Tough Love Baskets

toughlove baskets garter stitch US 50 Needles

I finally got around to finishing the flat stack of baskets I made!  The finishing work with this giant yarn is a fun first for me!  No tools needed…seaming is done with the fingers!  Imagine a darning needle large enough for this stuff?  LOL!

tough love basket finishing

After the side seam is sewn, the bottom edge is cinched up to complete the basket shape!   Instead of weaving ends in, they’re needle felted down!  Poof!  Instant basket!

Two sizes even!  I love them as a set!  They’re already felted so totally machine washable!  Lovely AND Practical!

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Even Inspector Rocky approves!

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Tough Love Basket Details:  My Ravelry Page

Yarn:  Tough Love felted wool from Love Fest Fibers

Needles:  US 50 (25 mm)

Pattern:  Coming soon from ImagiKnit in San Francisco

 

 

 

A Muni Surprise

My love/hate relationship with riding the bus to work continues.  Crowded buses, no show buses, late buses, buses overrun with stinky dudes…all part of the deal, no surprises there.

No, today’s surprise is pleasant.  sort of.  Turns out I take my best knitting photos on the bus.  I futzed with this silly shawl all morning and couldn’t manage to capture the colors in a decent photo.  Good thing I ride the bus, eh?

I even strung together 3 cords from my interchangeable needles to stretch the whole shawl out…112″!  You can’t really tell it’s a gradient though.

Only a few more trips back & forth until I finish!  I guess I’ll have to take my FO photos on the bus too!  It should make for an especially interesting ride!

 

Another WWSD?

knitting needles us50 us11 7 mm addi click

When I need to take a break from my giant knitting, which is often–that stuff is a workout, I’m turning to a project on tiny, delicate size 11 needles!

 

It’s another What Would Stephen Do? project.  One of my most worn garments is a WestKnit called Batad.  I’ve got two already but I need at least one for each day of the week.  And so, Batad-esque was born!

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As usual, there’s a few modifications.  I’m changing the gauge, so all the numbers are adjusted.  Instead of garter stitch sections with welt dividers, I’m doing stockinette sections with garter ridge divisions.  Oddly enough, this means I’m doing one thing Stephen wouldn’t do…leaving out the short row gaps.  It took a couple sections to come to terms with it.

wip wednesday cowl in progress knitting

You can see the untreated short rows pretty clearly in the first section so I decided to ‘go all the way’ with my short rows, wrapping and turning and even picking up the wraps!

Batad stephen west westknit batad modifications

The last section looks so much better.  I’m staying true to my lazy knitter roots though.  I’m not going back to correct the first two sections.  A-it’ll look better after blocking or B-no one will ever notice, certainly not a muggle.  It’s choose your own rationalization day here!

What Would Stephen Do?  In short, change everything and make it up along the way!  So far, I’ve managed pretty well!  I’ve retained the shape of the original garment and this yarn is going to be lovely to wear!  It’s a BlackStone Tweed Chunky from Berroco.  A lovely soft sheep/goat/rabbit trio!   It’s going to be perfect for the impending summer fog!

And perfect weekend knitting!  Instant gratification…here I come!

 

 

The Next Big Thing.

Emphasis on the BIG part!  love fest fibers tough love felted merino

This is Tough Love from Love Fest Fibers!  It’s a super bulky felted wool!  It’s pretty crazy!

Turns out you can knit with it too?!?  Who knew? ;)

garter stitch big knitting size 50 needles

I’m currently knitting garter stitch rectangles on size 50 needles!  Eventually though, I’ll do a bit of seaming and it’ll turn into a basket!

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Sorta like that.  It works up quickly, once you get the hang of it.  If all goes according to plan, I’ll have 7 0r 8 of these babies to show you soon!  It takes instant gratification to a whole new level.  Start to finish one basket should be under two hours.  I’m doing them assembly line style though, so I’ve only got a stack of garter stitch at the moment!

toughlove baskets garter stitch US 50 Needles

I’ll definitely share more pics!  This stuff is a lot of fun to photograph.  Stay tuned for more!

FO – Almost Reyna

reyna shawl anzula milky way nerd girl yarns take the crown

This project got it’s start way back in December.  It started as a Reyna Shawl–a super popular free pattern that hit Ravelry last summer.  It’s a basic triangle shawl that alternates garter stitch and mesh sections.

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I got bored with it quickly (through no fault of it’s own.)  Turns out lace mesh is more challenging for me than a complex lace flower motif.  A mistake shows easily in the pattern, which means I’ve gotta pay attention?!?  One side is K2Tog, one side is SSK.  Damned if I can ever remember which side is which.

I added the stripes to keep it interesting but it didn’t work.  Once this project got set aside, it was doomed.  Last week, I decided rather than dread the mesh section in progress, I’d just change it.  Simple as that.  Don’t like it, don’t do it.  Duh.  I’m the boss of my knitting.  I can do what I want.  (sometimes I forget?)

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And so, the project was attacked with renewed vigor.  The solution was easy.  WWSD?  What Would Stephen Do?  Stephen West that is.  He’d add a row of giant eyelets.  Naturally.  Followed a few garter ridges and an Icelandic Bind Off (coolest thing ever…check it out, here!)

fogknits reyna modifications anzula fibers nerd girl yarns triangle shawl knitting

I think it worked!  I’m happy with the colors and the size–mesh blocks well!  I’m happy with the modifications!  I’m happy that it’s off the needles, no longer nagging at me to be finished!  And I’m especially happy that I can cast on something new!  Oh yeah!

 

Almost Reyna Shawl Details:  My Ravelry Page

Pre-Modification Pattern:  Reyna Shawl

Yarn:  Anzula Milky Way  and Nerd Girl Yarns Bound & Stomp

Modifications:  Added the giant eyelets by (K8, YO x5) across the row, on the next row I K1, P1 into each YO.   Worked a few garter ridges.  Icelandic Bind Off.

 

The Icelandic Bind Off

Once upon a time (because that’s how all the best stories begin)…I spent a month in Iceland.  It was awesome!  Ever since then, I’ve have a particular eye for anything Icelandic so imagine my surprise to discover there’s an Icelandic Bind Off! I had no idea!

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It’s decorative, in an understated manor.  It rolls a bit but it rolls on both sides.  There’s a nice reversible quality to it.  It’s oddly like i-cord, there is a definite cord feel to it.  It’s got more bulk than a standard pass one over bind off but it’s certainly not bulky.  It’s just right with garter stitch, able to hold it’s own perfectly!  It’s also a bit like a K2Tog tbl bind off so it’s got a lovely stretch to it.  In short, this is my new favorite bind off!

To work the Icelandic Bind Off:

Knit the first stitch and pass it back to the left needle.  Then, reach through that stitch and knit the second stitch.  Drop them both off the left side and place the new right hand stitch back on the left needle.  Reach through, knit, put the new stitch back on the left needle.  It looked fiddly at first but you develop a rhythm easily!

Here’s video demo:

It’s from Very Pink.  She’s my go to for YouTube videos, she’s got great production value and she knows what she’s talking about!  Check it out…the Icelandic Bind Off could be your new favorite thing too!

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Here’s a peek at what I’m binding off!  I’ll tell you all about it when I finally finish…(because cliffhangers are the best endings!  ha!)

 

Hat Fix!

I needed a hat fix!  It had been 12 days since my last hit.  Knit.Wear magazine was back on the street and I was stuck on Mitten Island.  I did what any other knitter would have done in my situation.  I frogged the mitten.

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I did what any other knitter would have done in my situation.  I frogged the mitten.

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And I don’t regret it!

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Just call me Captain Obvious because I love this hat!

It’s from the inaugural issue of the new Knit.Wear.  It took a while but the folks over at Interweave finally figured out that Knit.Purl was a very poor replacement for Knit.Wear and so Knit.Wear has been reborn!  Yay!  I liked a few of the garments but this hat didn’t just call my name, it screamed MAKE ME NOW!  I couldn’t resist.  I had to knit this one.  It’s the best!

Details:

Ravelry Project Page

Pattern:  HAT by Erica Schlueter

Yarn:  Tosh Chunky in Electric Rainbow

 

Editing

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I did it…I frogged yesterday’s progress.  Poor execution planted that seed in my brain.  I had several mistakes stacked up, early on.  Blocking could hide the blunders easily!  Hello Rationalization!

It still nagged at me though.  It’s a bit like plucking hairs.  The anticipation of the pain is the worst part.  Once it’s over though, you’re glad that nasty little bugger is gone.  So without much thought, I did it…ripped the needle out in one swift movement.  Within a minute, it was all gone.

Now to rebuild.  I thought this was a simple plan, a basic top down triangle.  Turns out, you  can always edit.  My personal area of weakness…I have a kitchen sink approach.  I try to throw every trick I can at a project.

In this case, it doesn’t seem like a lot of tricks but… i-cord tab, provisional cast on, complicated increases, i-cord edging, stripes and a gradient.  Yeah, there’s lots of room for editing here.  The key to this shawl is the gradient, so highlight that and throw everything else out.  No more fancy i-cord tab with a provisional cast on.  I was only doing that to match the i-cord edge…got rid of that too!

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I’m left with a refined look, instead of a cluttered mess.  What I’ve got now really is a basic top down triangle.  It’s two row stripes, increasing at each edge, every time and increasing on both sides of the center marker, every other row.   Using KFB as my increase because this is garter stitch…let’s not over think it!

The funny part is, I seem to have refined my design but ultimately, I haven’t changed my shape.  I’ve still got the same mistake in the same spot.  Yes, I definitely recall counting my stitches.  That’s always a bad move.  It can only lead to trouble.  I hate counting but something compelled me to do it anyway.  And it was off.  Of course my stitch count was off.  This is why I don’t count.

Once it’s been discovered though, something has to be done.  So, I compensated, to even my sides, by skipping an increase.  and it shows!  D’oh.  I did make a ‘mistake’…but it was entirely on purpose.  This time I don’t frog though.  Right now I’m telling myself blocking will erase that.

(ha!  as if I block garter stitch?  There’s gonna be a half million stitches here…who’s gonna notice!??!)

 

 

 

 

Something New

Time for casting on.  Sure, I could finish a project that’s been languishing for months like the Southern Skies shawl.

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It’s going to be gorgeous when it’s finished and it’s not going to finish itself.  It’s just such a pain, beads and 19 pages of charts…not today, thank you.

I did manage one mitten on the ride to Lake Tahoe.  I could whip up it’s mate but I’m not going to need mittens until next year when we do it again.

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I’m actually thinking of frogging this one and doing something else with the yarn.  There are still hats to be knit, if you can believe that!

Maybe it’s time to swatch for a sweater.  I want a summer sweater, something light and cottony.

pima splash swatch

Meh.  Nice yarn, just not feeling it.  Let’s try a shawl, I always want to knit shawls!  That’s the ticket…

cephalopod gradient kit

This is a Cephalopod Bugga gradient set from 3 Stitches ago and a grey Neighborhood Fiber Company skein from Rhinebeck.  Definitely time for these lovelies to hit the needles!  Not doing anything crazy, I want this yarn to speak for itself.  It’s just a basic top down triangle with two row stripes and an i-cord edge.

It meets all the bus knitting requirements.

bus knitting

Something is still off though.  Apparently this isn’t ‘just’ a basic triangle.  It’s more of an irregular polygon at the moment.  Even that may be a stretch.

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This may get a frogging, not because it’s a bad idea, but the initial execution has been pretty sloppy.  A restart may be in order.  Then again, blocking can work that out.

Either way, I need to be on the bus in an hour.  That’s not much time for a logical, well thought out decision.  Oh the pressure, I hope I make it!  ;)

 

 

Doodler Done

It was a busy weekend at WinterWonderGrass!  Doesn’t look like much from up here but it was an awesome weekend!

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The mountains were beautiful and the sun was warm!

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Hats were still in demand though!

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The people watching was amazing, so much great knitwear!  The band got in on it too.

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And I even managed a bit of knitting time myself.

The doodler is done!  Yay!  Bound off and already taking a bath!  It’s going to be huge when it’s blocked!  I can’t wait!

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