Work in Progress Wednesday

I can definitely say it’s Wednesday.  I checked the calendar!  Can’t say I’m making much progress on my ‘work’ though.  Every time I check, I’m not seeing much.

My striped Woolfolk shawl.

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One of the balls is getting smaller, so I must be making progress.  I think the next milestone will be running out of yarn prematurely.  I’ve been trying to tell myself that it’ll be okay.  (it won’t but ignorance is bliss.)

My Dotted Grays, aka a Dotted Rays in a lovely gray gradient.

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I’ve crossed the halfway mark with this one.  I can tell because the yarn had two gradient repeats.  Of course, I’ve gotten to the part where rows are hundreds of stitches.  Perfect process knitting.  Doesn’t look any different from last week though.

My Noro & Lopi sweater

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I must be making progress because I’ve nearly finished my first ‘plate’ of yarn. Holding it next to a finished sweater though, shows me I’ve still got a long way to go.

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The long forgotten Rockefeller.

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I just have to decrease down to 9 stitches to get this point finished.  Maybe I’ll get there before this WIP hits it’s second birthday.  Seems like it should be easy.  Not sure what the 18 month delay has been about.   Of course, the other side remains untouched.  I’ve got a hundred stitches to pick up, then decrease down to 9 again.  One decrease every 4th row.  And suddenly, I remembering what the hold up is.

The good news is…there’s no problems here.  I don’t need to figure anything out, I just need to get knitting!  Progress…thy name is Wednesday!  Ready, Set…GO!


 

WIP Wednesday – Sweater Surgery

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I happily cruised through the raglan increases on my sweater.  The classic Stripe Acceleration Effect was definitely felt here.  It went by in a flash.  The sleeve divide was the same, barely a pause.

Until…

(dun dun dun)

I forgot about making buttonholes.  This marker had one express purpose…to remind me about buttonholes.

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What a bonehead move!  A full inch too far.  In a yarn that doesn’t really cooperate with being ripped out.  UGH.

I let a lot of mistakes slide.  This is not one of them.  This type of mistake needs to be corrected, no ifs, ands or buts.

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When faced with the choice to either drop down to fix a mistake or to rip back, I always choose dropping stitches, correcting the problem and laddering back up.  Worst case scenario, I can’t fix it and maybe even make it worse.  Ripping back is always there as Plan B.

This time, I got lucky.

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Viola!  Buttonhole Surgery Success!  Woooo!

Assuming, I don’t forget anything else, it should be smooth sailing to the bottom hem from here!

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My goal is to have this sweater ready to wear at Stitches in late February.  Hopefully I can say this without jinxing myself…that deadline is a no brainer!  Time to start thinking about buttons.


 

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.)

 

Rainbow Friday

Black Friday and it’s rampant consumerism make me crazy.  I’m betting most of you reading this agree, or at least understand the value of handmade, so I’ll just limit my rant to that.  And so, I celebrated Rainbow Friday…with progress on my Rainbow Shawls!

Even as on-the-go, back-up projects, they’ve made good progress.  I appreciate that they’re both currently in green sections!  Synchronicity confirms that everything is as it should be.

Then again, maybe I’m talking crazy talk.  Bill Murray spent the day being ignored in the corner.  I’m at the halfway point.  Things seem good.  I’m pleased with Bill’s progress so far.   This means a knit-tastrophe is just around the corner, yes?

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I’m doing my best to avoid that knit-tastrophe though.  By starting a new cross stitch.

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I was just going to pick out the colors but…well, you know how it goes.

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I’m reeeeeeeealllllly going to avoid all these avoidances today though.  Time to buckle down and get Bill out of the corner.  Better to deal with any potential knit-tastrophe now.   I’ve got 13 days and 10 hours until it’s Murray Time!!!

I got this!

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It’s been a couple weeks since the Bill Murray sweater hit the needles.  After a seemingly slow start, things really took off this weekend.  My work is finally recognizable as a garment!

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Hopefully over the long weekend, I’ll get some daylight knitting hours…or at least daylight knitting photography hours!  The pics aren’t great but you get the idea.   One thing I’m totally digging…I can wear my hair down and Bill will still be visible!  Woot!  I really didn’t want to wear my hair up but Bill deserves to be seen.

Last weekend, my progress was accelerated by a decision to go with a hi-lo sort of style.  I like it for knitting reasons–less to knit on a deadline is always good.  But I also like it for design reasons.  I’m hoping it creates a kind of seam.  In the absence of an actual seam, this hi-lo style definitely creates a break between front and back.

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I’m feeling optimistic that this will not only become a wearable garment but it will be a wearable garment that’s ready in time for the Bill Murray concert!!

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This is so much better than a framed piece of knitting that just hung on the wall!  I’m excited to finish it!  Fingers crossed that the excitement continues for the next 2.5 weeks.  That’s all I need to finish it on time.

I’ve adopted a ‘Little Engine that Could’ mantra to help me stay on track…I think I can I think I can I think I can I think I can I think I can I think I can.  Wooooo! Wooooo!

Bill Murray: The Plan

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I’ve talked about a Bill Murray sweater a lot.  The time has come to put my money where my mouth is.  I think, maybe, the hard part is done…the Bill Murray part.

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Someone recently suggested that I had a lovely poster of Bill Murray.  So just to be clear, this is a portrait of Bill Murray THAT I KNIT.   This is not a poster!  If you want to read Bill’s origin story, you can find it here.   Then there was the time I decided Bill needed to become a sweater, here, in 2015.

I’ve been thinking about it a long time.  I’ve explored a few ideas but ultimately, I’m keeping the original idea I had back in 2015.

The Bill Murray sweater is actually going to be a Bill Murray vest.

The new portions of the project will be worked in a variety of grey, white and off-white stripes.  I’ll never match the original yarn, so I’m not even going to try.

Construction is going to be started by picking up stitches around the edge of the piece, leaving armholes at the top corners and working outward.

I don’t want a shawl collar.

I do want to do my shaping via short rows.

Those were the basics I started from.  From there, I got stitches on the needles.

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Now that I’ve got the first couple inches, I’m starting to make shaping decisions.  I’m adding short rows to the bottom edge so allow some flare.  I’m not going to go all the way to ‘swing coat’ but I’ve got hips that need to be accounted for.

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Apparently I’m a sucker for weaving in ends.

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I’m having fun making stripes.  Not sure I’m really making a garment just yet though.  The top has definitely retained it’s squareness.

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I don’t really have a plan for the shoulders.  I’m not sure how to smooth the transition from the back to the front.  I’m hoping the solution presents itself as I go.

I’ve got 23 days and 21 hours to figure it out.

Ready. Set. Go.


 

AFO Friday #2

Last week AFO Friday was Almost Finished Friday.  This week the “A” is for Actually Finished!  Woooo!

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I have fully and completely, knit the same sweater two times.  Cat Sweater #1.  Cat Sweater #2.

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(the time change sure has killed my chances of taking good knitting photos!)

The pattern is called Professor Meow, from KnitPicks.  It was an easy knit.  There’s no shaping.  The intarsia is not outrageous.  The gauge is bulky.  There are no sleeves.  The finishing work is minimal.  Overall I give the pattern two thumbs up.

Interestingly, I did knit the EXACT same sweater.  Or rather, I knit the same number and type of stitches, just in different sizes.  One of these sweaters is for my sister.  I’m a bit wider than she is.  Instead of knitting two different pattern sizes, I decided I would knit the same size on different needles.  I went from a size 9, up to a size 10.5.

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The pattern is written ‘knit to XYZ inches’, so the length doesn’t change.  I was surprisingly consistent on that part. The kitty on the right is definitely wider though, the effect of the larger needles.  So, turns out, yes, gauge does matter.

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Behind my lovely sweaters, you may have noticed my finished Log Cabin Blanket. It hasn’t changed much from the last progress photos.

It made a nice cat sweater photo shoot backdrop though.

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And of course, the little paw print on the back.  So cute!

The best part of this sweater isn’t it’s cuteness though.

It’s the crazy factor.

I wore my new sweater out and about on Sunday.  It was an Open Studio weekend so I walked all around, from studio to studio looking at ridiculous art.  I wasn’t inspired by any of it.  Disliked it all.  But, I was inspired by all the crazy old ladies who liked my sweater.  Hearing their praise was a nice reminder that I march to the beat of my drummer for a reason…might as well celebrate it.  I couldn’t wear designer clothes even if my life depended on it.  I can, however, knit myself a cat sweater.

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My sister doesn’t live close enough to have a twinsy day…at least not yet.  I’m really looking forward to when it happens though.  If one person does it, it may be crazy.  If two people do it, it’s a movement!

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And, I’ve started my next goofy garment, finally.  The so-called Bill Murray sweater is underway.

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If this works out, I’m going to be quite pleased with myself!  I’ve only got a month to finish it, so stay tuned for progress tout de suite!