Shelter in Place: Day 29 – FO Tuesday!

Shelter in Place:  Day 29

I finally have an FO!  One that I don’t want to frog!  WOOO!

The pattern is Squish Factor by Astrid Ferrell aka DundeeKnits.

It was a fun stash buster!  I had a couple mini skeins and a few other half balls that all wanted to be together.  This shawl was the perfect choice a stash busting dream!  I wanted to do brioche, but not too much so these alternating bands were just what I needed!  And, it’s got the squish factor big time!  It didn’t disappoint on that front.  It’s light and airy.  I just want to squish and squish and squish.  I’m very pleased with the outcome.   And, it’ll be fun to repeat…I love mixing and matching all the odds & ends in my stash so this is sure to be repeated in my future!

My WIP Queue is nearly empty!  Time to start something new…or rather several somethings…

The Week in Review

 

Happy Friday!  I hope everyone has had a good week.  I did.  The gift of time is my favorite thing about unemployment.  I never take that for granted.  What seemed like a lazy week, is much different when I look back at my camera roll.

The weather has been great.  I took lots of walks.
IMG_6688

I went on an excursion to Scrap, the local center for creative re-use.

IMG_6686

I picked up an old wooden picture frame to make a little pin loom.

IMG_6685

Despite my complete lack of skills with a hammer, it’s safe to say…I nailed it!  :)  At least for a little while, then the frame broke under all that tension.  Whoops.

IMG_6690

I got enough out of it to satisfy my urge to weave.  Mostly, it confirmed that I like knitting better.  I’m not giving up my needles for a loom (or a hammer) anytime soon.

Baby’s first sweater and my pair of Dotted Rays have all made progress.

My favorite progress of the week, though, is my log cabin crochet blanket.  Those colors!!

IMG_6687

And now, I get to have a weekend.  It doesn’t get better than that!  I’m so lucky!  Happy Friday, Indeed!


 

 

FO Thursday – Surprise Yellow

Who’s ready for the weekend?  We’re kicking things off early here at FogKnits headquarters!  There’s been so much FO’ing this week, that Friday can’t contain it all.

First off the needles this week, a new Hitchhiker. 

IMG_6523

There are over 29,000 Hitchhikers on Ravelry.  That’s a staggering number.  Sure, 14 of them are mine.  Obviously, I get the fandom with this particular scarf.  Still…29,000!!  That’s incredible!  Imagine how big that pile would be!! Wow!

This particular Hitchhiker is special because it’s striped…

IMG_6525

…and I only had to weave in two ends!?!  Seriouesleeeeeeeee!  Love that!  This is another self striping skein of shawl yarn from Gauge Dye Works.  And it’s a Merino-Cashmere-Nylon (MCN) blend.  It’s so soft.  I just want to put my face on it and take a nap.

IMG_6524

I don’t usually go for yellow.  Actually, I never go for yellow.  I hate yellow.  If I had an arch nemesis, it would definitely be yellow.  I didn’t pick this yarn.  It came to me in a swap.  I reluctantly accepted it’s yellowness.  I begrudgingly knit it, only because I was unable to re-trade it for a better color.

So, of course, despite all my protests, it turns out, this Hitchhiker is just exactly what my wardrobe needs.  Stupid yellow.

It’s perfect for pretty much every outfit I own.  Every one.  A zing of yellow really peps up my sea of blues and greens so I’m giving it a try.  We’ll see how it goes.  I may be won over.  I mean, At least it’s not pink!


 

 

Work in Progress Wednesday!

Now, with actual progress!!

2017-02-14_21-07-57_879

Last you saw, I had hastily steeked my sweater, decided I didn’t like it and then cut it into even more pieces!   This weekend I set about to replace the circular yoke that was the deal breaker.

2017-02-19_10-51-18_636

The plan was to replace the bottom up circular yoke with a top down raglan and graft the pieces together in the middle.  Sounded easy enough, yes?

2017-02-20_09-24-59_314

As far as design choices, it took me a while but this is what I settled on.  Ultimately, it’s for the best.  I was throwing the kitchen sink at this sweater, at the risk of being too busy.   At least now it’s got one cohesive idea.  There’s still a lot going on with those stripes but less than before, and that’s a good thing!

2017-02-21_23-15-19_429

Ta-DA!  It looks like a sweater and I didn’t want to take it off once I put it on.  That’s the true sweater test for me.  It finally fits right!!

Now, about that button band…


Don’t Quote Me on That

Last week, while embracing the idea of non-head shaped hats, I may have said something sort of like ‘Almost only counts in horseshoes, hand grenades and hat shaping’.  It should come as no surprise, therefore, that my next hat was as perfectly head shaped as a hat can get.

It’s perfect (except for the whole pink, angora part…go figure that it would fit perfectly but I’ll certainly never wear it.)   Once again, the shape is due to short rows.  This time, I’ve stacked the short rows directly on top of each other instead of staggering them around the hat.  The result is a more spacious forehead and a flatter back.

The garter ridges are my short rows.  I’ve done two short rows, the first one is 90% of the row, the second one is 70% of the row, followed by 3 rounds of stockinette stitch.  I repeated the short row-stockinette sequence over and over, until I got the length I wanted, then closed the top up…Viola!  Perfect Pink Hat!  <- Click for details on Ravelry

Of course, all these short row hats have had one common theme, stacking deep or long wedges to build a hat.  What happens when the shorts rows are short and shallow?  Here’s one possibility…

This is the most conventional hat in terms of shaping.  It’s essentially a stockinette beanie with stripes.    As I was knitting the stripes, I threw in single short rows of 4-6 stitches at regular intervals.  I was able to close the hat with standard decreases, (K8, K2tog followed by K7, K2tog, followed by K6, K2tog…etc)

Here’s the Ravelry Details!

For anyone looking to attempt a short row hat, this one is a great place to start.  You can adapt any basic stockinette beanie.  Whenever you feel like it, just do a wrap and turn, knit as few or as many stitches as you feel, place another wrap and turn, and you’re back on the right side of the hat, continuing along as though your row had never been interrupted!

I did several short rows per stripe, but maybe you only want one short row.  Maybe you want to stack your little short rows or maybe you want to stagger them so they bias across the hat.  Maybe you want them to be completely random.

Rest assured, I’ve got all these options on my list!  The urge to make hats is finally waning though.  For the first time in over a week, I finished a hat and did not cast on the next one right away.  Who knows, I might not do any hat knitting today?!?

 

 

Ravellenic Round Up

The Rio Olympics came to an end last night and along with it, the Ravellenic Games (aka the knitting olympics).  My final medal count is 5 — a sweater, a cowl and 3 hats!

IMG_8253

My main event was the Sweater Triathlon.  Much to my own surprise, I successfully crossed that finish line 6 days into the competition.  It seems so long ago, already.  With San Francisco Summer in fully swing, I’ve been wearing my new sweater almost daily!  It’s been a fully integrated part of the wardrobe right from the start!  I always hope that happens with a new sweater, but you just never know.  This one is definitely a keeper!

Week 2 produced a hat and a cowl.

The final push brought two more hats!  Back in July, Woolly Wormhead had a scrappy hat knitalong, seeing those hats definitely brought me inspiration!  I’ve got enough odds & ends for a hundred hats!

IMG_8321

The knitalong didn’t feature a pattern but a set of options to pick your own.  I was especially drawn to the use of short rows.  My sweater, up top, called for the use of Japanese Short Rows, which I’d swatched years ago but never incorporated into a project.  It’s a fiddly technique that seemed unnecessary for that particular project.

IMG_8330

Japanese short rows are the ones that eliminate the wrap and instead use a locking stitch marker.  The idea is to use less yarn when closing the gap left by the turn and thereby create a neater fabric.  It’s not really necessary when working with garter stitch so I skipped it with the sweater.  A hat is the perfect place for it though, especially if it’s stockinette!

IMG_8333

I was pleased with the result.  Without blocking, the short rows are very neat!  I suspect once I’ve blocked it, the short rows will be invisible!

IMG_8320

I’m definitely not done messing around with short rows and hats.  It’s, surprisingly, not something I’ve done much.  Rest assured, there will be more short rowed hats!  This particular hat binge is just getting started!  I’ve got lots plenty of hat yarn in the stash!

IMG_8334

 

 

Freddy, Jr.

Who’s inner 5-year old doesn’t want to live in Opposite Land?  It’s been FO after FO all week, so it’s entirely fitting to end the week with a new cast on.  Yay Opposite Land!  Anything to keep me from finishing my mini mochi crochet shawl, that Rockefeller I started way bay when, the hitchhiker I impulse casted on last week, or even that project who’s bind off is half finished.  I could do just half a row, and have a beautiful, beaded, purple, cashmere shawl but no, I’d rather start something new!!

New is so exciting!  I love new!  Especially when it’s something fun.  Something ridiculous.  You may have noticed how much I like knitting ridiculous things.

570C44E9-093A-4ACE-BB39-F74C19434ED4 Like a Freddy Krueger sweater for a little kid!  It’s just such a good idea, it has to happen.

The yarn was sitting right *there*.   As if that was an accident?  Clearly, it was meant to be.

 

I’m staying true to the look of the original sweater but I’m changing the construction. This is a no brainer as a top down, raglan, pullover.  The original is a very fine rib, machine made I’m sure.  I’m going stockinette, again, no brainer…in the round, just knit away, making an occasional stripe.  Yeah, I got this.

 

IMG_7840

An inch of ribbing, go up a needle size, start the raglan increases.  It’s perfect.  Who says patterns and gauge swatches and measurements are important?  Not me!  At least, not yet!  Happy Friday :)

 

Knit in Public Day

IMG_7458

Yesterday was World Wide Knit in Public Day!  I knit in public constantly so I decided to show my dedication to fiber craft another way…

IMG_7470

 

With a new yarn bomb!  I proved the old adage true and returned to the scene of my last crime.  I yarn bombed this same stand of bike racks, last year.  It didn’t stick around as long as I would have liked.  Someone complained and the city removed it.  I may have returned with a chip on my shoulder.  At least it’s a cozy yarn chip!

IMG_7472

Hopefully the city worker who gets tasked with removing this one will have a laugh and enjoy my attempts to bring job security to the city’s graffiti abatement team.

I think my next one will say ‘egregious vandalism’  :)

It Seams So…

 

IMG_7377

Today, I’m putting together a sweater I didn’t knit.  It started as a chore because who actually likes setting in sleeves?  As I progress, I rather like it though.  Partially because I’ve moved on from setting in sleeves to mattress stitching the sides.

IMG_7379

I like the sense of order a neatly seamed sweater has.  It’s very satisfying to transform weird stringy, curled up pieces into a sharp, fashionable sweater!  It’s kind of magical.  While being very precise.  I like that part too.  It’s magic and engineering all at once!

IMG_7380

The asymmetric stripes are definitely helping!  The design is largely improvised, including the striping.  I’ve taken some risks with stripes in my day.  You just never know what’s going to happen so when the knitter (my friend Julia) said ‘I’m just going to put some stripes in the body’ I had no idea what to expect.

IMG_7382

It turned out perfect!  I really love it.  I keep telling Julia that.  She thinks I’m just being nice, I mean it though!  It’s a gift for her nephew but as always, my offer stands…I’ll take it off her hands!  It just happens to be my size, I’d wear it :)

Editing

IMG_6756

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!

IMG_6757

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!??!)