Monday, January 27, 2014

At the Hermitage

With all the snow that we have been getting here in West Michigan lately, I have become a hermit.  I was leery about even venturing to church on Sunday.  As a result I haven't left the house since last Thursday, aside from taking Lizzie out for occasional potty breaks.  But oh, while cold, it is glorious out.
Some of the drifts are getting big.  One is halfway up the basement door.  Poor little Lizzie doesn't like walking in snow deeper than her paws.   Its making the aforementioned breaks a bit difficult.
While I am home, I have been knitting.  (Yeah, I know, big surprise, huh?)  I have the first sleeve of the Duchess of Cambridge cardigan about 1/3 done.
And, after finishing my Stephen West Craftsy class, I broke down and began designing a new shawl with the Noro I showed yesterday.
I am rethinking the green Mini Mochi yarn I showed with this yarn yesterday.  I think that even though they are both singles, this Noro is more tightly spun and won't work with the green yarn.  I am contemplating some dark royal blueish sock yarn, a wool/silk blend to use instead.  I won't need it for some time, as it is to be added closer to the end of this yarn.  I'll show it once I've made up my mind.
As always the ever patient Lizzie allowed herself to be used for scale.  The swatch kept growing, and it became the beginning of the shawl.
It will be a modified triangle when finished.  The white markers on either end indicate two more increase areas.  As a result, it will be more of a crescent shape.  I think that will stay put better when being worn by more endowed folks.  And the lengthened tails will give a bit more to tie or fling over the shoulder.  While there are yarn overs in the center and each end, the additional two increase points will be a more invisible "make one" increases.  I can't want to see how it turns out.  I have written out my rough pattern.  It is very rough.  I indicate the random garter rows as being made at whatever intervals the knitter likes.  I hope it turns out all right.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Picking Up Where I Left Off

After finishing the newest hat for Lil Farm Gal, I decided to return to my featherweight cardigan. I have called mine the Duchess of Cambridge cardigan, because I started it a while ago and worked on it while watching the Royal Wedding of William and Kate. When I had last picked up, I think it was late September, while waiting for my October Mystery Knit-A-Long to begin. At that time I only had a few inches to add before the ribbing.

Friday evening I started the ribbing and yesterday I cast off the body. As always Gertrude modeled for the camera.

Once the sleeves are done, I have to pick up stitches along the fronts and around the collar and knit for about 3 1/2 inches. I will probably either use 1X1 ribbing or seed stitch instead of the stockinette the pattern calls for, so it won't curl.

But already my mind is casting around for something new to start. I have a skein of Noro sock yarn in blues, purples, greens, and a touch of red.

After listening to my Craftsy class (Shawlscapes by Stephen West) I am inspired to muddle along and create a shawl using the Noro and a couple skeins of Mini Mochi in green tones. At least I will start with the Noro. I may switch to another border color before I finish.

But for now, let me get back to my sleeves.

Friday, January 24, 2014

Another One Done

I must say, not working, whether it is unemployed or retired) is good for the knitting time.  I have finished my fourth project for the year already.
When I had given Lil Farm Gal the doll hat and sweater at Christmas, she said she wanted one, and tried to stretch it to fit her.  Since it was tight, I decided I had to do something about that. 
I even splurged on non-stash yarn.

The yarn is Encore Tweed, a worsted weight, wool blend.  The color is called Grape Jam, but it looks more like a grape milkshake to me.  A lavenderish gray.  I ended with a small bit of I cord at the top of the hat to finish it up.  Right now it is stretched loosely over a plate to block and dry.
Which leaves me to contemplate what to knit now.  I have lots of already started projects to choose from. What will win?
Stay tuned to this space. 

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Plodding On

I finished the Black  Cotton Cardi with glee.  And, although surrounded by WIPs (Works In Progress), I still feel the need to cast on.  I have been intermittently working working on the Silver Dove socks, started eons ago.  When I picked those up, I was barely past the cuff on the second sock.

As you can see, I have turned the heel, and since this picture have gotten about half way to the toe.  
I also cast on for the first doll sweater.  This is for a girl at church.  After stash diving I found plenty of this minty green heather.  It is also 100% acrylic, as is needed for non-fibery people.   That one took me about 2 days to finish.  I haven't changed it to finished on Ravelry only because I still need to sew on the sweet little buttons I found.  I hope to do that after posting here.

I also promised the so-called "glamour shot" of the Black Cardi.  I'm not sure how glamorous it is, but I do like the sweater.

It was funny, but as I designed it, the only thing I imagined differently was the length.  I always imagined it as more of a high hip length.  But as I knit, I couldn't believe the length was enough, so I probably could have quit a couple inches shorter and done fine.  But the yarn, Knit Picks Shine is so soft.  I really like it.  I have a couple skeins of the black left.  I had also purchased some pink and burgundy that will be combined with the black for a cotton shawl some day.
In the meantime though, before I cast on for another doll sweater, and the matching (or at least coordinating) one for Lil' Farm Gal, I want to finish the second sock of this pair.
Then I can perhaps start a new pair.  And cast on their sweaters.  And decide which WIP to throw into the rotation next.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

And The First of 2014

Buttons are on and I have my first finished project of the year.

The yarn is Knit Picks Shine, in black sport weight, a cotton/modal blend (That's kind of like rayon.). It feels great.

Gertrude looks pretty good in it, now that the buttons are on. The sleeves may look really short, but they are a perfect three-quarter length on me.

I think I have also mastered the art of taking a selfie.

I just need to get better backgrounds.


Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Perils in Knitting

While I have enjoyed the knitting adventure that has been my black cotton cardigan, there have been dangers I didn't anticipate when I bought this yarn.

The first problem came in the first incarnation of the black cotton, when I attempted a simple black cotton tee top. But, alas, trying to knit it with my dark Knit Pick multicolor needles was next to impossible, especially on size two needles.

After frogging back, and regrouping, I invested in some of the Knit Pick blond Sunstruck needles. I started over as a cardigan, with size five. The knitting went much better. However, sometime after originally purchasing the yarn, I had acquired a mostly white cat. A cat who loves to climb on my chair and walk over me as I knit....always leaving a few hairs as a reminder that he had passed. Can you see them?

And lastly, once the problem of dark yarn on dark needles was solved, and the white cat hair resigned to, there were a ton of stinking ends to weave in. Let me saw right now, for the record: I hate yarn that only comes in 50 gram ball, as opposed to 100 gram balls. They have twice as many ends to contend with.

There are at least eleventy nine ends to weave in.

But after that, the buttons!

Monday, January 6, 2014

Good Knitting Weather

With temperatures in the single digits, so far, and a bit lower wind chills, it has been great knitting weather.
The body of the black cotton cardigan is off the needles. So before picking up stitches for the neck band and front button and button hole bands I reviewed my button choices. Against the black sweater, the camera doesn't do justice to the buttons. So here is a picture of the choices.
On the left is a light gray with a brushed finish. The center choice is shiny ball shaped black. And on the right is the clear sparkly buttons. I like all of them, but my feeling is that the solid black of the sweater needs the sparkly clear buttons.

The flash washes the buttons out in this picture. But even here I think the sparkles win out.
Now, back to my knitting.