl. I wish I had used bigger needles, but I think it will still be big enough. I’m considering turning it into a hat if it’s too tight as a cowl.

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My other current project is the Thin Ice shawl. This is going very well, EXCEPT I realized I forgot to switch to smaller needles to work the section I’m on, as called for in the pattern. I think instead of ripping it out, I’ll just call it a “design element.” Ah well. Sorry about the glaring white in this picture; I brightened a lot so you can see the details in the knitting better.

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Finally, a little enabling.

My friend Katie, stinkin’ enabler herself, texted me to tell me that The Loopy Ewe had Wollmeise in stock, and I couldn’t resist buying a skein. The color is Taube.

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I also finally got my order from Knitpicks that I purchased with my gift certificate Jimmy gave me for Christmas. I, unexcitingly, bought blocking mats and wires. Woohoo! But I also bought some Stroll Glimmer in the Dragonscale colorway. My intention was to make the Dragon Wing shawl from Knitty, but after getting the yarn, I’m not sure how great it will look. What do you think?

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This Week on the Needles

I’m so happy to finally have time to write this post!

I’m having huge issues with cast-on-itis… Since New Year’s, I’ve cast on 3 projects:

Clothilde: I’m knitting this in the Dream in Color Smooshy I posted about a while back. At the moment, I’m off by a stitch or two, so I’ll need to do some backing up. This will be lovely when I finish.

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Tamarind Cowl: I’m using Malabrigo Merino Worsted in Pearl for this, which is the same yarn I used for the hat I’m going to show below. I love this yarn! It’s mostly gray, but with a hint of pink mixed in. I think I’m going to do a cowl a month this year. I’ve made a bit more progress on this since I took the picture.

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Finally, I cast on the Thin Ice shawl, which is the current knitalong on the Knitabulls podcast. I wasn’t too sure about doing this pattern, but when I saw that my mom is doing it, I decided to do it, too. I bought some Cascade Heritage Sock Yarn in Sapphire specifically for this project. I’m really glad I decided to knit this; it’s a fun knit and really pretty, too.

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I’m also going to try to knit a block a month for a blanket this year. I tried this a few years ago and quit, but I’m going to try again. I bought some Plymouth Encore to start that and will probably start it today.

Now some finished objects. I’ve mentioned a couple of these in the past, but I couldn’t post pictures since they were gifts. Now you get the pictures!

David’s Scarf: I used the Yarn Harlot’s One Row Scarf pattern for this in Mirasol Ushya to make this scarf for a good friend. It turned out great! I knit a good bit of this on our road trip over the holidays, which I’ll try to post about soon.

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Quest: This is a Knitty pattern. I did Version 2 of this, which has a cool honeycomb pattern. This is the hat I used the Malabrigo in Pearl for. I love it so much I want to make one for myself! This one was for my good friend Cathy.

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On a whim I decided to make a monster for my son, Eli. It’s kind of like a crocheted version of Rebecca Danger’s knitted monsters. I ended up staying up until 1:30 Christmas Eve/morning finishing this, but it was worth it as it turned out so cute!

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Finally, I’m going to do some enabling. I’ve bought way too much yarn lately (is there such a thing?). Here are the four skeins I’ve gotten since Christmas (the Sweet Georgia was bought with a gift certificate):

Sweet Georgia Tough Love Sock in Tourmaline

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Lorna’s Laces Shepherd Sock in Brick

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Three Irish Girls Wexford Merino Silk in Gretel (this yarn reminded me of a sunset)

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Shalimar Breathless in Gunmetal (this just came in today’s mail and is soooooooo soft!)

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Finally, I wanted to mention some podcasts I’m enjoying. My mom got me hooked on podcasts, even though I don’t have a ton of time to listen/watch. Here’s what I’ve added to my regular listening time:

The Knitmore Girls – a mother/daughter podcast, but this one is actually on hiatus since Jasmin just had a baby this week!

2 Knit Lit Chicks – another mother/daughter podcast, with a focus on both books and knitting. I love this podcast and the Ravelry group is fun, too.

Knitabulls – This one’s a video podcast, and the host, Diane, is so sweet.

Knitting in Circles – another video podcast, which I’ve only just started watching. This one’s a husband/wife podcast, & they’re from the Mississippi Gulf Coast like my husband.

Knit Knit Cafe – I actually just listened to my first episode of this and can already tell it will be a favorite. This one’s another/son podcast, which is a unique twist.

Hmmmm….I see a trend in the types of podcasts I like – do you?