WIP it Wednesday

Happy WIP Wednesday!  That’s so much better than thinking of it as Hump Day, especially when there’s new WIPs involved!

This week I’m all about new travel knitting.  Easy stitches and simple patterns are the name of the game.  And of course, a bit of stash busting.  I just love a pile of half balls.

First up, a quick mitered square baby blanket.  It’ll be done before I know it (largely because I don’t have enough yarn, I’m ignoring that though.)

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I weighed the yarn I did have and divided it up into four equal portions, one for each mitered square.  I’ve got almost 3 squares finished!  Gotta love size 7 needles.  These squares are practically knitting themselves.

It’s really just a palate cleanser while I pondered my next shawl, which started with a pile of oddballs.  At first it’s just throwing yarn in a pile.

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Over the course of a few days, it gradually figures out a color scheme.

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And then the fine tuning begins.  Colors are added and subtracted.  More stash is pulled out from the depths.  I start to wind up new skeins.

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I really love where these colors ended up!  I think I’ve found the perfect progression for a fade!  It’s a bit of a dragon in my mind.  A splash of green for the tail, then fading purple through the body, up into a grey head.  I love it!!

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Yes, this is going to be fun and it’s garter stitch!  Wooo!  The pattern is Match & Move from Martina Behm (of Hitchhiker fame).  The ultimate result is a triangle, worked sideways.  I’m excited to really get this one under way!


 

WIP Wednesday

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After months of threatening, my next sweater is, finally, on the needles!  It doesn’t look like much yet but it’s gonna be perfect!  I can say this with authority because it’s a nearly identical copy of my last sweater.

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The pattern is Vivido by Carol Feller.  It’ll be my fourth one.  It’s a cardigan with raglan shaping and a shallow v-neck.  Nothing fancy, just a sweater that is comfortable and looks good.  It’s easy knitting and easy math when doing gauge conversions.  I really couldn’t ask for more.  Unless maybe someone wants to knit it for me?  :)

As for the yarn, I’m keeping the same stripes (Noro Rainbow Roll) but changing the main color (unspun Icelandic Plutolopi) from brown to navy blue.  I’m actually expecting it to be significantly different.  You never know what’s going to happen with Noro stripes, after all.  I can’t wait to see it develop…the ‘stripes make you knit faster’ phenomenon has definitely kicked in!  I’m making good progress.

Of course, I am easily distracted and this also fell onto my needles yesterday…

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It’s been 3 months since I knit a Hitchhiker.  It’s definitely time for another one!  This is my 15th Hitchhiker, one of nearly 30,000 on Ravelry.  I assume you already know how awesome this pattern is but in case you don’t…it’s awesome.  There are literally 29,670 Hitchhiker projects on Ravelry.  Imagine the people who don’t maintain Rav Notebook pages?!?  There could be 50,000 Hitchhikers in the world!  It’s amazing!  That’s just how perfect it is.

Here’s the pitch, just in case you need it…

It’s garter stitch, gotta love no purls!  The pattern is committed to memory easily.  It’s perfect for difficult yarn…that variegated skein you just couldn’t resist but turns into a horrible nightmare every time you attempt to knit with it.  The Hitchhiker’s continually growing rows in combination with the garter stitch tame those hard to use yarns.  From horrible pooling and clown barf to lovely scarf in no time at all.  And, perhaps most important, it’s easy to wear and always looks great.

Be warned though:  this is knitter’s crack.  You will be hooked.  Once is not enough.  The addiction is real.  ;)

 

 

Qiviut FO

I’ve finished my qiviut cowl!  It’s amazing!  It’s the softest thing I’ve ever knit.  It’s warm.  It’s fuzzy.  AND, I don’t have to feed it or clean it’s poop up!  Yes, I’d say qiviut is worth it’s price.  I’m not rushing out to buy more, but if anyone wants to send me some, I’m happy to give you my address!

I used a simple 18 stitch feather and fan repeat.  It’s about as close to lace as I get.  Given the halo of qiviut, it was the perfect choice.  The one thing worse than knitting lace is knitting lace only to have it obscured by the yarn.  I’m happy to have avoided that pitfall.  It might be the most perfect little accessory ever.

And, of course, let’s not forget, the best part of finishing…starting the next big thing! Despite constantly threatening you with a sweater, I’ve started another accessory.  This is going to be a Wonder Woman Wrap.

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I’ve foregone the classic colors in favor of something more wearable.  I’m not into the ketchup & mustard color scheme and I had this gorgeous Sweet Georgia Merino Silk Fine languishing in the stash.  It’s a 50/50 merino/silk blend and an absolute treat to work with.

I mean, it’s not qiviut, but it’ll do…


 

WIP Wednesday

My funemployment craftcation is rolling along nicely.  No chance of boredom setting in here.

I recently finished yet another cross stitch hoop and a little fob thingy, maybe it’ll be a luggage tag.  I always feel weird about monograms.  I did it anyhow.  Sometimes you feel like a nut…    I’m pleased with the results.


I’m quite chuffed with the latest bit of knitting as well.  My textures are all playing nicely with my colors.  One would almost think I planned it that way.  Almost!  It’s great advocacy for the planning department, actually.

I try to plan.  It’s so boring though.  Remember this?

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I planned my “next” sweater, way back in March.   I have the pattern.  I picked out the yarn.  The yarn the pattern calls for, no less.  I decided on my colors.  I was good to go.

That sweater is still not on the needles, though.   No, instead, I’m staring this pile down.

 

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The well-planned but never-executed Lopi sweater, the brioche shawl I want to frog and enough yarn for only 80% of a sweater I want to knit.  Two hot messes or a plan that just needs basic execution.  I still don’t wanna do it.

Following a plan sounds like torture.  UGH.

I really want to get a sweater on the needles though.  It’s a real quandary.  I have a feeling I’m going to make a hot mess decision.  I’ll keep you posted! :)


 

Motivated Monday

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Last week’s lack of knitting mojo has definitely passed.  Turns out a new box of yarn from Mom was all I needed!  I thought the qiviut would be the first on the needles but no, I’m far too susceptible to the siren song of color.  Green and purple is such a classic combo, I couldn’t put it down once I’d started.  Brioche was the clear winner and so, a new Askews Me Shawl was born.

It’s a WestKnit, because WestKnits really are the best knits!  The original is only two colors but I’m definitely planning some stripes.

My only concern, it’s a worsted weight yarn.  The pattern is written for DK so not too much a departure but I’ve got a very stiff fabric.  The brioche keeps it cushy so it’s not a bullet proof fabric.  I’m into drape though.  I’m debating going up a needle size or two (which never happens to me??)

While that debate rages on, I decided another cast on was not only reasonable but necessary.

Bitten by the colorful stripe bug, I started another blanket for my impending nephew.  In knitting his first blanket, I remembered why I don’t like knitting blankets.  PURLING.  Yuck.  I’m down with texture, moss stitch, seed stitch, ribbing, yes!  Long straight rows of purls…NO.

The solution to this problem…Steeking!

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Yup, I cast on a blanket in the round.  I’m going to knit the whole thing.  No purls!  NO PURLS!  and then, I’m going to cut it open and turn the cut ends into fringe!  I’ve never been so excited about fringe!

Speaking of the impending nephew, my sister got her first Mother’s Day package this weekend!  And of course, it wasn’t for her at all.  I’m not sure she realizes her days of getting packages are over.  They’re all for the nephew from now on.

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Baby’s first sweater, a stroller blanket and a little sleeping monster.  I finally got his eyes right!  I suspect he’s already become a cat toy.  Good thing I planned on making a whole slew of monsters!

Mom got a new knit for Mother’s Day too.  The latest Dotted Rays had her name on it from the beginning.  As I washed and blocked it, I couldn’t find the sticky sap spots?  I’m not sure how they went away on their own, but I’m glad they did.

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I’m nearing the end of the other Dotted Rays too.  I should finish it this week…assuming I don’t get distracted from all the other knitting.  I mean, I can’t just leave that qiviut to lay around and feel unloved!  No, I’m highly motivated to get some knitting done!

Happy Monday!  Woo!


 

Big Plans

Have you seen the new 2018 Ravelry Project Challenge?  Once again, Casey has added an absolutely brilliant feature.  I never knew I needed it but shortly, I’ll be wondering how I ever lived without it?

You can find your personal challenge page on a notebook tab labeled ‘challenge’.  It’s the very last tab.  When you get there, you’re asked to set a personal goal (which can be modified at any time).  The goal is simply the number of projects you want to complete this year.

 

I set my goal at 40 projects, 2 more than 2017.  It was an arbitrary decision.  The project challenge for me is not about metrics.  I pretty much hate the word ‘metrics’.  I would never judge my knitting by metrics.  Quality is vastly more important to me than quantity.

I love the tracking features of the project challenge though.  Here’s what my Challenge tab looks like so far.

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It shows my progress to date, meaning the projects I’ve marked ‘finished’ in 2018.  It also tracks my plans, meaning the items in my queue I’ve assigned a deadline too.  I use my queue as a general catch-all for any pattern I may, possibly want to make.  I try to keep it a manageable size, you know, only 30 pages.  When I go looking for a pattern, I search my queue first.  If I don’t find something I like there, then I go to the full database and look for something new.  As a result, my queue isn’t a list of what’s next.   The project challenge, fills that hole perfectly!

You can see, I’ve finished two projects this year.  That’s 5%.  I’m on my way!  Unfortunately, it’s been raining so my usual spot on the fence for FO photos is too wet.  I’ll have photos to share soon enough, though.

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In the meantime, rainy days are perfect for winding yarn and planning new projects.  I’ve set deadlines for 3 projects.  Of course, they’re arbitrary.  I wasn’t really convinced I liked the project challenge just yet.  Once I set my deadlines though, the projects were pulled over to the challenge page and that was it. I officially love the project challenge.

And, if it’s on the list, it’s time to cast on!  First pick:

Striped Asymmetry.  I found it flipping through a magazine over the weekend.  Imagine my surprise to discover I had the suggested yarn, Woolfolk Tynd, in my stash, in the exact quantities needed even.  That’s a win requiring immediate cast on, if I’ve ever seen it!

The real draw to this project, though, is garter stitch short rows and a clever key hole.  There’s a hole left on one end of the shawl to tuck the other end through.  Perfect!  No more lost shawl pins!

After that, it’ll be a pair of WestKnits.  A pair of repeats, but you know what they say…if it ain’t broke…

The grey gradient skein is a self striping yarn from Gauge Dye Works destined to be a Dotted Rays.  The yarn pair on the bottom is MadTosh Pashmina in Cosmic Wonder Dust and Deep…to become a Batad.  It’ll be opposite the one in the picture…white/speckly wedges with gorgeous blue welted stripes.  I’ve wanted that Batad since I brought this pashmina home, 2 and a half years ago!  It’s time!

Yes, I think this should keep me busy until February!  If nothing else, I’m organized!  Thanks Ravelry!  Definitely check out the project challenge tab if you haven’t yet!  It’s awesome!