Works in Progress Wednesday

BFF goes to New Brunswick on vacation.
BFF brings back two skeins of yarn from Briggs and Little as a gift for me.
BFF reinforces BFF status.

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Yarn in my stash that was being eyed for one project suddenly has a new purpose.

After buying new needles (which, by the way, I’m in love – I may have a new favourite in Lykke needles!), I’ve cast on what will be my first felting project, a garterlac purse, inspired by the Garter Striped Square Bag pattern. I’m apparently rather ambitious as I’m hoping to ultimately add a lining and perhaps a few pockets. I’ll first see how the felting goes.

The first row of any entrelac project always looks a bit wonky, but here is my project after a few hours’ work:

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Get off my needles, or the tale of the never ending shawl

I’ve hit that moment of a project. You know the one, that moment where you’ve been working on a project for what feels like forever, you think you’re getting close to casting off, but the project just keeps going and going.

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Meet my Pendant Purls Shawl (the yarn: Shelridge Yarns Soft Touch Ultra Solid in Peacock colourway). I started it on New Year’s Day, and I’ve worked on it sporadically since then.  The first few rows went rather quickly, then I hit Chart A: 32 of rows of lace work, knitting and purling through the back loops, and different increases and decreases. It could only hold my attention for a few rows at a time, but then a few weeks ago, I got determined and have been working diligently away, finishing Chart A last week. Chart B was a series of knit and purl stitches over 8 rows, and they flew by in a few afternoons. Chart C, four rows repeated, and the end was in sight, or so I thought. The shawl is shaped through short rows, and these short rows are the four rows repeated a total of 10 times, increasing after every chart repeat; so it the nature of short rows. I felt so close to the finish by the time I started Chart C, but it just keeps going.

I’m stubborn and determined. This shawl will be finished before the end of the week. That is if the short rows don’t get the better of me.

Stay tuned…

 

Changing habits and accepting the compliment

I was perusing Pinterest a few weeks ago, as one does, and this meme caught my eye:

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Naturally, it made me laugh because of how accurate it is. I don’t know about you, but this is certainly a habit I’m guilty of. I’m not comfortable merely accepting the compliment with a simple thank you, but I always feel like I have to follow it up with something.

Person: Wow, those are great socks!
Me: Thanks, the yarn is self patterning. It makes it look fancier than it actually is.

Person: Wow, I love that shawl.
Me: Thank you, the yarn is ___________. The colour is lovely.

Person: I really like that hat.
Me: Thanks, the pattern is ___________, you should check it out.

Person: What a great sweater.
Me: Thanks, but I messed up here and here, and I would have done ________ differently.

These are fairly standard responses I know I have given in the past. Why do we do this? A knitted object can take anywhere from 20 minutes to 20 months (or more) to complete. Time is spent choosing the yarn, knitting the object, and finishing it to the specifications. A knitting object is truly a labour of love, and yet I will constantly downplay the work that I have put into it. I’m sure I’m not alone in this habit.  It’s time to change my attitude and accept the compliment. After all, I made the thing. I’m inwardly proud of the thing. Time to accept the love of the thing.

The Mixed Wave Cowl, or the ongoing ramblings of how it was made

February 14, 2017

Made my way to LYS and purchased the Yarn Challenge kit. The yarns are lovely: red, taupe and beige. Now comes the hard part, what to make with it.

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February 15, 2017
4:30pm

Awesome! I’m so glad I found the Mixed Wave Cowl pattern on Ravelry. It’s perfect for this yarn, a fantastic way to truly highlight the three yarns of the Yarn Challenge.  I have the yarn, the needles, the pattern; I’m ready to cast on!

4:45pm

Okay, we’re cast on! Let me just read the pattern… oh… huh. Well, this is… huh. Okay, so it’s not written like other patterns. This designer’s put a lot of thought (and math) in this pattern. I’m impressed. Cool. I can do this… I think…

4:55pm

Gah, so that didn’t go as planned. Here’s a tip, Lisa. Read the whole pattern. Like, all details.  Let the frogging commence.

5:12pm

Frogging complete. Cast on complete. First row knit. Now onto short rows… wait… huh… I still can’t visualize what to do here. I get the general idea – you’re using short rows and alternate colours to create this really interesting and unique striped pattern. That I get. These instructions, though… Maybe it’s just because I’m not comfortable with the wrap and turn method. Yeah that’s it.

5:14pm

I still don’t get it. There are over 100 people who have this in their Ravelry projects. What do their notes say…

5:18pm

So many of these project notes say “Just do it.” “Trust the designer.” “It all makes sense once you get going.” Yeah, I’m not buying it… Maybe this will be clearer after dinner… mmm… food…

6:03pm

Just do it, huh… okay, here goes… Wrap and turn abandoned, going with German Short Row method instead, a tried, tested and understood method. Maybe that will help…

7:54pm

Well whaddya know? Those Ravelers and the designer were right… just do it. I’m doing it, and a few repeats in and it looks like it’s supposed to look! Maybe all that math the designer did actually makes sense… almost foiled by math once again, but not this time!

February 17, 2017

A day off work and four hour car ride = lots of knitting time. Mixed Wave Cowl, let’s do this. I’m actually feeling so confident with this pattern, a pattern that only a few short days ago I had no faith in, that I’m now able to work it without referring to the written directions. Lesson learned: read all instructions. Trust the designer. Trust other Ravelers.

February 20, 2017

Mixed Wave Cowl grows, both in length and in my overall love for it.

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March 6, 2017

And grows…

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March 7, 2017

4:40pm

Couch, knitting, Law and Order. I see you, Mixed Wave Cowl.

6:35pm

Break out the measuring tape. 55cm! I’m at the right place in my pattern to justify casting off. It is 5cm shorter than the recommended length but it’ll stretch.

6:42pm

Stupid provisional cast on. Grumble grumble.

7:55pm

So this happened:

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Why yes, that is the cowl, grafted, ends woven, and blocking!

I’m sorry I ever doubted you, designer. The initial frustrations I felt three weeks ago was worth pushing through to get this as the final result.

March 8, 2017

4:34pm

Just trying it on for good measure. Yup, still in love with the final result. So much cowl love.

Works in Progress

Why hello.  Good to see you all again. Although I last posted mid-February, I feel like I have been absent from the blogisphere.  I’m trying to catch up and read all of your lovely posts (great job, everyone), and I’m trying to get a few posts out of the ‘draft’ phase into the published phase (stay tuned, they’ll be worth the wait).

I’ve also been keeping my hands busy and attention given to my works in progress.  I’ve figured out how to read and knit at the same time (thank you e-reader), and knitting and watching TV goes together just like peanut butter goes with jam, but I haven’t figured out how to write these blog posts while turning a heel on a sock.  If someone does figure that one out, please pass the secret along.

I’ve been feeling the time crunch for the Soper Creek Yarn Challenge, only have 10 days or so to finish my project (eek deadlines!!), and the constant need to start different projects, a need I wrote about earlier this year, hasn’t seemed to subside as I think I have more started projects on the go than ever before!

Just a glimpse at what has been keeping me busy, minus the yarn challenge, because, secrets guys. 

In this picture, there are three shawls, two sleeves, a scarf, a sock, and yes, another Sontag. Busy needles indeed! 

It truly has been good catching up with all of you. Let’s not wait so long between visits, shall we? 

Now if you’ll excuse me, I have some knitting to do. 

2017 Yarn Challenge

I love my local yarn shops.  I have four in my city and neighbouring towns that I visit with some frequency (much to the chagrin of my bank account). One such neighbouring LYS is Soper Creek Yarns, and every year around this time, they host a yarn challenge.  I talked about this last year when I bought my first kit and participated for the first time. Well it’s back for 2017 and I’m super excited to cast on!

Here’s the yarn:


Berroco Remix Light in three colourways.

I have a pattern picked out, and I’ll be casting on later today. As the Yarn Challenge is a contest – shop visitors vote on their favourite finished objects – and anonymity is key to its success and a big part of the fun, I won’t share my chosen pattern or the finished object until after the contest is over.  For now, check out the pretty yarn and just imagine all the possible things one could knit with it.

Happy knitting!

A Few Finished Objects

Last week, I wrote how I had a major case of start-itis – symptoms of which include being unable to stop casting on new projects, despite how many WIPs a person has on the go. This start-itis isn’t showing signs of being cured, having started three new projects last week.  Seriously, I can’t stop finding new patterns and going through my stash to see what I can use.

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The good thing about so many projects on the go is that I was able to finish three objects last week.  The first were these Cableship socks.  I started them in October as a knit-a-long by KnitPurl Hunter.  The first sock was finished early November, but this second one was put into hibernation until after Christmas knitting was complete.  In the week after Christmas, I struggled my way through Judy’s Magic Cast-on and a few weeks later, I was able to wear the newly finished pair of socks.

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Also finished was a slouchy hat for my dad. Fun story -the wool is 100% Peruvian Alpaca, and we ventured to a local Alpaca farm to by the yarn. My goodness, alpacas must be some of the freaking cutest animals around. When we arrived at the farm, we were greeted by a herd (is that right, herd?) of Border Collies who were obviously working dogs, and we also got a peak at their pigs. They had to be the fattest pigs I’ve ever seen in my life. So that’s the story of they yarn for this hat.  Dad received it yesterday. It fits and he’s happy.

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Finally, on Friday, I bought yarn and cast on a Pussyhat.  Have you heard of this? If not, I HIGHLY recommend heading over to their website and reading more about this movement. In a nutshell, there will be a women’s march on Washington on January 21, and marchers are encouraged to wear these knit hats, the name taken as both a play on on the word pussycat and as reference to how the US President-Elect brags about sexually assaulting women. As stated on their Ravelry page:

The PussyHat Project aims to:

  1. Provide the people of the Women’s March on Washington D.C. a means to make a unique collective visual statement which will help activists be better heard.
  2. Provide people who cannot physically be on the National Mall a way to represent them- selves and support women’s rights.

A Facebook friend of my sister’s asked for a hat to be made, and I happily obliged.  It knit up VERY quickly; I cast on Friday evening and by Sunday I had it finished and ready for my sister to give to the recipient.

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Please visit their website and read more about this initiative.