honey cowl is finished!

My first finished project since September!

Finished Honey Cowl

I love it!

Finished Honey Cowl

Yes, really, even though I am not smiling at all. It took all day to dry and now it’s late and I’m tired.

This yarn came from a friend’s haul at Goodwill and I have three more skeins of it. I need to figure out what the rest of it will become. I do have my next project all picked out. It’s a log cabin baby blanket in a fuzzy, soft cotton yarn. I have high hopes for it.

3rd is the new 1st

Yet again, I sort of decided not to do NaBloPoMo (National Blog Posting Month) and then decided to do it and then forgot. It’s starting off with a bang!

First up, as usual, a round up of finished objects.

Untitled
A cowl for my cousin’s birthday.

Yes, one cowl. I am kind of astonished myself. I made a big push on my orangish sweater a few months ago and then got to the end of the yarn with not enough sweater. It is sitting in a basket thinking about how it has done me wrong. A friend a knitting did point out that more of that yarn exists for sale on Ravelry so maybe I will actually buy it and finish it but maybe I will just ignore it until it fixes itself. They do that, right?

I am currently working on a Honey Cowl knit in Hand Maiden Silken and it is gorgeous, if I may say so myself.

Honey Cowl in Progress
Honey Cowl in Progress

I love this yarn and I appear to be all about the simple patterns right now. I put down another scarf I was knitting because I had to look at the chart for EVERY line. Who has time for that? Not me. I like to knit at school board meetings so that I don’t scream in frustration and it is harder to do that and actually listen if I have to keep looking at the pattern.

One new tradition I hope to keep up this November is CandleTime. I learned about it only a few days before the end of October and I have done it for the past two evenings. I quite enjoy sitting at the dinner table with just the candles lit either doing a puzzle or reading something while I enjoy my cup of tea. I will probably just keep it up until Thanksgiving but who knows, it may turn out to be something I want to continue.

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My candles and tea.

Thanks for reading my disjointed start to NaBloPoMo! I hope to be more entertaining as the month progresses!

Stitches 2014

This weekend is Stitches. I have done pretty much all of my Stitches-ing already though. I registered for a class so I was able to get into the market preview. The main thing I knew I wanted to get was some interchangeable cables. I heard from some friends in my knitting group that the Knitter’s Pride ones fit the Knit Picks tips and are more sturdy. I picked up four sizes of those (the three sizes I have broken in the past year plus one size I never had). I also got Norah Gaughan vol. 13 because I fell in love with Silverberg. It’s designed in a bulky yarn but I will be knitting it in something lighter, probably a DK. We’ll see how much changing I’ll need to do for that. I might also want to knit Merle which is designed in a yarn that I can sub with All Seasons Cotton (and we all know how much I like to do that).

This morning I had my class. It was a class with Betsy Hershberg where we learned to make her Sine Curve Bracelet with a beaded knitting technique that doesn’t involve prestringing the beads. I finished mine during the three-hour class!

ABACUS beaded braceletABACUS beaded bracelet

I really like how it turned out and how it feels on my arm. I have lots of beads from my previous bead weaving and jewelry making hobby. Most of them are probably a bit too small for this but maybe not!

I ran briefly through the marketplace today and fell down and bought this.

silk colorflo

It’s so pretty! Yarn without wool that changes color like that is not very common and I was really pleased to find this one. I am thinking it can become a Dipped Infinity scarf without all the tiny balls of yarn. I have other patterns in mind too but I really think an infinity scarf/cowl is the way to go.

Right before Stitches started I finished something! A friend saw my tapestry cowl and asked if I’d make her one. I told her it took me three years and she said, “no, a plain one.” I found this Knit Picks Comfy Bulky in my stash and it was the right color and super soft. Ta da! Cowl.

cowl for a friend

In skirt news, I ripped back and started the cable section again with larger needles, extra plain rows, and regular instead of combination knitting. It’s working much better. I think I will be glad I went back.

Yay! Knitting! Yarn! Stitches!

NaBloPoMo Day 8: the wonder of yarn construction

I was hoping to have a progress picture for you of my sweater sleeve. I sort of do. I mean, I have a picture but you can’t really see the progress. Sweater sleeves that don’t have a cable or something are pretty boring to watch being knit. I sometimes wonder if knitting progress pictures are like watching paint dry. I kind of hope not.

With that wonderful intro, here’s my progress.

Kiama sleeve continued

I’m kind of mesmerized by this yarn. The more I look at it the more I wonder why I thought i could produce the same garment with this pattern with another yarn. The yarn is Berroco Origami. Since I decided that I love it, it has, of course, been discontinued. Such is my lot. In any case, it’s about 10 plies or variously colored and textured yarns held together by a single strand of something (I’d guess it’s either cotton or nylon). The result is intriguing to me.

origami yarn

The frustrating thing is that I can’t think of another yarn constructed this same way. A friend was looking for something similar for a project she wanted to knit (as I mentioned a few days ago) and I was knitting something with ArtFibers Brogue, which is another yarn with an intriguing construction. That one is a core of fluffy, unplied microfiber encased in a knitted tube of cotton. The cowl I knit out of it is squishy and warm and the yarn holds lovely stitch definition but is also quite stretchy. I would love to knit a sweater jacket out of that too but that would break the bank. Bank breaking aside, I was wrong about the constructions being similar. They are only similar in that they intrigue me.

I consider intriguing yarn construction to be both one of the blessings and curses of knitting without wool. Wool yarn tends to be straightforward. It’s sometimes spun with unusual fibers but as far as I know most of it is plied to varying degrees. With the nonwool yarns you get a wide variety of construction methods. Many of which are discussed in Amy Singer’s wonderful No Sheep for You. She includes much discussion of her favorite nonwool yarn: calmer. Which has, of course, been discontinued.

Those yarn manufacturers sure know how to keep us on our toes!

NaBloPoMo Day 3: current WIP

My current work in progress has been a long time in the making. I saw the pattern (Kiama, from a Berocco booklet) at Stitches West 2011 and bought a different yarn for it. You would think I’d have learned my lesson when I knit Pucker in a cotton yarn of approximately the same gauge and hated it. Alas, no. At least I didn’t get very far in before realizing that I hated this too. At which point, I knit the yarn into a scarf that I ended up giving to Kristi and, later, the rest of that yarn too. I want to like orange but I can’t wear it. It just doesn’t work on me. Luckily, last summer I found the yarn Kiama was designed for, Origami, on clearance in Philly, while visiting my brother and his family. It’s really only sort of lucky since it was on clearance because it was being discontinued. At least I have the yarn! Finally, a few weeks ago a friend of mine asked about a substitution for Origami since she had a pattern that called for it and it is, as I mentioned, discontinued. I thought the yarn I used for a recent cowl was similar so I pulled out the Origami to compare and realized that, hey, I want to wear that sweater I was going to knit so when I finished the cowl, I cast it on.

Kiama sleeve

In my normal fashion, I am not knitting it as written. I looked at the sleeve dimensions and realized that I’d prefer a slightly larger sleeve so I cast on more stitches for that and now I’m thinking I’d prefer a longer sleeve too so I am considering knitting longer as well. I think it should be fine, I have approximately two extra hanks of the yarn. Keep your fingers crossed for me!

NaBloPoMo Day 25: stripe-tacular

I wish I could show you a better modeled shot of the hat I finished it but I washed it last night and it is still not dry. It’s gotten cool here which means that it’s damp and, apparently, nothing dries. Even though it’s wet, I can show you the jogless color changes.

my jogless jog

I tried a new method for them this time. I usually knit around one row in the new color and then knit into the stitch below for the first stitch of the second round. That method requires that you have two rows of each color, though, and this hat has some single row stripes. I did a search, though, and found this method on TECHknitting. Instead of knitting into the stitch below you slip the first stitch on the row after you change color, even if that next row is another color. The slipped stitch then moves from being the first stitch of the round to the last, so you remove your marker, slip the stitch, and then replace the marker. It’s not totally invisible but it’s pretty good.

Speaking of stripes, I have a new stripey project.

not so baby yoda stripes

It’s the Not So Baby Yoda Sweater. I love baby sweaters because they are so fast! I started this last night and that picture shows a sleeve and a third, or so. I am hoping to finish the second sleeve tonight so I can start on the fronts. No fancy techniques for this sweater, just adorable baby-sized stripey goodness.

NaBloPoMo Day 24: finished hat

I finished a hat.

finished hat

Sorry for the terrible picture. I will get a better one tomorrow. I want to photograph the jogless stripes because the new way I found to do it even works with 1-row stripes! Very cool.

Now, my older son is having a friend sleepover for the first time so I need to go to bed early in case when they wake up at the crack of dawn.

NaBloPoMo Day 21: good news, bad news

Good news: The kids were off today so I got to sleep in a bit.

Bad news: The husband wasn’t so I didn’t get to go for my morning walk.

Good news: I managed to sort through the between sizes clothes and move out some outgrown things from the kids’ drawers.

Bad news: We left the house later than planned and it took two hours to drive what usually takes an hour.

Good news: I started, and made progress on, a hat!

stripes take 2

Bad news: I just discovered that my gauge is off again so I need to rip back and start over again.

Good news: It’s bedtime so I can just go to bed and think about that tomorrow! (After all the cooking, baking and eating, of course.)

NaBloPoMo Day 19: 3 of my favorite things

I had to take one of our sleeping bags to the laundromat today. There’s one at the end of my block but the last time I used it I ended up with the washer that didn’t work and it took 90 minutes for the sleeping bag to be finished. Instead, I like to go to the one near my favorite coffee shop: Philz.

Philz, knitting, sun

I brought my knitting, of course. I realized while I was sitting there that I hadn’t checked my gauge and my hat might be a touch small. Okay, it might be to small for any adult head. I’m too close to being done to rip it out and start over, though. I will have to find a kid to give it to, I suppose. That’s fine but now I still only have one chemo cap ready for donation! Sigh. I have some heavier weight yarn I wanted to make a cap from, so I think that one is next up.

Someone asked me on Google+ if starting a hat meant I had finished to sweater. Of course not! I am fickle, like most knitters. The sweater is taking a break (not unlike the sweater I was working on before I started that sweater). Actually, let’s not talk about just how many sweaters there are on break right now. Deal?