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Category Archives: Works In Progress
I promised myself I’d knit more mindfully this year. I want to really see something for my efforts this winter ya know? Well. Today’s Yarn Harlot post has me feeling nervous. Not a good sign. But perhaps it is better that I work through my doubts now rather than after many more hours knitting. This is supposed to be a mindfully knitted project after all. Some of my concerns I’ll hash out below. I am going to be doing some measuring, by the looks of it.
Is it OK that I have been knitting to my actual measurements rather than with some ease? Maybe not. After I realised I had done it, I told myself I like ‘em fitted and this will ensure the cables don’t sit all contracted. Well, I DO like ‘em fitted, that is true. I just do not know if zero ease is the best thing for this project, I guess I need to do some research on that. I am not sure I even know how much ease this pattern is written for. Oh wait, there is a schematic in the pattern, so I will be able to figure it out. Good, that is a start.
When I tried this on (as best I could though there is only a back piece and I was alone at the time) it seemed to run short. Yes, I did cut out many inches from the pattern length. On purpose too. But I am very very very short-waisted, so much so that you just about cannot imagine. Still, I was aiming for hip length and don’t seem to be getting there, not quite. And yes, before you ask, I DID swatch and I did measure myself correctly. So I think the problem could lie perhaps in my ‘hip length’ idea. I have thought about it since, and what I really want is a length that will cover the top of my jeans well even when I am seated. Probably I need my cardi to do more than just reach my hip point. This, I think, also requires a further investigation.
These seem like very reasonable concerns now I have put them out there. I believe I was trying to quash them before. And you know what else, I think this is the real reason I have stalled on cast-ing on for the two front pieces. Yup, the whole project has lain dormant in my project bag for about 2 weeks. I have been distracting myself with knitting baby socks, lots of them (I’ll show ‘em off at a later date). I know 2 weeks is not a huge stall, as far as these things go, but it was nagging at me. Why did I keep putting it off when I had sailed through the first piece? Sure, it was a tad tricky but I did it quickly and enjoyed it. Hmmmm, I think I know now. I had a hidden fear of my continuing being a waste of time, but could not know for sure with the unacknowledged issues unaddressed.
Well, I feel a bit better. But I am no closer to finishing a cardigan that fits, I may even be further. :-/ I’ll have to get back to you on this one.
I got a tetanus shot, whoo! Yeah, the same one I have been putting off since mid September last year. I am a huge wuss, it goes without saying. I knew I’d be fine, but I am unreasonably fearful of needles. Unfortunately knowing just how unreasonable it is, hasn’t made it go away yet. Not good considering that it is my goal to donate blood someday, it would seem that it will take me a long time to work my way up to that. Oh dear.
So anyway. This now means I am allowed to process raw fleece, about time too. I have some stinky corriedale, English Leicester and alpaca. I have carders (thanks again Dad for getting those, you rock) too. Now I can make me some rolags of spin-able fibre, yippee! Actually, maybe I’ll begin with one of my bags of bright mystery wool from the fibre stash (Yes, I already have one of those. Yes, I know that is sad.)
Yeah, maybe this one? Well, as you can see the investment was not a large one and it is certainly colourful enough.
I have a finished object to show you all. For once *ahem* Last Friday, the boyfriend casually mentioned we had a 1st birthday party to attend on Sunday. Aw crap, seems he still doesn’t realise that events like this require knitting. Though I don’t think he had a whole lot more notice himself, so it isn’t a huge deal. So what can I whip up in just over a days knitting time? Well, technically most little kiddie items can be whipped up in a day and a half if you don’t have anythingelse to do and you are not attached to working in fine gauges. But see I decided to go with something small, considering that I am not to be trusted when it comes to crafting within a set time-frame. So here it is…
The pic doesn’t really show it, but I made this thing a tad big. It is my hope that it will be a perfect fit by winter. I was able to get it over my noggin without trouble, so it should be right. Poor little fella was not impressed at having to wear this thing in the lunch-time heat. I don’t blame him and was quite happy for him whip it off in a second. His grandma kept putting it back on though, I couldn’t tell you why really. Like I said, poor little fella.
Here is one that shows off the yarn. I am quite proud of the dye-job, which I did as soon as I got home Friday night after work.
Everything I had in stash was too girlie. Some would have been OK had he been a newborn still. But this little man is into running about and I didn’t see him crawl once. So he isn’t a baby anymore, he needed a more blokey hat. I nearly went with a camo look, but I am so glad I went with blue over khaki. It suits him.
The green and blue are both Easter egg dyes, though the green has been brightened up with a little fluro food colour. A recent acquisition from the US that. The black is food colouring. What’s new here is that I didn’t use Wilton’s for once. No, I used Queen, an old Aussie staple. I am quite surprised that it worked wonderfully. I loved the way the black behaved and I was able to get it to do exactly what I wanted without fuss. I will be buying more of this for my stash for sure. It is hard to get in the black mind you, I have only ever seen it once (Coles, Myer Centre in Brisbane just for reference). I started buying Wilton’s because I like to used a fair bit of marzipan when I do flash cake decoration. Queen is no good for it, being liquid. The powder colours I have found around here suck, so I ended up with Wilton’s gel. I have been using it ever since, so never considered liquid for yarn dyeing either. Well, after this weeks success, I will be testing out more colours. Stay tuned.
Now, just what on earth do I do with the other 2 and a half balls? Heh
I have been making progress on the monumental nursing shawl I am knitting for Lady Llanalla. I have reached the halfway point, yarn-wise. However, I have not reached the halfway point, length-wise. This means I need more yarn, of course. A significant hurdle indeed. Not only did I choose tho use a yarn that is not available in Australia, it was ordered about 7 months ago. I have Buckley’s chance of getting more of the same dye lot. Pooh! So I have been searching Ravelry for Knit Picks shine sport in peoples trade/sell pages. I figure that with 2 balls of cream and another two of an entirely different colour will do the trick. Oh yeah! I was waaaaay off the mark. I have found a number of prospects and have been sending out messages, I just hope I get a bite. I found a fair few stashes of other tempting things while I was searching. Like alpaca/silk blended Andean Silk and Shimmer, which is a pretty lace weight. Heh, just another reason to love Ravelry.
Meet Hank everyone.
…and just in case you weren’t sure just which Henry I named it for…
I am certain you will agree that Hank sounds more yarny than Henry The bust was one of my Christmas presents, by the way.
I promised to show off my new drop spindles too, so here they are.
Paua shell above, and jade below.
Both are from ButterflyGirl’s Etsy store. Should I be concerned that her drop spindles are habit forming? Her stuff now accounts for more than half of my drop spindle collection, and that that includes the broken ones. Haw!
Alas I have been too busy since the arrival of these toys and I have not had a chance to play with them. But I know what I’ll be spinning when I make time though. Merino tencel blend fibre hand dyed by Ewe Give Me The Knits. Yummy! It is as shiny as it looks too. Can’t wait. I think I’ll spin it fine and Navajo ply it, but we’ll see.
Anyways. Obviously it is still Christmas at Miss Vicki’s place, goodies just keep arriving. One arrival that was a great relief to me was that of my new Knit Picks Options set.
OK, so I didn’t really NEED more needles. bUt you know how it is, and besides, that is why I lay-by’d the set instead of shelling out over a hundred bucks for them right away. Yes, you heard that right, they cost me a lot You can see why I was concerned when I finally went to pick them up last month, and was told they were lost. Arghhh! Like I needed another reason to complain about my local yarn store! But eventually they were found and posted to me. I am much happier now that I have been able to test them out, very nice indeed. My first project using them is a shawl for Lady Llanalla, in fact I had put off casting on for it so I could take advantage of the extra long cord in the set. I need to get cracking on that now too. This shawl is to be a nursing cover up, and as the Lady’s baby has now been born I am sorely behind. CONGRATS LARRY!!!
That is tools taken care of. What else did I promise you pictures of? Oh yeah yarn. Well, I ought to start with the merino and silk yarn I mentioned just a few posts ago. It is only fair seeing as I have already flashed the un-spun fibres at you. Remember? I was going to spin a 2 ply yarn for my Nana’s 75th Birthday, one of merino and the other silk. Well, here is what it looks like.
One more pic to prove this was a Hank spun effort, below. That is the merino strand you are looking at.
I think Nana really liked it. She is yet to swatch and decide for certain, but she is planing on knitting a Snakes and Ladders Shawl out of it. I have so far spun 3 of the 4 skeins, I just hope that the thickness has not changed any. I am scared that it will because I have already given her the first two skeins.
More yarn. This is what I received from my secret Santa. Thanks Djdhaysjr, you rock!
It is soft and yummy. My feet are gonna love it
You wanna see my current FOs? We’ll OK, but I can’t show the nursing shawl yet. Not that it is a surprise or anything. Just that it didn’t photograph well against a cream background. Yeah, it is cream, so of course that didn’t work. LOL. What I can show you is another One Skein Wonder. This was taken when I was halfway done.
I only have ribbing left to do now. But I am saving that for when I get sick of the plain cream knitting of the nursing shawl. I can’t help it, I just need colour. If I go without for too long, I get a bit nuts. So I have wisely (I hope) left this baby unfinished for when that time comes. You see, because the OSW is almost finished, I need not fear my getting carried away with it.
Just a few posts back I was showing off a partially knitted sock. Ermm, ah well, I still have not finished it.
The second sock is at least 3/4 done, but I have not touched it for over a month. Sadly it will have to wait until after I have completed the shawl. But then I will be released from my sock slump and be free to begin a more exciting pair. Most likely these will be in Lorna’s Laces (for obvious reasons) or Noro Sock. Of which I may or may not have ordered a ball when no one was looking. *cough*
Next time I’ll have for ya, the shawl WIP pictures as promised. Some more FOs to show too, four bags I finished back in November. Three fulled ones that I made for stash-busting purposes and one knit that was a pattern testing effort. Before I go I wanna leave you all with the picture I have been promising to show for much longer than all the rest. Finally! An action shot of my awesome apron from the embroidery ring. It is not a great pic by any stretch. It is however, the best I have managed to take so far.
Well, you all know by now I like to Knit In Public as much as I can. As always I like to show everyone just where that was, provided it was interesting. Saturday one of my WIPs and I were treated to a traditional Ethiopian Coffee Ceremony. I’d call that interesting Seeing as I have recently joined the Southern Summer of Socks KAL (and I am afraid to take my embroidery out of doors these days), I thought I’d better take along my first SSoS project. Meet sock one of Socks For Myself For Once…
She has a rectangular toe cast-on and has acquired the beginnings of a forethought afterthought heel. SpinWeaveKnit suggested this heel option when I took this WIP to another cafe later the same day. I had not heard of it before (the heel not the cafe), and I have not yet gotten around to looking it up, so I am not certain I am doing it correctly. I am sure, however, that it will work and so I am ploughing on through. The basic concept - as I understand it so far – is that you cast-on extra stitches; work a wedge toe type heel on these new stitches and half of the old ones; then pick up stitches along the cast-on edge and knit in the round again with the picked up and remaining original held stitches. I think I made that seem more difficult than necessary, all the more reason to look it up I guess. I’ll do that.
Oh yes, I mustn’t forget the cafe. (skip ahead a paragraph or two if you don’t like food and want to get back to the knitting in a hurry – huh, yeah right!) Made In Africa, is a little place at the back of an arcade in Moorooka (a suburb in the south of Brisbane). It is quite close to home for me and I had decided to explore the sudden burst of activity that seems to have occurred in this small retail precinct. What I found hiding at the back of the arcade was a new cafe and gift shop run by a local man Tesfaye Tefera. They have baskets and carvings for sale and a pool table at the other end of the room (not for sale though). The menu is still a bit sparse at this stage, but the important stuff is covered. You can get a good coffee (from the best of Ethiopian beans I was assured) and a slice of cake. Chocolate mud cake, carrot cake and lamingtons were on offer when I was there and they were the cheapest I have seen anywhere in years. They have salad and there was a few kiddie bits and pieces too. What I ordered though was one of the three traditional Ethiopian dishes on the menu. I don’t remember the name right off the top of my head but it was a beef dish with butter and rosemary. I guess that makes it similar to sega wot (sp?) but perhaps a little more flash. It was served on injera, of course. Have a go if you haven’t tried it, it is an experience. Lucky for me I had heard of these dishes before and I believe I was able to conduct myself without causing myself any real embarrassment. Injera is a sour pancake like thing and this is what your dish is served on, it also serves as your utensils. Yup, you tear a bit off and pick you food up with it. I think I read somewhere that you are meant to make a roll of the torn bit of injera and scoop stew up with that. It was not happening quite so elegantly for me. I am very sure my host would have given me a fork if I had asked (he was most hospitable), but I am proud that I did not. I can use chopsticks after all, so how much trouble could a bit of crepe be? Hmmm, actually don’t answer that
Just as I was getting ready to leave (ie. finishing a round on my sock), the traditional coffee ceremony was just beginning. How cool is that? Of course this meant I got to knit a lot more and I had to have another coffee, and it was probably all educational to boot. Admittedly my arm is way too easily twisted when it comes to new food. The ceremony is going to be performed every Saturday I was told, to show off the culture some. There was incense, a traditional coffee pot and little traditional cups without handles. The beans were roasted and ground right there in front of everyone, I am told that is part of it. The resultant coffee was good AND strong (think Turkish) and it comes with popcorn. Again I ask, how cool is that? I guess it is safe to say I was pretty impressed with the whole experience. The hospitality I encountered was very nice indeed and I learned that there is a possibility that they made be hosting some cooking classes in the future. Count me in!!
By the time I left Made In Africa, almost half of what I had knitted on that sock had been done there. I had cast on and worked half the toe increases the night before. That morning I had finished the toe before I left the house on my culinary adventures. This is the cast on…
It is the rectangular toe cast-on I mentioned earlier, I am uncertain which website I found it on (it was some time ago). I think it was either Knitter’s Review or Sock Knitters, I’ll track it down if anyone wants to know. Mostly I just wanted to show that it really does begin life as a rectangle, a tiny one at that. I really like this cast-on, but I will use better increases next time. If you squint at the first pic of this post you can see my toe is a little puckered. That is because I have been pulling my M1 increases really tight to help close up the holes they are leaving. I have determined that I am not doing them quite right. I have been given a few tips and will be trying them all out soon, to see what will work for me.
If you have managed to read this far, wow, thanks. As a meagre reward, I’ll leave you with an extra picture of my sock. You know, to try and balance out all those words. This is what she looks like this minute, look closely to see that heel I mentioned
Oh man, this is not cool. Not cool at all.
Looks like a bit of a blank canvas doesn’t it? Yeah, well it is not. This pic was taken at 7am, but at 8am the morning before I had just finished tracing the design on to it. They are supposed to fade over the course of a few days sure, but this was less than one. All I was left with was a few faint pink splotches, nothing that resembled even so much as a short line.
(sorry about the grey spot in the middle there, it seems I need to clean my lens. Ooops!).
This was a brand new transfer pen, I even splashed out on a flashy Clover one (it has an extra fine point and a very effective handy dandy eraser at the other end and cost me about double what I pay for the blue Sullivans ones). The fabric was in a bag and did not get wet, so this excessive fading really is a bit inexplicable as far as I am concerned. Geez, it really irks me to have to start again. The transfer took me ages. Arrrgh!!! RANT, RANT, RANT.
Okay, okay, I am getting over it, honest. Seriously though, I really want this pen to work well for me, I can’t expect to be able to use the blue water-erasable ones for everything. Oh and with that lovely fine tip and cool eraser it would be my new fave transfer pen, that is IF this incident turns out to be an isolated and freakish one. I sincerely hope so, as there is just no way that I will be able to stitch all future projects such a short time-frame.
Never fear though, these baby’s did come highly recommended to me, and by more than one person. So I will be trying again and I have my fingers crossed.
I finally got around to making chunky grey wrist warmers to match my stashbusting beret and scarf from a few weeks back.
I don’t usually go for wristwarmers, I am more of a glove gal. I prefer the elegant to, well, the chunky. But this is a chunky set, so chunky wrist warmers seemed like the thing to do. Well, that and I have been giving thought to constructing things from simple rectangles lately. I wanted to try something I knew would work (I have seen these done before), before trying to design a beret that way. I have been trying to design different berets of late, all without success. Meh!
So there ya go. I completed that set, busted six balls worth of stash and now I am warm. Yeah for me.
I made a start on the first of two baby hats that will be knitted from my hand dyed yarn. The spring and autumn colourways from a few posts back. I still haven’t decided what to do with the Incredible Hulk yarn and it may well slip into oblivion (stash). Now because baby hats knit up so quickly you’ll only get one lot of progress shots out of me. Well, one for each hat that is, if that. Here is what I have been calling the royal pixie hat, in my spring greens.
Modeled – as you can well see – by my good pal Starlight Foundation Balloon. As I had no babes at hand. You will have to excuse all the loose ends still hanging out. Well I did tell you they were progress shots!
I like this one, it shows off the mitred top and you can just make out the little knob I added in the centre. This is also the best view of the pointed brim at this stage. I just love the way this colourway knits up.
There will be much weaving of ends and some serious blocking before this looks anywhere near as handsome as the image in my head is. Not bad though, and this was my first time at using a provisional cast-on. I can see why folks like the technique and we will be firm friends from here on out.
The finer details, just for reference. I used less than ball of Spotlight Basics Dashing (it was cream, before I got at it with Kool-Aid and Easter egg dyes), it is about a double knit or perhaps light worsted weight. It is my hope that I have enough left for socks, but there is probably only enough for toes and heels. I knit it up on 5mm circular needles, sadly they were metal, I hope I find my bamboos soon as this yarn is pretty smooth. The pattern is from The Domestic Sphere http://home.pacbell.net/kapleo/blog/domesticspherepatterns.html they have heaps of funky patterns on there, especially for little ones. It is written to be knitted flat, but is super easy to convert for knitting in the round, it is practically done for you. I think I’ll experiment with other ways of working the pointed cuff on the next hat though. I figure there has to be a way to do it without all that breaking and re-joining of yarn. Maybe short rows, or some kind of entrelac technique. I think I’ll shape the top of the head differently too. I love the shape as is, but I love variety just a little more.
Last FO for this update is this…
This hat is for baby McDonnald (I won’t mention her by name in case her folks don’t approve), I hope they all like it. This is the last of the yarn in this colourway, never to be repeated. In fact, there are only two other hats in the whole world that share these colours. What sets this one appart? The crown…
The others had umbillical tops, but this one has a neat swirl. Props again to Mr Starlight Foundation Balloon. He is a little big for Ms McDonnald’s new hat, but didn’t grumble once. I am one row of Kitchener stitch away from completing her a pair of socks too, so keep your eyes peeled for those.
OK, the deal is today, that I am really behind on everything so I am gonna aim for lots of pictures and few words this post. We’ll see if that is something I can achieve, I am unsure myself. BF does sometimes call me Reed (after Reed Richards of the FF, a man of many long words indeed), so I’d say he would think I’d fail in this. In fact so far, this is beginning to look wordy already, oh boy.
The crocheted donuts I promised a picture of last post, before Photobucket disappeared on me, that is. Yummy yeah?
The apron I crocheted for RecycleMicol. Also a pic I promised last post before I lost my ability to link to ‘em. Yes, I realise this apron is not a practical one. It is not meant to be, it is a means to identify the wearer as the hostess of the party.
Now, the other item I missed out on showing off was my new steering-wheel cover. Check it out.
My own design, tweedy braided cables. Now my hands won’t get all scorched after parking out in the Brisbane sun, yeah! I am loving this. I want to make little matching cushions to throw in the back seat. I never have passengers anyhow, so the space is not used, but I fear this will look a bit tragic. Jane Feebles has already given me a very stern warning against covering a tissue box to stick on the rear parcel shelf. I think she used the word ‘forbid’ in there somewhere, so I promised not to (not that it had yet occurred to me anyway).
Here is a nice li’l close up of those nummy braids. This was before I installed the cover, I think, so the braids are a little more stretched out than this picture shows. But you get the general idea.
Last post I mentioned that i am working on a cabled beret for this winter season. Well, it is still a work in progress. It isn’t actually going all that well, I have finished twice already and neither result was a good one. Here is a pic that explains the basic idea and my inspiration some.
We’ll call this the swatch OK. I reality this is what is left after partial ripping back of attempt number one, but it doesn’t matter. Some of you will recognise this, it is a single motif from Norah Gaughan’s Capecho pattern (on the cover of Vogue Knitting Winter 07). I love the capecho, but I really do not like making modular projects, so I won’t be making one. I love this motif though, with it’s little starfish like centre where the cables join. It is simple, but oh so effective. Brilliant. So I figure, it would make an awesome beret if I just elaborate on it a little more. Easy right? Well, it ought to be. I am having troubles with it though. My first attempt actually worked, but it made for a close fitting beanie shape, not the super slouchy beret I had envisioned. So I had another go. I finished that just this afternoon and it is truly heinous. I will show pics as soon as I have ‘em, for gag value more than anything. You WILL get a chuckle out of it. My beret looks like something a jester would wear if aran had ever been fashionable at court. Scary!
Obviously, I have failled the wordiness challenge today. No mind, I am OK with that. One last picture though.
This is the first (and possibly only) progress shot I have for you all of my extreme tea cosy. This yarn knits up handsomely, and quickly too. These two swatches are the sides of my cosy. I expect the next pic you’ll see of them, will be of the finished piece. It looks like I may well have enough left over for a mat to go underneath, too. That is good mileage from a mini-skein I think.
I believe I mentioned a few posts ago, that OSW #3 is in the works. It is taking a back seat to embroidery at the moment, so I keep forgetting to show it to you. Here it is folks, thanks for your patience. It is currently known by it’s working title Soggy Froot Loops, thanks for the help with that Jane Feebles.
What is that growth up top there? Heh, I decided I would like to have a go at a hood. Hey, why not right? I am not aware of anyone having attempted one yet, so I am having a go. Of course, I have no idea as to how a hood is worked up, so I am winging it. So far, I have created a nice collar shape. So if it doesn’t work out, I’ll unravel back to here. Wow, I have a plan B, unusual.
Hi ya’ll. I mentioned some embroidery in my last post, pretty rude seeing as I didn’t have any pictures to flash. Well, now I have ‘em.
Here are the polos. Won’t we look cute? Urgh. Not too cute I hope, I’ll have to be careful where we (BF and I) wear these. If you’d like to see close ups, the Craftster post for these is here … http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=145756.msg1435258#msg1435258
Looks yuck, I know. This is the beginning of work on one of the two hand towels I hope to finish. The Sublime Stitching book I mentioned the other day did suggest that it is not a good idea for beginners to try to stitch straight on to terry toweling. So yeah, I was warned. But I thought “Hey I am getting good at this embroidery thing, I can do that”. Famous last words? We’ll see, I have not yet given up. What you see above is stitches intended to tack down the pile and hold it in place. I hope that it helps to simplify the actual embroidery, my first attempt was so bad I ripped it out. This really is difficult, so if anyone has any advice I’d love to hear it.