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!


 

 

 

 

 

WIP Wednesday – A New Sweater

Before I show you my new sweater project, let’s take a moment to bask in the glory of this amazing yarn!

This is a DK weight, 100% baby llama yarn my Mom dyed and sent me for Christmas.  I absolutely love it!  Mom used an ice dying technique that I don’t think is common among yarn dyers but seeing the results, it should be!

You prep your yarn as normal and then pack it in ice.  You sprinkle dye powder on top of the ice.  As it melts, the dye is solubilized and trickles down to the fiber below.  The result is all kinds of unexpected fun!  The chartreusey green dye broke into it’s base components giving an amazing array of gold and yellow tones while still maintaining much of it’s greenness.

I love it.  So much complexity from one dye and some ice.  I can’t wait to use it.  It’s 220 yards.  I’m thinking cowl.  We’ll see.  Maybe even some sort of lace leaf motif.  Just as spring starts springing, I usually have a fit that only this color can calm.  It’s gonna be good.

In the meantime, this is my palate…

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Thank you Noro!  This is the Noro Rainbow Roll, a 100% wool pencil roving.  It’s surprisingly soft for a Noro yarn.  It’s certainly softer than the yarn I’m pairing it with, Plutolopi, an unspun Icelandic yarn.

I’m pretending they’re the same gauge, even though they aren’t.  The lopi is distinctly thinner.  I think it works though.  I like the swatch.  I’m going with it.

The plan was generic top-down, raglan cardigan.  The gauge worked out perfectly for Vivido, though.  My two favorite cardigans are this pattern.  One of them is well past it’s expiration date.  I keep repairing it but it really should be retired.  So, in the spirit of if-it-ain’t-broke, my new sweater is another Vivido.

It’s going well, but the plan has definitely changed already.  My original intention was a striped cardigan.  As I work these stripes though, they’re a little busy.  I’m not sure I need that all over my body.

The new plan is striped yoke, solid brown body.  That’s a totally fair compromise.  Plus, I wouldn’t mind having some of this Noro left over.  It really is soft.  I’m feeling the urge to stash more!  (it’s only $11 at Webs right now!?!?)

(and Noro is prone to discontinue this.  It’s definitely a specialty item.)

(I’m gonna try really hard to resist.)

(I should probably use this pile first!)

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(I think I’ve talked myself off the ledge.  For now.)

 

Work In Progress Wednesday

All signs point to new project cast ons this week!  The holiday knitting is done and I’ve only got 4 WIPs on the go right now.  I can start two new projects and still be within my strict 6 project limit!  Woooooooo!

The secret holiday projects have been hats.  Specialty hats, definitely not every day hats and definitely not enough to scratch the hat itch.  It’s time for a hat binge!

First up, I’m digging into the stash for yarn from Rhinebeck 2016.

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I’ve been holding on to this fun gradient kit, waiting for the perfect pattern.  I think a lot of us have this ‘problem’.  Awesome yarn, languishing in the stash, unused because it’s ‘special’ and needs to be ‘perfect’.

I’m here to say…PSHAW!  That’s nonsense.  ‘Perfect’ is not about excellent execution of something so precisely correct that there is not one single flaw to be found.  Perfect is about adjusting one’s mindset.

For me, in this case, perfect was the idea that I wanted to use all of this yarn, to its fullest, in one single project.  The yardage isn’t really enough for my ideals of a scarf or shawl and it’s too much for a hat.  It’s too nice to use for a baby garment.  Always too something…

All I needed to solve this problem was a simple attitude adjustment.  Who cares if I use it all in one go?  I love scraps!  My favorite thing is having leftovers to add to the scrap pile!  Hat binges and scrap piles go hand in hand!  Why have I spent 15 months hung up over a few scraps??

And so, with a little bit of soul searching, I decided, I would be happier to knit this yarn into several hats than I would be watching it sit, lonely and untouched, on the shelf.   Duh.  Obviously.  I bought it to use it.

And so, the hat binge has begun in earnest.

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In a fortuitous moment, I remembered this neon green, fur pom-pom.  Another bit of stash being saved for the ‘perfect’ hat.  In this case, perhaps perfection will be achieved, after all.

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In the most bizarre turn yet, this could be perfect AND trendy?!?  If I’m doing the big fur pom, I might as well go all the way and make it a fade too.  These stripes are just too fun.  I sat down for one brief moment, to just finish turning the hem and here I’ve nearly finished it.  I do love a good hat binge.

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I started with a provisional cast on and a turned hem.  It’s a finish I love but don’t do often enough.  If I’m selling a hat, it’s a lovely detail that slows the process down, unnecessarily.  If I’m keeping it though, this is just the type of detail I want to wear.  An uninterrupted field of stockinette stitch at the brim of hat makes me so happy.

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Even the jobless stripes are making me pretty happy today!  My preferred technique is to knit into the row below, at the first stitch, of the second round of each color.   Once the ends are woven and it’s blocked a bit, I think this will be as near to perfection as possible.

And then, I’ll get to do it all over again because I’m definitely going to have enough yarn left over!  Perfection, Indeed!