Category Archives: wip

New skills

Well, I bit the bullet and cast on the Peak Brim Flare Crown Star Top Hat (link to ravelry) this weekend. I’d read the instructions and the tip sheets, started watching a Craftsy class, and had totally freaked myself out. So I decided to just start knitting and see what happened. Well, since the first 12 rows are garter, it wasn’t too hard. Then I just took a deep breath, and trusted my 20+ years of knitting. And so far so good!

The hat is knit in the round, and it’s a bit hard to get a picture while it’s still so early in the process, but I have to admit this is a lot of fun:
Entrelac Hat

I haven’t tried knitting backwards yet, while I can see where the flipping back and forth could get tedious, it’s not bothering me at the moment, so I’ll keep going as I am for now.

Finishing!

Yup, it’s been a while since I’ve posted. Could be a while before I post again! I don’t know if any one really follows per se, or notices my absences. I have a lot of blogs in my feed reader, and while some are more regular than others, I rarely remove anyone from my feed. I guess I’m hoping anyone who has subscribed to my blog has the same philosophy.

I was a little concerned when I found out that Google Reader was going the way of the buggy whip, but was pointed to Feedly and have become a total convert. I have it on my phone, my computer and my iPad. Yup, I have an iPad! I have to admit, I’m pretty excited about it. I’ve wanted one for a LONG time, and I’m really enjoying it. I use it for work, we’ll be scoring softball games on it, and I’ve been looking at the different knitting apps that are available.

So, back to the knitting. I have been doing quite a bit lately. Looking at my ravelry page (which is only somewhat representative, as I just realized) I have a bit I can talk about, and a bit more I think I need to photograph. I’m taking advantage of a beautiful Mother’s Day that happens to be devoid of softball to get a few things done.

I’ve got a few projects on the needles, but because they are gifts, I’ve got to keep them under wraps for a bit longer.

I think I’ve mentioned before, my daughter loves hats, and loves the ones I make for her. A few months ago, Wendy Bernard released a fun pattern The Honeycomber, and the combination of color, floppiness and a huge pompon called my name. I thought it would be fun to make E & me matching ski hats that coordinated with our coats – so same pattern, different colors. She thought it was a great idea. I was about to type “like she’d say no to a hat,” but I must say, she will tell me if she doesn’t like something – it’s nice. She knows I like to knit, but it’s frustrating to make something that won’t get worn or used.

So, back to the hats. The color choices were simple. I have a bright orange ski coat (the better to be seen when I fall into a snow bank) and E has a green one with pink contrast on the zipper. We headed to our local yarn store, The Warm Ewe, and picked out our colors. In March we took a road trip to New Hampshire for a little spring skiing, and I cast on in the car:

When I got to the corrugated ribbing, I realized, I’d never done it before! Which of course I had to tweet – what else is twitter for if not to announce new experiences! It was a little tricky, but by the time I got to it on the second hat it went much more quickly.

So at this time I’ve got one done:
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And one more moving toward the finish line:
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I’ve got more in the queue, and more to finish, so hopefully I can find the time/motivation to post here more frequently.

Travel knitting

I seem to have created quite a queue of finishing projects for myself. I’ve knitted all the pieces of my ruffled cardigan and finished the Lintella as well. I need to block and assemble the cardigan (now that I found the sleeves that I’d managed to misplace for three days), block the Lintella, and I need to block and assemble my Dale of Norway sweater that I was working on last winter.

So what’s a good idea in a situation like this? Starting a new project, of course!
I am traveling for work this week, so I really did need something portable, so it does make sense.

I’ve been reading through What Would Madame DeFarge knit for a while, and had a skein of Malbrigo sock in my stash – so it seemed like the right time to start Bertha’s Mad, Mysterious Moebius.

Last night, after ironing and packing*, I cast on and started knitting. The first few rows had me a little nervous as it seemed rather tight, but now at row 5 it’s moving along nicely.
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I’ve got some plane time, so I hope it will keep moving. I’m certainly enjoying it!
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I recently discovered that my local library lends e-readers, so I checked one out and put some fun, light reads on it to try it out. So far I have to say I like it, maybe more than I thought I would.

* so I may have cast on before ironing or packing, but it seemed integral, both to to the trip and to my sanity.

Summer?

Wow, this summer flew by – a sentiment I’ve heard by many people this summer. We’ve had a wonderul one – filled with softball, sand and swimming. And a bit of knitting, but not as much as I’d hoped.

I’ve been focusing on two projects this summer. My Lintilla, and a baby sweater that I haven’t even posted to my ravelry projects yet. I’m in the home stretch of both – the sweater needs to be seamed up and finished and gifted. The Lintilla is just a few rows away. It’s been a wonderful car project and one that I can work on while chatting. We have some wonderful friends with a lake house that invite a group of us for an annual “boys’ weekend” every year. The boys grew up together, but the wonderful thing is all the “girls” get along too. This year our host had gone to Iceland and brought back some Icelandic wool that she wanted to knit into a pair of gauntlets. She’d asked me to help her with them. While she hadn’t knit in some time, it came back to her pretty quickly, and she had one done before the end of the weekend. It was fun to knit not alone for once! I even took advantage of the beautiful setting to capture a progress shot:
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I’m glad I stuck with the yarn and pattern – it really does make for a lovely fabric!
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I did finally finish my Djinni in a Bottle Socks and I love them. I have a feeling I’ll be wearing them shorty – the nights are getting cooler!
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The pattern is wonderful and I love the yarn:
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I’ll have to get some pictures of the baby sweater – it’s a lovely pattern from Ann Budd: Ruffles Baby Cardigan – it’s lovely, but a bit tricky with the ruffles!

Finally Colorwork!

So, the slog through the miles and miles of white stockinette (or 20 inches – which still felt like miles) is finally complete. As I suspected, once I got through it, the color work would seem to fly, simply because I lack any sort of self control and would have to keep going. The other night I cast off the center stitches for the collar, so now I’m working back and forth. That has slowed my progress down. I also think the realization that I will have a LOT of ends to weave in has caused me to knit a bit slower. That said, I am creeping toward the end:

This project has certainly been an adventure. I’m hoping the blocking process cures a lot of ills. I noticed at one point that my gauge seems to have varied on occasion. I’m sure it had something to do with my moods:
Gauge issues

While I’m sorry that I didn’t finish this sweater in time for the winter (and with the weather this week, I’m not holding out hope that we’ll see any significant winter weather anytime soon), I have still managed to enjoy the season. Sunday I got a nice full day of skiing in:

2012 – Here we come!

It’s been a wonderful vacation week here at Casa Knitalone. Chad & I took the week off between Christmas & New Years, as Eliza has had ski camp/practice nearly every day. So, we got to ski nearly every day too! I took today off, as we’d decided it was going to be a short day to allow time for homework and music practicing. I did some chores, and rewarded myself with some knitting breaks.

Because the snow hasn’t been as plentiful this year, and the weather isn’t always cooperative, I’m not always skiing when we are at the mountain. I’ve been taking advantage of the forced down time to work on a couple of new projects that I cast on last week. A friend of ours just had a little girl, so I thought it would be fun to make her a little sweater. Because she has a big brother, I wanted to make him something too. I thought this would be a good chance to make one of Rebecca Danger’s Monsters. I’ve been eying them for a while, waiting for an excuse to make one. I swatched for the sweater first, but the lure of Iris the Gourmet Monster proved to be too much. I’ve finished the parts and have planned a trip to the fabric store for the necessary supplies to finish her.
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I did work on the sweater as well. I picked up the pattern at my local yarn store, The Warm Ewe. It’s an original design by Lorraine, the Ruffled Baby Cardi Today I finished the back:
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The irony of these two projects is that I had hoped to have some variety in my yarn weight and needle sizes so that I could give my elbow a bit of a break. Somehow, both managed to work best on size 5 needles. – The same size my Dale Sweater is worked on. Oh well, I guess I just have to find another project.

Last night we went to the mountain to watch the torchlight parade and fireworks. Unfortunately, the fog was too thick, so the fireworks were different to say the least. The sky turned different colors. It was pretty, in it’s way. I tried to get a picture of the parade, but didn’t fare too well:
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We’ll be skiing again tomorrow, and my lessons start on Thursday, so it looks like ski season is here!

Tonight we felt

This weekend I finished the knitting of the birdhouses. I’d hoped to be done a little sooner, but Im not panicking yet. Here’s what the pieces looked like this morning:

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Tonight the pieces are in my washer. This is my first felting project with the front loader. I’m running the quick wash with hot water, heavy soil and no spin. So far it seems to be working well.

The end is nigh

Re-entry after the long weekend was not too bad. Of course with Eliza’s dance schedule, I had to duck out early. I brought my laptop to get some work done. There’s no wifi here, so I had to do it “old school” with a thumb drive. Which cracks me up, since I remember hauling floppy disks around.

Ive done what I can so now I’ve got the scarf on my lap. 2 more pattern repeats and I’ll bind off!

I also downloaded the Hipstamatic app, since I’ve heard so much about it. Could be fun!

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Slow and steady

One of the nice things about knitting slowly is while you may not have a new sweater the winter you start it, there’s a new one on deck in the fall! I’d put my Keelin away last spring when it was evident that there was no way the weather would cooperate with me, so I didn’t want to rush the finishing. I’ve mentioned before how I tend to rush through the finishing and then dislike my end product. Another frustration I’ve had is with hand-knit cardigans in general. Somehow they just never look as good as the picture on the pattern.

One of the podcasts I listen to is the Knitmore Girls, a Mother Daughter Podcast. Jasmine and her mom, Gigi are fun to listen to, and often have some great tips. Gigi is an accomplished seamstress and they both often talk about the importance of finishing. I’d heard other people talk about better button band finishing, so I decided that my Keelin was too nice to fall into my standard finishing trap. So I checked out Jasmine & Gigi’s Grosgrain Ribbon and Couture tutorials to see how it worked. Two trips to the big sewing and stuff store I found some ribbon and thread and decided to give it a whirl.

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Today I sewed the ribbon on my button band. I have started sewing the buttons, but after sewing three on, I decided I didn’t like how the first two looked. So I will be re-doing those.

I may have a new sweater tomorrow. But if I don’t, it will be because I’m refusing to rush this.

When the weather starts to turn

You can feel it in the air – the 90 degree days are pretty much behind us now, the evenings are getting cooler, and twitter streams are turning to cooler winter wear. In fact I even saw reference to a Rhinebeck sweater yesterday!

I’ve been trying to find motivation to work on my Dale sweater, but my knitting mojo seemed to have taken a a break. Every time I thought I was back in the swing, something went wonky. There was the increase in the center of the sleeve, rather than along the seam line, there was the bad counting at the beginning of the first pattern row, then there was using the wrong color. I think I will have knit three sleeves by the time I have two done. So, no new pictures, and seriously does the second sleeve offer much more to look at?

The other thing that’s been delaying the knitting is something I’ve been wanting to do all summer, but the foot surgery didn’t let me get started quite as quickly as I’d wanted. But I finally got clearance for activity and have been going to yoga classes and spending time with an old friend:
My bike

Yup, that’s the bike I had in high school. It’s pretty old. We’d cleaned it up last summer, and put new tires on it. E & I took a few rides last year, but this year, I’ve really tried to push myself. So, I’ve been riding on my street – I’ve got a 6 mile route that has some hills to it that I can knock out in about a half hour. That’s not much to those who bike for real, but I’m trying to get back in shape after a really long time, so I’m taking it slowly. I did manage to ride 21 miles last Saturday on one of our local bike trails – so I’m feeling pretty good about my progress. I’ve also managed to get my average mph over 12 mph on the road.

And what does this have to do with my Dale Sweater? We are about 12 weeks from ski season around here. I want to rock the sweater and the slopes.