WIP Wednesday Round Up

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Last time we talked about the sweater currently on the needles, it was having some trouble.  Happy to report I fixed the problem and was making good progress.  WAS.

Sadly, I encountered a fatal flaw.  The knitting is perfect.  This problem is a dumbass mistake.  I picked the wrong size to knit.  My size fell between two pattern sizes.  I decided to knit the larger one.  Except, when it comes to bulky yarn, a too big sweater can be a very poor choice.  I have enough bulk of my own.  I don’t need my clothes to add bulk.  And that’s what bulky sweaters do, especially if they’re a size too big.

Ooopps.  To the frog pond we go.

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Factor in the new box of yarn being delivered tomorrow, perfectly timed, just in advance of the three day weekend, containing yarn for the next sweater…this poor sweater had no chance.

I can’t wait!  I’m planning not just one, but TWO new sweaters with this new box of yarn.

Cat Sweaters!

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How am I supposed to resist that?  Especially when my sister agreed to a day of twinning, if I made sweaters for both of us.  I can’t wait!  I’m okay with being a crazy cat lady.  I’ll proudly declare it while knitting my cat sweater.   It’s not like I created the stereotype.  I promise to represent crazy knitting cat ladies everywhere properly!

Of course, I needed a new project in the interim.  I’m always ready to cast on!  This time, in a surprise twist, I cast on a new shawl. (<-not really a surprise)

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The yarn is KnitPicks Chroma Fingering, so it goes without saying, the colors are much better than my late night cell pic represents.  The pattern is Vee Vee by Mariana Martins.  It’s a triangle shawl that uses short rows to created a series of Vs in asymmetric rows.  With the Chroma, I think it’s going to look fabulous!

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Rocky is just glad I’m distracted from cat sweaters at the moment!  He’s trying to avoid the topic entirely!

Happy WIP Wednesday!  Hope you’re equally as excited about your impending weekend!

Me Made May (aka The Pile)

stack of shawls

It’s almost June and I’ve failed to mention ‘Me Made May’.  If you aren’t familiar, it’s a month long celebration for makers and slow fashion.  Participation is easy, wear the fruits of your labor (sewn, knit, crocheted, woven or otherwise handmade) everyday and share photos on social media using #memademay

While primarily geared towards those who sew their clothes, I think it’s a great opportunity for knitters too!  There was a time, when I never wore any of my knitting.  I think this is true of many process knitters.  These days, I’m more of a ‘reformed’ process knitter.  With only a little bit more attention to the product, I’ve been able to knit things I love to wear while still scratching the urge to knit miles of garter stitch.  It was a little shocking to look at that pile and realize how much of it is garter stitch.  I just can’t resist.

a big pile

At this point, I’ve almost amassed a shawl collected that affords me the luxury of a different shawl every day of the month.   Luxury being the key word!  I love my Merino-Cashmere-Silk pile of amazingness!  Which, brings me, finally, to the point of this missive — pictures of the pile!!

My Mom will be visiting me in San Francisco, for the first time in a decade.  I’ve promised her the pick of the litter while she’s here!  I’ll start with the two that I’m keeping.  No chance I’ll part with these two:

Keepers

My Exploration Station (left) and My Doodler (right)

They’re probably the two I wear most.  I’m not parting with them.  Don’t worry, there’s still lots of amazingness to choose from, much of it, I’ve never really worn.

I’m obsessively organized when I comes to project details and notes on Ravelry, I’ve linked everything to it’s Rav page if you’re interested in yarn or pattern info!


transatlantic

(L to R):  Garden Arbor, Lux Adorna Cashmere, Transatlantic, Icelandic Citron, Lefty, Neon Grape Feather & Fan


thendara hitchhiker

(L to R): Thendara, Geysir Stretch, Giant Hitchhiker, Exploration Continuation, Dotted Rays, Granny Triangle


pendulum batad cameo

(L to R): Pendulum, Stripe Study, Cameo, Batad #2, Batad #1


eyeball dotted rays doodler

(L to R): Asymmetric Sequence Shawl, Striped Sequence Shawl, The First Doodler, The Eyeball, Another Dotted Rays, Gradient Garter Triangle


color craving southern skies

(L to R):  Muh-Muhs, Color Craving, Southern Skies, Building Blocks, Another Big Hitchhiker

Oh yes, so much to choose from!  I love having this many options!  The first time Stephen West did a tour with classes, I couldn’t wait to take his shawl class.  He started off by asking everyone what their ideal shawl was.  Most people had an idea…two of the ladies even said Nieblings.  Not me though, my answer was ALL OF THEM.  No one shawl can be perfect all the time, obviously I need about 1000 to choose from.  I’m making good progress!!

And so, the moral of the story is:  Wear your handknits proudly, in May and the rest of the year! Slow fashion has so many benefits, to the planet and to your own health!

My pile of sweaters is growing too!  At a slower pace, but progress is being made!  I want at least three more sweaters this year and another skirt too!  Ready…Set…GO!

 

 

FO Monday

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Not only did I finish weaving ends without a bribe, I got my latest shawl blocked in short order as well! I really love the end result!

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I’m a fan of aggressive blocking with my shawls.  I wanted it to grow, which it did!  and the result is a beautiful airy fabric!

I love it but as usual, there are things I would change.  The ‘pattern’ is a mashup of WestKnits designs…mostly Dotted Rays with a little Doodler and a little Esjan thrown in!  I definitely could exaggerate some elements more.  The Esjan edge isn’t nearly loopy enough!

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It’s a minor change and it doesn’t detract from this beauty at all!  I currently have no plans to take it off!

The real dilemma…what to knit next? or what won’t I knit next?  I’m currently down to six WIPS.  I feel a cast on craze rapidly approaching!  (you know…after all this work stuff…ugh! mondays!)

 

It Worked! 

Motivational M&Ms work!!  A little determination probably didn’t hurt either! 

I sat down to weave ends and 45 minutes later, I’d done 2/3s of my 100 ends! 

Look at all those ends!  Who knew cutting yarn into tiny bits and making a pile could be so satisfying!?!  

Fingers crossed that I can ride this high right on through to the end of the weaving! The end is in sight!  It should be rather painless! 

Still not done

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My latest shawl is off the needles!  The ends aren’t woven but I’m wearing it anyhow!  I need to come up with a trick to motivate myself into getting that particular chore done.

Apparently, as a wee lass, my Mom used M&M’s as a potty training aid.  I vaguely remember that.  Or rather, I remember eating one M&M at a time, for many different reasons, none of which is really clear.  I remember those delicious chocolate moments though.  Mmmmmm.

M&M’s might be the key here.  One M&M for every end I weave?  Yeah…I think that could work, especially if I upgrade to peanut M&M’s.  Mom’s no dummy…she knew what she was doing!

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This thing is going to be huge once it’s blocked!  I can’t wait!

Although, now that it’s off the needles, my modifications don’t stand out much.  Blocking will help but the lesson here is:  Go Big!  There’s no such thing as going too big when it comes to knitting big scrappy shawls.  I could have put many more giant eyelets along the bottom edge and the ripple along the top edge could definitely have been more pronounced.

Not complaining, just noting the lessons I’ve learned for the next one.   Always got the next one in mind…


 

Almost FO

After 4 months and all my leftover yarn bits, my WestKnits Mash Up is being bound off!

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I’m doing an Icelandic Bind Off.  I haven’t counted but it’s probably in the neighborhood of 500 stitches.  I’m about halfway.  It’s fun to finally see it stretched out, it’s been months since it fit comfortably on a 40″ cord.

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I’ve combined pieces of my favorite Stephen West projects.  The main body is Dotted Rays.  I’ve given the edge a little flare, inspired by the Doodler.  The bottom border is a little bit Esjan.

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I went a bit understated with the Esjan portion, lining up one big hole with each Dotted Rays hole.  You won’t see it until it’s blocked but there’s also a series of small YOs around each of the large holes.

Of course, there’s 100 ends to weave so this project may never make it to the blocking phase.  On occasion, I’ve done finishing work for hire.  This is something you couldn’t pay me to do though.  LOL.  I am curious what the ‘professional’ finisher would change for it.  I might go as far as a getting a quote.  Heck, if she works cheap, I might actually pay.

It’s an interesting discussion…what would I pay vs what would I charge too weave $100 ends.  Sadly, even as someone who knows the skill & time spent on a task like this, I would not pay as much as I would charge.  How about you?

ends

 

Halfway

I like when projects have distinct points to reference progress!  In this case, I’m doing two halves so it’s pretty easy to tell.  The first half is done!

orange shawl

If I wanted a scarf, I could call it done.  I don’t want a scarf.  I like big shawls.  To grow this one, I’ve rotated it and picked up stitches along one side.  Like this…

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Of course, in classic kitchen sink fashion, I didn’t just pick up stitches.  I staggered the edge skipping the first bit and then casting on an equal bit at the far end of my pick up.

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I was aiming for colorful, asymmetric and funky.  It’s too soon for me to tell if I got there.  I really, really, really like the green side though.   The texture is so delightful to me!

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It’s Sequence Knitting.  I sing the praises of Sequence Knitting every chance I get.  The basic idea is, pick a sequence-any sequence of stitches-and repeat it within the frame of your garment.

For me to get a symmetric triangle that meant I KFB’d at the start of every row and then K5, P5 across.  That’s it.  It’s the least stressful knit ever.  Of course, I had no idea what sort of texture I was going to get until I knit it.  I’d say I got lucky except every sequence I’ve tried has been a textural sensation.

Add in the marled effect of double stranding a solid + a variegated yarn (because: kitchen sink again!) and it’s a really complex, interesting fabric that was completely stree free and fun to do!

I love it.

I don’t want to mess it up.

That orange is very loud.

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The variegated yarn has remained the same, only the solid changed but boy does that green disappear next to the intensity of the orange!

The texture hasn’t fully revealed itself either.  I’ve kept the same sequence *K5, P5*  but this time I’m knitting in a serpentine fashion.  Not every row is a multiple of 10 stitches (aka a full repeat).  If I had 7 stitches, I knit 5, purled 2 and then disregarded the last 3 purl stitches.  Each row, I started again with *K5, P5*.

This time, instead of disregarding an incomplete sequence, I’m carrying it forward to the next row.  If a row ends P2, I start the next row with P3 to complete the full sequence.  It’s creating a texture I can’t quite predict yet.

I predict it grows on me before the end.  There’s still time.